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Term paper presentation:

Health benefits of SEAWEED

By : Saleha bawazir Roll no 2 PGCND

Under the guidance of: Ms Fatima Qader

At: SVT college of home science SNDT university (Juhu)

Acknowledgment I would like to thank my guide for this term paper,

Ms Fatima Qader for being a constant source of encouragement, guiding and offering support throughout the hardwork that involved bringing this task to its completion. Also sincere thanks to entire FSN department for educating and enabling me to be able to perform to my best ability. Thanks to all the individuals, organisations and sources that have helped me collect and compile the available information on this topic.

What are seaweeds?

Sea vegetables can be found growing both in the marine salt waters as well as in fresh water lakes and seas. They commonly grow on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes and can grow at great depths provided that sunlight can penetrate through the water to where they reside since, like plants, they need light for their survival. Sea vegetables are neither plants nor animals but classified in a group known as algae. Seaweeds, one of the important marine living resources could be termed as the futuristically promising plants.

Seaweed is a loose colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae. Seaweeds can also be classified by use (as food, medicine, fertilizer, industrial, etc.). Edible seaweed are algae that can be eaten or used in the preparation of food. They may belong to one of several groups of multicellular algae: the red algae, green algae, and brown algae. Seaweeds are used extensively as food in coastal cuisines around the world. Seaweed has been a part of diets in China, Japan, and Korea since

prehistoric times. Seaweed is also consumed in many traditional European societies, especially in northern and western Ireland, Wales (see Laver), Iceland and western Norway. Seaweed is also eaten in some coastal parts of South West England and the Atlantic coast of France as well as Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The Mori people of New Zealand traditionally used a few species of red and green seaweed. Most edible seaweeds are marine algae as most freshwater algae are toxic. While marine algae are not toxic, some do contain acids that irritate the digestion canal, while some others can have a laxative and electrolyte balancing effect. Japan consumes no fewer than 7 types of seaweed identified by name, and the general term for seaweed is used primarily for science and not in menus. Seaweed contains high levels of iodine relative to other foods. In the Philippines, Tiwi, Albay residents discovered a new pancit or noodles made from seaweed, which can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti or carbonara and is claimed to have health benefits such as being rich in calcium, magnesium and iodine. In some parts of Asia, nori (in Japan), zicai (in China), and gim (in Korea) are sheets of the dried red alga Porphyra and are used in soups or to wrap sushi or onigiri. Chondrus crispus (commonly known as Irish moss) is another red alga used in producing various food additives, along with Kappaphycus and various gigartinoid seaweeds. Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance, especially in food production as food additives. The food industry exploits the gelling, waterretention, emulsifying and other physical properties of these hydrocolloids. Polysaccharides in seaweed may be metabolized in humans through the action of bacterial gut enzymes. Research has failed to find such enzymes in North-American population, while being frequent in Japanese population.

A seaweed may belong to one of several groups of multicellular algae: the red algae, green algae, and brown algae. As these three groups are not thought to have a common multicellular ancestor, the seaweeds are a polyphyletic group. In addition, some tuft-forming bluegreen algae (Cyanobacteria) are sometimes considered as seaweeds "seaweed" is a colloquial term and lacks a formal definition.


Seaweeds' appearance somewhat resembles non-arboreal terrestrial plants.

thallus: the algal body o lamina: a flattened structure that is somewhat leaf-like sorus: spore cluster on Fucus, air bladders: float-assist organ (on blade) on kelp, floats: float-assist organ (between lamina and stipe) o stipe: a stem-like structure, may be absent o holdfast: specialized basal structure providing attachment to a surface, often a rock or another alga. o haptera: finger-like extensions of holdfast anchoring to benthic substrate

The stipe and blade are collectively known as the frond.

Two specific environmental requirements dominate seaweed ecology. These are the presence of seawater (or at least brackish water) and the presence of light sufficient to drive photosynthesis. Another common requirement is a firm attachment point. As a result, seaweeds most commonly inhabit the littoral zone and within that zone more frequently on rocky shores than on sand or shingle. Seaweeds occupy a wide range of ecological niches. The highest elevation is only wetted by the tops of sea spray, the lowest is several meters deep. In some areas, littoral seaweeds can extend several miles out to sea. The limiting factor in such cases is sunlight availability. The deepest living seaweeds are some species of red algae. A number of species such as Sargassum have adapted to a fully planktonic niche and are free-floating, depending on gas-filled sacs to maintain an acceptable depth. Others have adapted to live in tidal rock pools. In this habitat seaweeds must withstand rapidly changing temperature and salinity and even occasional drying.[2]

Small plots being used to farm seaweed in Indonesia, with each rectangle belonging to a different family

Seaweed has a variety of purposes, for which it is farmed or foraged from the wild. At the beginning of 2011, Indonesia produced 3 millions tonnes of seaweed and surpassed the Philippines as the world's largest seaweed producer. By 2012 the production will hit 10 million tonnes. Food Seaweeds are consumed by coastal people, particularly in East Asia, e.g.,Brunei, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, but also in South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Belize, Peru, Chile, the Canadian Maritimes, Scandinavia, South West England,[6] Ireland, Wales, California, Philippines, and Scotland. In Asia, Nori (, Japan), Zicai (, China), and Gim (, Korea) are sheets of dried Porphyra used in soups or to wrap sushi. Chondrus crispus (commonly known as Irish Moss or carrageenan moss) is another red alga used in producing various food additives, along with Kappaphycus and various gigartinoid seaweeds. Porphyra is a red alga used in Wales to make laver. Laverbread, made from oats and the laver, is a popular dish there. Affectionately called "Dulce" in northern Belize, seaweeds are mixed with milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a common beverage. Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance as food additives. The food industry exploits their gelling, water-retention, emulsifying and other physical properties. Agar is used in foods such as confectionery, meat and poultry products, desserts and beverages and moulded foods. Carrageenan is used in salad dressings and sauces, dietetic foods, and as a preservative in meat and fish products, dairy items and baked goods. Alginates are used in wound dressings, and production of dental moulds. In microbiology research, agar is extensively used as culture medium. Carrageenans, alginates and agaroses (the latter are prepared from agar by purification), together with other lesser-known macroalgal polysaccharides, also have several important biological activities or applications in biomedicine. Seaweed is a source of iodine, necessary for thyroid function and to prevent goitre. Seaweeds may have curative properties for tuberculosis, arthritis, colds and influenza, worm infestations and even tumors.

Seaweed extract is used in some diet pills. Other seaweed pills exploit the same effect as gastric banding, expanding in the stomach to make the body feel more full.

Other uses
Other seaweeds may be used as fertilizer. Seaweed is currently under consideration as a potential source of bioethanol. Seaweed is an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics and paints. Alginates enjoy many of the same uses as carrageenan, and are used in industrial products such as paper coatings, adhesives, dyes, gels, explosives and in processes such as paper sizing, textile printing, hydro-mulching and drilling.

Health risks
Rotting seaweed is a potent source of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic gas, and has been implicated in some incidents of apparent hydrogen-sulphide poisoning. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Common types of seaweeds

Kombu (Japanese: ) is edible kelp from the family Laminariaceae widely eaten in East Asia. It may also be referred to as konbu (Japanese), dashima (Korean: dasima) or haidai (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Hidi). Most kombu is from the species Saccharina japonica (Laminaria japonica), extensively cultivated on ropes in the seas of Japan and Korea. Over 90 percent of Japanese kombu is cultivated, mostly in Hokkaid, but also as far south as the Seto Inland Sea.

History The earliest written record of kombu appeared in Shoku Nihongi in 797 as a gift and tax from the Thoku Region. Its use is believed to have begun much earlier, probably dating back to the Jmon period, but because it easily decomposes, no archaeological evidence can be found. During the Muromachi period a newly developed drying technique allowed kombu to be stored for more than a few days, and kombu became an important export from the Tohoku area. By the Edo period, as Hokkaid was colonized and shipment routes were organized, the use of kombu became widespread throughout Japan. Traditional Okinawan cuisine relies heavily

on kombu as a part of the diet; this practice began in the Edo period. Okinawa uses more kombu per household than any other prefecture. In the 20th century, a way to cultivate kombu was discovered and kombu became cheap and readily available. In 1867 the word "kombu" first appeared in an English-language publication - "A Japanese and English Dictionary," by James Curtis Hepburn. Since the 1960s, dried kombu has been exported from Japan to many countries. It was available initially at Asian, and Japanese in particular, food shops and restaurants, and has later been sold by supermarkets, health-food stores, and other non-specialised suppliers. Cooking Kombu is used extensively in Japanese cuisines as one of the three main ingredients needed to make dashi, a soup stock. Kombu is sold dried ('dashi kombu') or pickled in vinegar ('su kombu') or as a dried shred ('Oboro kombu' or 'Shiraga kombu'). It may also be eaten fresh as sashimi. Making kombu dashi is simple though kombu dashi powder may also be used. A strip of dried kombu in cold water, then heated to near-boiling, is the very first step of making dashi and the softened kombu is commonly eaten after cooking. It can also be sliced and used to make tsukudani, a dish that is simmered in soy sauce and mirin. Kombu may be pickled with sweet and sour flavoring and is cut into small strips 5 or 6 centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide. These are often eaten as a snack with green tea. It is often included when cooking beans, putatively to add nutrients and improve their digestibility. Kombucha "seaweed tea" is a beverage brewed from dried and powdered kombu. This is sometimes confused with the unrelated English word kombucha, an incorrect yet accepted neologism for the fermented and sweetened tea from Russia, which is called kcha kinoko () in Japan. Kombu is also used to prepare a seasoning for rice that is going to be made into sushi. Nutrition and health effects

Kombu is a good source of glutamic acid, an amino acid responsible for umami, the Japanese word used for one of the five basic tastes in addition to salty, sweet, sour, and bitter, identified in 1908. Several foodstuffs in addition to kombu provide glutamic acid or glutamates. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is often used as a food additive and flavor enhancer. Kombu contains iodine, a mineral that is essential for normal growth and development. However, the high iodine content of kombu has been blamed for thyroid problems after drinking large amounts of soy milk in which kombu was an additive.[3] It is also a source of dietary fiber. Biofuel Genetically manipulated E. coli bacteria can digest kombu into ethanol, making it a possible maritime biofuel source.[4][5] Prominent species (Japanese name followed by species)

Marafuto kombu (Saccharina latissima), contains mannitol and is considered sweeter Ma-kombu (Saccharina japonica) Mitsuishi-kombu or dashi-kombu (Saccharina angustata), commonly used in the making of dashi Naga-kombu (Saccharina longissima) Rishiri-kombu (Saccharina ochotensis), commonly used for soup stocks

Nori (?) is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red alga genus Porphyra, including most notably P. yezoensis and P. tenera, called gim in Korea and laver in Wales and other English-speaking countries.[1] Finished products are made by a shredding and rack-drying process that resembles papermaking.


Originally, the term nori was generic and referred to seaweeds including hijiki.[2] One of the oldest descriptions of nori is dated to around the 8th century. In the Taih Code enacted in 701, nori was already included in the form of taxation.[3][4] There is a description "local peoples was drying nori" in Hitachi Province Fudoki (721721), and also there is a description "nori was harvested" in Izumo Province Fudoki (713 733). These show nori was used as food from ancient times. [5] In Utsubo Monogatari, written around 987, nori was recognized as a common food. The original nori was formed as a paste, and the sheet form was invented in Asakusa, Edo (contemporary Tokyo), in the Edo period through the method of Japanese paper-making.[6] In 1867, the word "nori" first appeared in an English-language publication "A Japanese and English Dictionary," by James C. Hepburn.[7] The word nori started to be used widely in the United States, and the product (imported in dry form from Japan) became widely available at natural food stores and Asian-American grocery stores starting in the 1960s, due to the influence of the macrobiotic movement, and in the 1970s with the growing number of sushi bars and Japanese restaurants. People of Japanese descent have been shown to be able to digest the polysaccharide of the seaweed, after gut microbes developed the enzyme from marine bacteria. Gut microbes from North American subjects lack these enzymes.[8] Production Production and processing of nori is an advanced form of agriculture. The biology of Porphyra, although complicated, is well understood, and this knowledge is used to control the production process. Farming takes place in the sea where the Porphyra plants grow attached to nets suspended at the sea surface and where the farmers operate from boats. The plants grow rapidly, requiring about 45 days from "seeding" until the first harvest. Multiple harvests can be taken from a single seeding, typically at about ten-day intervals. Harvesting is accomplished using mechanical harvesters of a variety of configurations. Processing of raw product is mostly accomplished by highly automated machines that accurately duplicate traditional manual processing steps, but with much improved efficiency and consistency. The final product is a paper-thin, black, dried sheet of approximately 18 20 cm (7 8 in) and 3 grams (0.11 oz) in weight. Several grades of nori are available in the United States. The most common, and least expensive, grades are imported from China, costing about six cents per sheet.

At the high end, ranging up to 90 cents per sheet, are "delicate shin-nori (nori from the first of the year's several harvests) cultivated in Ariake Bay, off the island of Kyushu in Japan".[9] In Japan, over 600 square kilometres (230 sq mi) of Japanese coastal waters are given to producing 350,000 tonnes (340,000 long tons) of nori, worth over a billion dollars. China produces about a third of this amount. Use Nori is commonly used as a wrap for sushi and onigiri. It is also a garnish or flavoring in noodle preparations and soups. It is most typically toasted prior to consumption (yaki-nori in Japanese). A common secondary product is toasted and flavored nori (ajitsuke-nori in Japanese), in which a flavoring mixture (variable, but typically soy sauce, spices, and sugar in the Japanese style or sesame oil and salt in the Korean style) is applied in combination with the toasting process. It is also eaten by making it into a soy sauce-flavored paste ,noritsukudani (). Nori is sometimes used as a form of food decoration. A related product, prepared from the unrelated green algae Monostroma and Enteromorpha, is called aonori ( literally blue/green nori) and is used like herbs on everyday meals, such as okonomiyaki and yakisoba. Since nori sheets easily absorb water from the air and degrade, a desiccant is indispensable when storing it. [edit] Nutrition Nori is about a third protein and a third dietary fiber. It contains high proportions of iodine, carotene, vitamins A, B and C, as well as significant amounts of calcium and iron. While the nutritional value varies, one example of 100 g of dry yaki-nori contains 41.4 g of protein, 3.7 g of fat, 36.0 g of dietary fiber, 280 mg of calcium, 300 mg of magnesium, 2.4 mg of potassium, 6 mg of iodine, 3.6 mg of zinc and 11.4 mg of iron. That same 100 g of dry yaki-nori also contains 25 mg of vitamin A (carotene), 4.6 mg of vitamin E, 390 g of vitamin K, 690 g of vitamin B1, 2.33 mg of vitamin B2, 11.7 mg of niacin, 590 g of vitamin B6, 57.6 g of vitamin B12, 1.90 g of folic acid, 1.18 mg of pantothenic acid and 210 mg of vitamin C.

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, one sushi roll contains 92 micrograms of iodine and the recommended daily intake of iodine for adults is 150 micrograms.[12] Wakame ( wakame?), Undaria pinnatifida, or Miyeok (Hangul: ) in Korean, is a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavour and is most often served in soups and salads. Sea-farmers have grown wakame for hundreds of years in Korea and Japan and it has been nominated as among 100 of the world's worst invasive species according to the Global Invasive Species Database.

History in the West In 1867 the word "wakame" appeared in an English-language publication, A Japanese and English Dictionary, by James C. Hepburn. Starting in the 1960s, the word "wakame" started to be used widely in the United States, and the product (imported in dried form from Japan) became widely available at natural food stores and Asian-American grocery stores, due to the influence of the macrobiotic movement, and in the 1970s with the growing number of Japanese restaurants and sushi bars. Health New studies conducted at Hokkaido University have found that a compound in wakame known as fucoxanthin can help burn fatty tissue.[3] Studies in mice have shown that fucoxanthin induces expression of the fat-burning protein UCP1 that accumulates in fat tissue around the internal organs. Expression of UCP1 protein was significantly increased in mice fed fucoxanthin. Wakame is also used in topical beauty treatments. See also Fucoidan. In Oriental medicine it has been used for blood purification, intestinal strength, skin, hair, reproductive organs and menstrual regularity.[4] Aquaculture Japanese and Korean sea-farmers have grown wakame for centuries and they still are the main producers and eaters. Since 1983 wakame is also cultivated in France, in

sea fields established near the shores of Brittany. Wild grown wakame is harvested in Tasmania, Australia, and then sold in restaurants in Sydney. Cuisine Wakame fronds are green and have a subtly sweet flavour and slippery texture. The leaves should be cut into small pieces as they will expand during cooking. In Japan and Europe, wakame is distributed either dried or salted, and used in soups (particularly miso soup), and salads (tofu salad), or often simply as a side dish to tofu and a salad vegetable like cucumber. These dishes are typically dressed with soya sauce and vinegar/rice vinegar. Goma wakame, also known as seaweed salad, is a popular side dish at American sushi restaurants. Literally translated, it means "sesame seaweed", as sesame seeds are usually added to the recipe. In Korea, miyeokguk is popularly consumed by women after giving birth as miyeok contains a high content of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are important for nursing new mothers. Many women consume it during the pregnancy phase as well. It is also traditionally eaten on birthdays for this reason, a reminder of the first food that the mother has eaten and passed on to her newborn through her milk, thus bringing good fortune for the rest of the year.

In China, it is called qndi ci (). Chinese production is concentrated around Dalian. In Korea, it is called miyeok () and used in salads or soup such miyeokguk. In French, it is called "fougre des mers". In English, it can be called "sea mustard".

Wakame is a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. At over 400 mg/100 kcal or almost 1 mg/kJ, it has one of the higher nutrient:calorie ratios for this nutrient, and among the very highest for a vegetarian source. A typical 1-2 tablespoon serving of wakame contains roughly 3.75-7.5 kcal and provides 1530 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Wakame also has high levels of calcium, iodine, thiamine and niacin.

Gim (food) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Gim (), also spelled as kim,[1] is the Korean-word for edible seaweed in the genus Porphyra. In Welsh this food is called laver and in Japanese, nori.

History The earliest mention of gim is recorded in the Samgukyoosa (hangul:, hanja:) a document created during the Goryeo era documenting the history of the Three Kingdoms Period of Korean history covering 57 BCE to 668. The Samgukyoosa contains passages that record gim having been used as part of the dowry for Shilla royalty. It is conjectured, however, that gim of this period was harvested from rocks and driftwood rather than being cultivated. From the midJoseon period there are records of gim in 15th century documents Gyeongsangdo Jiriji (hangul:, hanja: ) and Sinjeung Donggukyeojiseungram (hangul:, hanja: ). Gim is recorded as a regional delicacy.[3] There are many legends about the etymology of the word gim. One version explains that an old lady in the region of Hadong discovered a log covered in gim floating down the Seomjin River, which inspired her to cultivate gim on upright bamboo support poles. Another legend says that the word "gim" was named after its creator, Kim Yeo-Ik (), who lived in the island Taeindo during the reign of King Injo, who was the first person to have cultivated gim after seeing a drifting oak branch covered in it. Although the true origins of the term, gim are unclear, there are records dating from the 17th century of Kim Yeo-Ik cultivating gim. There is a monument in Taeindong, Gwangyang set up in his honor for these achievements. Cultivation As natural collection of gim wasn't enough to meet demand, various new cultivation techniques developed between the 17th century and 19th century, mostly in the Gwangyang bay region. Although posts and woven frames made from bamboo are

traditionally used in cultivation, nets of synthetic fiber are also used in modern times. Gim is known to grow well in sea water between 5 C and 8 C, so gim collection is usually done between December and January. Gim that has been grown for 50 days is considered best for consumption, as the color and flavor are at their best. Cultivation is done mostly in the regions of South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang, with the gim from Wando being the most famous. Varieties and nutrition There are about ten varieties of gim in Korea. The most common are chamgim (, Porphyra tenera) and bangsamuni gim (, Porphyra yezoensis). Others include dungeun gim (, Porphyra kuniedai), dungeun dolgim ( , Porphyra suboriculata), and momuni gim (, Porphyra seriata).[3][6] Gim is known to be abundant in protein and vitamins, especially vitamins A, B 1, B2, B6, and B12. It is also known to have a high content of mineral salts, particularly iodine and iron, and essential amino acids and properties that dispose of cholesterol, earning its reputation as a "healthy food". Serving When eaten as a banchan (small side dish), gim is toasted with sesame oil, sprinkled with fine salt and cut into squares. For use in gimbap, the sheets are not roasted and used in its original dried state. The sea lettuces comprise the genus Ulva, a group of edible green algae that is widely distributed along the coasts of the world's oceans. The type species within the genus Ulva is Ulva lactuca, lactuca being Latin for "lettuce". The genus also includes the species previously classified under the genus Enteromorpha, the former members of which are known under the common name green nori. Sea lettuce is eaten by a number of different sea animals, including manatees and the sea slugs known as sea hares. Many species of sea lettuce are a food source for humans in Scandinavia, Great Britain, Ireland, China, and Japan (where this food is known as aosa). Sea lettuce as a food for humans is eaten raw in salads and cooked in soups. It is high in protein, soluble dietary fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, especially iron. Individual blades of Ulva can grow to be more than 400mm (16") in size, but this only occurs when the plants are growing in sheltered areas.

