The latest research and developments into a unique marine ingredient was just released by Dr. Helen Fitton, chief scientist at Australia-based Marinova.
Fucoidan, the ingredient that naturally occurs in brown seaweed, has been found beneficial in everything from gut health to bone and joint health.
Wide-range of benefits
The Australian team renowned for their expertise in the research, development and manufacture of fucoidan detailed the global research progress in “Therapies from Fucoidan: New developments” published in the journal Marine Drugs. The report details progress across a range of research areas.
Speaking on the comprehensive review, Fitten said the extent and breadth of the credible science supporting fucoidan continues to expand. She also highlighted the application of fucoidan across a wide spectrum of human health indications:
“Since our last review in 2015, studies of fucoidan have progressed in a variety of research areas. Fucoidan compounds are highly bioactive and continue to be developed and utilized for dietary supplements. They are also in demand for gut health, immune modulation and anti-inflammatory applications for both humans and animals. We anticipate these applications are likely to increase in the future due to recent regulatory approvals in the USA and EU.”
The review said that fucoidans continue to be developed as bioactive oral supplements and will likely increase their market presence in the future. Asia is the largest fucoidan consumption region. In 2017, it consumed nearly 15,000 lbs of fucoidan. China and Japan are the first and second largest consumption country in Asia. In 2017, China consumed 38.5% of Asia’s total fucoidan. In 2017, the US consumed over 11,000 lbs of fucoidan, a share of 36.3%, according to Pioneer Reports. The global market size is expected to reach $37 million by 2024, up from $30 million in 2019.
The paper also examined the variation in the quality of commercially available extracts and identifies likely opportunities for future fucoidan use.
Fitton explained, “Therapies for neurological disease, bacterial and viral infections, and oncology appear to be the next commercial opportunities. These recent research developments are outlined in the paper along with exciting progress in clinical trial outcomes.”
With research now progressing into the clinical trial phase, orally bioavailable adjunct therapies for neurological disease, bacterial and viral infections, and oncology are also being explored.
Fucoidans may also be applied to pharmaceutical technology, showing near-market potential in thrombosis imaging and treatment. "Safety studies on radiolabelled fucoidan have been carried out with a view to regulatory approval for clinical imaging applications. Subject to regulatory approvals, fucoidans could be used in the near future," the review concluded.
According to the review, fucoidans will also continue to be developed as bioactive oral supplements, likely increasing their market presence in the future. “Gut health, oral health and anti-inflammatory applications are already partly commercialized for use in humans, livestock and pets, with the recent suite of regulatory approvals for fucoidan extracts in the US and EU likely to spur further growth in these sectors. Microbiome modulation and anti-pathogenic effects are increasingly promising applications for fucoidans, due to the need for alternative approaches to antibiotic use in the food chain.”
"There is certainly growing interest in fucoidan," said Fitton. "It is an innovative marine ingredient and ongoing research continues to reveal the extraordinary health benefits that it has to offer. The extent and breadth of the credible science supporting fucoidan continues to expand."
Source: Marine Drugs
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(10), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17100571
“Therapies from Fucoidan: New developments”
Authors: H.J. Fitton et al