Tags: seaweed | health | benefits

Seaweed May Offer Health Benefits

Monday, 28 May 2012 12:10 PM

Scientists have discovered chemical compounds in seaweed that have anti-inflammatory properties that might be used to combat a variety of diseases and bacterial infections.

Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego have found a tiny photosynthetic organism known as a "cyanobacterium" in seaweed generates natural products called “honaucins” with potent anti-inflammation and bacteria-controlling properties.
"In different arenas these compounds could be helpful, such as treating chronic inflammatory conditions for which we currently don't have really good medicines," said Hyukjae Choi, a Scripps researcher who headed up the study published in the journal Chemistry & Biology.
Scientists identified the seaweed organism in 2008 on reefs near the Kona coast of Hawaii. Various laboratory experiments determined the seaweed generates the potentially beneficial substances that researchers said could lead to the development of drugs to prevent infections in patients who require catheters, as well new treatments for acne and other skin conditions.
"These organisms have been on the planet for millions of years and so it is not surprising that they have evolved numerous strategies for competing with neighboring species, including chemical warfare," said Jennifer Smith, a Scripps assistant professor in the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation."Several species of cyanobacteria and algae are known to produce novel compounds, many that have promising use in drug development for human and other uses."
UC-San Diego and the National Institutes of Health supported the research.

© HealthDay

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Compounds in seaweed have anti-inflammatory properties that may combat diseases and infections.
Monday, 28 May 2012 12:10 PM
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