In August 2009, unprecedented amounts of these algae washed up on the beaches of Brittany, France, causing a major public health scare as it decomposed. The rotting leaves produced large quantities of hydrogen sulphide, a toxic gas. In one incident near Saint-Michel-en-Grve, a horse rider lost consciousness and his horse died after breathing the seaweed fumes; in another, a lorry driver driving a load of decomposing sea lettuce passed out, crashed and died, with toxic fumes claimed to be the cause. Environmentalists blamed the phenomenon on excessive use of nitrates by pig and poultry farmers. Hijiki or hiziki (, or hijiki?) (Sargassum fusiforme, syn. Hizikia fusiformis) is a brown sea vegetable growing wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea, and China. The written kanji forms of its two names, which are examples of ateji, literally mean deer-tail grass and sheep-nest grass, respectively. Hijiki is a traditional food and has been a part of a balanced diet in Japan for centuries. Hijiki is known to be rich in dietary fibre and essential minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium. According to Japanese folklore, hijiki aids health and beauty, and thick, black, lustrous hair is connected to regular consumption of small amounts of hijiki[citation needed]. Hijiki has been sold in United Kingdom natural products stores for 30 years and hijiki's culinary uses have been adopted in North America. Recent studies have shown that hijiki contains potentially toxic quantities of inorganic arsenic, and food safety agencies of several countries (excluding Japan) have advised against its consumption. History in the West In 1867 the word "hijiki" first appeared in an English-language publication - "A Japanese and English Dictionary," by James C. Hepburn. Starting in the 1960s, the word "hijiki" started to be used widely in the United States, and the product (imported in dried form from Japan) became widely available at natural food stores and Asian-American grocery stores, due to the influence of the macrobiotic movement, and in the 1970s with the growing number of Japanese restaurants. Appearance and preparation Hijiki is green to brown in colour when found in the wild. A fisherman and a professional diver harvest the hijiki with a sickle at the time of the low tide of the spring tide of May from March. After collection, the seaweed is boiled and dried to be sold in the form of dried hijiki. Dried processed hijiki turns black. To prepare

dried hijiki for cooking, it is first soaked in water then cooked with ingredients like soy sauce and sugar to make a dish. Hijiki is normally eaten with other foods such as vegetables or fish. It may be added to foods that have been steamed, boiled, marinated in soy sauce or fish sauce, cooked in oil, or added to soup. Hijiki seaweed may also be mixed in with rice for sushi, but is not used as a wrap to prepare sushi. Nutrition Hijiki contains dietary fiber and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Dietary fiber is good for the intestine and iron helps to prevent anemia. Hijiki has a good calcium and magnesium balance. The ratio of calcium to magnesium in hijiki is 2 to 1.

History of seaweed consumption

The consumption of sea vegetables enjoys a long history throughout the world. Archaeological evidence suggests that Japanese cultures have been consuming sea vegetables for more than 10,000 years. In ancient Chinese cultures, sea vegetables were a noted delicacy, suitable especially for honored guests and royalty. And the first ever-recorded proof that seaweed is a perfect food source dates back to 300 B.C. in China! Yes, this fat-burning and anti-aging secret superfood is as old as the sea! Seaweed was first consumed in Japan at least 1500 years ago, according to early written records. Seaweed farming began in Japan as early as 1670 in Tokyo Bay. In autumn of each year, farmers would throw bamboo branches into shallow, muddy water, where the spores of the seaweed would collect. A few weeks later these branches would be moved to a river estuary. The nutrients from the river would help the seaweed to grow. In the 1940s, the Japanese improved this method by placing nets of synthetic material tied to bamboo poles. This effectively doubled the production. A cheaper

variant of this method is called the hibi method simple ropes stretched between bamboo poles. In the early 1970s there was a recognized demand for seaweed and seaweed products, outstripping supply, and cultivation was viewed as the best means to increase productions. Ancient Use of Seaweed as food: Seaweeds have been harvested for food, fertilizer, and medicine for thousands of years. History books record that the Chinese used seaweed for medicinal purposes as early as 3000 B.C. One of the earliest records, the Chinese Book of Poetry, indicates that sea vegetables were a prized food as far back as the time of Confucius (551-479 B.C.). In ancient China seaweed was served to important guests even including kings. In China a book was written about seaweed by Chi Han in the year 300 BC and Kelp has been used as food since the 5th century. Japan has a long history of seaweed use. As a mountainous island nation with little arable land, its national cuisine has always emphasized the abundance of foods from the sea. Seaweed was first consumed as food, in Japan, about 2000 years ago, according to early written records. It is recorded that in Japan, as early as 800 A.D., 6 types of seaweeds were included in the common diet. Dried sheets of seaweed, called nori, were produced in Japan as early as 794 A.D. Up until the Middle Ages seaweed was not cultivated which limited it as a food source. Sometime during the 17th century, Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa ordered the fishermen of the small village of Shinagawa to bring him fresh fish daily. As a consequence the fishermen started a fish farm. They built a fence just offshore to hold the live fish, however they discovered that the seaweed grew quite easily on this fence. This is said to be the origins of seaweed aquaculture. Seaweed has been used for many years to replenish the soil and promote plant growth in Europe and Great Britain, as well as other coastal countries. In Europe seaweed was used as an herbal medicine and as early as 100 B.C. the Greeks collected and imported seaweed from the Mediterranean coast. Red Algae was used to treat parasitic worms since pre-Christian times. One translated text, written in 46 B.C., states, "The Greeks collected seaweed from the shore and having washed it in fresh water, gave it to their cattle." In Iceland, where people have eaten seaweed for centuries, the oldest law book refers to the "rights and concessions involved before one might collect and/or eat fresh sol (seaweed) on a neighbor's land."

Many other cultures have known of the value of seaweed. Ancient Hawaiian nobility also kept edible algae gardens where rare varieties of seaweed were cultivated to provide gourmet food for the royal family. The South Sea Islanders consumed from 60-70 species of seaweed in diets, medicine ands ceremonies. For centuries, inhabitants of the island of Lewis in Scotland made a sacrifice each fall to the sea god Shony, "with entreaties to send seaware to enrich our ground." Despite our relative unfamiliarity with the nutritional value of seaweed, a long tradition of use exists.

Seaweed Bioactive Molecules

Many interesting bioactive molecules Protein, peptides and amino acids Polysaccharides Antioxidants Fatty acids

Seaweed protein
Algal protein 10-40% (w/w) per dry weight represent a major untapped resource Lectins (haemagglutinins) carbohydrate binding proteins hostpathogen interactions, cellcell communication, induction of apoptosis, cancer metastasis and differentiation, recognizing and binding carbohydrates Commercially produced from Codium fragile, subspecies tomentosoides and from three Eucheuma species and Soleria robusta Other bioactive properties: antibiotic, mitogenic, cytotoxiic,, antiinflammatory, antiadhesion, anti-human immunodeficiency virus (antiHIV) activity and human platelet aggregation inhibition Bioactive peptides Produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of algal proteins In addition to their nutritional value exert a physiological effect in the body. About 2-20 amino acids in length and are inactive within the sequence of the parent protein and only become active when released Hydrolysis by digestive enzymes (pepsin or trypsin) Hydrolysis by microbial/bacterial proteinases and peptidases

during fermentation Proteolysis by enzymes derived from micro-organisms or plants or a combination of the above Bioactivities include: ACE inhibitory, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Antithrombotic, Immuno or cytomodulatory and Mineral binding activity Bioactive amino acids In addition to taurine, other bioactive amino acids, such as laminine, kainoids and mycosporine-like amino acids, have been found in marine macroalgae Laminine (Laminaria angustata and Chondria amata) depress the contraction of excited smooth muscles, and exert a transitory hypotensive effect The kainoid amino acids, kainic and domoic acids have also been found in numerous algal species. High insecticidal, anthelmintic and neuroexcitatory properties Compounds currently used in research associated with neurophysiological disorders such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease and epilepsy Bioactive polysaccharides Laminarin (kelp and fucoids) substratum for prebiotic bacteria, tumour-inhibiting agent, anti-coagulant, anti-bacterial, immuno stimulant. Potential cancer therapeutic wound repair and reduce serum cholesterol levels and total serum Lipid Fucoidan (brown algae) sulphated polysaccharides (fucans) Antiangiogenesis, antiproliferation for tumor cells inhibition of tumor growth and reduction in tumor size Anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant Some anti-viral properties of sulphated fucans have also been characterized (Herpes Simplex Virus) Mannitol replace sucrose to make sugar free compound

coatings - diabetes, a growing problem in modern society Alginates act like fibers and help besides clearing the digestive system in protecting surface membranes of the stomach and intestine from potential carcinogens. Prevent proliferation of implanted cancer cells (Doi and Tsuji, 1998) Ulvan - Rhamnose, a major component of ulvans, precursor for the synthesis of aroma compounds. The production of rhamnose from Monostroma, a Japanese species of Codiales has been patented as well as the treatment of gastric ulcers with ulvans Agars and carrageenans have similar functionalities attributed to them Modify the adhesion and proliferation of normal and tumoral human colonic cells Earlier work demonstrated strain specific antiinfluenza Activities

Polyphenols and antioxidants

Phlorotanins (Brown algae up to 15 %) Strong Antioxidant activity Other flavenoids and their glycosides present in green, brown and red algae. Bactericidal activity Help protect tissues against oxidative stress, certain polyphenols work as preventative medicines for problems such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Carotenoids fucoxanthin, B-carotene, violaxanthin are powerful antioxidants. Fucoxanthin demonstrated strong anticancer effects fucoxanthin is an effective natural food constituent to help prevent obesity

Fatty acids
Brown algae up to 0.7 % of the dry weight

Kelp supplement for Iodine deficiency goitre or for under-active thyroids (myxoedema) An antitumorogenic role of Undaria pinnatifida, or its equivalent iodine content in inhibiting tumorogenesis Suggested that the high dietary seaweed content may account ffor the relatively low prevalence of breast cancer in Japanese women Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexanoic acids, called oxylipins resemble eicosanoid hormones in higher plants and humans which fulfill a range of physiologically important functions Related to prevent inflammation diseases (new classes of antiinflammatory drugs) Iodine Brown algae up to 0.7 % of the dry weight Kelp supplement for Iodine deficiency goitre or for under-active thyroids (myxoedema) An antitumorogenic role of Undaria pinnatifida, or its equivalent iodine content in inhibiting tumorogenesis Suggested that the high dietary seaweed content may account ffor the relatively low prevalence of breast cancer in Japanese women

Algae nutritional information on the 3 types of seaweed

Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta, better known as green, brown and red algae. CHLOROPHYTA Chlorophyta is a macroalgae packed with nutrients and used as a food with a good source of phytochemicals. It contains more proteins than Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta. There are 1050 species of Chlorophyta and contains the highest chlorophyll content compared to red and brown seaweeds. They grown in relatively shallow waters. - Chlorophyta has significant amounts of essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, carotenoids including beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals, unique pigments and polysaccharides.

- Chlorophyta also has probiotic compounds that enhance health through preserving resident intestinal microflora, especially lactic acid bacilli and bifidobacteria, and decreasing the level of Candida albicans. Space research to determine the suitability of dried Chlorophyta as a protein source for astronauts looked at rats fed for sixteen weeks on a slightly deficient diet supplemented with 0-40% of a dried preparation of Chlorophyta. Control groups were fed a normal rat diet. No significant differences between groups were found in food intake, growth rate or carbon dioxide production and all animals remained apparently healthy, and had similar organ weights. The study suggests that Chlorophyta may be used as a protein source in rat diets. Researchers also found that Chlorophyta produces an immunostimulating effect by enhancing the resistance of humans, mammals, chickens and fish to infections by stimulating the production of antibodies, cytokines, macrophages, T and B cells. - Treatment of 60 patients with chronic diffuse liver disorders and seventy experimental animals with liver disease from toxins suggest clinical-and-laboratory effectiveness of Chlorophyta for preventing liver damage. - Liver-protective properties of Chlorophyta are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, membrane-stabilizing, and immunocorrecting actions. - Chlorophyta sulfolipids have also proved to be active against HIV and whole Chlorophyta biomass against herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus, and influenza virus. - Chlorophyta extracts have also been shown to reduce cholesterol, inhibit development of abnormal growths and prevent allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. - In summary, Chlorophyta, or green algae, is very rich in natural beta-carotene, Vitamin D and GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) and contains all nine essential amino acids. PHAEOPHYTA Phaeophyta grows along colder, subtidal areas generally five to seven feet below sea level. These brown edible seaweeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. - Phaeophyta is an excellent source of iodine, a major component of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, hormones that affect weight gain and cellular metabolic rates. One to two milligrams of iodine per week are required to prevent goiter.

- Based on epidemiological studies, thyroid disease is practically unknown in people who regularly eat Phaeophyta. - Based on human studies, 4mg of iodine daily completely resolves cyclical breast lumps and cysts, usually within only two months. - The alginates in Phaeophyta (complex polysaccharides), like other soluble fibers, have a soothing and cleansing effect on the digestive tract and are known to prevent the absorption of toxic metals like mercury, cadmium, plutonium and cesium. - Studies have shown that alginate supplements can reduce strontium-90 absorption from the intestinal tract by as much as 83%. - The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission advocates 2 tablespoons of alginate supplement per day to prevent strontium-90 absorption and related diseases. - Phaeophyta alginates are also hydrasorbent laxatives, compounds that swell to 20 times their original volume by absorbing water, which is much greater than other types of bulk laxatives such as psyllium and bran. - Phaeophyta alginates are effective in treating habitual constipation and gastric bloating because they swell in intestinal juices rather than water or gastric juices and are non-irritating. - Several studies also document a direct, stimulatory effect of seaweed on the immune system. - Phaeophyta has been shown to inhibit 95% of abnormal cell growths, and cause regressions in 6 out of 9 animals tested. - In-vitro studies of hot water extract of Phaeophyta on abnormally growing human cells showed more than 50% apoptosis. - Phaeophyta also has antiviral activity against influenza virus due to a very active inhibitor of viral and bacterial neuraminidase. RHODOPHYTA Rhodophyta or red algae vary from orange to pruple shades. They are found three hundred feet deep into the sea where blue and violet wavelengths are capable of penetrating.

- Rhodophyta is rich in vitamins and minerals including iodine and can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, fried or dried as a relish. - The custom of eating Rhodophyta, an acquired taste, dates back to at least 600 A.D. in Northern Europe. - Rhodophyta used as a medicine is said to have a tonic effect and was traditionally used to treat scurvy and constipation. - Dried, powdered Rhodophyta was also traditionally used to treat worms. - Externally, a plaster of the fresh blades is used to treat skin diseases, headaches, and to help expel placenta. - Rhodophyta is an excellent source of iodine, a major component of the human hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine that affect weight gain and cellular metabolic rates. One to two milligrams of iodine weekly are required to prevent goiter. - In simple goiter the basal metabolic rate is somewhat lowered, and in toxic goiter it is elevated. - Based on epidemiological studies, thyroid disease is practically unknown in people who regularly eat edible seaweed. - Natural, organically-bond iodine extracts from Rhodophyta are available commercially for the treatment and prevention of thyroid disease. Based on human clinical trials, 4mg of molecular iodine daily completely resolves cyclical breast lumps and cysts, usually within only two months. - Rhodophyta has also been employed to help prevent fibroid tumors of the breasts, the uterus or the ovaries and in cases of swollen lumps or enlargements of the intestinal area also known as lymphatic areas.

Health benefits of seaweed

1. Shiny and healthy hair. Amino acids, vitamins and minerals help strengthen hair strands and texture resulting in lustrous hair. Biotin, which belongs to the family of B vitamins, promotes healthier and shiny hair.

2. Keeps the mind sharp. Significant amount of vitamins, protein, ionic minerals and trace minerals enhances your brains performance specifically Asparagine, which energizes the brain and also boosts the immune system, while Boron improves mental clarity as it assists in unclogging arteries. 3. Makes skin clear, young looking. Rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin A, minerals and amino acids, sea veggies maintain collagen (a property necessary for smooth functioning of connective tissues) making skin supple, soft to touch. Laugh lines and wrinkles are reduced. 4. Preserves good eyesight. Sea vegetables are the leading sources of natural carotenes like Vitamin A (beta carotene) and bioflavonoids antioxidants that help clear up the cellular debris that accumulate in the eyes. Bioflavonoids for one, works with prolonging Vitamin C action in the eyes, which help prevent swelling and inflammation of ocular tissues. Vitamins A and C keep vision 20/20 and help prevent dry eye syndrome. 5. Improves gum health. Aside from calcium, sea vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, one of the most essential vitamins, which keeps the gums in the pink of health. 6. Strengthens teeth, so flash that smile. 26x the calcium of milk, seaweed strengthens teeth (and bones!). It also has Fluorine that fights tooth decay. 7. Maintains healthy thyroid function. Abundant natural, organically-bond iodine extracts maintain healthy thyroid function, help prevent goiter. 8. Helps ease colds and other respiratory problems. Seaweeds strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties help prevent against colds, flu and other respiratory problems. 9. Prevents allergies and infections. Overflowing with vitamin B, C, minerals and amino acids and antiinflammatory properties, sea plants enhance resistance to allergies and other infection. 10.Strengthens the immune system. Polynutrients in ocean vegetables help strengthen the immune system and keep the body resistant to illness and infection.

11.Fights roaming free radicals. An army of antioxidants fights dangerous free radicals (cells that go wayward) for a super strong and protected immune system. 12.Reduces cancer risks. Powerful antioxidants and anti-cancer properties help inhibit abnormal cell growth by a whopping 95%! 13.Stunts tumor growth. Iodine and amino acids combine to significantly reduce breast and uterine fibroids; help prevent cysts from forming. 14.Pumps up energy! Energy-boosting B vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals fight stress and fatigue so you stay active and alert. 15.Enhances cell regeneration. Retards ageing! Replete with phytochemicals and anti-ageing properties, sea plants enhance cell regeneration and rejuvenation thus, delaying ageing.

16.Lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation. Sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, which has also been known to reduce high blood pressure; prevent stroke. 17.Nurtures healthy heart vessels. Seaweed curbs the formation of blood clots to help prevent atherosclerosis or hardening of the heart vessels. 18.Normalizes cholesterol levels. Effectively lowers blood cholesterol; helps stave off the onset of chronic diseases. 19.Supports bone health and joint function. High magnesium content stimulates production of calcitonin (hormone), which helps increase calcium in the bones. Seaweed is also a terrific source of natural vitamin D, essential for calcium absorption, bone health and muscle function. Its Fluorine content improves bone density helping prevent osteoporosis (bone disease) in the process. 20.Beautiful nails! Vitamins, amino acids, minerals and enzymes in seaweed keep nails strong and healthy. 21.Fuels weight loss naturally. Virtually fat-free, essential fatty acids (EFAs), plant fiber and algin fuel weight loss and amazingly continue to do so even as you age! 22.Aids digestion and waste movement. Polysaccharides (a form of soluble fiber) in sea greens, aid in digestion by soothing the digestive and intestinal tracts. No need for laxatives!

23.Promotes liver health. Contains important vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes, which help prevent fatty liver development, toxic build-up and other related diseases. 24.Detoxifies heavy metals and pollutants. Minerals, amino acids and fiber work in unison to detoxify heavy metals and pollutants that enter the body through food and the air we breathe. 25.Snuffs out cellulite! Antioxidants in seaweed increase your body's fatburning ability; help skin tissue and fat cells absorb minerals. These minerals then break the chemical bond that seals the fat cells and hasten their release out of the body (through the kidneys and bladder) halting cellulite build-up. 26.Maintains the bodys natural equilibrium. Major and trace minerals, which are plentiful in ocean vegetables, keep lifesustaining activities in the body and maintain proper PH balance for optimal health. 27.Supports kidney health. Minerals in seaweed act like electrolytes, which help kidneys regain optimum function. Then, too, its fiber content aids in kidney stone prevention. 28.Helps maintain beautiful body skin. Amino acid, minerals and vitamin content of sea vegetables nourish the skin. Trace mineral Serine enhances skin beauty while Theonine improves skin tone. 29.Prostate health. High in mineral content, seaweed helps maintain healthy prostate (gland) especially in middle-aged men. Sea vegetables alkalize the body, making it less acidic. And the more alkaline the body, the younger it is!

Nori has twice as much Vitamin C as oranges, packed with beta-carotene like carrots, rich in calcium for your bones, iodine and iron for thyroid, and are great in making sushi. Arame is laden with macro minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium and iodine. Kelp is high in iodine, which must be present for proper glandular function and metabolism. It also contains phosphorus and calcium, as well as magnesium and potassium. Kelp is a source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, plus amino acids. Because kelp is the saltiest of sea veggies, it makes a popular salt substitute. However, its been tested to be low in sodium. Wakame is iron-rich and 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk!

