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Discover Fucoidan: 5 Key Health Benefits

5 Key Benefits of Fucoidan

Discover the benefits of fucoidan, a natural substance found in brown seaweed that is gathering increasing attention in scientific research and offering promising prospects for human health. With high concentrations naturally found within Undaria pinnatifida (also known as wakame), fucoidan stands as nature's shield, protecting against water-borne threats and environmental stressors. Originating in Japan and now flourishing in Tasmanian marine habitats, Undaria seaweed has been a part of traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese medicine for centuries, known for its association with longevity and vitality. Fucoidan holds therapeutic potential, offering a holistic approach to wellness. Let's explore fucoidan's top five health benefits and unlock how supplementing the diet with seaweed, containing fucoidan, can support optimal health.


The spore of the Undaria pinnatifida seaweed, named mekabu, contained in the SeaQuo Immune supplement.


1.        Enhanced Immunity

Undaria pinnatifida seaweed spore (also known as mekabu) is rich in fucoidan, a bioactive compound shown to support innate and adaptive immune responses.1 Fucoidan exhibits a multifaceted approach to fortifying immune function which is further explored in this article. One way is by increasing your own immune cell activity.2 Fucoidan can improve the immune cells that play a crucial role in identifying and eliminating invading pathogens in the body, stimulating the immune response to fight off infections and illnesses more effectively.  There is also evidence emerging in fucoidan having immune modulating properties, suppressing mast cell activation3 and the potential to inhibit viral4 entry into cells, offering promise in preventing or reducing the severity of viral infections such as herpes simplex and alleviating allergic responses. Research suggests fucoidan-containing supplements can support immune function more broadly.

2.        Gut Health Support

In addition to the immune-boosting benefits of fucoidan, there is a growing body of evidence on the health benefits of edible brown seaweed, such as Undaria pinnatifida, specifically on gut and digestive health. For example, the potential efficacy of fucoidans on gastric ulcers was first reported by Indonesian researchers in 2006.5 More recent research published in 2023 examined the ability of high-purity fucoidans to inhibit harmful bacteria and support a healthy gut microbiome.6 Another investigation found that fucoidans support microbiota composition and consequently control gut inflammatory symptoms.7 The gut microbiome plays a vital role in overall health; fucoidan can act as a prebiotic to regulate the intestinal ecosystem, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.8 This research is all promising. It suggests that supplementing the diet with fucoidan extracted from brown seaweed influences intestinal bacteria and reduces gut inflammation, which is linked with many gut symptoms and conditions. Diet and lifestyle can also promote a healthier gut. Here are four natural ways to improve gut health.

3.         Inflammation Reduction

Inflammation may be seen as a “double-edged sword”. On one hand, it is needed in small amounts to call the immune system into action and repair. At the same time, increased or prolonged inflammation is connected to many modern disease states. Fucoidans have shown potential anti-inflammatory properties, showing success in inflammatory disease models.9 Fucoidans have also been studied for their potential to address inflammation in the digestive tract when orally ingested.10 

4.        Skin Health Benefits

Mirroring its protective properties in the marine environment, fucoidan extends its shield to human skin with dermatological benefits. Fucoidan has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can benefit skin health by combating inflammation and oxidative stress associated with skin conditions. Its potent antioxidant properties help counteract the damage caused by free radicals11 in the body, protecting the skin from environmental aggressors and promoting a healthy appearance. Furthermore, by nurturing gut flora and curbing inflammation, fucoidan indirectly enhances skin vitality by supporting skin from within.



5.        General Wellbeing

From fortifying immunity and combating inflammation to nurturing gut health and enhancing skin vitality, fucoidan embodies a holistic approach to wellness. Its broad spectrum of biological activity, including antioxidant and antiviral effects, underscores its versatility as a health-promoting compound.12


Fucoidan-containing Supplements

Incorporating fucoidan-containing supplements into a daily routine can unlock many benefits, supporting optimal health and vitality through the power of nature. Click here for more information on how to select a high-quality natural health supplement.





1 Lee HH, Cho YJ, Yu D, et al. Undaria pinnatifida Fucoidan-Rich Extract Induces Both Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses. Natural Product Communications. 2019;14(8). doi:10.1177/1934578X19873724

2 Myers SP, O'Connor J, Fitton JH, Brooks L, Rolfe M, Connellan P, Wohlmuth H, Cheras PA, Morris C. A combined Phase I and II open-label study on the immunomodulatory effects of seaweed extract nutrient complex. Biologics. 2011;5:45-60. doi: 10.2147/BTT.S12535.

3 Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Kawakami F, Yoshinaga K, Nakano T. Suppressive Effect of Dietary Fucoidan on Proinflammatory Immune Response and MMP-1 Expression in UVB-Irradiated Mouse Skin. Planta Med. 2015 Oct;81(15):1370-4. Doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1557821. Epub 2015 Aug 19. Erratum in: Planta Med. 2015 Oct;81(15):E4. PMID: 26287767.

4 Hayashi T. [Studies on evaluation of natural products for antiviral effects and their applications]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Jan;128(1):61-79. Japanese. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.128.61. PMID: 18176057.

5 Juffrie,M,  Rosalina, I, Damayanti,W et al. The Efficacy of Fucoidan on Gastric Ulcer.Indonesian Journal of Biotechnology, December, 2006 Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 908-913:

6 Janapatla, R.P., Dudek, A., Chen, CL. et al. Marine prebiotics mediate decolonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from gut by inhibiting secreted virulence factor interactions with mucins and enriching Bacteroides population. J Biomed Sci 30, 9 (2023).

7 Yang JY, Lim SY. Fucoidans and Bowel Health. Mar Drugs. 2021 Jul 30;19(8):436. doi: 10.3390/md19080436. PMID: 34436275; PMCID: PMC8401300.

8 Wang, Y.; Xing, M.; Cao, Q.; Ji, A.; Liang, H.; Song, S. Biological Activities of Fucoidan and the Factors Mediating Its Therapeutic Effects: A Review of Recent Studies. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 183.

9 Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Kawakami F, Yoshinaga K, Nakano T. Suppressive Effect of Dietary Fucoidan on Proinflammatory Immune Response and MMP-1 Expression in UVB-Irradiated Mouse Skin. Planta Med. 2015 Oct;81(15):1370-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1557821. Epub 2015 Aug 19. Erratum in: Planta Med. 2015 Oct;81(15):E4. PMID: 26287767.

10 Jong-il Choi, Hanumatha Rao Balaji Raghavendran, Nak-Yun Sung, et al.  Effect of fucoidan on aspirin-induced stomach ulceration in rats, Chemico-Biological Interactions, Volume 183, Issue 1, 2010, Pages 249-254, ISSN 0009-2797,

11 Poljšak B, Dahmane R. Free radicals and extrinsic skin aging. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012;2012:135206. doi: 10.1155/2012/135206. Epub 2012 Feb 29. PMID: 22505880; PMCID: PMC3299230

12 Citkowska A, Szekalska M, Winnicka K. Possibilities of Fucoidan Utilization in the Development of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms. Mar Drugs. 2019 Aug 5;17(8):458. doi: 10.3390/md17080458. PMID: 31387230; PMCID: PMC6722496.