Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide (MW: average 20,000) found mainly in various species of brown algae and brown seaweed such as mozuku, kombu, bladderwrack, wakame, and hijiki (variant forms of fucoidan have also been found in animal species, including the sea cucumber). Fucoidan is used as an ingredient in some dietary supplement products.
Fucoidan designates a group of certain fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides (FCSPs) that have a backbone built of (1→3)-linked α-l-fucopyranosyl or of alternating (1→3)- and (1→4)-linked α-l-fucopyranosyl residues, and also include sulfated galactofucans with backbones built of (1 → 6)-β-d-galacto- and/or (1 → 2)-β-d-mannopyranosyl units with fucose or fuco-oligosaccharide branching, and/or glucuronic acid, xylose, or glucose substitutions. These FCSPs offer several potentially beneficial bioactive functions for humans. The bioactive properties may vary depending on the source of seaweed, the compositional and structural traits, the content (charge density), distribution, and bonding of the sulfate substitutions, and the purity of the FCSP product. The preservation of the structural integrity of the FCSP molecules essentially depends on the extraction methodology which has a crucial, but partly overlooked, significance for obtaining the relevant structural features required for specific biological activities and for elucidating structure-function relations.
Fucoidins have been the subject of preliminary studies to investigate claims for potential antioxidant, cognitive, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-hyperglycemic effects.
- Garcia-Vaquero, M; Rajauria, G; O'Doherty, J.V; Sweeney, T (2017). "Polysaccharides from macroalgae: Recent advances, innovative technologies and challenges in extraction and purification". Food Research International. 99 (Pt 3): 1011–1020. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2016.11.016. hdl:10197/8191. PMID 28865611.
- Garcia-Vaquero, Marco; Rajauria, Gaurav; Tiwari, Brijesh; Sweeney, Torres; O’Doherty, John (2018-07-30). "Extraction and Yield Optimisation of Fucose, Glucans and Associated Antioxidant Activities from Laminaria digitata by Applying Response Surface Methodology to High Intensity Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction". Marine Drugs. 16 (8): 257. doi:10.3390/md16080257. PMC 6117709. PMID 30061548.
- Ale, Marcel Tutor; Mikkelsen, Jørn D; Meyer, Anne S (2014). "Important Determinants for Fucoidan Bioactivity: A Critical Review of Structure-Function Relations and Extraction Methods for Fucose-Containing Sulfated Polysaccharides from Brown Seaweeds". Marine Drugs. 2106 (10): 2106–30. doi:10.3390/md9102106. PMC 3210621. PMID 22073012.
- Collins KG, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C, Ross RP (18 March 2016). "Looking beyond the terrestrial: the potential of seaweed derived bioactives to treat non-communicable diseases". Mar Drugs. 14 (3): E60. doi:10.3390/md14030060. PMC 4820313. PMID 26999166.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)