Fucoidan

 

Excerpts from the book Fucoidan: The Ocean's Gift
by Sound Concepts

Many people don’t fully understand the extreme importance of controlling free radical cellular damage in the body.  A free radical is an unstable oxygen molecule that must find another electron to make itself complete.  In order to do this, the free radical begins randomly bombarding the body’s cells, resulting in injury to the surrounding cell tissue.

The damage from free radicals can be countered by antioxidants.  Antioxidants stop free radical damage by donating an electron without becoming a damaging free radical themselves.  The problem in today’s society is that because of the lack of proper nutrition and moderate exercise, the number of free radicals in our bodies vastly outnumbers the number of antioxidants.  This leads to premature aging and chronic disease.

The answer to this dilemma is to supplement our diets with plant-derived substances that contain antioxidants.  However, not all supplements are made the same.  Some supplements contain mostly filler or they contain impure plant products.  Sometimes, the plants from which the supplements are made were grown in soil that lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals to create a plant rich in antioxidants.  Again, Limu Moui does not suffer from soil deficiencies.  It contains the antioxidants necessary to help prevent the negative effects sustained from free radical damage.  Researchers in Madrid, Spain, showed that ingredients in brown seaweed exhibited great capacity as a natural antioxidant-even greater than extracts from green and red sea plants.

Fucoidan in Limu Moui

Limu Moui has been a vital source of food and commerce for many coastal peoples.  Not surprisingly, some of these people credit the plant for their long lives.  Many Tongans, for instance, stay robust, full of life and vigor, without suffering the effects of disease normally associated with aging.  If you were to ask for their secret, chances are the Tongan people would direct you to Limu Moui as the reason for their good health.

In Japan, sea plant dishes like kombu and wakame are well known, but a lesser known dish call mozuku shares a common characteristic with Limu Moui.  The people in the regions of Japan where mozuku is used enjoy longer lives and lower incidences of cancer when compared to counterparts in other parts of Japan.

Recent studies actually verify these phenomenona.  Japanese scientists have isolated a substance in Limu Moui that promotes healthy living, seems to slow down the aging process, and fights a myriad of diseases.  This substance is called fucoidan.  A large number of recent scientific studies have shown fucoidan fights against cancer formation, development, and growth.  Other research also indicates that fucoidan can be used for many other ailments common in today’s world.

What is Fucoidan?

Fucoidan is a complex polysaccharide composed largely of fucopyranoside and natural sulphate.  Fucoidan also has trace elements of galactose, xylose, and glucuronic acid-three different types of sugar molecules. 

But what does that mean?  Simply pt, fucoidan is a member of the carbohydrate family.  Gucoidan is a polysaccharide.  That means it is made up of several different polymers that can be broken down by hydrolysis.  Fucoidan molecules also demonstrate a tendency to bond with sulphate groups.  Research indicates that the higher the sulphate group-count in a plant, the higher its therapeutic potential.

Found in the cell walls of Limu Moui, fucoidan gives the sea plant its slippery texture.  This moisture barrier protects the algae, even when it is exposed to strong sunlight.  This barrier allows the brown sea plant to survive in it’s harsh environment.

It just so happens that the body uses the different parts of fucoidan regularly.  One of its components, galactose, for example is a sugar.  Other of its components, such as xylose and glucuronic acid, are found in the make-up of cell walls.  In fact, the components of fucoidan are so good for the body that Dr. Kyosuke Owa, a Japanese research scientist, compares it to mother’s milk for its healing anti-bodies.

For the infant, a mother’s breast milk provides an inexperienced immune system with the more experienced defense cells borrowed from the mother’s immune system.  This exposure to the experienced defense cells helps newborn babies to develop a strong immune system to fight off the diseases.

According to Dr. Owa, fucoidan contains the same types of antibodies found in human mother’s milk.  This makeup provides essential nutrients to boost the immune system.  Dr. Owa’s research explains that fucoidan stimulates the production of immune cells, providing the body with a stronger defense against invading bodies like bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and even cancer.

The traditional use of Limu Moui for its curative powers attests to fucoidan’s abilities. Island and coastal inhabitants have used this sea plant as a topical ointment and as an ingested treatment for illness.  Fucoidan has been shown to help with the following functions:

Enhance immunity

Relieve stomach disorders

Fight allergies

Improve and support liver function

Inhibit blood clotting

Fight against free radicals

Lower cholesterol levels

Promote healthy skin

Decrease high blood pressure

Stabilize blood sugar levels

Reaching a definitive consensus concerning the precise nature of fucoidan has proved difficult.  Fucoidan’s complex nature, and the difficulty of obtaining pure samples, have contributed to the prevention of reaching such a consensus.  However, the Biomedical Research Laboratories of Takara Shuzo and the Research Institute for Glycotechnology Advancement have overcome the obstacle of obtaining pure strains of fucoidan, thus enabling studies of its healing properties.  About 4 percent of the total dry weight of Limu Moui is fucoidan.  Once it has been extracted, fucoidan looks like an off-white to yellow powder.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is a disease in which the human body does not produce or properly use insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert food into energy.  Beta cells in the pancreas make the insulin.  The exact cause of diabetes is a mystery.  What is not a mystery is that modern lifestyles aggravate the disease, due to the lack of proper diets and exercise. There is also a genetic diabetic factor that there is no way of preventing or predicting.

