Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll, a subset of the carotenoid family, that is found in some species of seaweed (macroalgae) as well as some species of marine diatoms (microalgae). The ingredient has been associated with weight management benefits.
Backing the liver health benefits
There is some promising preclinical evidence, including the molecule’s role in reducing both plasmatic and hepatic triglyceride concentrations. It has also been shown to decrease acetyl-CoA carboxylase expression, thus decreasing malonyl-CoA formation, as well as the expression of fatty acid synthase, decreasing the synthesis of long-chain saturated fatty acids. There are fewer human clinical trials backing these effects.
Algatech, however, is highlighting ingredient’s liver health benefits as well as its metabolic effects. The company says data show that FucoVital has greater potency in support of liver health than fucoxanthin from seaweed.
Algatech derives its fucoxanthin from a unique strain of Phaeodactylum tricornutum microalgae. The company says this strain of microalgae is a naturally rich source of fucoxanthin and compounds such as omega-3’s (EPA) and other beneficial fatty acids. The company said its ingredient is also differentiated from other fucoxanthin ingredients by being standardized to 3% fucoxanthin.
“Tripling our FucoVital production is a significant step forward in meeting the growing demand for this powerful natural ingredient and realizing Algatech’s vision to fully utilize the most primal plant in nature, microalgae, toward improving the health and well-being of people around the world,” said Algatech CEO Hagai Stadler.
Rising tide of NAFLD
Algatech said FucoVital will be especially helpful in addressing the increasing prevalence of NAFLD (Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). According to one recent study using NHANES data, the prevalence of NAFLD in the United States has risen from 18% in 1988–1991 to 31% in 2011–2012.
Doron Delouya, Algatech’s VP of business development, said the company is launching a human clinical trial in the US using the ingredient.
The new production facility was added on to Algatech’s existing algae farm in the Arava Desert in southern Israel. The facility employs Algatech’s proprietary closed tube algae production model, which is also used to cultivate the raw material for the company’s astaxanthin ingredient.