Can Seaweed Prevent Cancer?
March 16th, 2023
Guest Writers for Wake Up World
Edible seaweed (also known as sea vegetables or ocean vegetables) are an unexpected powerhouse of nutrients. Generally, edible seaweed is a great source of fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and iodine. Depending on the variety, it can also be a valuable source of vitamins and minerals such as, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium and selenium. But did you know that certain types of sea vegetables can also provide an alternative cure for cancer?
What Makes Seaweed an Anti-Cancer Food?
Certain types of edible seaweed have an anti-carcinogenic property. Among them are the brown seaweeds such as the kelps and wracks. The anti-carcinogen constituent of these brown sea vegetables is called fucoidan. This natural compound can also be found in other varieties of sea vegetables such as the limu, wakame, kombu, and mozuku. About 4% of the dry weight of seaweed contains fucoidan.
A group of Japanese researchers at the Biomedical Research Laboratories discovered that fucoidan induced anti-tumor activity in mice when they introduced it to their animal models. The researchers observed that this seaweed extract effectively activated a process of natural cell death, referred to as apoptosis, among leukemia, lymphoma, stomach and colorectal tumor cells. But that’s not all… fucoidan has also been found to build up the immune system and regulate the body’s cholesterol levels.
Another study further confirmed that the extract from brown seaweeds help fight cancer. Based on the study of the Hashemite University in Jordan at the AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research, the fucoidan extract contributes to apoptosis or programmed cell death. Cancer cells had either shrunk or were completely destroyed.
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