For the first time in an in vivo model, fucoidan has been shown to exert an anti-fatigue effect and improve exercise performance.
Mice were given a human equivalent dose of either 1.75g or 3.5g of fucoidan per day for a period of three weeks. During this three week period, endurance, swimming and grip strength tests were administered to the mice.
Fucoidan supplementation significantly boosted endurance during a swimming test and increased grip strength in a dose-dependent manner. Mice supplemented with fucoidan also demonstrated reduced fatigue with significantly reduced levels of end products of exercise-induced metabolic stress, such as lactate and ammonia, indicating more efficient metabolic clearance. Importantly, the doses used in the study did not produce any adverse effects in the animals.
The researchers concluded that fucoidan could be developed into an antioxidant agent or a blood lipid reducing supplement. It may also serve as a potential ergogenic aid against abnormal metabolite accumulation and could be used to increase glucose utilisation.
Reference: Chen YM, Tsai YH, Tsai TY, Chiu YS, Wei L, Chen WC, Huang. Fucoidan supplementation improves exercise performance and exhibits anti-fatigue action in mice. Nutrients. 2014 Dec 31;7(1):239-52.