What Is Fucoidan And What Are The Health Benefits of Fucoidan?
Sea vegetables are becoming increasingly popular in western cuisine and health treatments. Sea vegetables like seaweed,kelp,bladderwrack,kombu,red green and brown algae are all up there in the popularity stakes. Brown seaweed in particular contains many beneficial nutrients including the one which is the subject of this short article, Fucoidan. Fucoidan is an overall term alluding to high molecular sulphated polysaccharides and it is found in the cell walls of those species of brown seaweed particularly kombu, wakame and bladderwrack and it is also found in some species of marine animals like the sea cucumber.
Fucoidan has been found to have many uses for us, including helping to support and maintain a healthy immune system, improving gastrointestinal health, improving joint flexibility and lubrication, promoting cell growth, reducing blood sugar levels and having antioxidant qualities and in some studies has been shown to have an anti-coagulant effect on a par with heparin which given its natural state takes some doing. It has been used to help reduce cholesterol levels,keeping the good and bad cholesterol levels in normal ranges and cancer research has shown that it can have an effect on cancer cells causing cancer cell nuclei to die off in a process known as apoptosis. Normal cells remained unaffected. It has also been shown to have the ability to balance the cells by inhibition or stimulation particularly where the cells communicate. Boosting cells in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome or suppressing in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
These are naturally occurring (or man made) chemicals which can slow down or even prevent cell damage. They are not substances as such but more behaviors and any compound which can provide electrons to counteract free radicals can be called an antioxidant.
Natural antioxidants like those found in seaweed like fucoidan are mainly found in fruit and vegetables and other seafood that eat marine plants. The most common antioxidants are the A and C vitamins but as mentioned they can also be produced artificially.
It is imperative to have antioxidants in our bodies to counter the free radical action of the unstable oxygen molecules that are looking for another electron to make themselves complete. They bombard tissues and damage occurs in the form of arthritis, and it has been said that age-related diseases and even aging itself occur from free radical damage. Free radicals are simply a byproduct of our immune system in the process of disposing of viruses and bacteria, but polluted environments also contribute, from exhaust pollution, radiation, herbicides even cigarette smoke; all do damage at cellular level.Therefore as antioxidants happily donate electrons to these free radical oxygen molecules, they are vital to have for a healthy body. Antioxidants are stable in either form, so donating an electron does not lead to damage. Our bodies make some antioxidants, but we need many more from our food, so a potent antioxidant from seaweed has many health benefits to all our body systems, not least of which is in helping control our blood sugar levels and the fucoidan in Oceans Bounty Blood Sugar does just that.