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For the past decade fucoidans has been extensively studied due to their varied benefits.  These, independent studies suggest these benefits include, anticoagulant and antithrombotic, antivirus, antitumor and immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, blood lipids reducing, antioxidant and anticomplementary properties, activity against hepatopathy, uropathy and renalpathy, gastric protective effects and therapeutic potential in surgery.  Additionally, published papers have reported that fucoidan may exert a range of beneficial effects on the human immune system, including the reduction of allergic responses and the activation of dendritic cells, natural killer cells and T cells. It has also been shown that fucoidan has the potential to boost important anti-viral, anti-tumor and anti-aging responses.



Several human studies suggest it may stimulate immune functioning and boost antibody production after vaccination.



Lab studies suggest that fucoidan has anti-inflammatory properties. Human studies are needed.


Lab studies show that fucoidan has antitumor properties and it slows the production of blood clots. 


A study in overweight and obese adults suggests that fucoidan used over a sustained period may decrease blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels. Confirming studies are needed.


According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide found in the cell walls of many species of brown seaweed. In vitro studies show that it has antitumor, antiangiogenic (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6), antiviral (10) (11), antiarthritic (12), and immunomodulatory (13) effects. Fucoidan also exhibited neuroprotective (14) (15), radioprotective (16), and antiulcer (17) properties.

Existing researches demonstrates that fucoidan can can eliminate tumor cells, delay tumor growth and synergize with anticancer chemotherapy drugs in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials.  Additional research shows that Fucoidan can active natural killer cells and macropages that directly exert anti-cancer actions.  (19)



Fucoidan has been well-investigated for its immunostimulating effect. Immunostimulating means activating the body's immune system. By strengthening the immune system, living things can protect themselves.  Research has shows that fucoidan derived from Mozuku, fucoidan derived from Mekabu activates the body's Natural Killer Cells which strengthens the immune system (24).  Additionally,  Fucoidans show a wide spectrum of biological effects, such as anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic properties, anti-viral, anti-tumor, immunomodulatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-complement functions

Because of its anticoagulant properties (7) (8), fucoidan may have additive effects with anticoagulants such as warfarin and heparin.



Diarrhea, which improved immediately after stopping fucoidan administration (18)


  1. Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Hashimoto M, Nakano T. Antitumor activity and immune response of Mekabu fucoidan extracted from Sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida. In Vivo 2003; 17(3):245-249.

  2. Haneji K, Matsuda T, Tomita M et al. Fucoidan extracted from Cladosiphon okamuranus tokida induces apoptosis of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1-infected T-cell lines and primary adult T-cell leukemia cells. Nutr Cancer 2005; 52(2):189-201.

  3. Liu JM, Bignon J, Haroun-Bouhedja F et al. Inhibitory effect of fucoidan on the adhesion of adenocarcinoma cells to fibronectin. Anticancer Res 2005; 25(3B):2129-2133.

  4. Koyanagi S, Tanigawa N, Nakagawa H, Soeda S, Shimeno H. Oversulfation of fucoidan enhances its anti-angiogenic and antitumor activities. Biochem Pharmacol 2003; 65(2):173-179.

  5. Alekseyenko TV, Zhanayeva SY, Venediktova AA, et al. Antitumor and antimetastatic activity fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide isolated from the Okhotsk Sea Fucus evanescens brown alga. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2007 Jun;143(6):730-2.

  6. Nagamine T, Hayakawa K, Kusakabe T, et al. Inhibitory effect of fucoidan on Huh7 hepatoma cells through downregulation of CXCL12. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):340-7.

  7. Colliec S, Fischer AM, Tapon-Bretaudiere J, et al. Anticoagulant properties of a fucoïdan fraction. Thromb Res. 1991 Oct 15;64(2):143-54.

  8. Irhimeh MR, Fitton JH, Lowenthal RM. Pilot clinical study to evaluate the anticoagulant activity of fucoidan. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2009;20: 607-610.

  9. Church FC, Meade JB, Treanor RE, Whinna HC. Antithrombin activity of fucoidan. The interaction of fucoidan with heparin cofactor II, antithrombin III, and thrombin. J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 25;264(6):3618-23.

  10. Lee JB, Hayashi K, Hashimoto M, Nakano T, Hayashi T. Novel antiviral fucoidan from sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida (Mekabu). Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2004 Sep;52(9):1091-4.

  11. Hayashi K, Nakano T, Hashimoto M, Kanekiyo K, Hayashi T. Defensive effects of a fucoidan from brown alga Undaria pinnatifida against herpes simplex virus infection. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008 Jan;8(1):109-16.

  12. Shu Z, Shi X, Nie D, et al. Low-Molecular-Weight Fucoidan Inhibits the Viability and Invasiveness and Triggers Apoptosis in IL-1beta-Treated Human Rheumatoid Arthritis Fibroblast Synoviocytes. Inflammation. Oct 2015;38(5):1777-1786.

  13. Raghavendran HR, Srinivasan P, Rekha S. Immunomodulatory activity of fucoidan against aspirin-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats. Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Feb;11(2):157-63.

  14. Luo D, Zhang Q, Wang H, et al. Fucoidan protects against dopaminergic neuron death in vivo and in vitro. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009 Sep 1;617(1-3):33-40.

  15. Do H, Pyo S, Sohn EH. Suppression of iNOS expression by fucoidan is mediated by regulation of p38 MAPK, JAK/STAT, AP-1 and IRF-1, and depends on up-regulation of scavenger receptor B1 expression in TNF-alpha- and IFN-gamma-stimulated C6 glioma cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Aug;21(8):671-9.

  16. Byon YY, Kim MH, Yoo ES, et al. Radioprotective effects of fucoidan on bone marrow cells: improvement of the cell survival and immunoreactivity. J Vet Sci. 2008 Dec;9(4):359-65.

  17. Choi JI, Raghavendran HR, Sung NY, et al. Effect of fucoidan on aspirin-induced stomach ulceration in rats. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Jan 5;183(1):249-54.

  18. Araya N, Takahashi K, Sato T, et al. Fucoidan therapy decreases the proviral load in patients with human T-lymphotropic virus type-1-associated neurological disease. Antivir Ther. 2011;16(1):89-98.

  19. Yuan Lin, Xingsi Qi, Hengjian Liu, Kuijin Xue, Shan Xu & Zibin Tian, The anti-cancer effects of fucoidan: a review of both in vivo and in vitro investigations

  20. Wei Zhang, Tatsuya Oda, Qing Yu, and Jun-O Jin, Fucoidan from Macrocystis pyrifera Has Powerful Immune-Modulatory Effects Compared to Three Other Fucoidans

  21. Li B., Lu F., Wei X., Zhao R. Fucoidan: Structure and bioactivity. Molecules. 2008

  22. Kwak J.Y. Fucoidan as a marine anticancer agent in preclinical development. Mar. Drugs. 2014

  23. Ale M.T., Maruyama H., Tamauchi H., Mikkelsen J.D., Meyer A.S. Fucoidan from Sargassum sp. and Fucus vesiculosus reduces cell viability of lung carcinoma and melanoma cells in vitro and activates natural killer cells in mice in vivo. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 2011

  24. Marcel Tutor Ale, Hiroko Maruyama, Hidekazu Tamauchi, Jørn D Mikkelsen, Anne S Meyer, Fucoidan from Sargassum sp. and Fucus vesiculosus reduces cell viability of lung carcinoma and melanoma cells in vitro and activates natural killer cells in mice in vivo

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