Seaweed as the secret ingredient to a healthy heart

A heart healthy diet need not be complicated. We all know that eating more fruit and vegetables is one smart move to a healthy heart and this page includes information on the various kinds of seaweed for improving your cardiovascular health. Seaweed contains beta carotene and thiamine, both of which possess antioxidant properties. They are beneficial for the general health of the blood and promotes good circulation. Each type of seaweed has its own role in a heart healthy diet. For example, brown seaweeds discourage the formation of blood clots and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. It's the algin in brown seaweed that dissolves the deposits inside arteries and gradually removes the existing build up of these deposits! As for the rest of the other types of seaweeds, check them out: Arame lowers blood pressure. Bladderwrack is excellent for lowering chronic high blood pressure, balances blood sugar and prevents blood clots from forming. It also prevents atherosclerosis. Hijiki purifies the blood and balances blood pressure. It is also used to prevent seizures. Since Irish Moss is loaded with important nutrients, it has been traditionally given to recovering patients, particularly those who survived serious illnesses. This seaweed contains blood-thinning properties (an anticoagulant) thus may reduce high blood pressure and heal arteriosclerosis. Like Bladderwrack, it balances blood sugar. Kelp in your meals improves blood circulation and and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It also contains minerals such as copper and iron and purifies the blood. Kelp also provides us with chloride that helps retain potassium in the body. Potassium is essential for heart muscle health. Kombu does a lot of good for the heart. Eating from 5 to 10 grams of Kombu a day improves the strength of the blood vessels and diminishes plaque found in the vessels. What else does it do?

regulates blood sugar lowers blood pressure

reduces cholesterol prevents arteriosclerosis purifies the blood thins the blood

Nori not only tastes great wrapped around our favorite sushi, it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves circulation and promotes cardiovascular health. Wakame, a favorite in Japanese dishes, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, and purifies the blood. Japanese and Korean women take in soup and other dishes with wakame after childbirth. So, do your heart a favor, start caring for it now by trying out some seaweed with your next meal. Undaria-specific phlorotannins and isolated dipeptides have similar activity as the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor Captopril lowers serum sodium levels by preferentially binding to sodium in the gastrointestinal tract. The brown seaweed specific cell wall component, alginic acid, is critical in lowering blood pressure by binding to sodium as well as having an absorbed component that acts as a calcium channel blocker. Antithrombotic High in sulphated polysaccharides (heparin like extract) Prevents platelet coagulation & thrombus formation High fibre content Binds bile Reduces enterohepatic circulation of cholesterol Lowers total & LDL cholesterol. Lowers blood pressure Lowers serum soduim ACE inhibitor activity

Antioxidant Prevents LDL oxidation Free radical damage

Seaweeds are known to contain a number of heart-health compounds, including ACE inhibitors, antioxidants and essential fatty acids which are thought to reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, potassium which has been known to reduce high blood pressure, prevent stroke. Seaweed curbs the formation of blood clots to help prevent atherosclerosis. Effectively lowers blood cholesterol; helps stave off the onset of chronic diseases.

Seaweed and energy

Eat your seaweed and energy powers your body longer. One cannot function well without energy, right? Sometimes, we wake up in the morning already feeling tired and lethargic. And often, we are clueless as to why we seem to lack energy in days when we need it the most. The answer can be found in the bodys cells. The energy that powers your body originates in the individual cells, which need a certain amount of energy to do their job. To bring out that energy, there are tiny cellular engines called mitochondria. There are 2,500 mitochondria in almost every body cell. Without these burning furnaces, our body cells will not metabolize properly, regenerate and live! Seaweeds or sea vegetables chlorella, spirulina, blue-green algae are high in vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, enzymes and fiber. These combined nutrients work to metabolize body fat and tone muscle tissues, improve liver function, and supply the body with potent antioxidants, to stave off the harmful effects of oxidation or free radicals roaming in the body, especially when stressed.

Sea vegetables offer an absorption rate better than any other nutrient supplement available today. So remember, eat your seaweed and feel your energy levels soar. Seaweed assists in healthy weight loss Ocean vegetables help remove cravings Ocean vegetables are Mother Natures powerhouse foods. Our ancestors ate seaweed daily to stay healthy, even wrapped them around their neck so they could easily pop them in and chew. Seaweed provides a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, protein, and fiber. They nourish our bodies where we need it most. In fact, when our bodies are fed well with the true nourishment we need, cravings for sweets banish! After all, cravings are just signals we get to let us that we are still hungry. Ocean vegetables fuel our bodies to burn fat Fiber present in seaweed stimulates our intestines to function properly... and another plus: it prevents us from overeating! Whats more, ocean vegetables contain a good amount of Omega-3which works with other nutrients to help reduce fat storage. Balance this with other foods in the food pyramid and youre off to a good start in keeping your weight down. Fucoxanthin Upregulation of uncoupling protein (UCP1) in the mitochondria of adipose tissue. Leading to release of energy as heat rather then fat storage. Fucoidan Decrease adipose tissue cell differentiation. Decrease gene expression associated with fat storage Lowers blood sugars Slow release of glucose Vanadium plays a role

High fibre content Increase satiety Longer transit time

Detox your Body with Seaweed A simple way to detox your body is for you to include seaweed in soups and salads. The nutrients and minerals in seaweed enter our body, attract the toxins such as metals and chemicals, and escort these outside the body through elimination. Our skin's pores take in stuff from the environment (oh no) but this also means that toxins inside are also expelled through the pores. Taking regular seaweed detox baths help in releasing the toxins that might have found their way into your body. A truly pleasurable way to detox! A seaweed mask draws out the impurities in our skin making us feel better, look better and rested. Regularly adding this as a ritual does wonders to our well being. Some detox teas on the market contain seaweed. But I must remind you, let your body take a break after two weeks of drinking the same kind of seaweed tea.

Eating a serving of seaweed regularly may help prevent breast cancer

Did you know that eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet that includes fruits and vegetables help keep breast cancer in check? One possible reason is that fiber flushes out estrogen (high levels of which promote this sort of cancer) out of the body. A study done on patients with tis specific cancer in the U.S., showed that women who strictly followed a fiber-dense diet and reduced fat intake (meat, dairy, etc.) had significantly lower estrogen levels. Statistics reveal that Japanese women have a much lower rate of breast cancer compared to American women of similar age. This could have a lot to do with diet since the Japanese have realized for centuries that adding seaweed and other sea vegetables to their diet keeps them healthy. They've got dishes, drinks, and even ice

cream with ocean vegetables. Americans, on the other hand, have gotten used to eating processed food. It is heartening to know that you can actually cut breast cancer risk by eating HEALTHY. And eating healthy includes having nutrient-dense sea vegetables or seaweed everyday. Sea vegetables contain the most number of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber than any other food in the planet! In fact, compared to soilgrown vegetables, seaweeds help inhibit abnormal cell growth by as much as 95%! Combined with exercise and lifestyle change, adding seaweed or ocean vegetables to your daily diet may still be your best bet to prevent breast cancer. Seaweed helps make weight loss more efficient, speeding up the natural, healthy thermogenic (fat burning) process. Researchers at Newcastle University concluded that alginate, a fiber found in sea kelp, reduces the body's fat uptake by more than 75 percent. Seaweed is a "free food" when it comes to weight control because it provides only 5 to 20 calories in a serving and contains virtually no fat. Its fiber content also contributes to a feeling of satiety, or fullness when eaten in a meal. Modifies Menstural cycle Total cumulative estrogen secretion that occurs during the follicular phase of the cycle gets decreased. Rich in Iodine Iodine is transported from the serum into mammary tissues and induces apoptosis through the expression of TGF-beta. Esterogen related cancers Chlesterol is building block for production of esterogen Seaweed has cholesterol lowering effects. Lignans After menopause esterogen produced from fat tissues. Inhibit esterogen synthesis & angiogenesis.

Seaweed may actually be a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer. That's because a diet containing seaweed may reduce the amounts of estrogen circulating in the body, a new study claims. Lower estrogen levels mean there's less fuel available for the development of estrogen-dependent cancers, such as some forms of breast cancer, the researchers explain. This study, which appears in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of Nutrition is the latest to examine differences between the typical Asian diet and the typical Western diet, looking at how those differences might contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Osteoporosis prevention
The usual source of calcium is dairy products like milk and cheese but according to some health practitioners, milk doesn't contain the good calcium that is readily absorbed by the body. And since this is high in protein, might even contribute to osteoporosis! There is a richer source of calcium - sea vegetables. In fact, seaweed has up to 14 times the calcium of milk! These deep sea healthfood has a balanced combination of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, iron, and trace minerals needed by the body for stronger bones. The high magnesium content of ocean vegetables makes calcium absorption better. Magnesium stimulates production of calcitonin, the hormone which increases calcium in the bones. Sea vegetables are also a rich source of natural Vitamin D essential not only for calcium absorption, but for bone health and muscle function. So let's make that lifestyle change for the sake of healthy bones.

Encourage everyone to lead a thyrosupportive lifestyle:

1. Adequate dietary iodine: iodine is essential for T4 and T3 and hence all vertebrate life. No land plants seem to require iodine and few beyond the seashore have more than tiny amounts. All of the animals we regularly eat have significant amounts of iodine, especially red-blooded animals and seafood. All seaweeds are rich in iodine. Iodized salt is a reliable dietary iodine source. The intense fatigue experienced by some vegans (iodine occurs in both eggs and dairy) may be iodine-deficiency hypothyroidism (check for goiter). Dairy products contain iodine (see above); baked goods may. Commercial sea salt is not an adequate source of dietary iodine. Salted snacks are usually not salted with iodized salt for reasons of economy. 2. Reduce or eliminate exposure to any and all iodine displacers. The other halogens in various forms can displace or interfere with iodine metabolism. These are Fluorine (toothpaste, water supplies), Chlorine (water supplies and cleaning agents), and Bromine (industrial stack emissions, pesticides in food and spas, preservatives and conditioners). Although these agents may not actually cause hyothyroidism, they add an unexpected burden to thyroid metabolism; most of them did not occur naturally in the thyroid glands developmental past, precluding protective mechanisms against them. 3. Reduce or eliminate thyrosuppressive and thyrodisruptive foods such as raw leafy brassicas and soya products. 4. Reduce or eliminate thyrodisruptive medications: aspirin, HRT, warfarin and other anticlotting drugs, many antidepressants, and steroids, particularly cortisone and prednisone. 5. Thyroxine, T4, is converted to T3 by several selenodiodinases (1). Selenium deficiency may result in hypothyroid symptoms. Ensure adequate dietary selenium.Recent work suggests that selenium supplementation may control or modulate autoimmune thyroid disease (5). No plants seem to require selenium although they do extract it from soils. Avoid excess selenium. Excess selenium seems to quench itself in enzymes. Mercury, cadmium and perhaps other heavy metals may quench selenium in the selenodiodinases. Check for metal poisoning in cases where T4 production is okay but T3 levels are low with accompanying symptoms of hypothyroidism. Reduce or eliminate home and workplace exposure to mercury and cadmium.

6. If blood thyroid hormone levels are within or near normal ranges but symptoms indicate hypothyroidism, suspect incomplete body mineralisation. T4 and T3 are middle-management directive molecules, carrying orders. Downstream enzymes need to do the work to actualize thyroid hormone-mediated orders. Most of those enzymes require metallic cations. Deficiencies of one or more enzymatic cations could manifest as hypothyroid symptoms. Use a mineral supplement or high-mineral powdered kelp (not tablets), added to regular food as a salt replacement. Also, improve diet to include mostly organic whole foods and seaweeds. 7. Natural sources of thyroid hormone: a. Fucus contains diiodotyrosine (DIT), the basic building block of T4 (two DIT are condensed in an esterification reaction by thyroid peroxidase in thyroid follicles to produce T4) (3,6). If blood thyroid hormone levels are low and TSH is modestly elevated (5.0-10.0) consider natural supplementation with powdered Fucus spp. seaweed, (bladderwrack). Take up to 5grams/day, one hour before a regular meal. Positive results may develop within several days or weeks. Some patients with functioning thyroid glands on low dosages of thyroid hormone medication have successfully used Fucus seaweed to either replace or wean themselves from T4 medications. In one patient with 17-yr Hashimotos thyroiditis, Fucus was used for two years to successfully replace T4 medication with both a lowering of TSH after 2-3 months and a reduction in thyroid gland swelling. CAUTION! Fucus seaweed powder cannot replace T4 medication taken by those patients who have had a complete thyroidectomy or radiation ablation of their thyroid gland. DIT is weakly active as a thyroid hormone but cannot replace T4 or T3. This has been attempted several times with consequent severe hypothyroid symptoms before corrected with T4/T3 administration. b. A recent Japanese publication reports the detection of physiologically significant amounts of THYROXINE (T4) and LIOTHYRONINE (T3), as well as DIT and MIT in Laminaria Sp. (Kombu) and Sargassum sp. Seaweeds. This has enormous implications for both dietary caution for Kombu eaters and for hypothyroidism treatments by healers. All seaweed health and nutrition studies using

either Laminaria or Sargassum will need to be re-evaluated for the effects of probable cryptic T4 and T3 supplementation. Those who have been eating lots of Kombu regularly might wish to stop for 60-90 days and see if they become clinically hypothyroid. Many of the health benefits attributed to Kombu and other brown seaweeds are probably due to cryptic thyroid hormone supplementation. I refer to the lowering of arterial blood pressure, reducing blood triglyceride levels, promoting weight loss, resolution of skin problems, mood enhancement, etc. There seem to be no studies using either seaweed to specifically treat any thyroid dysfunction. If the T4 and T3 in brown seaweeds is available from either eating dried uncooked powder or seaweed pieces , or eating lightly cooked seaweed as in Miso broth or fast stir fry, we may finally have a natural, non-animal source of actual thyroid hormones. Dosages and adverse signs will need to be established. I recommend diagnosed low thyroid patients be given 2-5 grams of powdered Laminaria seaweed daily with close monitoring. The most probable first symptoms will be nervousness, sleep disruption, increased heart rate, heat intolerance, irritability. This discovery of T4 and T3 in brown seaweeds supports my contention that we are an externally-sourced hormone-supplement-dependent species, whose historical uncooked omnivorous diet provided dietary sources of most mammalian hormones and that the lack of these hormones in our diets has made us less healthy, endocrinedeprived, and especially susceptible to absorbing toxic hormonal mimics .

As part of their natural defense mechanisms, sea vegetables contain a variety of enzymes called haloperoxidases. These enzymes all require vanadium in order to function. Although this mineral is not as well known as some of the other mineral nutrients, it appears to play a multi-faceted role in regulation of carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar. Vanadium may help to increase our body's sensitivity to insulin by inhibiting a group of enzymes called protein tyrosine phosphatases. It may also help us decrease our body's production of glucose and help us increase our body's ability to store starch in the form of glycogen.

When eaten as part of a meal, seaweed can help balance blood sugar because its soluble fiber content helps slow the rate at which foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. Since seaweeds are rich in polysaccharides, minerals, proteins, and vitamins, a documented antioxidant activity would elevate their value in the human diet and as food and pharmaceutical supplements Scientists have recently concluded that sea vegetables offer perhaps the broadest range of minerals of any food found on earth. sea vegetables offer the broadest range of minerals of any food and are an excellent source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, as well as a great source of iron, calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, seaweed contains significant amounts of lignans, which are plant compounds with cancerprotective properties.

Rich in minerals and fiber, seaweed is a nutritious vegetable with a number of purported health benefits. Yet despite its nutritional perks, seaweed may have some drawbacks and drug interactions for certain people. Thyroid Problems-Seaweed may interfere with thyroid function, worsening thyroid disease or causing goiter in susceptible individuals. Heavy Metals-Seaweeds grown in polluted waters may accumulate heavy metals and other harmful toxins. Allergic Reactions-In rare cases, seaweeds may be dangerous for people with fish or iodine allergies. Drug Interactions Seaweeds can interfere with certain drugs, particularly anti-thyroid and anticoagulant medications

Research articles
A randomised crossover placebo-controlled trial investigating the effect of brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus) on postchallenge plasma glucose and insulin levels in men and women
Marie-Eve Paradis, Patrick Couture, Benot Lamarche Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Laval University, QC G1V 0A6, Canada. Corresponding author: Benot Lamarche (e-mail: Published on the web 16 November 2011. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2011, 36:(6) 913-919, 10.1139/h11115 Abstract

This study examined the impact of brown seaweed on post-load plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in men and women. Twenty-three participants (11 men, 12 women) aged 1959 years were recruited in this double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled crossover study. The test product consisted of a commercially available blend of brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus) with known inhibitory action on -amylase and -glucosidase activities (InSea2). Two 250 mg seaweed capsules and 2 placebo capsules were consumed on each occasion 30 min prior to the consumption of 50 g of carbohydrates from bread. Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were measured over a period of 3 h postcarbohydrate ingestion at predetermined time points. Both treatments were separated by a 1-week washout period. Data were analysed using mixed models for repeated measures. Compared with placebo, consumption of seaweed was associated with a 12.1% reduction in the insulin incremental area under the curve (p = 0.04, adjusted for baseline) and a 7.9% increase in the Cederholm index of insulin sensitivity (p < 0.05). The single ingestion of 500 mg of brown seaweed had no significant effect on the glucose response (p = 0.24, adjusted for baseline). Glucose and insulin responses were similar between men and women. Consumption of the seaweed capsules was not associated with any adverse event. These data suggest that brown seaweed may alter the insulin homeostasis in response to carbohydrate ingestion. Keywords: -glucosidase inhibitor, -amylase inhibitor, oral glucose tolerance test, postprandial glycemia, postprandial insulinemia, Ascophyllum nodosum, Fucus vesiculosus, blood glucose response


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Effects of seaweed supplementation on blood glucose concentration, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Min Sun Kim,1 Jung Yun Kim,1 Woong Hwan Choi,2 and Sang Sun Lee 1 1Department of Food & Nutrition, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea. 2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-792, Korea. Corresponding author. Corresponding Author: Sang Sun Lee, Tel. 82-2-2220-1206, Fax. 82-2-2281-8285, Email: Received April 26, 2008; Revised May 15, 2008; Accepted May 23, 2008. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The present study was carried out to evaluate the physiological effects of seaweed supplementation on blood glucose levels, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Subjects were randomized into either a control group or a seaweed supplementation group. Pills with equal parts of dry powdered sea tangle and sea mustard were provided to the seaweed supplementation group three times a day for 4 weeks. Total daily consumption of seaweed was 48 g. We found that total dietary fiber intake was 2.5 times higher in subjects receiving seaweed supplementation than in the control group. Accordingly, fasting blood glucose levels (p<0.01) and 2-hour postprandial blood glucose measurements (p<0.05) were decreased significantly in those ingesting seaweed. Furthermore, the serum concentrations of triglycerides were decreased and high-

density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased significantly in seaweed supplement group (p<0.05). However, the concentrations of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were not affected by seaweed supplementation. The level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in erythrocytes was significantly lower with seaweed supplementation compared to controls (p<0.05). Catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities with seaweed supplementation were higher than the controls (p<0.05), but superoxide dismutase activity was not affected. We, therefore, conclude that ingestion of seaweed influences glycemic control, lowers blood lipids, and increases antioxidant enzyme activities. Keywords: Seaweed, glycemic control, blood lipid levels, antioxidant enzyme activities Type 2 diabetes is a hyperglycemic metabolic disease, a condition caused either by insufficient insulin secretion or insulin resistance (Berry et al., 2007; Sriplang et al., 2007). The number of diabetic patients is rapidly rising in most parts of the world. People with type 2 diabetes are often sedentary, obese, middle-aged adults with an increased risk of macrovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and hypertension (Berry et al., 2007; Goldberg, 1981). These health complications lead to increased morbidity and premature death (Hammoud et al., 2000; Reven, 1987). Specific goals of medical nutrition therapy for diabetic patients include achieving and maintaining near-normal blood glucose levels, achieving optimal serum lipid levels, consuming adequate calories to achieve a reasonable body weight, and improving overall health by maintaining a balanced intake of macro- and micronutrients (American Diabetes Association, 2006; Hammoud et al., 2000). In general, maintaining blood glucose concentrations near normal ranges in these patients is accomplished with oral hypoglycemic/antihyperglycemic agents and insulin (American Diabetes Association, 2006; Kilo, 1987; Saudek & Eder, 1979). However, these treatments have limited efficacy and are associated with undesirable side effects that have led to an increasing interest in the use of medicinal plants as an alternative management for type 2 diabetes (Betteridge, 1989). In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends a daily consumption of 20-35 g of total fiber from sources that include both soluble and insoluble fiber (Ness & Powles, 1997; Steinmetz & Potter, 1996). Reports indicate that consuming diets rich in soluble and insoluble fiber induces satiety, improves glycemic control, and reduces

total energy intake, adiposity, and blood lipids (Qureshia et al., 2001; Qureshia et al., 2002). Seaweeds are frequently consumed in Asia and occasionally consumed in the rest of the world. Edible seaweeds are rich in non-starch polysaccharides (dietary fiber), proteins, minerals, and vitamins (Jurkovic et al., 1995; Urbano & Goni, 2002). They have low lipid content and provide few calories. However, seaweed could interfere with the bioavailability of other dietary components (Lahaye, 1991; Wong et al., 1999). As seaweed polysaccharides cannot be entirely digested by human intestinal enzymes, they are considered to be a source of dietary fiber. Seaweed dietary fiber differs in composition, chemical structure, physico-chemical properties, and biological effects from the fiber of land plants. Therefore, seaweed consumption could increase the variety of dietary fiber (Lahaye, 1991; Lahaye & Kaeffer, 1997; Michel & MacFarlane, 1996). There is great interest in the role of increased oxidative stress in the complications suffered by those with diabetes. Increased oxidative stress may result from an increase in free radical production. Seaweed is exposed to intense light and high oxygen concentrations, leading to the formation of free radicals and other strong oxidizing agents in it's environment (Lahaye & Kaeffer, 1997; Lahaye, 1991; Michel & MacFarlane, 1996; Wong et al., 1999). The absence of oxidative damage in their structural components (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and the stability during storage suggest that their cells possess protective antioxidative systems (Lahaye, 1991; Wong et al., 1999). As of yet, only a few reports on the antioxidant activity of seaweeds have been published. Since seaweeds are rich in polysaccharides, minerals, proteins, and vitamins, a documented antioxidant activity would elevate their value in the human diet and as food and pharmaceutical supplements (Albu et al., 2004; Berge et al., 2002; Burritt et al., 2002; Heo et al., 2005; Yuan & Walsh, 2006). Subjects and Methods Subject selection Nine men and eleven women with type 2 diabetes were selected according to the following specific criteria: diabetes controlled by diet and or oral hypoglycemic agents, body mass index (kg/m2) < 35, fasting plasma glucose concentrations > 150 mg/dl (150-300 mg/dl), no consumption of lipid-lowering drugs, and being 40 to 70

