Research & Development
Scientific expertise and product development support are offered through FucoidanSource™’s active research and development program.
In addition to the company’s own expertise, FucoidanSource™ has an established global research network with leading research institutions undertaking human clinical trials.
Key areas of active fucoidan research include:
- Gut health and microbiome
- Integrative oncology
- Immune modulation
- Anti-viral activity
- Stem cell mobilisation
A number of publications have shown Fucoidan can activate vital immune cells (i.e. certain T-cells, NK cells, and dendritic cells) and bolster both innate and adaptive immune systems to help overall immunity and elicit an anti-pathogenic/viral function. Furthermore, Fucoidan has been shown to inhibit a number of viral pathogens such as several strains of the common flu (influenza), measles, and even herpes. One of the mechanisms by which Fucoidan elicits an anti-viral function is by blocking the binding of viral receptors to cells, resulting in reduced infection rates. Fucoidan has also been implicated in anti-pathogenic functions as well. In a preclinical mouse model, Kar and colleagues found that oral administration of Fucoidan lead to a significant reduction in the infection rate of a pathogen of Leishmania (2011, J Antimicrob Chemother). Further studies have shown Fucoidain aids in fighting off many gastrointestinal related pathogens as well (see Digestive and Gastrointestinal Health section). (link this section to the other) Taken together, Fucoidan has been shown to have a broad immune promoting effect.
In addition to its immune-boosting function, Fucoidan has been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect through various routes of administration (ingestion, IV systemic delivery, and topical application). There are a number of biomolecular mechanisms by which Fucoidan limits inflammation. One such pathway that Fucoidan effects is by inhibiting the inflammation promoting proteins COX and LOX. Another example of Fucoidans anti-inflammatory effects was shown in with dermatitis and inflammation of the skin. Topical administration of Fucoidan to the skin was shown to reduce allergic inflammatory response by reducing a pro-inflammatory immunoglobulin protein, IgE.
A large body of evidence has shown that Fucoidan can help in fighting off GI related pathogens, maintain intestinal homeostasis, and boost liver health.
The liver is a vital organ that helps in an array of physiological processes from maintenance of glucose homeostasis to detoxification. Consumption of certain foods and drinks can cause toxicity and insult to the liver. In several studies, Fucoidan has been shown to help protect against toxin and pathogen induced liver damage. For example, studies have demonstrated that Fucoidan helps reduce liver damage in both alcohol and non-alcohol induced steohepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Mori and colleagues even show that Fucoidan inhibits hepatitis C by reducing viral related gene expression (2012, World J Gastroenterol).
In addition to liver health, Fucoidan has been shown to help stave off intestinal related pathogens as well. With recent findings indicating new physiological roles of our gut flora in various aspects of our health, it is more important than ever that we maintain a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Unfortunately, the GI tract is also one of the primary entry points for many pathogens. Fucoidan has been demonstrated time and time again to help reduce infection rate and spread of GI related pathogens, from inflammatory bacteria Lactobacillus to ulcer causing H. pylori. By helping to reduce the spread and pathogenesis of these microbes, Fucoidan can potently help us reduce inflammation to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system.
With the ever increasing epidemic of cardiovascular disease around the world, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant of the status of our cardiovascular health. Fucoidan can help maintain cardiovascular health by aiding in various physiological processes such as blood pressure and angiogenesis (vascularization).
Angiogenesis is a vital process in which are bodies are able to provide blood supplies to various organs, and it plays a vital role during recovery from injury. As we age, the cells that help in creating new blood vessels also age and become less efficient. Fucoidan has been shown to help reverse the aging of endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) which are a cell type important in angiogenesis. ECFCs were initially characterized in the early 1990s and were shown to be vital in re-vascularizing tissue, and work by Lee and colleagues demonstrated that Fucoidan helped in revitalizing these cells to increase blood vessel formation (2017, J Tissue Eng Regen Med). In addition, Fucoidan has also been shown to play an active role in angiogenesis in the context of injury. Sarlon and colleagues as well as Fitton and colleagues demonstrated that Fucoidan helped significantly increase vascularization following insult and injury from ischemia (2012, J Thromb Haemost; 2015, Mar Drugs).
Fucoidan can help take a load off of our hearts by reducing blood pressure. Chronically high blood pressure has been associated with cardiovascular disease and shorter lifespan. In a clinical trial led by Hernandez-Corona and colleagues, a cohort of obese individuals were followed and were administered Fucoidan for three months (2014, J Med Food). They found that daily Fucoidan intake lead to a statistically significant decrease in blood pressure and a reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL). These findings demonstrate the vital role Fucoidan can play in helping to improve cardiovascular function through reducing blood pressure.