. 2014 Apr; 72(3):205-16.
doi: 10.1111/nure.12091.

Seaweed and human health

Emma S Brown  Philip J Allsopp  Pamela J Magee  Chris I R Gill  Sonja Nitecki  Conall R Strain  Emeir M McSorley  
  • PMID: 24697280
  •     70 citations


Seaweeds may have an important role in modulating chronic disease. Rich in unique bioactive compounds not present in terrestrial food sources, including different proteins (lectins, phycobiliproteins, peptides, and amino acids), polyphenols, and polysaccharides, seaweeds are a novel source of compounds with potential to be exploited in human health applications. Purported benefits include antiviral, anticancer, and anticoagulant properties as well as the ability to modulate gut health and risk factors for obesity and diabetes. Though the majority of studies have been performed in cell and animal models, there is evidence of the beneficial effect of seaweed and seaweed components on markers of human health and disease status. This review is the first to critically evaluate these human studies, aiming to draw attention to gaps in current knowledge, which will aid the planning and implementation of future studies.

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