What is fucoidan?


Fucoidans are long chain polysaccharides characterised by a complex molecular structure and varying degrees of sulfation and acetylation. Fucoidans occur naturally in the cell walls of brown seaweeds. They function to protect the seaweed from water-borne pathogens and other environmental challenges. 

Are all fucoidans the same?

Not all fucoidans are the same. They are a class of natural compound that has been widely researched and shown to exert beneficial bioactivities in a range of human health settings. Research conducted by Marinova has confirmed that the bioactivity of fucoidan extracts is dependent largely upon two key factors:

  • The method of extraction; and
  • The seaweed species from which the fucoidan has been derived.

These two factors are the critical determinants of efficacy. Traditional methods of extraction can compromise the integrity and functionality of the resulting fucoidans. In contrast, Marinova's solvent-free extraction process yields fucoidans of superior quality with enhanced bioactivity.

What is fucoidan used for?

Studies undertaken by Marinova, and by other independent research groups around the world, have investigated the efficacy of fucoidan extracts in a diverse range of indications and clinical settings. Marinova's organic fucoidan extracts are in high demand as innovative ingredients for inclusion in market-leading healthcare products. They are utilised for a wide range of applications.

What species of seaweed is used?

Fucorich® is derived from the brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, commonly known as wakame. Fucoidan derived from Undaria pinnatifida has been extensively researched and clinically tested. 

Underwater Undaria pinnatifida

Undaria pinnatifida
Undaria pinnatifida, commonly known as wakame, is a brown seaweed that inhabits the intertidal zone down to depths of approximately 20 metres. It is typically found in sheltered reef areas with conditions such as temperature, available nutrients, light and depth all being important variables in the life cycle of the seaweed. Sporophylls produce up to 100 million spores which then settle and grow into new individuals. Undaria can reach approximately 2m in length in just nine months and growth rates often exceed 1cm per day – making the species a rapidly renewable marine resource.

Fucorich® is derived from Undaria seaweed hand-harvested by professional divers from the cool, pristine waters of Patagonia. Harvest season coincides with the peak of the Undaria growth cycle, usually during summer. Following harvest of the fresh seaweed, each seaweed is inspected for foreign objects such as shells and crustaceans, and the Undaria sporophyll (known as mekabu) is separated from the blade (known as wakame). The fresh seaweed is hung on racks and sun-dried to preserve its unique bioactive constituents, including fucoidan.