Meet Fucoidan – From One of the Most Nutritious Food Sources on the Planet!
It’s a brown seaweed extract, absurdly healthy but often unknown, overlooked or misunderstood. Fucoidan may not be from Atlantis, but it comes from brown seaweed grown in Tonga, Okinawa and other exotic locations around the globe. Here are five important fucoidan facts we think you should know.
What is Fucoidan?
Pronounced “foo-koy-dan”, fucoidan is a naturally occurring sulphated polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate) extracted from brown seaweed.
It is mainly found in the cell walls of brown seaweeds such as mozuku, kombu, bladderwrack, and wakame.
Fucoidan is the “slippery” part of the brown seaweed, and research indicates that it helps protect the seaweed from the effects of drying out when exposed at low tides.
Fucoidans are edible, abundant and non-toxic, and they have remarkable bioactive properties and potential health benefits for humans.
Fucoidan is a standard complementary therapy in parts of Asia, including Japan, Korea and China, where it is routinely prescribed to patients. It is only in recent years that the western world has begun to take an interest as its phenomenal human health potential has become known.
What is the History of Fucoidan?
Fucoidan itself was first discovered a hundred years ago by Professor Kylin of Uppsala University in Sweden. In other words, it’s a relatively new discovery. However, the brown seaweeds that it comes from have been consumed in Asian cultures as part of their daily diet for centuries. Seaweed extracts have also been used as remedies in traditional medicine in Asian cultures. The “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing“, which provides a summary of early Chinese medicinal knowledge before 25-220 AD, is the first known record of seaweed being used to treat disease.
Over the past 20 or so years, fucoidans have enjoyed a renaissance due to the scientific discovery of their various beneficial health effects, which are derived from natural bioactive compounds. Fucoidan extracts are now being used world-wide in a variety of applications, including dietary supplements, skincare products, energy drinks, and veterinary products.
STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
ASSISTS DIGESTION FUNCTION
HELPS FIGHT INFECTION
SUPPORTS BLOOD DISORDERS
ASSISTS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
What is the Correct Fucoidan Daily Dosage?
As fucoidan is obtained from brown seaweed, shouldn’t I just include more brown seaweed into my diet? Unfortunately, you would have to consume around 1 kg of brown seaweeds to obtain about 1 gram of fucoidan, so it is definitely more convenient to take supplements.
Dosage for fucoidan ranges from 100mg to up to 8,000mg per day. For general health maintenance and optimisation, we recommend a dosage of 250mg per day.
The not-for-profit Research Institute in Japan, recommends at least 1,000mg – 2,000mg per day if you are fighting adult lifestyle-related diseases, and at least 3,000mg – 6,000mg per day as an adjuvant cancer therapy, but consult your attending physician first.
Also please note that your body’s immune cells are active during the day and inactive in the evening, so fucoidan supplements should be taken four times a day, at regular intervals, for the best results.
Is Fucoidan Safe To Take?
Fucoidan, unlike chemical drugs and synthetic vitamins, occurs naturally and has been eaten by millions in brown seaweed for centuries. It is generally recognised as non-toxic and safe for human consumption.
Most people who try it will experience no side effects. However, individual physiological differences mean that some people may experience mild side effects associated with its bioactive functions.
Although rare, some people can have allergic reactions to brown seaweed. In addition, because fucoidan is a rich source of natural fiber, it has also been known to cause minor bloating, wind and loose stools depending on dosage. This is nothing to worry about and after a while you will return to normal regularity. Finally, be cautious if you are already taking anticoagulents, such as warfarin or heparin, as it may also be an anticoagulent and may increase your risk of bleeding.
As always, please make sure you talk to your medical practitioner before making changes to your diet, medication, or supplement regime.