years of age. Aside from diabetes, all subjects were in good general health and had no clinical or laboratory evidence of renal, hepatic, or cardiovascular disease. Experimental design This study was approved by the Ethics Committee and the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research at Hanyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. Subjects were randomized into either a control group or a seaweed supplementation group. Pills with equal parts of dry powdered sea tangle and sea mustard were provided to the seaweed supplementation group three times a day for 4 weeks. Total daily consumption of seaweed was 48 g. The subjects continued normal daily activities and exercise patterns. Dietary assessment Food intake of each subject was quantitatively evaluated by 24 hour recall. The dietitian collected data using graduated models to estimate the size of food portions. Daily nutrient intake was calculated using the Computer Aided Nutritional Analysis program (Can-Pro) software (version 3.0; The Korean Nutrition Society) based on data from Korean food-composition tables. Biochemical analysis Blood samples were taken at study entry and at 4 weeks. We measured blood glucose, total cholesterol (T-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides (TG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) after fasting, and 2-hour postprandial blood glucose levels (PP-2hr BG). The following determinations were made on the same day, according to standard protocol at the biochemical laboratory of Hanyang University Hospital, a certified clinical laboratory using HITACHI 7600-110 Auto Biochemistry Analyzer (Hitachi Electronics, Japan). Glucose was measured using the glucose oxidase (GOD)peroxidase (POD) enzymatic colorimetric test. T-C was determined using the enzymatic cholesterol oxidase (COD)-peroxidase (POD) colorimetric test. TG was based on enzymatic method using lipoprotein lipase, glycerol kinase, glycerol phosphate oxidase and peroxidase (Fossati & Prencipe et al, 1982). HDL-C was determined enzymatically with dextran sulfate-magnesium method (Warnick et al., 1982). LDL-C was measured enzymatically (Friedewald et al., 1972) and HbA1C

was analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method (Jeppsson et al., 1986). For erythrocyte lysates, blood was collected in tubes containing EDTA and then centrifuged at 1500 g for 10 minutes at 4. The supernatant containing the plasma and buffy coat was discarded. The red blood cell pellet was washed three times with cold saline and frozen immediately at -70 until analysis. Hemoglobin was separated from the blood cells by precipitation with an ethanol/chloroform mixture, followed by continuous shaking for 5 min and centrifugation at 2500 g for 20 min. The supernatants were used to determine enzyme activity. The total amount of lipid peroxidation products was assayed with the thiobarbituric acid method, which quantifies thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) at 532 nm. Superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC activity was measured using pyrogallol (Marklund, 1984). Catalase (EC activity was calculated by spectrophotometrically measuring the disappearance of H2O2 at 240 nm (Aebi, 1984, Claiborne, 1984). Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px, EC activity was assayed according to the method of Flohe and Gunzler (1984) The hemoglobin concentration of lysates was determined spectrophotometrically at 546 nm using the cyanmethaemoglobin method of Mahoney et al. (1993). All assays were carried out in triplicate using a spectrophotometer (Beckman-Coulter DU 400, Fullerton, CA, USA). Statistical analysis For statistical analyses, the SPSS/PC computer program (Statistical Package for Social Science 12.0) was used. Data was expressed as means S.E. The significance in differences between the two groups was assessed by independent t-tests. The paired t-test was used to compare means for experimental periods in each group.

Results Table 1 shows the characteristics of the two groups at the beginning of the study. There were no significant differences between subjects in the two groups with respect to age, height, weight, BMI or blood pressure. The 10 subjects in the control

group included 5 men and 5 women, aged 54.8 2.5 yr, with BMI of 24.2 0.7 kg/m2, systolic BP of 125.0 3.3 mmHg, and diastolic BP of 80.0 1.9 mmHg. The 10 subjects in the seaweed supplementation group included 4 men and 6 women, aged 54.4 3.1 yr, with BMI of 23.2 1.1 kg/m2, systolic BP of 120.0 2.2 mmHg, and diastolic BP of 77.8 2.2 mmHg. Table 1 General characteristics of subject

Nutrient intake of the two groups during the 4 weeks is presented in Table 2. Intake of the two groups was identical in regards to the proportion of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. 65% of the calories were derived from carbohydrate, 16% were from protein, and 19% were from fat. Throughout the 4 weeks, food intake did not differ appreciably between the two groups, except for fiber intake. As expected, the mean total dietary fiber intake in patients receiving seaweed supplementation was 30.1g/day, which was 2.5 times higher than the 12.3g/day in the control group (p<0.001). Table 2 Nutrients intake of control and seaweed group

The mean change in fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels, PP-2hr BG, and HbA1C are shown in Table 3. There were no significant differences in FBG, PP-2hr BG, and HbA1C at baseline between the two groups. After seaweed supplementation, the concentrations of FBG and PP-2hr BG were decreased significantly in patients receiving seaweed supplementation, but there were no significant differences in controls. PP-2hr BG concentration in controls was 254.4 22.8 mg/ and

significantly higher as compared to 203.1 12.3 mg/ in the seaweed supplementation group (p<0.05). In other words, increased dietary fiber intake resulting from supplementation had beneficial effects on FBG and PP-2hr BG. Little change was observed in the level of HbA1C in both the supplemented and control groups after 4 weeks and these changes were not statistically significant. Table 3 Blood glucose levels supplementation period before and after the

The mean change in blood lipid concentrations is shown in Table 4. There were no significant differences in T-C, TG, LDL-C and HDL-C concentration at baseline between the two groups. After seaweed supplementation, the concentration of TG was decreased and HDL-C was increased significantly (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in the control group for the same time period. Both groups had lower T-C level compared with baseline, but these differences were not significant. Seaweed supplemented group showed significantly lower TG and LDLC levels compared with control group (p<0.05) after 4 weeks. Table 4 Blood lipids levels before and after the supplementation period

Our results on oxidants and antioxidants are presented in Table 5. Seaweed supplementation significantly lowered the level of TBARS in erythrocytes as compared to controls (p<0.05). Seaweed supplementation also increased catalase and GSH-Px activities (p<0.05). However, SOD activity was not affected by seaweed supplementation.

Table 5 Lipid peroxide levels and antioxidant enzyme activities after the supplementation period

Discussion We evaluated the effects of seaweed intake on blood glucose levels, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type 2 diabetes. Seaweed was provided in the form of pills that were made with powdered sea tangle and sea mustard. Sea tangle and sea mustard are frequently consumed in Asia and occasionally in the rest of the world. Seaweeds are classified into three groups: brown algae, red algae, and green algae, and each of these groups differ with regard to their reserve and cell-wall polysaccharides (Jimenez-Escrig & Sanchez-Muniz, 2000). Sea tangle and sea mustard are the most commonly used seaweeds in Korea (Heo et al., 2005), and both belong to the family of brown algae. Dietary fiber from brown algae is essentially derived of four families of polysaccharides: laminarans, alginates, fucans, and cellulose (Jimenez-Escrig & Sanchez-Muniz, 2000; Renn, 1990). Sea tangle and sea mustard, which are rich in indigestible polysaccharides, appear to be good sources of soluble dietary fiber. The total dietary fiber content of seaweeds ranges between 25-75% (on a dry weight basis), and 51-85% of which is water-soluble fiber (Renn, 1990). In this study, the total dietary fiber intake of subjects given seaweed was 30.1g/day, which was 2.5 times higher than the 12.3 g/day of controls. Consistent with the increase in dietary fiber, the concentrations of FBG and PP-2hr BG were decreased significantly relative to baseline, which may result from a delay in glucose absorption by fiber in seaweed. The decreased FBG levels after seaweed supplementation agreed with the results of Simpson et al. (1979, 1981). In their studies, however, it was not clear whether the effects were due to the high-fiber diet, restricting the intake of fat, or both (Simpson et al., 1979). In a second study, the difference in daily fiber intake was extremely high and was achieved mainly by a leguminous diet (Simpson et al., 1981). In this study, the individual energy intake

was kept constant and the ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates was maintained to isolate the effect of fiber. Diabetic and insulin resistant individuals tend to have an atherogenic blood lipid profile with increased serum triglyceride, low HDL-cholesterol, and small, dense LDL-particles (Saudek & Eder, 1979; Kilo, 1987). Seaweed supplementation resulted in lower levels of TG and higher levels of HDL-C. Small changes were observed in the levels of T-C and LDL-C, however, these changes were not statistically significant. The results agree with earlier studies that reported decreased lipid levels with diets containing gel-forming fiber (Jurkovic et al., 1995; Qureshia et al., 2001, 2002; Unbano & Goni, 2002; Wursch & Pi-Sunyer, 1997) The mechanism by which fiber lowers blood cholesterol remains undefined. Evidence suggests that some soluble fibers bind bile acids or cholesterol during the intraluminal formation of micelles (Schroder, 2007; Shafrir, 1996). The resulting reduction in the cholesterol content of liver cells leads to an up-regulation of the LDL receptors and thus to an increased clearance of LDL cholesterol. Other suggested mechanisms include inhibition of hepatic fatty acids synthesis by products of fermentation (production of short-chain fatty acids such as acetate, butyrate, propionate); changes in intestinal motility; fibers with high viscosity causing decreased absorption of macronutrients, leading to increased insulin sensitivity; and increased satiety, leading to lower overall energy intake (Schroder, 2007). Seaweeds are exposed to a combination of light and high oxygen concentrations, which lead to the formation of free radicals and other strong oxidizing agents. However, they seldom suffer from serious photodynamic damage during metabolism. This fact implies that their cells have protective antioxidative mechanisms and compounds (Yuan & Walsh, 2006). Seaweeds are rich source of antioxidants. Recently, potential antioxidants have been identified as pigments (e.g. fucoxanthin, astaxanthin, carotenoid) and polyphenols (e.g. phenolic acid, flavonoid, tannins). These compounds are widely distributed in seaweeds and known to exhibit high antioxidative activities (Yuan et al., 2005a). These antioxidants act by scavenging reactive oxygen species and inhibiting lipid peroxidation (Yuan et al., 2005b).

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Nutrition Research Volume 20, Issue 10, October 2000, Pages 13671375

Nori seaweed consumption modifies glycemic response in healthy volunteers

Isabel Goi PhD BSc.b
, a,

, Laura Valdivieso BSca, Alejandra Garcia-Alonso

a b

Departamento de Nutricion I, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain Departamento de Metabolismo y Nutricion, Instituto del Frio, CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Accepted 25 April 2000. Available online 29 May 2002.

Abstract Seaweeds constitute sources of a great diversity in dietary fiber (DF). They contain a high proportion of soluble DF, which may be a barrier to starch digestion, and as a consequence seaweeds may modify glycemic response and may be beneficial in human health. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of Nori alga on postprandial glycemic response in healthy volunteers. This could offer a potential use of algae not only as a food but also as an ingredient rich in soluble dietary fiber. The effect of 3g Nori alga on the postprandial glycemic response to white bread was measured. Capillary blood samples were taken in the fasting state and then at 15, 30,

45, 60, 90, and 120 min. after each meal. Plasma glucose concentrations were analyzed and incremental areas under plasma glucose curves were calculated to determine the glycemic index (GI) of Nori + white bread with respect to white bread alone. Glycemic response to white bread was used as reference. In vitro kinetics of starch digestion were determined to estimate GI. In vitro and in vivo results were compared. Nori alga slowed down the degree of in vitro starch hydrolysis. Nori taken along with bread decreased the sharp glucose peacks found for bread at 3060 min. After its ingestion, glucose levels until 120 min. were moderate. The intake of Nori alga decreased the glycemic response to white bread in healthy volunteers, from 100 to 68%. In vitro kinetic results provided an idea of in vivo behavior therefore preliminary in vitro assays are recommended before initiating in vivo experiments.

Evaluation of 8-week body weight control program including sea tangle (Laminaria japonica) supplementation in Korean female college students
Jeong Soon You, Min Jung Sung, and Kyung Ja Chang Department of Food and Nutrition, Inha University, 253 Youghyun-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon 402-751, Korea. Corresponding author. Corresponding Author: Kyung Ja Chang, Tel. 82-32-860-8126, Fax. 82-32-8628120, Email: Received October 9, 2009; Revised December 7, 2009; Accepted December 10, 2009. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (

nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a body weight control program with supplementation of sea tangle (20 g/day) on 22 female college students. The contents of the program for 8 weeks contained diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modification through nutrition education. Body composition, dietary habit scores, serum lipid profiles, daily nutrient intakes and the quality of life were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the program. Average age of subjects and height were 20.8 years and 161.9 cm, respectively. After 8 weeks, there were significant reductions in body weight, body fat mass, percent body fat, waist-hip ratio and BMI. The dietary habit score such as a balanced diet, regularity of mealtime, overeating, eating while watching TV or using the computer and eating salty food were increased significantly. Serum lipid levels such as total cholesterol level, LDLcholesterol level and triglyceride level were decreased but not significantly. There were decreases in intake of energy, protein and fat and increases in intakes of dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium and potassium from the beginning to the end of the program. There were significant improvements on subcomponents of quality of life; physical functioning, general-health and vitality. The limitation of this study was the fact that there was no control group, but an overall evaluation suggests the 8-week body weight control program consisting of diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modification with supplementation of sea tangle would be helpful to improve the body composition, dietary habits, daily nutrient intakes and quality of life in Korean female college students. Keywords: Body weight control program, sea tangle, nutrient intake, serum lipid profiles, health-related quality of life Introduction Overweight and obesity rate are increasing and becoming a global issue. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including hypertension (Mokdad et al., 2003). The most

recent estimate by WHO shows that approximately 1.6 billion individuals aged 15 years or older in the world are overweight (BMI 25 kg/m2), and approximately 400 million adults are classified as obese (BMI 30 kg/m2) (WHO, 2006). The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for Koreans conducted in 2005 showed the prevalence of obesity (BMI 25.0 kg/m2) in Korean adults aged at least 20 years was 35.2% for men and 28.3% for women (Ministry of Health & Welfare, 2005). Female college students are very interested in the appearance of their bodies. When abnormal body weight loss is conducted without accurate knowledge, it can cause physiological risk and have a Yo-yo effect (Kim, 1998). When women lose body weight, they prefer a one-time method such as the fasting and pharmacotherapy (Leung et al., 2003) or diet therapy (Kim et al., 2007a) that includes a low calorie diet and a one food diet. However, fasting or pharmacotherapy has been reported to have serious problems, which include adverse gastrointestinal effects and an increase of blood pressure and heart rates (Chanoine et al., 2005; King & Devaney, 1988). Diet therapy has no limit of time or place whereas, it has several side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, constipation, physical weakness, loss of concentration, dry skin and loss of motivation (Kim & Lee, 2006). Seaweeds are easily available plants that have been utilized for dietary or traditional medicinal purposes as they are low in calories, with a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, proteins and indigestible carbohydrates, and have a low content of lipids (Jimenez-Escrig & Goni, 1999). There are some members of the red, brown and green algae. Sea tangle is one of the largest brown marine algae that are used as a seasoning or a dietary ingredient in China, Japan and Korea. It consists of polysaccharides with alginates, fucoidan, fucoxanthin, laminarin and insoluble cellulose which is rich in a dietary fiber (Ruperez & Saura Calixto, 2001). Kimura et al. (1996) stated that sodium alginate gained from Laminaria could be useful as a dietary fiber to prevent obesity in rats. It has been revealed that one of the active ingredients of sea tangle is fucoidan, which plays a role in decreasing fat accumulation in mice (Ahn et al., 2006) and may play an effective role in reducing sociopsychological stresses in mice (Choi et al., 1999). Furthermore, supplementation of fucoxanthin rich-seaweed extract improved lipid profile and suppressed body fat in mice (Woo et al., 2008). Recently, useful roles of sea tangle supplementation as treatment for chronic idiopathetic constipation (Oh & Lim,

2007) and improving blood glucose, serum lipids and antioxidant activity (Park et al., 2007) have been published. However, there is not any published data to explain the dietary role of sea tangle in managing body weight of people. Various body weight control programs such as diet therapy, exercise and nutrition education that focus on behavioral changes and other complex programs are being tried (Kang et al., 2004; Lee et al., 2005; Ross et al., 2000). Because they largely depended on the individual's condition or the manner in which food is consumed, it is necessary that individualized body weight control program be employed (Ross et al., 2000). However, in most of the complex programs, subjects are limited to children (Kim, 2007) or middle aged women (Kim et al., 2007b; Lee et al., 2005; Lee et al., 2008). There are not any sufficient articles about the research pertaining to female college students. Therefore, we conducted the 8-week body weight control program on female college students who want to lose body weight. This program consisted of diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modifications with supplementation of sea tangle. We studied the effectiveness in body composition, dietary habits, serum lipid profiles, nutrient intake and quality of life. Our study will provide fundamental data for the development of effective body weight control program using medicinal food such as sea tangle.

Subjects and Methods Study subjects Study subjects (26 female college students the aged between 19 and 24 years) were recruited from the nutrition education class in 2007 at a university located in Incheon, Korea. Because we recruited subjects after the confirmation of the registration of their course, we conducted an 8-week body weight control program from week 6 to week 13. All subjects submitted to the researcher a written and signed informed consent form to take part in the 8-week body weight control program. The subjects were free-living and they ate self-selected food. No medicine or other nutritional supplements were taken. Result analysis was conducted for the 22 students who completed the 8-week program (drop-out rate: 15.4%).

Body weight control program The program consisted of diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modification with supplementation of sea tangle. All subjects attended an introductory class. At this class, subjects were recommended an individualized low calorie diet by a dietitian and instructed to walk more than 10,000 steps a day and to lift dumbbells of 1.5 kg in each hand (provided by the researchers) 20-30 minutes a day 4-5 times per week. These walking and exercises consumed about 200 ~ 300 kcal/day depending on each individual's body weight and strength. When the subjects wished to use a different method of exercise, they were instructed individually. To learn behavioral modification, subjects were provided an online nutrition lecture. In addition, the subjects were counseled with a face-to face meeting referring to the selfmonitoring diary and via email once per week. Fresh raw sea tangle ("Super Dasima"), obtained from Incheon (Ongjin county, Korea) was dried and grounded into powder. According to the Korean rules and regulations for health functional foods, manufacturing standard of dietary fiber supplement is over 5 g/day. Because the total dietary fiber contents for dry sea tangle was about 30% (Hwang et al., 1996; Kim et al., 1993), we distributed 20 g sea tangle powder /day to each subject . Subjects consumed sea tangle powder diluted in water or a beverage 2 to 3 times before or during meals. Body composition assessment Anthropometric measurements were obtained from each subject. Each subject's height was measured with an anthropometer. Body composition (body weight, soft lean mass, body fat mass, percent body fat, waist-hip ratio and BMI) were assessed at least once per week using bioelectrical impedance (InBody 3.0, Biospace, Korea). Dietary habit scores All subjects were assessed by self-reported questionnaires at the beginning and at the end of the program. Dietary habit questionnaires consisted of 10 questions; eating breakfast, regularity of mealtime, speed of eating, overeating, eating while watching TV or using the computer, eating fatty food, snacks after dinner, eating sweet snacks, eating a balanced diet and eating salty food. Dietary habit was scored 1-3 points by each question and the maximum score was 30 points. The higher dietary habit score is, the better dietary habit of subject is.

Serum lipid profiles Blood was collected after a fasting overnight at the same time in the morning at the beginning and at the end of the program. The collected blood was centrifuged at 3,000 rpm for 15 minutes. The supernatant serum was separated in micro tubes and stored under -70 until the determination of serum lipid concentrations. Serum total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) levels were determined by using an automatic clinical analyzer (Kuadro, Italy). Serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol level was calculated from serum TC, HDL-cholesterol and TG levels (Friedewald et al., 1972). Nutrient intakes and diet quality Information at the beginning the dietary intake of each subject was collected for three days by a 24-hour dietary recall method before the program. The subjects wrote down daily dietary intake records in a food diary. Three-day records of the last week were analyzed and compared with the beginning data. Each subject's food intake was converted into the daily nutrient intake by CAN-Pro 3.0 (Korean Nutrition Society, Korea). Change in energy and nutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and niacin) intakes were compared between the beginning and the end of the program. Nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR) and mean adequacy ratio (MAR) were the index of overall diet quality based on nutrients. The NAR is the ratio of intake of a nutrient in relation to its Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The MAR is obtained by averaging the NARs. The index of nutritional quality (INQ) was "developed from the nutrient density concept in order to compare the nutritive content of a quantity of food with its energy content in relation to the human requirement for the individual nutrients and energy" (Sorenson et al., 1976). The INQ is the ratio of amount of nutrient in 1,000 kcal in relation to the RDA in 1,000 kcal. Health-related quality of life Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of each subject was assessed by using an SF36 health survey (Ware & Sherbourne, 1992). The SF-36 is a multipurpose, short

form health survey with only 36 questions. It yields an eight-scale profile of scores as well as physical and mental health; physical function, role limitations due to physical problems, vitality, bodily pain, social function, role limitations due to emotional problems, mental health and general health perceptions (Ware & Sherbourne, 1992). The Korean translated version of SF-36 health survey questionnaire was administered at the beginning and at the end of the program. Each domain was scored independently from 0 (lowest level of function) to 100 (highest level of function). Statistical analysis All data are presented as means, standard error, frequency and percentage. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for windows version 12.0 was used for the analysis. Simple descriptive statistics were used to describe the overall characteristics of the sample. Paired t-tests were conducted to examine changes in the variable of interests from beginning to end of the program. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results General Characteristics General characteristics of the subjects at the beginning of the program are presented in Table 1. Average age of the subjects is 20.3 years and height is 161.9 cm. The BMI was categorized into 4 groups (underweight, normal, overweight, obese) according to International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) classification of Asians. Nobody was underweight, 13 people were normal (18.5 kg/m2 BMI 22.9 kg/m2), 7 people were overweight (23.0 kg/m2 BMI 24.9 kg/m2) and 2 people were obese (BMI 25.0 kg/m2). But most of the subjects were found to have over 30% body fat. Sixty-three point six percent of subjects lived with family and 40.9% had an allowance of 200,000 won less per month.

