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Anticancer Effects of Fucoidan Contained in Okinawa Hamahiga Island Mozuku



Fucoidan contained in Okinawa Hamahiga Island mozuku is thought to have various effects, such as enhancing immunity, preventing diabetes, and improving constipation, but what is attracting particular attention is its "anti-cancer" effect.


This article describes the types and characteristics of fucoidan and explains the anti-cancer effects of fucoidan while introducing the supporting research papers. It also discusses the anti-cancer effects of Okinawa Hamahiga mozuku, which contains fucoidan.


By reading this, you will understand the degree to which fucoidan contained in Okinawa Hamahiga mozuku has anti-cancer effects. Please use this information when considering whether to use Okinawa Hamahiga Mozuku for cancer prevention or treatment.



What is fucoidan?


Reference Literature: Biomodulatory Functions of Fucoidan, a Seaweed Component - Focusing on its Anti-cancer Effects (https://www.agr.kyushu-u.ac.jp/lab/bapsa/pdf/22.pdf )


Fucoidan is a polysaccharide, or water-soluble dietary fiber, found in brown algae such as Okinawa Hamahiga Island mozuku seaweed. The structure of the sugars and nucleic acids contained in fucoidan differs depending on the seaweed, and minerals and pigments are also contained within the fucoidan molecule. It is believed that these differences in composition affect the physiological functions of fucoidan.



Types and Characteristics of Fucoidan


Reference site: Does fucoidan act on cancer? Fucoidan Therapy and the Difference between Low Molecular Weight, Medium Molecular Weight, and High Molecular Weight (https://hiki-clinic.or.jp/column/fucoidan/cancer-relationship/ )


Fucoidan ranges in molecular weight from less than 1,000 to 300,000, and is classified into high molecular weight fucoidan, medium molecular weight fucoidan, and low molecular weight fucoidan according to molecular weight.


High Molecular Weight Fucoidan


With a molecular weight of over 200,000, fucoidan found in seaweed is high molecular weight fucoidan. Traditionally, high molecular weight fucoidan was thought not to be absorbed from the intestinal tract. However, on March 30, 2010, at the Japanese Society for Agricultural Chemistry, a group led by Professor Nagamine of Gunma University School of Medicine announced that mozuku fucoidan was absorbed by the human body in a human study using Okinawa mozuku.


Medium Molecular Weight Fucoidan


Medium molecular weight fucoidan is fucoidan with a molecular weight of 1,000 to 10,000 or more, and is produced by breaking down high molecular weight fucoidan with a special enzyme. It is absorbed through the intestinal tract while maintaining the functions of fucoidan.


Low Molecular Weight Fucoidan


Low molecular weight fucoidan has a molecular weight of about 500 and is easily absorbed through the intestinal tract, but its fucoidan function is impaired.

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Anticancer effects of fucoidan


Reference Literature: Biomodulatory Functions of Fucoidan, a Seaweed Component - Focusing on Anticancer Effects (https://www.agr.kyushu-u.ac.jp/lab/bapsa/pdf/22.pdf )


・Fucoidan has been shown to have the following anti-cancer effects

・Induces apoptosis (spontaneous cell death)

・Inhibits angiogenesis at the tumor site

・Inhibits cancer metastasis

・Enhances anti-tumor immunity



Induces apoptosis (spontaneous cell death)


A 2009 study by Yamazaki et al. "Fucoidan induces apoptosis through activation of caspase-8 on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 19754176/)" suggests that fucoidan induces apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Apoptosis is a scheduled spontaneous death in living cells, which is pre-programmed into the cells. The role of apoptosis is to increase cell metabolism and maintain the organism in a healthy state.


Inhibition of angiogenesis at the tumor site


According to "Oversulfation of fucoidan enhances its anti-angiogenic and antitumor activities (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12504793/ )," 180 sarcoma cells According to "Oversulfation of fucoidan enhances its anti-angiogenic and antitumor activities ()," administration of fucoidan oversulfate to mice implanted with 180 sarcoma cells inhibited angiogenesis at the tumor site, suggesting that it may inhibit tumor growth. A similar effect has also been observed in Lewis lung cancer growth in mice.


Inhibits cancer metastasis


According to ”Blocking of lectin-like adhesion molecules on pulmonary cells inhibits lung sarcoma L-1 colonization in BALB/c-mice(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2737266/

)" sarcoma L-1 cells were implanted in the lungs of mice and the degree of intrapulmonary metastasis was observed. Fucoidan is expected to have an inhibitory effect on lung cancer metastasis.


Enhancement of anti-tumor immunity


According to "The role of NK cells in antitumor activity of dietary fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida sporophylls (Mekabu) (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ Since NK cells are tumor destroyers, fucoidan may enhance anti-tumor immunity.



Conclusion: Anticancer effects of Okinawa Hamahiga Island mozuku


Fucoidan is known to have various anti-cancer effects, but these effects have only been confirmed in cultured cells or in animal experiments. At present, its anti-cancer effects in humans have not been fully demonstrated. However, the anti-cancer activity of fucoidan seems to be very promising, and it is already being used as an alternative medicine in cancer treatment.


If the anti-cancer effects of fucoidan are verified in humans, the anti-cancer effects of Okinawa Hamahikasima mozuku will also become clear, and it is expected to become widely used as a material for alternative medicine in cancer treatment. We will continue to keep an eye on the research on the anti-cancer effects of fucoidan contained in Okinawa Hamahiga Island mozuku.


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