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FUCOIDAN & CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells is a key event in early atherogensis (hardening of arteries). It is caused by a chronic inflammatory response mediated by oxidized low-density lipoprotein molecules (LDL) coming into contact with an artery wall. Macrophages and T-lymphocytes are sent to absorb the oxidized-LDL and form foam cells, also known as fatty streaks. Foam cells, however, are unable to process the oxidized LDL, and many rupture – depositing a greater amount of oxidized LDL into the artery wall.
This triggers more white blood cells, thus continuing the cycle. During this process, smooth muscle proliferation and migration occurs in response to cytokines secreted by damaged endothelial cells, forming a fibrious capsule around the fatty streak. This causes the artery to become narrower, reducing blood flow and increasing blood pressure. Fucoidan is a potent anti-proliferative agent against smooth muscle cell growth and can also block the macrophage scavenger receptors. Seaweed extracts can favorably alter lipid profiles and Marinova has demonstrated that the oral ingestion of Maritech® Extract improves the cholesterol ratio, which offers benefits to cardiovascular health.
MARINOVA STUDY SHOWS THAT FUCOIDAN HELPS REDUCE CANCER CELLS (SEE SOURCE BELOW)
Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels – a necessary process during growth and tissue repair. This process, however, is also exploited by cancer cells during the formation of tumors. Fucoidan has been shown to have both pro-angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis effects, depending on the properties of the fucoidan fraction.
For instance, low molecular weight fucoidan has promoted revascularisation of limbs with poor blood supply while a number of fucoidans inhibit tumour cell invasion and angiogenesis. The mechanism for these effects appears to be the interactive with vascular endothelial growth factor via surface receptors called neurophilins.
Marinova’s research and development team have created a library of unique Maritech® Extracts which may be used and assessed in models of revascularisation or inhibition of tumor growth. Apoptosis or “programmed cell death” in cancer cells has also been shown to be induced by fucoidan fractions.
A number of in vivo studies have shown that fucoidan and other seaweed extracts exhibit profound tumor inhibition qualities. When combined with other relevant bioactivities, these tumour-inhibiting qualities suggest a potential for fucoidan compounds to possess anti-cancer properties. It is for the same reason that considerable research is being undertaken in this area.