Table 1 General characteristics of the subjects at the beginning

Subjects who perceived their own health status as normal were 77.3% and most of the subjects did not have a smoking habit. However, 68.2% of the subjects reported to have a drinking habit. Bedtime was between 12 p.m.-1 a.m. and total sleeping hours were 6-8 hrs/day in most of them. Half of subjects reported to have a part-time job. Body composition Changes in body composition parameters from the beginning to the end of the program are presented in Table 2. Weight of the subjects was 60.6 kg in average and BMI was 23.1 kg/m2 before they joined the program. After the 8-week program, the average weight and BMI were reduced to 58.6 kg and 22.3 kg/m2. Body fat percent was reduced from 32.0% to 29.8%, but soft lean mass did not change. Among the subjects, 4 people (18.2%) lost > 3 kg weight, 11 people (50.0%) lost 1.0~2.9 kg weight and 7 people (31.8%) lost < 0.9 kg weight. Table 2 Changes in body composition of the subjects

Dietary habit scores and serum lipid profiles The total score of dietary habits was increased significantly during the 8-week body weight control program (P < 0.001) (Table 3). By questions, the dietary habit score regarding a balanced diet increased significantly from 1.5 points to 2.1 points (P < 0.001). In addition, regularity of mealtime and overeating score increased significantly from 1.6, 2.0 to 2.0, 2.4, respectively (P < 0.01). The scores regarding

to eating while watching TV or using the computer and eating salty food also significantly were increased (P < 0.05). The dietary habit scores such as eating breakfast, speed of eating, frequency of eating fatty foods and frequency of snacks after dinner were increased but not significantly. Table 3 Changes in dietary habit scores of the subjects

Differences in serum lipid profiles between the beginning and the end of the program are shown in Table 4. The serum TC, LDL-cholesterol and TG were reduced during the 8-week body weight control program but not significantly. Table 4 Changes in blood lipid profiles of the subjects

Nutrient intakes and diet quality The analysis of daily intakes of nutrients of the subjects is presented in Table 5. After the program, there was a significant decrease in intake of energy, protein and fat; and significant increase in the intake of dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium and potassium. In the results of nutrient density that was calibrated to a 1,000 kcal calorie intake, there was a significant increase in the intake of carbohydrate, dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium and potassium.

Table 5 Changes in nutrient intakes of the subjects

To assess diet quality quick and easily, we analyzed INQ and MAR (Table 6). At the beginning, the INQ of folic acid and calcium were less than 1.0. But after 8 weeks, those of folic acid and calcium were increased over than 1.0. MAR was increased but not significantly. Table 6 Changes in diet quality of the subjects

Health-related quality of life Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at the beginning and at the end of the program is shown in Table 7. The results show significant improvement in subcomponents of quality of life; physical functioning, general health and vitality (P < 0.01). Table 7 Changes in SF-36 scores of the subjects

Discussion This study evaluated the effects of a weight control program with supplementation of sea tangle (20 g/day) on 22 female college students. The contents of the program

for 8 weeks contained diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modification through nutrition education. Average weight and BMI of the subjects were 60.6 kg and 23.1 kg/m2. According to the Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (Ministry of Health & Welfare, 2005), average weight of 20-24 years women and BMI of 20-24 years women were 55.4 kg, 21.7 kg/m2, respectively. The average weight and BMI of our subjects were higher than that of the same age Korean women. This is why all of the subjects want to lose weight. After the 8-week program, the subjects reduced average 2 kg of weight, 2 kg of body fat and 2.2 percent body fat, but soft lean mass did not change. According to the previous research (Kim et al., 2007a), a low calorie diet that used meal replacements in obese women in their twenties reduced 3.56 kg of weight and 1.34 percent of body fat. Also, it was reported (Ha & Kim, 2003) that uncooked grains and vegetables with mainly brown rice for 8 weeks reduced 4.5 kg of weight. However on the completion of short term weight control program for female college students (Kang et al., 2004), an average 1.1 kg of body weight was decreased. In addition, the body weight control program consisting of nutrition education and behavioral modification in college women (Lee & Chang, 2007) reduced from 61.1 kg to 60.5 kg body weight and from 32.5% to 32.1% of body fat. The reduced body weight of the subjects who participated in this program was less than that of the subjects who participated in other body weight loss programs that used a low calorie diet (Kim et al., 2007a; Son & Kim, 2005). But the reduced body weight of this program subjects was more than that of other complex body weight loss programs (Jeon, 2006; Lee & Chang, 2007). Because our subjects used an autonomous diet, calorie consumption was relatively higher than low calorie diet therapy. In addition to, drop-out rate of this program is also lower (15.4 %) than other studies (Choi & Kim, 2006; Son & Kim, 2005). It seems that because of less burden to the subject due to self-selected food used by subjects and self-selected exercise schedule. It is a known fact that a body weight loss program combined with exercise can change body compositions as well as increase the energy consumption (Garrow & Summerbell, 1995). It seems that a reduction in body fat was seen because the

program included exercising. However, it seems that lean body mass did not change because of the short program period. After the body weight control program, the dietary habit scores increased significantly in regularity of mealtime, overeating, eating while watching TV or using the computer, eating a balanced diet and eating salty food. In the previously reported study (Yang & Jang, 2007), an evaluation of body weight control programs in overweight or obese women also revealed an improvement in better dietary habits after the program. It can be interpreted that the improvement in the dietary habits of the subjects was caused because of behavioral change, the nutritional education class and weekly counseling by the researchers. Serum lipid profile is one of the effective parameters of the measurement of obesity. Several body weight loss interventions have reported improvements on serum TC, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels (Lee et al., 2005) and improvements in TC and LDL-cholesterol levels (Seo, 2005), besides improvements in HDLcholesterol levels (Lee et al., 2007) with aerobic exercise in middle-aged women. In our study, the serum TC, LDL-cholesterol and TG were reduced during the 8 weeks but not significantly. Thus, a further long-term study may be needed to confirm the relationship among serum lipids with body weight control program of diet therapy, exercise and behavioral modification with sea tangle supplementation in female college students as well as other population samples. Our subjects did not use any extreme method to control food intake (e.g. eating only one or two types of foods). Sea tangle powder was the only supplementation used. The distinct odor of the sea tangle was noticeable, since there was not any attempt to disguise it in any way. Nevertheless, after 1~2 days, subjects were able to adapt to it well. At the end of this program, although intake of calorie as well as fat was lower, protein and carbohydrate intake per 1,000 kcal and all INQ were the same or higher than it was before. Thus, the main achievement of our body weight control program was improvement in the dietary intakes of energy and diet quality. The improvements might be due to the increasing the feeling of fullness from dietary fiber in sea tangle and nutrition education and regular counseling once per week that might have helped the subjects to select the right foods. Our findings were similar to the previous study by Lee and Chang (2007) in which an 8-week body weight management program with nutrition education reduced intakes of energy, protein, fat

and carbohydrate. Similarly, another study by Volek et al. (2002) showed a reduction in the intake of dietary fat and an increase in the intake of folic acid in an 8-week body weight loss program. In the database of CAN-Pro 3.0, sea tangle (20 g) has the dietary fiber capacity of 5.5 g, Ca 136 mg, Fe 1.2 mg, K 1500 mg and folic acid 272.8 g and intakes of those nutrients were higher than those before the program. Especially, there is a serious lack of folic acid and Ca intake in Korean females (You et al., 2008) as well as this study. INQ of folic acid and Ca at the beginning were 0.6 and 0.7, respectively, but those at the end of the program were 1.2 and 1.0. Therefore, our sea tangle powder might be beneficial not only in decreasing calorie intake but also in supplying folic acid and Ca. HRQOL is "an individual's satisfaction or happiness with domains of life insofar as they affect or are affected by health" (Wilson & Cleary, 1995). We used SF-36, a well-known generic measure of HRQOL (Ware & Gandek, 1998). In a previous study (Fontaine et al., 1996), the obese had a low quality of life. Cohort findings from the Nurse's Health Study suggested that body weight loss was associated with improvements in SF-36's physical functioning and vitality (Fine et al., 1999). In addition, waist circumference, one of the parameters of obesity, effect the HRQOL in the domains of social function, change in health and bodily pain in Korean subjects (Park et al., 2000). According to the result of group therapy during a 20 weeks period, body weight reduction improved HRQOL (Kang et al., 2005). After our body weight control program, the average score of HRQOL was improved significantly in HRQOL subcomponent scores; physical functioning, general health and vitality, which is similar with previously reported studies (Fontaine et al., 1999; Jensen et al., 2004). The major limitation of this study was the fact that there was no control group. If the purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of the sea tangle, a control group included a dietary therapy, exercise and behavioral modifications without the supplementation of sea tangle would have been used. But because this study was conducted to examine the effects of the overall body weight control program, we needed control group that did not have any dietary therapy, exercise and nutritional education without the supplementation of sea tangle. However, it assumed that whoever wanted to lose body weight would make an effort to adhere to those requirements. Conversely, if the subjects did not want to lose body weight, they

could not be considered as the control group; which is the reasons why control group was not included. We conducted the 8-week body weight control program on Korean female college students who want to lose body weight. This program would be beneficial to improve body composition, dietary habits, nutrient intakes such as folic acid and Ca, and HRQOL in Korean female college students. Therefore, our study will provide fundamental data for developing effective body weight control program including sea tangle. Footnotes This work is supported by Inha University Research grant. References 1. Ahn IS, Do MS, Choi BH, Kong CS, Kim SO, Han MS, Park KY. Reduced leptin secretion by fucoidan-added Kochujang and anti-adipogenic effect of fucoidan in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The Korean Journal of Food Science and Nutrition. 2006;11:3135. 2. Chanoine JP, Hampl S, Jensen C, Boldrin M, Hauptman J. Effect of orlistat on weight and body composition in obese adolescents. JAMA. 2005;293:28732883. [PubMed] 3. Choi JH, Kim DI, Park SH, Kim DW, Kim CM, Koo JG. Effects of sea tangle (Laminaria japonica) extract and fucoidan drinks on oxygen radicals and their scavenger enzymes in stressed mouse. Journal of the Korean Fisheries Society. 1999;32:764769. 4. Choi MS, Kim MS. The effect of nutritional education and exercise intervention on reducing weight of obese women. The Korean Journal of Community Living Science. 2006;17:5766. 5. Fine JT, Colditz GA, Coakley EH, Moseley G, Manson JAE, Willett WC, Kawachi I. A prospective study of weight change and health-related quality of life in women. JAMA. 1999;282:21362142. [PubMed]

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Nutrition research Vol 28, issue 8, pg 501- 505 J.R paxman, J.C richardson et al

Aim Alginate reduces increased uptake of cholesterol and glucose in overnight male subjects a pilot study.
(Alginate = seaweed extract) Subjects 14 men. Average age 26.9 yrs Average BMI 23.9kg/m2 Randomized single blind control 2 way trial. 2 groups Intervention group 100ml strong gelled sodium alginate based drink before a meal Control group 100 ml drink containing hydroxy propyl methy cellulose . All 14 volunteers consumed both drinks with a seven day washout period. Peaking of cholesterol decreased in overweight subjects. Higher glucose peaks that were seen in obese subjects also decreased. Demonstrate potential to repair glycemic response and BMI of over weight/ obese subjects to the levels seen in healthy subjects

Journal Appetite Vol 51 pp 713-715 Jenny paxman et al

Nov 2008

Consuming strongly gelled alginate drink may reduce daily energy intake by about seven % and play a role in weight management
68 Male & Female participants. Average age 25yrs Average BMI 23.5 kg/m2 (18.5 32.8) Daily consumption of 1.5g alginate for 7 days. It produced significant 7% decrease in energy intake. That accounts for 135 kcal per day. No variations based on gender, BMI or time of consumption. Efficacy of seaweed in reducing energy intake plays an important role in weight loss and weight managements programmes.

Clinical effects of brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida (wakame), on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects
Auteur(s) / Author(s) HATA Yoshiya (1 2) ; NAKAJIMA Kumiko (1 2) ; UCHIDA Jun-Ichi (1 2) ; HIDAKA Hidemasa (3) ; NAKANO Takahisa (4) ; Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s) (1) Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo 181-8611, JAPON (2) Vascular Science Laboratory, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0043, JAPON (3) Department of Nutrition, Tokiwa University, Mito 310-8585, JAPON (4) Riken Vitamin Co., Ltd., Tokyo 101-8370, JAPON Abstract This was conducted to examine the effects of brown seaweed (wakame) on blood pressure and serum biochemical parameters in hypertensive subjects. Of the 37 elderly out-patients with hypertension who started the study, 36 of them completed it. This study was a randomly assigned, case-controlled one. Nineteen patients received a daily dose of 5 g of dried wakame powder packed in 12 capsules. Eighteen gender-matched subjects with age difference 2 years, and starting time of participation within 2 weeks, were selected as the control group. Patients visited the clinic every 4 weeks. The observation period was 8 weeks. In the wakame group, the average amount of wakame ingested was 3.3 g. The systolic blood pressure

(SBP) in this group dropped 13 mmHg below the baseline (p<0.01) after 4 weeks, and 8 mmHg (p<0.05) after 8 weeks. The diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased by 9 mmHg (p< 0.01) after 4 weeks and by 8 mmHg (p<0.05) after 8 weeks. In the control group, no significant changes were seen in either SBP or DBP. However, the differences in reduction in SBP and DBP were significant between the wakame and control groups. Regarding clinical chemistry data, hypercholesterolemia in the wakame group decreased by 8% after 4 weeks. No other abnormal changes were observed in either group. We conclude that wakame has beneficial effects as a supplemental regimen in the treatment of hypertension. Revue / Journal Title Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition ISSN 0912-0009 Source / Source 2001, vol. 30, pp. 43-53 [11 page(s) (article)] (38 ref.) Abstract Cholesterol Reduction: This occurred as a 6-Week Clinical Trial. Researchers gave 39 adults (average age 55.6 years) low dose (100 mg) ECE compounds for six weeks. In that time, their average cholesterol dropped from 228 to 224, LDL dropped from 141 to 135 and HDL rose from 46.5 to 50.7 (statistically significant). Triglycerides fell from 215 to 195 and the atherogenic (ability to cause atherosclerosis) index dropped 12.5%. Although some of these changes were slight, ALL were influenced in a health positive direction.

Effects of 12-week Oral Supplementation of Ecklonia cava Polyphenols on Anthropometric and Blood Lipid Parameters in Overweight Korean Individuals: A Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Hyeon-Cheol Shin1,*, Seong Ho Kim2, Yongju Park2, Bong Ho Lee2,3, Hye Jeong Hwang1

Article first published online: 30 JUN 2011 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.3559

Ecklonia cava; phlorotannin; brown algae; dyslipidemia; cholesterol; overweight.

The effects of 12-week supplementation with a polyphenol extract from Ecklonia cava (ECP) on anthropometry, serum biochemistry and hematology have been investigated. Ninety-seven overweight male and female adults (average age 40.59.2yr and body mass index (BMI) of 26.51.6kg/m2) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with parallel-group design. Subjects were randomly allocated into three groups designated as PC (placebo), LD (low-dose, 72mg-ECP/day) and HD (high-dose, 144mg-ECP/day). Both LD and HD groups showed significant decreases in BMI, body fat ratio, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and atherogenic index (AI) after 12weeks, as compared with the placebo group. The HD group also showed a significant increase in serum HDL cholesterol as compared with the placebo group. Only the HD group showed significant decreases in serum glucose and systolic blood pressure after 12weeks. There was no significant adverse event related with ingestion of ECP, and serum biochemical and hematological parameters were maintained within normal range during the intervention period. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that ECP supplementation significantly contributed to lowering body fat and serum lipid parameters such as total and LDL cholesterols with dose dependence. Further studies using different populations, dosages or biological markers are highly recommended to better understand the physiological features of this polyphenol. Copyright 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46(6):259-67.

Antihypertensive effects of hydrolysates of wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and their angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibitory activity.
Sato M, Oba T, Yamaguchi T, Nakano T, Kahara T, Funayama K, Kobayashi A, Nakano T. Source Laboratory of Marine Biochemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan. Abstract AIM: The angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory and antihypertensive activities of wakame hydrolysates have been investigated in several studies. METHODS: Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) was hydrolyzed using 17 kinds of proteases and the inhibitory activity of the hydrolysates for ACE was measured. Of these hydrolysates 4 with potent ACE inhibitory activity were administered singly and orally to spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). RESULTS: The systolic blood pressure of SHR decreased significantly after single oral administration of protease S 'Amano' and proleather FG-F hydrolysates (10 mg protein/kg body weight). In a long-term feeding experiment, 7-week-old SHR were fed standard chow supplemented with protease S 'Amano'-derived wakame hydrolysates for 10 weeks. In SHR fed the 1 and 0.1% wakame hydrolysates, elevation of systolic blood pressure was still significantly suppressed for 7 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The hydrolysates derived from wakame by protease S 'Amano' have a powerful ACE-inhibitory activity (IC(50) = 86 microg protein/ml) and were effective in spite of their slight bitterness as 'physiologically functional food' with antihypertensive activity.

Am J Hypertens. 1991 Jun;4(6):483-8.

Effects of a sodium-potassium ion-exchanging seaweed preparation in mild hypertension.

Krotkiewski M, Aurell M, Holm G, Grimby G, Szczepanik J. Source Department of Rehabilitation, University of Gteborg, Sweden. Abstract A nonpharmacological approach in the treatment of mild hypertension is often advocated. In an attempt to decrease sodium and increase potassium intake, sixtytwo middle-aged patients with mild hypertension were given a potassium loaded ion-exchanging sodium-adsorbing potassium-releasing seaweed preparation (seaweed fiber, SF). The mean blood pressure (MBP), evaluated in a double-blind crossover manner with four weeks familiarization and wash-out periods, showed a significant decrease after four weeks on 12 and 24 g/day SF but not on 6 g/day or placebo treatment. Systolic blood pressure during submaximal exercise decreased on all three SF doses. The decrease in MBP appeared to be significantly higher in sodium-sensitive (11.2 mm Hg, P less than .001) than in sodium-insensitive (5.7 mm Hg, P less than .05) patients and was in salt-sensitive patients significantly correlated to the increase in plasma renin activity (PRA). The urinary sodium excretion decreased, the urinary potassium increased and the sodium/potassium urinary excretion ratio decreased, indicating that the decrease of MBP was dependent on the decreased intestinal absorption of sodium and increased absorption of potassium released from the seaweed preparation. A sodium-potassium ion-exchanging seaweed preparation is an effective means of decreasing sodium and increasing potassium intake, and may be used for antihypertensive treatment in mild hypertension.

Seaweed intake and blood pressure levels in healthy pre-school Japanese children

Keiko Wada1*, Kozue Nakamura1, Yuya Tamai1, Michiko Tsuji1, Yukari Sahashi1, Kaori Watanabe2, Sakiko Ohtsuchi2, Keiko Yamamoto2, Kyoko Ando2 and Chisato Nagata1 Author Affiliations 1 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan

Department of Food and Culture science, Aichi Bunkyo Women's College, 2-917 Inaba, Inazawa, Aichi 492-8521, Japan For all author emails, please log on. Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:83 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-83

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received: 23 May 2011 Accepted: 10 August 2011 Published: 10 August 2011 2011 Wada et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract Background

Few studies have examined whether dietary factors might affect blood pressure in children. We purposed to investigate whether seaweed intake is associated with blood pressure level among Japanese preschool children. Methods The design of the study was cross-sectional and it was conducted in autumn 2006. Subjects were healthy preschoolers aged 3-6 years in Aichi, Japan. Blood pressure and pulse were measured once by an automated sphygmomanometer, which uses oscillometric methods. Dietary data, including seaweed intake, were assessed using 3-day dietary records covering 2 consecutive weekdays and 1 weekend day. Of a total of 533 children, 459 (86.1 percent) agreed to be enrolled in our study. Finally, blood pressure measurement, complete dietary records and parent-reported height and weight were obtained for 223 boys and 194 girls. Results When we examined Spearman's correlation coefficients, seaweed intake was significantly negatively related to systolic blood pressure in girls (P = 0.008). In the one-way analysis of covariance for blood pressure and pulse after adjustments for age and BMI, the boys with the lowest, middle and highest tertiles of seaweed intake had diastolic blood pressure readings of 62.8, 59.3 and 59.6 mmHg, respectively (P = 0.11, trend P = 0.038). Girls with higher seaweed intake had significantly lower systolic blood pressure readings (102.4, 99.2 and 96.9 mmHg for girls with the lowest, middle and highest tertiles of seaweed intake, respectively; P = 0.037, trend P = 0.030).

