Fucoidan is a natural component of brown algae with powerful anti-cancer effects. Different types of cancer cells have action at the cellular and molecular levels. Many anti-cancer therapies are designed to act on cancer through various acacia mechanisms. Still, in most cases, they are toxic to both cancer cells and the healthy cells that surround cancer. Fucoidan acts exclusively on cancer cells by targeting only certain molecules that activate apoptosis. This compound limits the development of tumors and, together with chemotherapeutic agents, causes even greater damage to cancer cells.
Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide in many brown algae species such as brass, kombu, and wakame algae, and seaweed. Seaweed containing this compound is mainly consumed in Japan, China, and Korea.
Anti-cancer potential of fucoidan
The anti-cancer potential of fucoidan compounds has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro studies on different types of cancer cells. Fucidal activity occurs through various mechanisms such as apoptosis and activation of the immune system. Some side activities have also been discovered, and these are induction of inflammation via the immune system, reduction of oxidative stress, and mobilization of immune system cells.
The ability of fucoidan compounds to activate cell death or apoptosis is not accompanied by inflammation in removing cancerous cells as is customary with some other compounds. In several studies, it has been proven that this compound activates cell death or apoptosis in lung, breast, and colon cancer. This one also showed very significant results in leukemia.
Fucoidan inhibits the development of new blood vessels that the tumor uses to increase oxygen and nutrients. Fucoidan has been found to inhibit VEGF, the major molecule that promotes angiogenesis. Some studies have shown that 10 mg/kg of body weight of this compound significantly reduces the number of blood vessels that cancer uses to deliver fresh blood within 20 days.
In 1987, in a scientific study, it was proven that fucoidan significantly reduces lung metastases, especially in adenocarcinoma metastases. Fucoidan has been shown to inhibit the invasion of cancer cells by affecting laminin in the cell membrane.
It has been proven that the intake of 100IU / ml of fucoidan reduces the binding of cancerous cells to the surrounding tissue by 80%. But these cells can attach to platelets and induce aggregation of these platelets, enabling survival in the microvascular system. Fucoidan prevents the binding of cancer cells to platelets.
Fucoidan enhances the activity of NK cells and T cells of the immune system. The high molecular weight of fucoidan from Cladosiphon okamuranus allows activation of the immune system.
This compound also has the ability to reduce the toxic effects of standard anti-cancer agents such as chemotherapy and radiation on a healthy part of the body. This preparation has been shown to affect and reduce multiple myeloma development. Also, fucoidan’s effect is increased together with the consumption of a preparation obtained from grapes called resveratrol.
This compound causes minimal damage to a healthy part of the body even when used in very high concentrations. It increases the survival rate in people with benign and malignant tumors by reducing the development of metastases and angiogenesis.
Although the compound has shown a significant effect on various types of tumors, there are not enough official studies to fully determine its effect on cancerous diseases. Thus, you could include this compound in one of the valid anticancer compounds in classical medicine. Additional experiments and clinical studies are needed to raise this preparation to a higher medical level and fully prove its anti-cancer properties.