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Fucoidan and the Gut Microbiome
Fucoidan and the Gut Microbiome

The consumption of probiotics has become popular as health practitioners and consumers alike recognise the value to health of a healthy gut microflora. But taking probiotics is only one part of the story – what we eat can either help or hinder the growth of healthy probiotics in our gut – and unless we feed them the correct types of nutrients in our daily diet we may be throwing our money down the sink.

In recent years, the gut microbiome has been implicated in virtually all aspects of general health. This complex system consists of vast colonies of multiple strains of bacteria, the balance of which has marked effects on allergies, metabolic health, absorption of nutrients and even mental health.

It has been known for several years that algal polysaccharides have a beneficial effect on the gut. Fucoidan, a sulphated polysaccharide of several species of seaweed, in particular has been shown to support a healthy inflammatory response as well as microbiome diversity.

In a recently published study, modulations of gut microbiota by different fucoidans were studied using high throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Researchers noted that at the expense of opportunistic pathogenic bacteria such as Peptococcus, the abundance of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Ruminococcaceae, was significantly increased in response to fucoidan treatment. The healthy, balanced composition of the gut microbiome induced by dietary fucoidan.

Overall, it appears that fucoidan has significant potential to support a healthy, diverse microbiome. Further research on the effects of fucoidans towards the gut microbiota is currently underway at the University of Tasmania and at other research institutions around the world.

We have a range of products that contain fucoidan including; Supergreens PowderWakame and Mekabu Seaweed Powder and Fucoidan Capsules.