Conclusion Our study showed that seaweed intake was negatively related to diastolic blood pressure in boys and to systolic blood pressure in girls. This suggests that seaweed might have beneficial effects on blood pressure among children.

Keywords: blood pressure; child, preschool; diet records; seaweed; nutrition Background Hypertension, which often coexists with diabetes, dyslipidemia and obesity, promotes atherosclerosis and contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease [1]. Hypertension is generally unusual among children, but many studies have shown the tracking of blood pressure from childhood to adulthood [2], and some studies have indicated that the process of atherosclerosis starts in childhood [3,4]. Thus, early intervention for high blood pressure is important in order to prevent cardiovascular disease later in life. Although there is much evidence for dietary risk factors for hypertension in adults [5-13], few studies of children have been reported [14-21]. Restricted salt intake and reduced alcohol consumption are recommended for adults [6]. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet), which is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, has beneficial effects on blood pressure among adults [58]. The diet is rich in potassium and calcium, which have been reported to reduce blood pressure among adults [8,9,13]. A negative association between magnesium and blood pressure has also been reported among adults in some papers [10,11,13]. However, the role of diet in blood pressure among children is not well understood.

Seaweeds are traditional Japanese foods, and are consumed as they are (nori, kombu, hijiki) or as ingredients of rice balls (nori) and salads or soups (wakame). Seaweeds contain large quantities of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and polysaccharides [22]. Several experimental studies in animals [23-27] have shown that feeding on seaweed or its extract lowers blood pressure, suggesting that seaweed intake might affect blood pressure in humans. However, only a few epidemiological studies have reported an association between seaweed intake and blood pressure, and the results have been inconsistent [28-31]. These studies were conducted among adults, and the relationship of seaweed intake to blood pressure has not been investigated among children. In this study, we purposed to investigate whether dietary seaweed intake is associated with blood pressure level among Japanese preschool children. We hypothesized that seaweed might beneficially affect blood pressure among children. Methods Subjects and Design Subjects were children aged three to six years who attended one of two preschools in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The details of the cohorts have been described elsewhere previously [32]. During October and November 2006, they underwent blood pressure measurement. Urine, which was first voided after a child waked up, was collected. Children's height, weight, health status, and lifestyles were inquired through a parent-administered questionnaire. Lifestyles included the time when they got up or went to bed, and a nap time. Physical activity was based on an outdoor playtime checklist by Burdette et al. [33]. The parents were also asked to record the

children's dietary intake for covering 2 consecutive weekdays and 1 weekend day. Of a total of 533 preschool children, 459 (86.1 percent) agreed to be enrolled in our study, with their parents providing written informed consent. Finally, blood pressure measurement, complete dietary records and parent-reported height and weight were obtained for 417 of the children. This study protocol and the informed consent procedure were approved by the ethical board of Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan. Dietary data To collect nutritional data, diet including seaweed intake was assessed using 3-day dietary records covering 2 consecutive weekdays and 1 weekend day. The parents received written instructions on recording the food intakes of the children. According to the instructions, they recorded the amount and kind of foods, beverages and dishes which were consumed by their children during each of three days. When they were in trouble with recording, our stuffs assisted them on the phone. Because our subjects usually ate a school-provided lunch, we obtained the menus from each kindergarten and our staffs, which were dieticians, checked the quantity left over after each meal. Individual nutrient intake was estimated using the Japanese Standard Table of Food Composition, 5th revised and enlarged edition [22]. We calculated energy intake in kilocalories per day and seaweed and salt intake in grams per day. Seaweed intake was converted to dry volume units. Blood pressure and other measurements Systolic (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and pulse were measured once by an automated sphygmomanometer (ES-H55, Terumo Co., Japan), which uses

oscillometric methods. Measurements of blood pressure were conducted in midmorning. Children were not requested to be fasting. We used the appropriate size of blood pressure cuff based on each child's arm circumference. As a rule, measurements were taken from the upper arm. The subjects were measured in a sitting position after a few minutes of rest. The height and weight of children were based on parents' reports. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as (weight in kg)/(height in m)2. From our subjects, we additionally obtained the measurements of the heights and weights of 103 of the children. Among them, intra-class correlation coefficients between measured and parent-reported data were 0.90, 0.96, and 0.78 in height, weight, and BMI, respectively. Statistical analysis All analyses were performed separately for each sex. According to the nutrient density method, we divided seaweed and salt intake by total energy intake, and presented them as grams per 1,000 kcal of total energy. The dietary intakes such as total energy, seaweed and salt were skewed and hence were logarithmic transformed in all analyses. The characteristics by sex were calculated as mean (standard deviation: SD). The geometric mean and 95% confidence interval were computed on the log-transformed values and converted back to the original scale of measurement. We used Spearman's correlation coefficients to detect the association of blood pressure and pulse with age, height, weight, BMI, and intakes of total energy, salt or seaweed.

We divided the subjects into three groups according to tertile category (low, middle or high) of seaweed intake. Tertiles were derived based on the distribution of seaweed consumption in the current population. In order to elucidate the relationships of seaweed intake with SBP, DBP and pulse, we used a one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) after adjustments for age and BMI. Tests for linear trend were performed on multiple regression analyses using continues variables in seaweed intake. All analyses were conducted using the SAS computer program, version 9.1 (SAS Institute). All P values were calculated by a two-sided test. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant in all analyses. Results The characteristics of studied subjects are shown in Table 1. Subjects were 223 boys and 194 girls. The averages (SD) of SBP and DBP were, respectively, 98.7 (13.0) and 60.6 (11.1) mmHg among boys. Those were 99.5 (12.4) mmHg for SBP and 62.2 (11.8) mmHg for DBP among girls. The average pulse rate of girls was higher than that of boys (93.6/min in boys and 96.5/min in girls: P = 0.047). Total energy intake was greater in boys than in girls (1446 kcal/day in boys and 1337 kcal/day in girls: P < 0.001). The geometric means of seaweed intake were 0.67 and 0.76 g/day in boys and girls, respectively (P = 0.096). Table 1. Characteristics of 417 studied preschool children Age, height and weight were significantly negatively correlated with pulse in boys and girls (Table 2). BMI was positively associated with SBP in boys and girls. Total

energy intake was neither associated with SBP, DBP nor pulse. Salt intake was also neither associated with SBP, DBP nor pulse. Seaweed intake was weakly, but significantly negatively related to SBP in girls (Spearman's r = -0.190, P = 0.008). There were borderline-significant negative associations between seaweed intake and DBP in boys (Spearman's r = -0.112, P = 0.096) and girls (Spearman's r = -0.123, P = 0.089). In girls, the negative association between seaweed intake and pulse was also of borderline significance (Spearman's r = -0.137, P = 0.058). Table 2. Spearman's correlation coefficients of blood pressure and pulse, with age, height, weight, BMI and diet Table 3 shows the estimated means of SBP, DBP and pulse according to the tertile category of dietary seaweed intake after adjustments for age and BMI. Boys with low, middle and high intake of seaweed had DBP readings of 62.8, 59.3 and 59.6 mmHg, respectively (P = 0.11, trend P = 0.038). Neither SBP nor pulse was associated with seaweed intake. Girls with higher seaweed intake had significantly lower SBP than those with lower seaweed intake (P = 0.037, trend P = 0.030). The DBP of girls with low seaweed intake was higher than those of middle and high intake of seaweed. Table 3. Adjusted means of blood pressure and pulse according to the tertiles of dietary seaweed intakea Among seaweeds, nori (dried purple laver) was taken most common among our subjects (geometrical mean: 0.37 g/day). The association of nori intake with blood pressure was similar to that of total seaweed intake. For example, boys with low, middle and high intake of nori had DBP readings of 61.4, 61.7 and 58.6 mmHg,

respectively (trend P = 0.057). Girls with low, middle and high intake of nori had SBP readings of 100.6, 101.1 and 97.0 mmHg, respectively (trend P = 0.040). In order to see whether using parent-reported height and weight could influence the results, we assessed the association between seaweed intake and blood pressure among 53 boys and 50 girls whose measurements of height and weight were obtained. When the measured BMI was used as a confounder, boys with low, middle and high intake of seaweed had DBP readings of 64.7, 57.7 and 54.8 mmHg, respectively (trend P = 0.075). Girls with low, middle and high intake of seaweed had SBP readings of 99.6, 98.9 and 92.5 mmHg, respectively (trend P = 0.032). We repeated the same analyses including other dietary factors as a confounder. Salt or sodium intake did not affect the negative association between seaweed intake and DBP among boys. The negative association between seaweed intake and SBP was also unaltered among girls. Additional adjustment for other mineral intakes (potassium, calcium, magnesium) also did not change the associations observed. When vegetable, fruit or fat intake was added as a confounder, the results were not substantially altered. In addition, we assessed the association between seaweed intake and blood pressure after additional adjustment for non-dietary lifestyle factors. Sleeping habits (sleeping time in hours or the time when they got up or went to bed) or sedentary lifestyle time (total minutes of watching television or video-gaming, and reading a book) did not affect the association observed. We got data about physical activity only among 110 boys (Mean (SD): 98.0 (13.3) mmHg for SBP and 60.4 (12.1) mmHg for DBP) and 85 girls (Mean (SD): 98.5 (13.6) mmHg for SBP and 60.7 (SD: 10.2) mmHg for

DBP). Although the observed association became non- significant after additional adjustment for physical activity, the tendency in the negative association between seaweed intake and blood pressure was not altered. After additional adjustments for passive smoking or years of mother's education, the negative association between seaweed intake and blood pressure were observed. Finally, we re-examined the association between seaweed intake and blood pressure after excluding 4 children who took medications for common cold on the day of blood pressure measurement. Along with the results among all subjects, seaweed intake was negatively related to DBP in boys (trend P = 0.024) and to SBP in girls (trend P = 0.028). Discussion Although there is much evidence for dietary risk factors for hypertension in adults, few studies of children have been reported [14-21]. Even the association between salt intake and blood pressure has been inconsistent among children [14,15]. Several studies have demonstrated the negative associations of blood pressure with calcium and magnesium among children [16-19], but very few researchers have examined whether the other dietary factors might affect blood pressure in childhood [19-21]. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate an association between seaweed intake and blood pressure in healthy children. Seaweed intake was negatively related to DBP in boys and to SBP in girls. Although we cannot prove a causal relationship because of a cross-sectional design of this study, the finding suggests that seaweed might have beneficial effects on blood pressure among children.

Our study of 3- to 6-year-old Japanese children showed that the difference between the highest and lowest tertiles was 3.5 mmHg in DBP among boys and 5.5 mmHg in SBP among girls. Decreasing blood pressure in healthy children would be potentially beneficial for blood pressure control in the future. Among Japanese adults aged 40 to 49 years, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio of all-cause mortality for each 10-mmHg SBP increase was reported to be 1.37 times in men and 1.19 in women during 9.8 years of follow-up [34]. That for each 10-mm Hg DBP was 1.46 times in men and 1.40 times in women. The negative association between seaweed and blood pressure in our study is supported by the results of several experimental studies [23-27]. A diet containing powdered brown seaweed lowered blood pressure and reduced the incidence of stroke in salt-loaded, stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats [SHRs] [23]. Hydrolysates of wakame (Undaria pinnatifida), a kind of seaweed, were reported to decrease systolic blood pressure after oral administration in SHRs [24]. Peptides isolated from wakame also had inhibitory activity for angiotensin 1-conversing enzyme, causing an antihypertensive effect [25-27]. In addition, Ikeda et al. found that the administration of wakame delayed the development of stroke signs and improved the survival rate of salt-loaded, stroke-prone SHRs, although there was no significant difference in blood pressure changes compared with the control group [35]. These findings suggest that seaweed may have preventive effects on hypertension and cerebrovascular diseases. However, only a few epidemiological studies have reported an association between seaweed intake and blood pressure, and the results have been inconsistent [28-31].

Among 62 middle-aged patients with mild hypertension in Sweden, Krotkiewski et al. observed a significant decrease in mean blood pressure after the patients were given 12 and 24 g/day seaweed fiber for 4 weeks [28]. In hypertensive elderly Japanese patients, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased after the patients received daily doses of 5 g of dried seaweed powder for 8 weeks [29]. In a crosssectional study of 190 hypertensive elderly Japanese patients, the patients treated with a low dose of a single drug ate more fruits and seaweed than the patients treated with a high dose of a single drug or multiple drugs, which suggested that the habitual intake of these food might help the control of blood pressure [30]. However, among 7,081 Korean men 30 years of age and older, participants with metabolic syndrome, including hypertension, showed a higher intake of seaweed and oily foods than did participants without metabolic syndrome [31]. These studies were conducted among adults, and, in this study, the relationship of seaweed intake to blood pressure has been first demonstrated among children. In our study, seaweed seemed to have greater relationships with DBP than SBP among boys. Meanwhile, it seemed to have greater relationships with SBP than DBP among girls. Although the effects of seaweed intake on blood pressure might be different in mechanism between boys and girls, the reason for the discrepancy is unclear. In the studies among adults, one study [31] included only men and the others [28-30] analyzed the association in mixed group of men and women. More reports are needed to determine the association by sex. The underlying mechanism responsible for the association between seaweed and blood pressure remains to be clarified. Seaweed contains large quantities of minerals

and alginate, which is a kind of dietary fiber. Alginate has been reported to reduce blood pressure [36], and Yamori et al. presumed that alginic acid in seaweed may cause the inhibition of intentional sodium absorption [23]. Potassium, calcium and magnesium also have been reported to reduce blood pressure in observational studies [13,16,17] and intervention trials [9-11,18]. However, the results among our subjects did not show associations between dietary potassium, calcium and magnesium intake and blood pressure. Nonetheless, we cannot deny the possibility that simultaneous intake of several minerals through seaweed may be effective for blood pressure. Alternatively, other ingredients may play a role in the control of blood pressure since alginate or each mineral in seaweed is lower than the effective dose needed to lower blood pressure. The whole diet pattern including seaweed intake is also possible to be responsible for the lower blood pressure. Although a dietary record would be more accurate or better if it had been used for a longer time or repeated over different seasons, using a dietary record was one of merits in this study. One limitation is that blood pressure was measured only once, which may have caused a large measurement error. However, it is unlikely that such a measurement error was directly dependent on seaweed intake. Nonetheless, repeated measurements are best practice and necessary in future studies. Another limitation was that height and weight were reported by the parents. However, the correlation coefficient between parents' reports and measured ones ranged from 0.90 to 0.96 for height and 0.95 to 0.99 for weight among 170 first-grade and 206 fourthgrade Japanese children [37]. In our supplementary analysis among 103 children, the intra-class correlation between parent-reported and measured height and weight was high. Furthermore, the negative associations between seaweed intake and blood

pressure were observed among them after the measured BMI was used as a confounder. Therefore, these differences would not greatly change the associations observed in our study. We also must note that BMI might not be necessarily a very good maker of fatness in growing children. Finally, the generalizability of our study is limited by the fact that our subjects were ethnically homogeneous Japanese children, whose diets differ from those of Western children. Conclusions We have demonstrated a negative association between dietary seaweed intake and blood pressure among healthy children. Seaweed is a popular traditional foodstuff that is widely eaten among both children and adults in Japan. Not only do our results suggest that seaweed intake may have beneficial effects on blood pressure in children, but they also provide the possibility of creating a new, earlier-in-life strategy for the prevention of hypertension in adults. Abbreviations BMI: Body mass index; DBP: diastolic blood pressure; SBP: systolic blood pressure. Authors' contributions Author KW wrote the paper. Author CN designed the study and directed its implementation, including quality assurance and control. Author KN helped designing the study's analytic strategy. Author YT, MT, and YS conduct the literature review and prepare the Discussion sections of the text. Author KW, SO, KY and KA helped supervise the field activities. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Acknowledgements This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and by Gifu University Research Grant Program. None of the authors have financial interests related to this paper. References 1. Ueshima H, Sekikawa A, Miura K, Turin TC, Takashima N, Kita Y, Watanabe M, Kadota A, Okuda N, Kadowaki T, et al.: Cardiovascular disease and risk factors in Asia: a selected review. Circulation 2008, 118:2702-2709. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text Return to text 2. Chen X, Wang Y: Tracking of blood pressure from childhood to adulthood: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Circulation 2008, 117:3171-3180. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text Return to text 3. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Bao W, Newman WP, Tracy RE, Wattigney WA: Association between multiple cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis in children and young adults. The Bogalusa Heart Study. N Engl J Med 1998, 338:1650-1656. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text Return to text 4. Beauloye V, Zech F, Tran HT, Clapuyt P, Maes M, Brichard SM: Determinants of early atherosclerosis in obese children and adolescents. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007, 92:3025-3032. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text Return to text

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2009 The American Institute of Nutrition

Dietary Seaweed Modifies Estrogen and Phytoestrogen Metabolism in Healthy Postmenopausal Women1,2
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Jane Teas 3 , * , Thomas G. Hurley 35 , James R. Hebert 35 , Adrian A. Franke 6 , Daniel W. Sepkovic 7 , 8 , and Mindy S. Kurzer 9

+ Author Affiliations 1. 3University of South Carolina Cancer Center, Columbia, SC 29208; 4South Carolina Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Columbia, SC 29208; 5Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Arnold School of Public Health, 6Cancer Research Center of Hawai'i, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI 96813; 7Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ 07601; 8Department of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, NJ 07601; and 9Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 1. *To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail:

Next Section Abstract Seaweed and soy foods are consumed daily in Japan, where breast cancer rates for postmenopausal women are significantly lower than in the West. Likely mechanisms include differences in diet, especially soy consumption, and estrogen metabolism. Fifteen healthy postmenopausal women participated in this double-blind trial of seaweed supplementation with soy challenge. Participants were randomized to 7 wk of either 5 g/d seaweed (Alaria) or placebo (maltodextrin). During wk 7, participants also consumed a daily soy protein isolate (2 mg isoflavones/kg body weight). After a 3-wk washout period, participants were crossed over to the alternate supplement schedule. There was an inverse correlation between seaweed dose (mg/kg body weight) and serum estradiol (E2) (seaweed-placebo = y = 0.28 dose 42.8; r = 0.70; P = 0.003), which was linear across the range of weights. Soy supplementation increased urinary daidzein, glycitein, genistein, and O-desmethylangolensin (P = 0.0001) and decreased matairesinol and enterolactone (P < 0.05). Soy and seaweed plus soy (SeaSoy) increased urinary excretion of 2-hydroxyestrogen (2-OHE) (P = 0.0001) and the ratio of 2-OHE:16-hydroxyestrone (16OHE1) (P = 0.01). For the 5 equol excretors, soy increased urinary equol excretion (P = 0.0001); the combination of SeaSoy further increased equol excretion by 58% (P = 0.0001). Equol producers also had a 315% increase in 2:16 ratio (P = 0.001) with SeaSoy. Seaweed favorably alters estrogen and phytoestrogen metabolism and these changes likely include modulation of colonic bacteria. Previous SectionNext Section Introduction Breast cancer incidence rates for Japanese women who migrate to the US rise dramatically after 10 y, increasing from 20/100,000 to 35/100,000 (1). Overall breast cancer incidence rates for resident Japanese-Americans are somewhat lower (103/100,000) (2) than the national U.S. average (118/100,000) (3). These data support the hypothesis that lifestyle differences, especially dietary changes and related gene-nutrient interactions, are important in breast cancer susceptibility. Consumption of soy foods is the most commonly identified dietary difference, although recent meta-analyses suggest that eating soy foods may lower breast cancer risk by only 20% (4,5). Many studies have reported that higher levels of serum estradiol (E2) 10 are associated with an increase risk of developing breast cancer (6) and for disease recurrence (7). Studies of Japanese postmenopausal breast cancer survivors have

serum levels near the lower level of detection (8) compared with nearly 3-fold higher levels for U.S. postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (7). Japanese women who consume a traditional diet have 2- to 3-fold higher fecal excretion rates of E2 (9), strongly suggesting that dietary factors and their effect on colonic bacteria may be critical in understanding differences in international breast cancer rates. Two large epidemiologic studies have reported a significant doseresponse relationship between higher antibiotic use and breast cancer risk (10,11). A plausible mechanism for colonic bacterial influence on breast cancer would be through estrogen metabolism, by decreasing recirculation of E2 from the gastrointestinal tract. The same changes in colonic ecology might also be associated with increased efficiency in conversion of dietary soy isoflavones to phytoestrogens. Seaweeds are typically part of most Japanese diets (12). Brown seaweeds have unique insoluble indigestible fiber that has been shown to directly affect intestinal microflora (13,14). Seaweeds also have a higher binding affinity for estrogens than do land plant fibers (15). Skibola (16) reported seaweed supplementation lowered serum E2 in 3 U.S. premenopausal women with menstrual dysfunction. Subsequent in vivo and in vitro studies confirmed a seaweed antiestrogenic effect (17) that may be independent of a fiber effect per se. Brown seaweeds have no land equivalents in terms of their specific components of fiber (alginate), primary carotenoid (fucoxanthin), sulfated polysaccharides (fucoidan and laminarin), and polyphenol defense compounds, each of which have shown strong anticarcinogenic properties (1820). This study focused on the ability of dietary Alaria esculenta, the American brown seaweed closely related to the popular Japanese seaweed Undaria pinnatifidia (Japanese wakame) (21), to modulate serum hormone levels and urinary excretion of estrogen metabolites and phytoestrogens. A soy challenge was used to more closely approximate the diet consumed by Japanese women. Previous SectionNext Section Materials and Methods Study population Participants were all healthy postmenopausal European-American women living in central Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts Medical School Institutional Review Board approved the study. Consent forms were reviewed verbally and all participants gave written informed consent. Inclusion criteria were: being postmenopausal (self-reported cessation of menstruation > 1 y prior to enrollment); no allergies to seaweed, soy, shellfish, or

