Double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled investigation into the effects of supplementing seaweed extracts, on gut health, immunity and metabolic disorders

Activity: ExaminationsExamination


The interest in seaweeds is growing as they possess a wide range of bioactive compounds that play a pivotal role in the production of novel nutraceutical products. Chapter 1 was general introduction to seaweeds, in particular brown seaweeds and their main metabolites as they known to contain more bioactive components than red and green seaweeds.
In Chapter 2, we provided the first comprehensive overview of the two most studied brown seaweed extracts Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus in the management and prevention of metabolic syndrome and related conditions based on the available evidence obtained from clinical trials. We revealed that brown seaweed extracts especially Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus have a great potential in the management of metabolic syndrome components. However, as many of the observed effects were inconsistent, we suggested further clinical trials to confirm positive effects observed and to establish the optimal dosage.
Recently, a seaweed extract composition (blend of brown seaweeds Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus) has been proposed as a potential therapeutic for immunological and metabolic abnormalities. In Chapter 3, prior conducting the dose response study to define the optimal dose, we conducted a two-week, double-blinded, randomized, placebo controlled preliminary exploratory pilot study to determine the effect of seaweed extracts on fasting blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), blood lipids and to assess product tolerance in terms of side effects and gastrointestinal (GI) function in healthy overweight and obese adults over a 2-week period. Two-week treatment with 700 mg seaweed extracts exhibited a noteworthy trend towards reduction in plasma glucose and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and to an increased high-density lipoprotein. Besides, we showed that the administration of seaweed extracts was well tolerated without any accompanied side effects and adverse effects on gastrointestinal function in 12 overweight and obese adults.
In Chapter 4, we conducted the first dose response study investigating the administration of seaweed extracts on gut health, inflammatory markers and components of the metabolic syndrome. Our results showed that treatment with 500 and 700 mg seaweed extracts were effective, particularly in reducing systolic blood pressure, non-HDL-c, glycated haemoglobin and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels including IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, TNF-α and increasing IFN-γ in a relatively short period of 4 weeks with no accompanied adverse effects.

Keywords: brown seaweeds; Ascophyllum nodosum; Fucus vesiculosus; metabolic syndrome.
Period18 May 2023
Degree of RecognitionInternational