seaweed

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Fucoidans

Seaweed is a highly complex material, and typically contains over 60 minerals and elements, 12 vitamins, 21 amino acids as well as simple and complex carbohydrates.

brown seaweed

Fucoidans are a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in some species of algae (or seaweed) known for their antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties. Brown seaweeds offer the highest concentration of fucoidans and individual seaweeds produce specific fucoidans.

Widely used in certain Asian cultures for hundreds of years, seaweeds, and particularly certain varieties of brown seaweeds, have been revered for their ability to stabilise health and speed healing. In recent years fucoidans have been more widely studied for their ability to heal and protect the body from illnesses ranging from acute (such as viruses) through to chronic illnesses (like cancer).

When battling viruses it seems that the fucoidans bolster the cellular protection to prevent the introduction of the virus into the healthy cell. Further, they seem to inhibit the ability of the virus to replicate by preventing the replication of the virus in adjacent healthy cells.

In a scientific study entitled "A comparative study of the anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antiangiogenic, and antiadhesive activites of nine different fucoidans from brown seaweeds" the scientists noted that they reduced inflammation, had anticoagulant properties, and blocked some cancer cells from adhering to platelets - "An effect which might have critical implications in tumour metastases". They go on to say that the data they have found provides "a new rationale for the development of potential drugs for thrombosis, inflammation and tumour progression". (Source: PubMed).

seaweed

In addition to immune support, it is envisaged that fucoidans could be used in supplements aimed at preventing or alleviating the symptoms of other health indications, including metabolic syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, irritable bowel syndrome and osteoarthrisis.

Within the molecular structure of Fucoidan is fucose which is a type of sugar. Fucose is also found abundantly in human breast milk, which is why most new mothers are encouraged to breast feed their babies to give them a good head start in life, boost their immune system and fight off any virus or disease. And in Korean culture, nursing mothers are encouraged to eat plenty of seaweed soup to improve their breast milk.