iodine; no current use of tobacco; no thyroid dysfunction or treatment within the previous 5 y; negative thyroid peroxidase antibodies as determined by screening; no hormone replacement therapy or for breast cancer survivors, no chemotherapy or radiation treatments within the preceding 6 mo, no history of cancer (other than breast cancer); no current gastrointestinal disorders or diabetes; omnivorous eating habits, including meat and dairy products > twice/wk; and no oral antibiotics, iodinecontaining medications, or corticosteroids treatment within the previous 3 mo. Women agreed to eat their normal diet, avoiding seaweeds and phytoestrogen-rich foods, restricting alcoholic intake to 2 drinks (24 g alcohol)/wk, and continuing habitual intake of vitamins, supplements, and medications during the study. Women were recruited by word of mouth, physician referrals, and through responses to a newspaper article. Forty-eight postmenopausal women responded. Seven declined for lack of interest in the study protocol and 8 were excluded on the basis of thyroid-related issues [2 for abnormal serum thyroid stimulating hormone concentrations, 3 for high thyroid peroxidase antibodies (>191 U/L), and 3 for current or recent thyroid medications]. Thus, 33 women were enrolled into the study and provided baseline data. Subsequently, 3 women dropped out of the study due to allergic reactions (rash and reactivated esophageal reflux) to seaweed (2) and naturopath advice (1). Both allergic conditions resolved spontaneously following cessation of seaweed intake. At the end of the study, an additional 15 women were excluded from analyses for these reasons: tamoxifen use (4), antibiotic use during the study (4), resumption of menses (1), failure to take the supplements (1), and inability to follow protocol (consumed >2 drinks/wk) (5). This left a final study sample of 15 women, among whom 6 were breast cancer survivors (Stage I, or II at diagnosis, but disease free at the time of the study) and 9 who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer. Study design Experimental design and dietary treatments. To minimize possible effects of season, all women began the study the same week in late October. The study utilized an unbiased, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. Prior to the first clinic visit, all eligible participants were assigned to a treatment group using a computer-generated random number table. Treatment arms were either 7 wk of 5 g/d seaweed powder (10 capsules) or 7 wk of 5 g/d maltodextrose in 10 identical gelatin capsules, followed by a 3-wk washout period and then crossed over to the opposite treatment arm. During wk 7, the women consumed a daily soy protein isolate (2 mg isoflavones/kg body weight) in addition

to the 5 g/d seaweed or placebo. All capsules were taken with the last meal of the day. Samples were collected a total of 6 times (blood samples and 48-h urine collection) throughout the study. To ensure the laboratory analysis was conducted without knowledge of treatments, each patient at each clinic visit was assigned a unique identification number. Adherence to protocol A daily journal was provided for women to record any significant health changes, including new medications, and any phytoestrogen-rich foods or alcoholic beverages consumed. Urinary iodine was used to confirm adherence to the protocol during seaweed supplement periods. Seaweed Alaria esculenta (L.) Greville grows along the northeastern shores of North America. It was chosen for its low-iodine (95 g/g) concentration (22). A 5-g serving of Alaria harvested in the same area contains: 54.6 kJ, 0.9 g protein, 0.18 g fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 1.9 g fiber, 373 mg potassium, and 212 mg sodium (23). The Alaria was collected in June from the Sally Islands by Maine Seaweed Company following standard collection protocols (22). Placebo Maltrin M100 maltodextrin (Grain Processing) was used as placebo and 5 g/d provided 75.6 kJ. Encapsulation Mold and fungus levels were below detection limits. The seaweed was ground and encapsulated into gelatin capsules (Beehive Botanicals). No fillers or binders were added to the seaweed or placebo powder. Soy protein isolate A soy protein ingredient made with soy protein isolate [High Protein Nutritious Food Ingredient Powder (AB1.2 HG 20CA 29)] was provided by Solae, LLC (formerly Protein Technologies). It contained 1.43 mg/g total aglycone isoflavone equivalents. A dose of 2 mg isoflavones/kg body weight was calculated for each woman. The mean dose was 100 g/d dose of soy powder and provided 67 g of soy protein containing 85 mg genistein, 50 mg daidzein, and 8 mg glycitein. Urine and blood collection

Blood samples were drawn from fasting participants between 0630 and 1030 by venipuncture at a consistent time for each subject at baseline and at the end of each treatment period. Women collected 48-h urine specimens immediately preceding each visit. The collection jugs were stored in their refrigerators until the clinic visit. Urine volume was measured and sample aliquots were stored at 20C until the end of the study and then at 80C until analyses. Laboratory analyses Urinary estrogen metabolite analysis. Analyses of urinary 2-hydroxyestrogen (2-OHE) and 16-hydroxyestrone (16OHE1) levels were completed at the Hackensack University Medical Center in a single batch, using the competitive solid-phase enzyme immunoassay from IMMUNA CARE (24). The reported within-assay CV for this method ranges between 6 and 9% and the between-assay CV has been reported as 10%. It is important to note that C-2 antibody is 100% cross specific for 2-OHE1 as well as 2OHE2. Although 2-OHE1 is the predominant C-2 metabolite found in women, the sum of both metabolites are measured (25). Urinary phytoestrogen analysis. Urinary phytoestrogen assays were conducted at the Cancer Research Center of University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI. As previously described, the analysis used liquid chromatography-MS for phytoestrogens and a Cobas-autoanalyzer/Jaffreaction-based assay for creatinine (26). Interassay CV was 7.2% for daidzein, 14.8% for dihydrodaidzein, 8.5% for glycitein, 11.8% for genistein, 18.9% for dihydrogenistein, 16.5% for equol, 16.0% for O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA), 8.2% for enterodiol, and 8.9% for enterolactone; intra-assay CV was generally onehalf of the aforementioned. Serum sex hormone analyses. Estrone (E1), E2, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were analyzed at the University of Massachusetts laboratory of Dr. Christopher Longcope. Samples from a given individual were always assayed in the same batch. All samples were assayed in duplicate and the mean value was used for analysis. E1 was measured by RIA using kits provided by Diagnostic Systems Laboratories (DSL-8700). The lower limit of detection for E1 was 4.4 pmoI/L. Intra- and interassay CV were 2.1 and 5.9%, respectively. E2 was measured using DSL-4400 E2 double antibody RIA kit (Diagnostic Systems Laboratories). The lower limit of detection for this kit was 1.8 pmol/L. Intra- and interassay CV were 5.9 and 7.7%, respectively. SHBG was measured using DSL-7400 ACTIVE SHBG Coated-Tube Immunoradiometric Assay

kit (Diagnostic Systems Laboratories) following the DSL protocol. The lower limit of detection for SHBG using this kit was 3 nmol/L. Intra- and interassay CV were 3.5 and 4.1%, respectively. Statistical analyses Study sample characteristics were compared by disease status using t tests for continuous variables and Fisher's exact test for categorical variables. To test the primary study hypotheses that seaweed influences estrogen metabolism and that the combination of seaweed plus soy (SeaSoy) would have a synergistic effect (the main effects for seaweed and soy, and a seaweed soy interaction), we conducted a repeated-measures ANOVA using Proc Mixed in SAS. In these models, subject was fit as the repeated factor whereas treatment group (4 levels: placebo, seaweed, soy, and SeaSoy), sequence of treatment administration, disease status, disease status treatment interaction, and age were fit as independent variables. Individual models were run for 12 hormone-related dependent variables: serum measures of E1, E2, and SHBG, urinary estrogen metabolites 2-OHE, 16OHE1, and the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrogen:16-hydroxyestrone (2:16 ratio), and 2 groups of urinary phytoestrogens, the isoflavones: genistein, daidzein, glycitein, O-DMA, equol, and the lignans: secoisolariciresinol, matairesinol, enterolactone, and enterodiol. Results are presented as least square means (LSMeans; these are the covariate-adjusted means obtained from the mixed model) with 95% CI. Linear contrasts were created in Proc Mixed to test, relative to placebo, for the main effects of seaweed, soy, and SeaSoy, as well as the interaction between seaweed and soy. For the 3 main effects, the difference was calculated separately between the LSMeans for each treatment and placebo. To test for the interaction effect of SeaSoy, the difference was calculated as the LSMean for SeaSoy the sum of the LSMeans for seaweed and soy. Significance was determined using a t test of the Ho: the difference = 0 and a P-value < 0.05. Many of the outcome variables were positively skewed; thus, data were logtransformed to meet the assumption of normality and then back-transformed for presentation and ease of interpretation. The phytoestrogens were measured as total amount excreted per day. Urine volume was measured for the entire 48-h collection and divided by 2 to obtain 24-h volume estimates used in the analyses. To rule out potential concerns about incomplete urine collections, analyses were conducted with both amount per day and amount per unit of creatinine, a metabolite that is excreted in fairly constant amounts day to day. As there were no material differences, we present only the per-day results.

The study design called for a single dose of seaweed (5 g/d) even though the weight of the participants ranged between 55 and 99 kg. To assess the potential for weight to modify the effect of seaweed, an exploratory correlation analysis was conducted using a seaweed dose variable (mg/kg). In addition, we examined the effects of treatment on 2-OHE, 16OHE1, and the ratio 2:16, comparing responses of women who were not equol producers with women who did produce equol by running separate mixed model analyses by equol production status. Equol producers were identified using the log 10 of the equol:daidzein ratio, where a value > 1.75 was classified as an equol producer (27). One woman who was an equol producer misunderstood the directions and when the soy supplement was added, she stopped taking the seaweed pills. Therefore, her values for SeaSoy are missing in all analyses. Estrogen metabolite values greater than the upper limit of test validity (36 g/L) were not used (one participant). Three values for 16OHE1 were below the lower limit of test validity (0.5 g/L) and were set to 0.4 g/L for statistical analysis. Previous SectionNext Section Results and Discussion Based on changes in urinary iodine during the seaweed supplementation periods, adherence to the study protocol was very high. Fourteen of the participants had significant increases (mean = 2.2 1.4 mol/d; P = 0.0001) during the seaweed period; all 15 women had increases during the SeaSoy supplementation period (2.0 1.0 mol/d; P = 0.0001). A more detailed analysis of changes in iodine and thyroid hormone levels has been presented elsewhere (22). Demographic and lifestyle characteristics did not vary by disease status (breast cancer survivor or control) (Table 1). There was no significant effect on any of the serum or urinary endpoints for disease status or treatment arm. View this table: In this window In a new window TABLE 1 Demographic variables in healthy postmenopausal women at baseline by disease status1 Serum hormones.

Serum hormones showed slight variations with the different supplements (Table 2). A small but significant decrease in E1 was noted during the SeaSoy period. SHBG decreased significantly after soy supplementation. View this table: In this window In a new window TABLE 2 Serum hormone concentrations in healthy postmenopausal women after placebo, seaweed, soy, and SeaSoy treatments1 Seaweed supplementation was associated with an inverse correlation between seaweed dose (mg/kg body weight) and serum E2 and was linear across the range of weights (E2 change seaweed-placebo = 0.28 dose 42.8; r = 0.70; P = 0.003) (Fig. 1). Although there were also similar declines in E1 and SHBG with increasing seaweed dose, none of these were significant.

View larger version: In this page In a new window Download as PowerPoint Slide FIGURE 1 Correlation between seaweed dose and change in serum E2 concentrations after seaweed treatment compared with placebo in healthy postmenopausal women (n = 15) (y = 0.28 dose 42.8; r = 0.70; P = 0.003). Although small by dried weight volume, seaweed has a water swelling capacity of 10-fold, so a 5-g/d dose of seaweed composed of 38% dried fiber would provide closer to 19 g/d additional dietary fiber volume when rehydrated during digestion. In vitro and in vivo studies of seaweed have reported increased water retention and fecal bulk and decreased colon transit time (28). The insoluble indigestible

component of seaweed fiber may decrease exposure of gastrointestinal conjugated estrogens for reabsorption by providing bulk and binding sites for adsorption (15). An indirect mechanism for reducing serum E2 includes changes in the bacterial ecology of the colon. In vivo studies of a similar dietary seaweed (Undaria) report an 80% reduction in production of colonic -D-glucuronidase (14), the enzyme needed to deconjugate E2 prior to enterohepatic recirculation. A third hypothesis is that the seaweed antiestrogenic effects are independent of a fiber effect. Skibola et al. (17) reported in vitro inhibition of E2 binding to estrogen receptor and in human luteinized granulosa cells. No specific mechanism was identified. Dietary seaweed may reduce E2 by all of these pathways. Based on data from our study, the effective E2-lowering dose of seaweed would be 75 mg/kg body weight. For the average-sized Japanese woman (54 kg) (29), an effective daily dose of seaweed would be 3.8 g/d, a dose within the normal range of seaweed consumption in Japan (30). An average American woman weighing over 20 kg more (76 kg) (31) would need to consume 5.3 g/d of seaweed to achieve the same effect. These estimates are consistent with the 57 g/d estimated effective seaweed dose proposed by in vivo seaweed chemoprevention studies of mammary carcinoma (19,20). Urinary phytoestrogens. Soy treatment was associated with increased urinary excretion of daidzein, glycitein, genistein, and O-DMA (P = 0.0001) (Table 3). During the same period, matairesinol and enterolactone excretions tended to decrease (P = 0.05). Seaweed alone did not affect these phytoestrogens. Five of the 15 women were classified as equol producers and results from only these 5 women are presented. In this subset of women, both equol and O-DMA increased with soy supplementation and even more with SeaSoy, suggesting a biomagnification of specific colon bacteria. The interactive effect of soy and seaweed on colonic microflora merits further study. View this table: In this window In a new window TABLE 3 Urinary phytoestrogen excretion in healthy postmenopausal women after placebo, seaweed, soy, and SeaSoy treatments1 Urinary equol excretion has been generally reported to be protective against breast cancer. In Japan, between 55 and 60% of the population produce equol after

consuming soy foods, compared with only 33% of people living in Western countries (27). It is unclear if there might be physiologic benefits associated with increased equol levels for equol producers, although SeaSoy for these women was associated more favorable urinary estrogen metabolite profiles. Nutritional epidemiologic studies in Japan rarely include seaweed, partly because it is hard to quantify, being consumed in both dried and rehydrated forms, includes a variety of different types of seaweeds, and because a hot water seaweed extract (Japanese dashi) broth is used to flavor many dishes so that the presence of seaweed is not obvious. Only 1 dietary study has included seaweed in its assessment of food variables associated with urinary phytoestrogen excretion and it did report a significant association between seaweed intake and equol production (32). Seaweed fiber reaching the colon may be prebiotic, providing substrate for specific bacteria associated with increased equol production (33). The antibiotic properties of seaweeds may also influence population dynamics of colon bacteria, favoring healthy bacteria (34). Urinary estrogen metabolite data. There were significant increases in 2-OHE excretion and the 2:16 ratio during the soy and SeaSoy treatment periods (Table 4). In our small sample of 5 equol producers and 10 equol nonproducers, the results were not significantly different. However, the magnitude of the changes for women who were equol producers (n = 5) were more impressive, with SeaSoy associated with a 58% increase in 2-OHE, a 40% decrease in 16OHE1, and a 315% increase in the 2:16 ratio. The 16-OHE1 pathway is highly toxic, associated with genotoxic damage, stimulation of growth of anchorage independent breast cancer cells, irreversibly binding to estrogen receptors, and persistent hyperproliferation. A dietary intervention that could preferentially decrease estrogen metabolism from this pathway to the more benign 2-OHE pathway could have profound implications for breast cancer chemoprevention. View this table: In this window In a new window TABLE 4 Urinary estrogen metabolite excretion in healthy postmenopausal women after placebo, seaweed, soy, and SeaSoy treatments1

Our study is limited by its small size, which limits statistical power, as well as the uniform ethnic racial/ethnic composition typical of the population of central Massachusetts. Because this was a pilot study to determine whether a 5-g/d dose of seaweed would have any measurable effect on estrogen and phytoestrogen metabolism, changes in colonic microflora were not measured directly. Future studies should include direct measurement of changes in colonic bacteria. Finally, our estimate of seaweed dose was done post hoc, rather than prospectively, and needs to be explored further. Although seaweed is only a seemingly small part of a Japanese diet, in seaweednaive women, it lowered serum estrogens, increased favorable estrogen metabolism, and enhanced soy-stimulated conversion of phytoestrogens. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated anticarcinogenic activities of seaweeds, especially against breast cancer. The role of seaweed as a prebiotic catalyst for stimulating protective effects in phytoestrogen and estrogen metabolism is intriguing and provides a new food that may be important in dietary chemoprevention of breast cancer. Previous SectionNext Section Acknowledgments We thank Larch Hanson and Shep Erhart for their assistance in identifying and collecting the seaweed. In addition, we thank Drs. Kathyrn Edmiston, Michael Wertheimer, and Mary Costanza for their helpful comments on study design and patient recruitment, and Charlene Franz for her work on serum hormone analysis. Sue Druker provided excellent project coordination. Dr. Judy Ockene mentored this project. Previous SectionNext Section Footnotes 1 Supported by the Susan G. Komen Foundation (grant 9735) and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under DAMD 17-98-1-8207. 2 Author disclosures: J. Teas, T. G. Hurley, J. R. Hebert, A. A. Franke, and D. W. Sepkovic, no conflicts of interest; M. S. Kurzer occasionally consults for Solae Company, LLC. 10 Abbreviations used: E1, estrone; E2, estradiol; LSMean, least square mean; O-DMA, O-desmethylangolensin; 2-OHE, 2-hydroxyestrogen; 16OHE1, 16-hydroxyestrone; 2:16 ratio, ratio of 2-hydroxyestrogen:16hydroxyestrone; SeaSoy, seaweed plus soy; SHBG, sex hormone-binding globulin.

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Seaweed intake and urinary sex hormone levels in preschool Japanese children
Abstract Purpose

We investigated whether seaweed intake is associated with sex steroid levels in young Japanese children. Methods The design of the study was cross-sectional and it was conducted in October November 2006. Subjects were substantially healthy preschoolers, 230 boys and 198 girls, aged 36 years. Dietary data, including seaweed intake, were assessed using 3day dietary records covering 2 consecutive weekdays and 1 weekend day. Urinary estrone, estradiol, testosterone, and 5-androstene-3,17 diol levels were measured by liquid chromatographyelectrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Urinary dehydroepiandrosterone level was measured with a radioimmunoassay. Steroid hormones were adjusted for urinary creatinine levels. Results Spearmans correlation coefficient between seaweed intake and estrone level was 0.144 (p = 0.030) in boys and 0.147 (p = 0.041) in girls after adjustments for age, BMI, and total energy intake. Seaweed intake was neither associated with estradiol, testosterone, 3,17-AED nor with DHEA among boys and girls. Conclusions The negative association between seaweed intake and estrone level suggests that dietary seaweed intake might affect estrogen metabolism in childhood.

Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(5):743-8. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Serum IGF-1 concentrations change with soy and seaweed supplements in healthy postmenopausal American women.
Teas J, Irhimeh MR, Druker S, Hurley TG, Hbert JR, Savarese TM, Kurzer MS. Source

Cancer Research Center of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA. Abstract Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is an anabolic hormone important for growth and development. However, high-circulating serum concentrations in adults are associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Nutritional status and specific foods influence serum IGF-1 concentrations. Breast cancer incidence is typically low in Asian countries where soy is commonly consumed. Paradoxically, soy supplement trials in American women have reported significant increases in IGF-1. Seaweed also is consumed regularly in Asian countries where breast cancer risk is low. We investigated the possibility that seaweed could modify soyassociated increases in IGF-1 in American women. Thirty healthy postmenopausal women (mean age 58 yr) participated in this 14-wk double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial. Participants consumed 5 g/day placebo or seaweed (Alaria esculenta) in capsules for 7 wk. During the 7th wk, a high-soy protein isolate powder was added (2 mg/kg body weight aglycone equivalent isoflavones). Overnight fasting blood samples were collected after each intervention period. Soy significantly increased serum IGF-1 concentrations compared to the placebo (21.2 nmol/L for soy vs. 16.9 nmol/L for placebo; P = 0.0001). The combination of seaweed and soy significantly reduced this increase by about 40% (21.2 nmol/L for soy alone vs. 19.4 nmol/L; P = 0.01). Concurrent seaweed and soy consumption may be important in modifying the effect of soy on IGF-1 serum concentrations.

The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breastcancer

Jane Teas

A review of the biological properties of seaweed is presented and the role of seaweed as a breastcancer anticarcinogen is suggested. Proposed mechanisms of action are: reduction of plasma cholesterol, binding of biliary steriods, inhibition of carcinogenic fecal flora, binding of pollutants, stimulation of the immune system, and the protective effects of beta-sitosterols. In an experiment using sarcoma-180 in mice, seaweed extract appeared to have an antitumor effect. Thus it is suggested that

breastcancer may be prevented and that this dietary habit among the Japanese could be an important factor in understanding the lower breastcancer rates reported in Japan.