There are two major types of diabetes-Type 1 and Type 2.  In the body of a Type 1 diabetic, the pancreas does not produce any insulin.  This type of diabetes is seen most often in children and young adults.  People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to stay alive.  Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetics.  In the body of a Type 2 diabetic, the pancreas is unable to make enough, or properly use insulin.  This is the most common form of the disease.  Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetics.  The number of people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes is on the rise.

The complications form both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are numerous.  The disease can affect nearly every system in the body.  For example, diabetics have a higher risk of eye damage, feet and skin problems, heart and blood vessel malfunction, kidney disease, nervous system problems, and dental decay.

The complications arise from the fact that a diabetic’s blood sugar levels are never consistent.  The best way to control diabetes is to try and keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.  This is usually accomplished through insulin shots and diet control.  The use of a supplement such as fucoidan that promotes normal blood sugar levels may also help.  Any diabetic using any type of health supplement should always do so under the supervision of his or her physician.

French researchers have discovered that polysaccharides (from fucoidan) in sea plants found in fucoidan positively impact blood sugar and insulin responses in laboratory animals.  By treating the animals with these polysaccharides they were able to observe a “dramatically reduced glucose absorption.”  This study suggest that fucoidan slowed the absorption of glucose from the intestines into the blood stream.  This information may indicate the use of fucoidan in dealing with blood sugar-related diseases such as diabetes.

As mentioned earlier, kidney disease is greatly aggravated by diabetes.  Increases in the number of people developing kidney failure appear to parallel the rise in diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney failure.  More then 8 million Americans have seriously reduced kidney function.  Sadly, the number diagnosed with kidney failure has doubled each decade for the last two decades and will likely continue to do so.

Healthy kidneys help clean the body’s blood supply and help to ensure overall health in the body.  The Department of Medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, conducted a study on acute renal failure.  They discovered that the administration of fucoidan significantly increase postishemic renal blood flow.  This increased blood flow shows that fucoidan may have a renoprotective, kidney-protecting, activity.

Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death in America.  One out of every two men and one out of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.  It is expected that in the next year alone, more then 1.2 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer will eventually touch everyone’s life.  Whether you or someone you know contracts it, cancer is quickly becoming a factor in all of our lives.  While the medical community is making major steps in the prevention and treatment of this epidemic, as yet there is no cure.

In treating cancer, it helps to understand its nature.  Before the cells in our body wear out, they replicate themselves so that our bodies continue to function uninterrupted.  When cells divide, they pass on genetic information to their daughter cells.  Cancer occurs when cells reproduce uncontrollably, creating tumors.

There are two phases to cancer.  The first phase is when carcinogens damage DNA.  The second phase of cancer is uncontrolled cell growth.  A great deal of research emphasis is being placed on this second phase.  Doctors and researchers have observed that if the fueling forces to a cancer are removed, the growth may be slowed or stopped and the cancer may go into remission.

While there is no cure for cancer, there are four types of accepted treatments: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biological therapies.  Of the four treatments, biological therapies are the least known.  Biological therapies involve boosting the body’s natural defenses.  Cells have natural defenses against cancer, and the immune system will also attach cancerous growths.  By introducing substances into the body that boos these responses, some cancers can be successfully treated.  Fucoidan’s ability to help control the proliferation of cancerous cells as well as its ability to boost the body’s immune system has been widely researched in laboratories across the world.  Starting in Japan, researchers discovered that by introducing fucoidan to cancerous cells the cancer was destroyed.  This study showed that cancer cells in a laboratory dish were completely wiped out within 72 hours of being treated with fucoidan.

In another research study published in 1995, Japanese scientists reported that fucoidan inhibited the spread of lung cancer.  They found that in laboratory mice injected with fucoidan, lung carcinomas did not metastasize or spread.

French scientists reported in 1993 that fucoidan has an anti-tumor effect.  They stated that fucoidan acts as an anti-proliferative – blocking the cells ability to replicate.

These and other studies have led researchers to seriously study fucoidan’s apparent ability to fight cancer.  Scientists have discovered that fucoidan may fight cancer in three major ways. First, it may reverse the cancer process by inhibiting metastasis of the spreading of cancerous tumors.  Fucoidan has also been shown to be an anti-tumor again and thereby decreases tumor activity.  Lastly, fucoidan may be used to increase the body’s natural defense mechanism found within our immune system.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. This material is intended for educational purposes only. Cryptogon.com is not engaged in rendering medical advice, and any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.