Special edition: Immune support
The last mention in our gallery goes to fucoidan from seaweed. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 143, pp. 1794-1798, doi:10.3945/jn.113.179036) found that fucoidan may amplify the immune response to seasonal influenza vaccinations in the elderly, a population known to have an inadequate immune response to ‘flu vaccines.
Four weeks of supplementation with fucoidan, a polysaccharide derived from the widely used edible seaweed ‘wakame’ traditionally consumed in Japan, prior to a vaccine against three strains of flu produced higher antibody titers against all 3 strains, compared to the placebo.
The research was welcomed by Marinova, an Australian biotech company and leader in fucoidan science and extraction. Dr Helen Fitton, Chief Scientist at Marinova, told NutraIngredients-USA in 2013: “We’ve known about this area of fucoidan bioactivity for quite some time and these research findings reinforce the potential of fucoidan as a powerful, immune-priming agent.
“Elderly people do not generate protective immune responses well, so this boosting effect is clinically very useful,” she added.