For thousands of years and in many cultures, algae or seaweed has been consumed both as a food and as medicine. It has nutrients and health benefits that are very different from the vegetation on land. Fucoidan is a highly bioactive polysaccharide found mainly in various species of brown algae and brown seaweed. In nature, fucoidan plays a very important role protecting the sporophyll (the reproductive portion of the algae) from bacterial and viral infection and it also helps maintain the overall health of the sporophyll. Once fucoidan is removed or washed off of the sporophyll, the sporophyll loses its reproductive abilities and dies very quickly. This demonstrates the power and importance of fucoidan.
Apoptosis is a programmed-cell-death mechanism that removes cells during development, eliminates potentially cancerous and virus-infected cells, and maintains balance in the body. Many cells in the human body have the built-in ability to undergo apoptosis. When cells become abnormal, such as those with DNA damage, viral infections, or those that are pre-cancerous, they will undergo apoptosis. As a result, the threat to the rest of the organism is removed.
Apoptosis plays an essential role in the development and maintenance of a healthy immune system. Billions of cells go through apoptosis every hour in a healthy human. Cancer is one of the scenarios where too little apoptosis occurs, resulting in malignant cells that will not die. Fucoidan helps to battle cancer by promCaspase-dependent and caspase-independent induction of apoptosis in breast cancer by fucoidan via the PI3K/AKT/GSK3β pathway in vivo and in vitro.oting apoptosis, which breaks down cancer cells, while leaving normal cells alone.
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Cancer is difficult to cure because of its ability to break away from the original tumor and spread through the other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph system. This spread of cancer to a new part of the body is called metastasis. In order to effectively treat cancer and prevent it from reoccurring, it is crucial to stop cancer cell metastasis. Tumor growth is highly dependent on an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. For the metastatic spread of cancer tissue, growth of the vascular network is important. This development of new blood vessels is called angiogenesis and it plays an essential role in the formation of a new vascular network to supply nutrients and oxygen.
Tumor cells secrete and release angiogenic activators into the surrounding tissues and thus promote the formation of new blood vessels. Researchers have proven that fucoidan binds and neutralize these angiogenic activators, hence inhibits angiogenesis. Fucoidan suppresses the growth of new blood vessels around tumors, thus inhibiting the growth of cancer.
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Fucoidan is also widely known for its ability to help relieve side effects associated with chemotherapy. Research has proven that fucoidan significantly reduces patients’ fatigue level during chemotherapy. As a result, patients can endure more sessions of chemotherapy treatments and at higher doses. In addition, fucoidan helps patients to be stronger physically and mentally, resulting in better quality of life, both during and after chemotherapy treatment.
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