Fucoidan Extract Review
Fucoidan Extract is a popular herb traditionally used in ancient Chinese medicine. Today, Fucoidan Extract supporters claim it’s a “secret of the seas” that has powerful anti-cancer properties.
What is Fucoidan Extract?
Fucoidan is a dietary fiber found in brown seaweed. For centuries, it has been used in Chinese natural medicine, also known as ancient Chinese traditional medicine.
The ancient Chinese believed you could enjoy powerful health benefits by consuming different types of brown seaweed – including wakame, hijiki, kombu, and mozuku seaweed.
All of these seaweeds have something in common: they contain the dietary fiber known as Fucoidan.
Fucoidan is thought to benefit the body by burning fatty lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides. Recent research into the benefits of Fucoidan has been largely positive in support of its health benefits.
How Does Fucoidan Work?
Fucoidan is thought to contain two main active ingredients:
These two compounds work together to boost your metabolism. When your metabolism gets raised, it helps your body burn more fat than what diet and exercise can do alone.
Fucoidan extract supplement manufacturers are vague about how the supplement works. Today, researchers still don’t really know how or even if Fucoidan works.
One top manufacturer said this about the health benefits of its supplement:
“Preliminary research suggests that they may support the human immune system.”
That’s it. No further details are provided. However, as you’ll learn in the “studies” section below, there have been hundreds of studies reinforcing the health benefits of Fucoidan.
Fucoidan Extract Supplements
Today, Fucoidan extract supplements have become popular because they contain the powdered, extracted form of the dietary fiber. This is thought to concentrate its benefits and make them more bioavailable. You can eat less seaweed while still enjoying the same health benefits.
If you want to take Fucoidan every day, then these supplements are the best way to do so. Unless you want to go diving in the waters around China, supplements are your best and most cost-effective source of pure Fucoidan.
The manufacturing process varies from supplement to supplement. But most manufacturers create the extract by drying the seaweed in the sun before washing and re-hydrating it. This purifies the seaweed and helps to release the “slimy” part of the plant. That slimy part contains the most Fucoidan.
The slimy part is run through a giant mesh net to remove leftover plant elements. Then, the resulting slime is dried, extracted, concentrated, and put inside pills.
Fucoidan Extract Studies
Between 2000 and 2010, studies on Fucoidan extract increased threefold, according to one comprehensive review study published in the 2011 issue of Marine Drugs.
That review study examined 128 different Fucoidan extract studies that had been performed over the years. Here are some of the things researchers found during the review:
— Fucoidan is thought to provide health benefits because it contains “a high proportion of fucose in the sugar backbone of the polymer.”
— Fucoidan across all species of seaweed appears to be non-toxic and has been well-tolerated in studies performed to-date. Even at high levels of ingestion, the compound was found to be safe, and this result was echoed across numerous clinical studies. In one study, participants took a dose of 1 gram per day orally for 3 months with no side effects.
— Fucoidan has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. These anti-inflammatory effects are caused by inhibiting selectins as well as inhibiting complement and enzyme inhibitory activity. This could possibly be where Fucoidan demonstrated its value as an anti-cancer compound.
— Some clinical studies have measured the effects of Fucoidan on osteoarthritis, which is the most common and debilitating form of arthritis in the world today. Several studies have shown that Fucoidan was able to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. One study that involved the oral administration of “Fucoidan rich seaweed extract” was able to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms in patients by an average of 52%.
— Fucoidan has also been studied for its potential in protecting surgical adhesions. Because it acts as an anti-inflammatory, it can reduce the side effects of surgical adhesions and improve recovery time.
— Fucoidan can also protect the liver from damage. One study concluded that “Fucoidan was a highly effective inhibitor” of one type of liver fibrosis, and numerous other studies have reinforced the benefits of Fucoidan extract on the liver.
— Fucoidan may also be used to treat radiation damage. It’s been shown to act as a chelating agent. In one study, Fucoidan successfully increased the survival time of mice exposed to radiation by 75-80%.
— There’s also some evidence that Fucoidan can be used as a neuroprotective agent, which means it protects brain cells from damage. Researchers have studied Fucoidan to determine its benefits on treating Alzheimer’s and dementia, among other degenerative neurological conditions. So far, the most noticeable neuroprotective benefits of Fucoidan have been observed in rats, and the compound has not yet been extensively studied in humans suffering from degenerative brain problems.
— Finally, there’s some evidence that Fucoidan can be used to stop the spread of cancer. Studies so far have been limited in terms of scope and in terms of the number of patients involved. In one March 2011 study published in Phytotherapy Research, researchers observed that Fucoidan “stopped some lung cancer cells from proliferating and triggered the programmed death of cancer cells.” Additionally, Fucoidan was shown to promote white blood cell activity, and white blood cells are known as the natural killer cells. Most of the cancer-fighting benefits of Fucoidan have been observed in vitro or in rats and not in humans – so more research is needed to determine the full extent of benefits.
How to Buy Fucoidan Extract Supplements
Fucoidan extract supplements can be purchased at pharmacies, health food stores, and online retailers around the world.
Typically, Fucoidan extract supplements are advertised based on their Fucoidan content in terms of percentage. Manufacturers might advertise anywhere from 40% to 85% Fucoidan content.
Typically, you take one capsule of Fucoidan daily as directed to support general health benefits.
Fucoidan extract supplements also vary widely in price. This Fucoidan supplement made by Absonutrix is sold for $55.75 on Amazon.com, for example, and promises to contain up to 85% Fucoidan. Another supplement made by Swanson claims to contain 100% maximum strength Fucoidan extract and is priced at $18.99.
Who Should Use Fucoidan Extract Supplements?
Evidence for the benefits of Fucoidan extract supplements has been extensive. Searching for Fucoidan on PubMed.gov reveals 1260 studies to-date.
Nevertheless, those studies have been performed on a wide range of topics and with all sorts of different goals. Only a limited number of widescale human studies have been performed.
Some of the most controversial benefits of Fucoidan – like its anti-cancer benefits – have been observed in rats and in vitro – but human studies have not been performed by any major research organization.
Still, Fucoidan has been well-tolerated in all studies to-date and has demonstrated low toxicity – even when taken in doses as high as one gram per day for 90 days at a time. If you believe in some of the benefits of Fucoidan and want to enjoy it for yourself, then you’ll find plenty of Fucoidan extract supplements available at drug stores, pharmacies, and health food stores around the world.