Fucoidan the Miracle Nutrient

Fucoidan the “miracle nutrient”? is a sulfated polysaccharide found mainly in various species of brown seaweed such as kombu, limu moui, bladderwrack, wakame, mozuku, and hijiki (variant forms of fucoidan have also been found in animal species, including the sea cucumber)

Beginning around 1970 researchers began studying fucoidan, and since that time fucoidan has been cited in over 700 studies published in the National Library of Medicine’s data base. www.pubmed.com The overall findings of this body of research, coupled with evidence provided by a long history of use of the fucoidan-bearing seaweed in areas such as Tonga, Hawaii and Japan indicates that fucoidan might be used as a safe, nutritional answer to a wide variety of health complaints.

Historical medicinal uses of seaweed are vast and ranged from topical burn and goiter therapy to the softening of tumors. These ancient civilizations may not have known that it was the fucoidan contained in these plants that gave them their beneficial properties, but they did know the plants offered powerful healing benefits.

The renowned longevity and good health of the Tongan people, especially statistically lower incidences of cancers and other diseases that plague the Western world, has piqued the interest of the medical and scientific communities who are keen to unlock the secret of this gift from the sea.

By absorbing trace minerals and vitamins from the nourishing waters, limu moui contains no less than 77 nutrients, including C, E and multiple B vitamins, selenium, beta-carotene, protein, iodine, calcium and iron. But the key ingredient of limu that is attracting the most attention is an essential sugar compound?a polysaccharide or glyconutrient?called fucoidan.

Medical treatments today focus on drugs and surgery, but there is a growing awareness in the health community of the tremendous potential of natural alternatives, especially researched super nutrients like the fucoidan found in limu moui. Fucoidan contains all of the eight simple sugars. These simple sugars are necessary for cell-to-cell communication and a healthy immune system. Although these nutrients are essential, there lacking in most of our diets.

There are two studies out of Canada that show fucoidan may be a potential therapy for Alzheimer?s disease. One study showed that fucoidan inhibited the advancement of several chronic degenerative diseases, including hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack (myocardial infarction) and Alzheimer?s disease.

Fucoidan has potent anticoagulant and antithrombin activities that prevent harmful blood clots from forming in blood vessels. This is important because right now the drugs used to treat and prevent clot formation are difficult to use and can be downright dangerous if not monitored closely. This is one of the most studied areas for fucoidan with at least 50 studies on the subject as evidenced by a National Library of Medicine Pub Med search.

The use of fucoidan as a possible new cancer therapy is a key area of interest in the scientific and medical communities. There are more than 50 studies related to fucoidan and cancer. Glyconutrients are credited with combating breast, gastric and lung cancers, as well as leukemia. Most of the studies are still taking place in animal model, but the exploration is yielding some interesting and potentially therapeutic findings.

Fucoidan?s activity appears to be antiangiogenic. Antiangiogenesis is a hot topic in anti cancer therapy. To put it simply, fucoidan appears to stop the production of new blood vessels in cancerous tumors. We do not want cancerous tumor to make new blood vessels because that supplies them with the food to grow. With that in mind, consider what researchers at Fukuoka University in Japan found after they investigated whether fucoidan could counter cancerous tumors through antiangiogenesis. They found that both natural fucoidan and over-sulfated fucoidan both appear to block blood vessel formation “known as angiogenesis” which usually accompanies the growth of malignant tissue in cancerous tumors.

Cutting off a tumor?s blood supply is just one way of fighting cancer. Another way is to get the cancer cells to die through a process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis occurs naturally in the live cycle of a cell, when cancer begins taking over cells and making them grow wildly out of control, or proliferate, rather than dying at their prescribed time. Fucoidan has been found in several studies to promote apoptosis in cancer cells.

Inflammation plays a role in many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers’s disease, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and many others. Swedish scientists from Lund University in Malmo found that fucoidan inhibits the adhesion molecules known as P and E selectins, appeared to improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in mice, and points to the crucial role that this type of selectin-inhibition, may play in the treatment of the disease in humans.

Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/nutrition-articles/fucoidan-the-miracle-nutrient-325736.html”

Dietary Fat – Is It Bad for You?

There are basic facts you should know about fats.

There are mainly two classes of fats; saturated fat, and unsaturated. The unsaturated ones are the polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. Some fats are dangerous, while some are not. When fats come combined with proteins in the body, they form a complex called Lipoproteins. We will look at these later in a broader view to see why some are desirable and some are not, but first, let’s look at the major kinds of fats.

Saturated Fat

Fatty acids are made up of several chains of carbon atoms, it is said to be saturated because the carbon atoms have no free bonds to link with other atoms. Normally a carbon atom has 2 free bonds that are ready to attach with other atoms to form a compound. When these free bonds are used up entirely, usually by another carbon atom or a hydrogen atom, the fat becomes saturated. That is because there is no room for any more attachment.

These are the bad type of fat and the one we must avoid in trying to stay healthy. The body has a tough time processing saturated fats, because of the number of bonds it needs to break down in the process. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, which increases the chances of a heart attack. For a healthy dieting plan, saturated fats must be reduced significantly from the diet. Examples of sources of saturated fat are all forms of fat in animal flesh (meat), palm oil, and coconut oil etc.

However, it coconut oil is a bit different, while being a saturated fat it’s has medium chain triglicerides which may raise your metabolism and boost your immune system. Eating coconut oil will not increase your cholesterol levels. The saturated fat in coconut oil can actually help you lose weight. Coconut oil is ideal for cooking and baking as it does not oxidize during cooking (unlike most other vegetable oils). Coconut oil has high levels of lauric acid, an essential fatty acid best know as the main component of mothers milk.


Polyunsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated fat comes in two types: omega 6 and omega 3. It is ‘poly’ because there are more than one unsaturated bonds in the compound. It is Omega-6 because the first unsaturated bond exists at the 6th carbon atom. Same is applicable to omega3. Omega 6 type comes mainly from vegetables, and omega 3 come from oily fish.  This type of fat is actually the healthy type and helps to reduce the level of cholesterol! So a small consumption is important for health. Remember, ‘small’.

Monounsaturated Fat

They have only one carbon atom carrying unsaturated bonds. They are derived mainly from vegetable and are found in olive oil and almond oil. They also have the ability to help reduce cholesterol levels.

Lipoproteins

They are fat-protein complexes and play important role in the development of heart attacks. They are two classes of these lipoproteins.
High Density Lipoproteins- These lipoproteins reduce the chance of a heart disease.
Low Density Lipoproteins- Increases the likelihood of heart diseases. If the level of LDL is higher than that of HDL, the likelihood of a heart disease, stroke diabetes etc. is increased and vice versa.

Your Daily Intake

Fats produces very high levels of energy and the daily intake shouldn’t exceed 30% of your total calories. In other words, for an average daily intake of 2,000 calories, only about 600 should be fat derived. This of course is if you are not trying to lose weight, but if you are; the calories in your daily fat consumption should be lower than 600 calories.

As a rule every 1g of fat equals 9 calories. That works out to about 66.7g of fat per day. But, remember,  for weight loss, it should go lower than that.  You can easily achieve this by cutting down on all fatty foods and eating more of vegetables and fruits, a little of pure carbohydrates. With little or no fat at all, you will soon be getting used to the low fat diet.

There is a way to easily reduce your fat intake – take a fat binding product.


Boost Your Green Tea with Lemon Juice

 

November 13, 2007 – News release from Purdue University

Citrus juice, vitamin C give staying power to green tea antioxidants


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – To get more out of your next cup of tea, just add juice.

A study found that citrus juices enable more of green tea’s unique antioxidants to remain after simulated digestion, making the pairing even healthier than previously thought.

The study compared the effect of various beverage additives on catechins, naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea. Results suggest that complementing green tea with either citrus juices or vitamin C likely increases the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb.

“Although these results are preliminary, I think it’s encouraging that a big part of the puzzle comes down to simple chemistry,” said Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University and the study’s lead author.

Catechins (pronounced KA’-teh-kins), display health-promoting qualities and may be responsible for some of green tea’s reported health benefits, like reduced risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke. The problem, Ferruzzi said, is that catechins are relatively unstable in non-acidic environments, such as the intestines, and less than 20 percent of the total remains after digestion.

“Off the bat you are eliminating a large majority of the catechins from plain green tea,” Ferruzzi said. “We have to address this fact if we want to improve bodily absorption.”

Ferruzzi tested juices, creamers and other additives that are either commonly added to fresh-brewed tea or used to make ready-to-drink tea products by putting them through a model simulating gastric and small-intestinal digestion. Citrus juice increased recovered catechin levels by more than five times, the study found. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, used to increase shelf life in ready-to-drink products, increased recovered levels of the two most abundant catechins by sixfold and 13-fold, respectively.

The study, published this month in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, also found that soy, dairy and rice milk appeared to have moderate stabilizing effects. But Ferruzzi said the result is misleading; a chemical interaction between milk proteins and tea catechins apparently helps shelter the complex from degradation, a force likely overcome by enzymes within a healthy human digestive system.

Lemons and tea go even better together than their popularity might suggest. Lemon juice caused 80 percent of tea’s catechins to remain, the study found. Following lemon, in terms of stabilizing power, were orange, lime and grapefruit juices. Ferruzzi said both vitamin C and citrus juices must interact with catechins to prevent their degradation in the intestines, although data made it clear that citrus juices have stabilizing effects beyond what would be predicted solely based on their vitamin C content.

“If you want more out of your green tea, add some citrus juice to your cup after brewing or pick a ready-to-drink product formulated with ascorbic acid,” Ferruzzi said.

Ready-to-drink green tea products should optimally contain 100-200 mg of catechins, but oftentimes do not have sufficient levels of tea extract since some people do not like green tea’s flavor, Ferruzzi said.

Although this study only examined green tea, Ferruzzi said he suspects that some of the results also could apply to black tea, which is produced by fermenting green tea. Many prefer black tea’s flavor, although it contains lower total levels of catechins.

Studies have shown catechins from the green tea plant, Camellia sinensis, are able to detoxify toxic chemicals, inhibit cancer cell activity and stimulate production of immune-strengthening enzymes. Finding methods to improve uptake of these catechins may, therefore, be important in improving health, part of the study’s goal, Ferruzzi said.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Ferruzzi currently is conducting an in vivo study, or study on a live organism, to quantify the ability of juices and vitamin C to increase levels of catechins in the intestines and bloodstream of animals and, by extension, in humans. He collaborates with the NIH-funded Purdue Botanicals Research Center on this project.

“This next study is designed to get us past the limitations imposed by our digestive model, which is really just a simple screening process that relies on preset physiology parameters,” he said. “Human digestion is a lot more complicated.”

To see if juices and vitamin C actually increase catechin absorption, researchers will have to find out if increased levels of intestinal catechins translate to higher levels of absorbed catechins in live animals and humans. They also will need to better document effects upon catechin metabolism in order to prove, for instance, that increased levels of absorbed catechins are not leveled off by metabolic factors, Ferruzzi said.

“This study tells us a lot of interesting things, but it raises many questions that have yet to be answered,” he said.

Writer: Douglas M. Main, (765) 496-2050, dmain@purdue.edu

Source: Mario Ferruzzi, (765) 494-0625, mferruzz@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu

Shop Here