There are different components that go into everyday health supplements. Some of these are naturally formed while others are chemically processed. Depending on the compound, these usually come with specific contributions to the body, a person’s health, when ingested and processed by the system. In this case, the component that will be focused on is called fucoidan.
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What Is Fucoidan?
Formed on the cell walls of certain types of seaweed, fucoidan is a natural substance that is commonly used in various health supplements because of its medicinal components. It is considered as a kind of polysaccharide, a sugar-based element that contains glucoronic acid, xylose, galactose, and other elements that make it beneficial to one’s health.
On seaweed or other species like the sea cucumber, it is the fucoidan that gives them their slimy exterior coating. There are two different kinds of fucoidan namely U-fucoidan and F-fucoidan. Basically, the former contains more glucoronic acid which is a metabolic compound while the latter is richer in terms of its sulphate content. Sulphates are natural cleansing agents.
What Types of Algea Is Fucoidan Extracted From?
Fucoidan is the compound responsible for the slimy texture of certain aquatic life. This natural compound can mainly be sourced from the sea cucumber, certain species of brown seaweed, or certain types of brown algae.
The fucoidan compound used in dietary supplements usually come from seaweed sources such as hijiki, kombu, wakame, mozuku, and bladderwrack.
How Fucoidan Activates AMPK
AMPK stands for AMP-activated protein kinase. It serves as the regulator of each person’s cells. It is a type of protein that ensures that the body is always in a balanced state for best possible function.
The thing about AMPK is that it is naturally found in the body but needs to be activated to work. Once activated, it helps the body perform to the best of its abilities boosting metabolism and immunity as a result.
To activate this protein, you need a trigger and this is what fucoidan does. As a AMPK activator, it introduces the body to something that it is not used to; in this case, cell regulatory components that boost immunity. Having the extra help in shielding the body from illnesses and infections changes the way the body reacts to stimuli.
It activates AMPK by regulating these bodily compounds: CDK4, CDK6, and Cyclin D1. The three of these compounds regulate cell growth, division, and progression, which is essential especially when it comes to battling cancer cells and the spreading of other diseases and infections.
Benefits of Fucoidan
A type of dietary fiber, the main purpose of fucoidan is to help the body heal naturally. Here are some of the benefits of fucoidan in relation to diseases and other bodily conditions:
1. Cancer suppression
Based on research, scientists have found that fucoidan has the ability to reduce the formation of tumors in the body. It also contains cancer-preventing properties and aids in neuroprotective activities. More experimentations are currently being done to see the extent of fucoidan’s cancer-blocking abilities.
2. Blood thinning
Apart from this, fucoidan is also an effective anti-coagulant making it a reliable component to use for supplements that target the improvement of blood circulation. It also reduces the effects or onset of thrombosis or blood clots in the blood vessels. It also aids in boosting the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
In relation to other diseases, there are several conditions apart from cancer that fucoidan can successfully help with. For one, it is a well-known treatment for hypertension as it is able to regulate the body thereby reducing any built-up pressure.
As an immunity booster, the compound is able to treat those with viral infections (examples of which are influenza, the common cold, and herpes), bacterial infections, and general allergies or inflammation. It’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent wound-treatment option.
In relation to cancer, fucoidan has been found to help reduce the onset of fatigue in people taking anti-cancer medications. Fatigue is not merely a case of tiredness. If left unaddressed, it can lead to worse conditions for the sufferer like depression for example. After prolonged exposure, it can eventually start affecting essential elements like one’s nutritional status.
6. Gut health booster
Although usually overlooked, gut health is extremely important and the regulation of the gastrointestinal system is something that fucoidan supplements can help you with By regulating acidity levels and controlling the activities of the gut area, fucoidan is able to suppress or alleviate conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and other flare-ups brought about by a surge of leukocytes or white blood cells.
In most cases, fucoidan supplements can be taken together with other medications but for best results, contact your physician.
There are people who say that if the compound is obtained from seaweed, why isn’t it advisable to just eat more seaweed? This is because a couple of servings of seaweed won’t be able to provide you with enough fucoidan for it to be effective. For example, a kilogram of raw seaweed will only give you a gram of the compound.
When taking fucoidan as a daily immunity supplement, a dose of 1 to 2 grams will suffice. For purposes such as cancer treatment and the like, 3 to 6 grams are needed but consult your attending physician first.
Also take note that everyone has cells that control the body’s immunity. These 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.
There is no discounting the fact that fucoidan is indeed beneficial to one’s health. It is known to contain multiple medicinal properties that aid in various conditions making fucoidan an excellent component for everyday supplements.
But just like any other type of medicinal compound, it is always best to first consult your physician before trying it out. Also, it is important that you don’t self-medicate should you have infections that require treatment.