Sulfated polysaccharides from brown seaweeds Saccharina japonica and Undaria pinnatifida: isolation, structural characteristics, and antitumor activity

Olesya S. Vishchuk , , Svetlana P. Ermakova , Tatyana N. Zvyagintseva Received 12 August 2011. Revised 29 September 2011. Accepted 29 September 2011. Available online 4 October 2011. Abstract During the last decade brown seaweeds attracted much attention as a source of polysaccharides, namely laminarans, alginic acids, and sulfated polysaccharidesfucoidans, with various structures and biological activities. In this study, sulfated polysaccharides were isolated from brown seaweeds Saccharina japonica (formerly named Laminaria) and Undaria pinnatifida and their antitumor activity was tested against human breast cancer T-47D and melanoma SK-MEL-28 cell lines. The sulfated polysaccharide form S. japonica was highly branched partially acetylated sulfated galactofucan, built up of (13)--L-fucose residues. The sulfated polysaccharide from U. pinnatifida was partially acetylated highly sulfated galactofucan consisting of (13)- or (13);(14)--L-fucose residues. Fucoidans from S. japonica and U. pinnatifida distinctly inhibited proliferation and colony formation in both breast cancer and melanoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicated that the use of sulfated polysaccharides from brown seaweeds S. japonica and U. pinnatifida might be a potential approach for cancer treatment.

Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of extracts from a variety of edible seaweeds

Yvonne V. Yuan Natalie A. Walsh

School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, Ont., Canada M5B 2K3 Received 17 January 2006. Accepted 1 February 2006. Available online 22 March 2006. Abstract Dietary Laminaria and Porphyra sp. have been reported to reduce the risk of intestinal or mammary cancer in animal studies. Algal anticarcinogenicity may involve effects on cell proliferation and antioxidant activity. Thus, in the present study, we evaluated the effect of red alga, dulse (Palmaria palmata) and three kelp (Laminaria setchellii, Macrocystis integrifolia, Nereocystis leutkeana) extracts on human cervical adenocarcinoma cell line (HeLa cells) proliferation using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay. The 1-butanol soluble fractions from the methanol extracts of these algae were also evaluated for reducing activity and total polyphenol content. After 72 h incubation, HeLa cell proliferation was inhibited (p < 0.05) between 0% and 78% by P. palmata; 0% and 55% by L. setchellii and 0% and 69% by M. integrifolia and N. leutkeana at 0.55 mg/mL algal extract. Algal extract reducing activities were as follows: P. palmata > M. integrifolia > L. setchellii > N. leutkeana; and total polyphenol contents were: P. palmata > M. integrifolia = N. leutkeana > L. setchellii. The antiproliferative efficacy of these algal extracts were positively correlated with the total polyphenol contents (p < 0.05), suggesting a causal link related to extract content of kelp phlorotannins and dulse polyphenols including mycosporine-like amino acids and phenolic acids.

Epidemiology/Lifestyle Factors: Diet and Cancer 2

Seaweed as chemoprevention: From breast cancer epidemiology to breast cancer cell culture.
Jane Teas, Qixia Zhang and Stephanie Muga University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC Abstract B172 Seaweeds are commonly eaten in Japan and Korea, where rates of hormonally sensitive cancers of the breast and prostate are significantly lower than in other developed nations. Japanese women who do develop breast cancer live longer. GI tract cancers are higher in these countries, leading to the hypothesis that dietary seaweed might enhance some cancers but inhibit others. However, epidemiological investigations in Japan have reported that for all GI tract cancers except rectal cancer, there is a significant protective association between increased consumption of seaweeds and lower risk. In the ongoing study of Japan Nurses' Health Study, breast cancer rates among women who consumed miso soup six or more times a week had half the risk of breast cancer compared to women who ate miso soup infrequently. As miso soup is a hot water extract of seaweed, miso, and vegetables, this finding adds support to the many in vitro and in vivo studies of seaweed-induced cancer inhibition. An average of 5-7 grams (dry weight) of seaweed are eaten daily in Japan, and this is even higher for nursing mothers. Although seemingly a small amount, when seaweeds are refreshed in water, they expand to about 10 times their dry weight volume, and hence become a significant part of the diet. METHODS: In this study, we compared water extracts of a range of common dietary seaweeds in three cell lines (estrogen sensitive MCF-7 breast cancer cells, estrogen insensitive MDAMB-231 breast cancer cells, and hormone insensitive HCT-15 colon cancer cells). Cell proliferation was assessed by MTS, and inhibition of DNA synthesis was confirmed by BrdU assays. Further studies of cell cycle dynamics were done using flow cytometry. To visually study cell proliferation inhibition, we used DAPI confocal imaging. Apoptotic pathways were investigated using caspase 3/7 stimulation assays. RESULTS: Hormone insensitive cancer cells (HCT-15 and MDA-MB-231) showed the greatest cancer cell inhibition when exposed to seaweed

extracts. DNA synthesis was inhibited, and for MDA-MB-231 cells, a clear cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase was seen. Confocal microscopy revealed patterns of DNA fragmentation. There was a range in the ability of different seaweeds to inhibit cell proliferation and only a few of the seaweeds significantly stimulated caspase 3/7. CONCLUSIONS: In seaweed research, specific unique components of brown seaweeds (fucoidan, fucoxanthin, alginic acid, laminarin) have each demonstrated cancer cell inhibition. However, we found that red seaweeds, which lack these components, also showed similar inhibition, suggesting that other water soluble chemicals derived from seaweeds my be important in understanding the anticarcinogenic properties of dietary seaweeds. Culinary seaweeds may help explain lower cancer rates observed among people in Japan.

The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre-menopausal women: a case report
Christine F Skibola 1 1School of Public Health, Molecular Epidemiology and Toxicology Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA Corresponding author. Christine F Skibola: Received January 14, 2004; Accepted August 4, 2004. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Other Sections Abstract

Background Rates of estrogen-dependent cancers are among the highest in Western countries and lower in the East. These variations may be attributable to differences in dietary exposures such as higher seaweed consumption among Asian populations. The edible brown kelp, Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack), as well as other brown kelp species, lower plasma cholesterol levels. Since cholesterol is a precursor to sex hormone biosynthesis, kelp consumption may alter circulating sex hormone levels and menstrual cycling patterns. In particular, dietary kelp may be beneficial to women with or at high risk for estrogen-dependent diseases. To test this, bladderwrack was administered to three pre-menopausal women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and/or menstrual-related disease histories. Case Presentation Intake of bladderwrack was associated with significant increases in menstrual cycle lengths, ranging from an increase of 5.5 to 14 days. In addition, hormone measurements ascertained for one woman revealed significant anti-estrogenic and progestagenic effects following kelp administration. Mean baseline 17-estradiol levels were reduced from 626 91 to 164 30 pg/ml (P = 0.04) following 700 mg/d, which decreased further to 92.5.0 3.5pg/ml (P = 0.03) with the1.4 g/d dose. Mean baseline progesterone levels rose from 0.58 0.14 to 8.4 2.6 ng/ml with the 700 mg/d dose (P = 0.1), which increased further to 16.8 0.7 ng/ml with the 1.4 g/d dose (P = 0.002). Conclusions These pilot data suggest that dietary bladderwrack may prolong the length of the menstrual cycle and exert anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Further, these studies also suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component apart from soy that is responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers observed in Japanese populations. However, these studies will need to be performed in well-controlled clinical trials to confirm these preliminary findings. Background Epidemiological studies show that incidence rates of estrogen-dependent diseases such as cancers of the breast, endometrium and ovary are among the highest in

Western, industrialized countries, while rates are much lower in China and Japan [1,2]. These disparities may be attributable, in part, to differences in dietary and environmental exposures associated with affluent and modern lifestyles that promote estrogenic stimulation and hormone imbalances [3-5]. Although the mechanisms are not fully understood, epidemiological and experimental data suggest that exposure to estrogens, through endogenous production and exogenous exposures resulting in an imbalance in the estrogen/progesterone ratio, may be the most critical determinants in disease risk [6-8]. In estrogen-sensitive tissues, estrogen triggers cell proliferation, and through prolonged stimulation, hyperplasia [9] and possibly neoplasia can occur. Reproductive factors associated with increased exposure to menstruation resulting in persistent and sustained estrogenic stimulation, such as shorter menstrual cycles, reduced parity, early menarche, and late menopause, are known to increase risk of endometriosis and estrogen-dependent cancers [10,11], while post-menopausal obesity, hormone replacement therapy and alcohol consumption may be associated with increased breast cancer risk [12-14]. Therefore, limiting exposure to estrogens and reducing the overall number of menstrual cycles in one's lifetime through dietary and lifestyle changes may be the simplest means to reduce disease risk. In particular, the identification of dietary compounds that have estrogen- reducing effects holds great promise in developing chemopreventive strategies to abrogate risk of these diseases. Studies show that Japanese women have longer menstrual cycle lengths (greater than the 28 day average) and lower circulating estrogen levels compared to Western populations [15-17], which until now has been at least partly attributed to the increased intake of soy protein among Asian populations [18-20]. Another less explored component but main staple of the Japanese diet is seaweed, which accounts for approximately 1025% of their food intake [21,22]. Other reported estimated daily intakes are as high as 313 g/day [23]. A major source of dietary seaweed among Japanese populations is the edible brown kelp, wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and kombu (Laminaria japonica). These species and the Atlantic brown kelp, bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus), have been shown to exert powerful antihypertensive activity related to angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibition [24], to possess antibacterial and antioxidant properties related to their high polyphenolic content [25], and to prevent dioxin absorption and accelerate dioxin excretion in rats [26]. Other chemopreventive properties such as antiviral activity [27,28],

immunostimulatory effects [29], anti-proliferative effects on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced rat mammary tumors [30,31], and anti-tumor and anti-metastatic activities in xenograft mouse models [32], have been associated with the high level of sulfated polysaccharides, also known as fucoidans, found in brown seaweed. Intake of bladderwrack, as well as other brown kelp species, also has been shown to alter cholesterol metabolism and to significantly lower plasma cholesterol levels [33,34]. A possible mechanism of action involves competitive inhibition by fucosterols found in kelp. Since cholesterol is the precursor involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis, a reduction in cholesterol bioavailability could lower circulating plasma 17-estradiol levels that may lead to alterations in menstrual cycling patterns in pre-menopausal women. Until now, no studies have been performed in humans to determine the effects of brown kelp on menstrual cycling patterns and sex hormone status in pre-menopausal women, particularly in women with or at risk for estrogen-dependent diseases. To explore the hypothesis that kelp consumption could reduce circulating17-estradiol levels and attenuate menstrual cycle irregularities, bladderwrack was administered to three pre-menopausal women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and/or menstrual-related disease histories. Case presentation Three pre-menopausal women with abnormal menstrual cycling histories volunteered for the present study. An abnormal menstrual cycle was defined as one or more of the following: menstrual cycles of <26 or >32 days in length; menstrual cycles consisting of >8 menstruating days; or anovulatory menstrual cycling. Study subject characteristics are outlined in Table Table1.1. Subject 1 had a history of hypermenorrhea (excessive blood loss during menstruation), polymenorrhea (shorter than average menstrual cycle length of 28 days), anovulatory menstrual cycles, and was diagnosed with luteal phase deficiency and endometriosis (through laparoscopy). Subject 2 suffered from hypermenorrhea and polymenorrhea. Subject 3 suffered from hypermenorrhea and was diagnosed with endometriosis. All three women reported a history of dysmenorrhea (painful menses). Otherwise, all women were in general good health and free of any chronic diseases. All women were active and exercised approximately three times per week. No hormones or other medications were taken for >3 months prior to the inception of the study. No soy protein products were consumed during the study period.

Table 1 Study Subject Characteristics

The protocol was approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects of the University of California at Berkeley. The nature of the study was explained, and written informed consent was obtained from all study subjects. Source and dose of bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) Dried, powdered bladderwrack was obtained from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables (Franklin, ME) and encapsulated in 350 mg capsules. Two capsules were administered daily for the low dose treatment (700 mg) and four capsules were administered daily for the high dose treatment (1.4 g). Bladderwrack dosage levels were chosen to fall within the range of reported dietary seaweed intakes (1025%) of the total diet reported for Japanese populations [21,22]. This was calculated by assuming a total 500 g/d total dietary intake and a range between 50125 g/d (wet weight) or 0.51.25 g/d (dry weight) seaweed intake. This calculation falls below the estimated 313 g/d intake reported by Teas et al. [23]. Experimental protocols Details of the study protocol are outlined in Table Table2.2. All women provided self-reported menstrual cycling histories for the three months prior to the treatment period. In addition, 17-estradiol and progesterone serum measurements were taken for Subject 1 throughout the course of the study as outlined in Table Table2.2. Ovulation was monitored through body basal temperature. Since the average length of her cycle was 16 days prior to treatment and she was not ovulating at the inception of the study, baseline hormone levels were ascertained on a set day (menstrual cycle day 12) for two consecutive cycles prior to the administration of 700 mg/d bladderwrack for two additional cycles. During the treatment period, serum hormone levels were measured on days 12 and 21 for the first cycle (which was another anovulatory cycle) and on day 21 thereafter during the treatment period. Subjects 2 and 3 were administered 700 mg/d of bladderwrack beginning on day 21 of their menstrual cycles and followed for two consecutive cycles. Subsequently,

Subjects 1 and 3 agreed to continue the experiment for two additional cycles at which time they received a daily dose of 1.4 g/d kelp. Menstrual cycling logs were maintained on all subjects during the entire course of the experiment. Subjects were monitored at least weekly to insure compliance to the supplement regimen. Table 2 Treatment protocol and timeline

Hormone assays All hormone assays were performed by Quest Laboratories (San Diego, CA), an outside-certified clinical laboratory. Serum 17-estradiol and progesterone levels were measured in duplicate by radioimmunoassays. Blank and control sera were run with each assay. The coefficient of variation (a measure of laboratory error) was consistently low (<15%) for 17-estradiol and progesterone. Statistical methods Statistical analyses were performed by unpaired t-tests (2-sided) with a commercially available statistical software package (Stata, College Station, Texas). All statistical tests were considered significant for p 0.05. Results are referred to as borderline significant for 0.05 < p 0.10. Clinical findings There were no adverse side effects reported and bladderwrack was well tolerated by all three women. Effects of treatment on length of menstrual cycle and total days of menstruation Following treatment, all women exhibited a significant increase in menstrual cycle lengths (Figure (Figure1).1). Specifically, in Subject 1, who had a 30-year history of irregular menses, the menstrual cycle length increased from an average of 16.3 0.6 days to 26.0 1.4 days with the low dose treatment (P < 0.002), which increased by approximately 5 additional days to 31.2 1.1 days following administration of the

higher dose (P < 0.001). In Subject 2, the average cycle length increased 5.5 days, from 23.0 1.7 to 28.5 0.7 days (P = 0.03). Subject 3 exhibited a 4-day increase in menstrual cycle length from 27.3 0.6 to 31.5 0.7 days with the 700 mg dose (P = 0.005) that increased by approximately 6 more days to 36.0 2.8 days with the 1.4 g dose (P = 0.01). Figure 1 Average menstrual cycle length in days for Subjects 13 at baseline (black bars) and following bladderwrack administration of 700 mg/d (diagonal striped bars) and 1.4 g/d (white bars). Black bars indicate the averages of 3 menstrual cycles; diagonal (more ...) Along with increased menstrual cycle lengths, all women reported marked reductions in blood flow and average number of days of menstruation following bladderwrack treatment (Figure (Figure2).2). Subject 1 reported the most significant reduction in total days of menstruation, changing from an average 9.3 0.6 to 6.3 1.8 days (P = 0.06) with the low dose and to 4.5 0.7 average days with the high dose (P < 0.003). Subject 2, who only took the low dose, also experienced a marked reduction in number of days of menstruation, from 8.0 1.0 to 5.3 2.5 days (P = 0.06). Subject 3 exhibited a decrease in total menstruating days averaging from 6.3 1.5 to 5.8 0.4 days (P = 0.65) with the low dose, and to 3.5 0.7 days (P = 0.10) with the 1.4 g/d dose. Subjects 1 and 3, who both suffered from endometriosis, reported substantial alleviation from pain during menstruation and throughout the menstrual cycle following bladderwrack treatment. Figure 2 Average number of days of menstruation per cycle for Subjects 13 at baseline (black bars) and following bladderwrack administration of 700 mg/d (diagonal striped bars) and 1.4 g/d (white bars). Each bar indicates averages from two menstrual cycles; (more ...) Subject 1 also reported an ovulatory cycle following 2 months on the 700 mg/d kelp intervention, and continued to have ovulatory cycles while on the 1.4 g/d dose. Effects of treatment on serum estradiol and progesterone levels

A significant anti-estrogenic and progestagenic dose response was observed in plasma estradiol and progesterone levels in Subject 1 (Table (Table3).3). Specifically, the mean baseline 17-estradiol levels were reduced from 626 91 to 164 30 pg/ml (P = 0.04) with the low dose (700 mg/d), which decreased further to 92.5 3.5 pg/ml (P = 0.03) with the higher dose (1.4 g/d). Furthermore, mean baseline progesterone level rose from 0.58 0.14 to 8.4 2.6 ng/ml with the lower 700 mg/d dose (P = 0.1), which increased further to 16.8 0.7 ng/ml with the 1.4 g/d dose (P = 0.002). Table 3 Average circulating plasma 17-estradiol and progesterone levels prior to and during kelp intervention for Subject 1 Discussion of clinical findings The results of this preliminary pilot study suggest that bladderwrack consumption can effectively increase the length of the menstrual cycle and reduce the total number of days of menstruation in pre-menopausal women. These effects were most marked in the two women that had shorter than average cycles (16 and 23 days) versus the normal range of 26 to 32 days seen in women in Western populations. Menstrual cycles were further lengthened with increasing dose, which may suggest a linear dose-response effect. However, since there was not a sufficient washout period between the 700 and 1400 mg/d doses, an effect of length of time of dosing rather than a dose response effect cannot be ruled out. Nonetheless, these marked increases in menstrual cycle length may have beneficial health effects in lowering risk of estrogen-dependent diseases such as endometriosis and ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancers as reported in a number of studies [16,35-38]. Menstrual characteristics are surrogate markers that may reflect a woman's overall exposure to and production of endogenous hormones. Shorter menstrual cycle lengths and prolonged menstruation confer longer follicular and luteal phases where estrogen and progesterone levels and endometrial and breast cell proliferation rates are at their highest. A nearly fourfold increase in mitotic activity in the breast lobules occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle [39], while the highest proliferation rates (nearly 100-fold) in the endometrium occur during the follicular

phase [40]. Therefore, fewer menstrual cycles over a woman's lifetime would decrease the amount of time during which the breast and endometrial epithelia would be exposed to high levels of proliferation, which may decrease overall disease risk. Bladderwrack consumption also led to a marked reduction in circulating 17estradiol levels and an increase in progesterone levels in a subject who exhibited high serum estrogen levels and progesterone deficiency prior to the intervention. While estrogen's proliferative effects on mammary gland development and endometrial and breast tumorigenesis are well documented, progesterone's role in these processes is not as well defined. Studies show that progesterone deficiency is associated with increased endometrial cancer incidence [41], and that progesterone inhibits estrogen-induced luminal epithelial proliferation in the uterus [42]. However, progesterone has been shown to both stimulate and inhibit the growth of experimental mammary tumors [43], and the use of synthetic progestins in hormone replacement therapy has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer [43]. Experimental rat models have elucidated progesterone's vital role in pregnancyinduced morphological changes in the breast, which confer protection against breast cancer [44]. Further, epidemiological studies suggest that it is not pregnancy alone but early first parity and increasing number of pregnancies that are associated with reduced breast cancer risk [45,46]. These studies suggest that the effects of progesterone in breast cancer risk may be dependent on timing and the type and level of progesterone/progestin exposure. Thus, the anti-estrogenic/progestagenic activity of kelp observed in this study warrants further investigation in its role in breast cancer and other hormone-dependent diseases. Study limitations Due to the small number of subjects and the lack of a control group, this study will need to be repeated in a larger, randomized population of women with placebo controls. Other weaknesses of the present study are the lack of data on luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone levels which would provide pertinent information regarding the effects of dietary bladderwrack on ovulation and the luteal and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle. The potential beneficial impact that dietary bladderwrack may have on abrogating symptoms of endometriosis warrants a closer look at a larger population of women suffering from this disease. However,

studies should also be performed in women with normal menstrual cycles who have sex hormone levels within clinically normal ranges to determine the impact of dietary kelp on menstrual cycling patterns and hormone levels in the general population. Conclusions The observed responses to bladderwrack consumption in this study suggest that dietary modification may lead to significant changes in the regulation of the menstrual cycle by increasing the length of the cycle, stimulating ovulation, and lowering the estrogen/progesterone ratio in pre-menopausal women. Such changes may be beneficial particularly with regard to women at high risk of estrogendependent diseases or who are experiencing fertility problems. Results from these preliminary experiments also suggest that bladderwrack administration may alleviate hypermenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, which may provide some relief in the treatment of endometriosis. Although these reported effects are generally in a beneficial direction, their clinical significance is yet to be determined in a well-controlled study. Future Directions The critical role of hormones in breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers in women and prostate cancer in men has long been recognized. Given the vast rise of these cancers in the U.S. and our limited success with prevention and treatment, there is clearly a need for the identification of novel, non-cytotoxic chemopreventive agents. Future investigations should clarify the role of bladderwrack and other seaweed species on estrogen and progesterone metabolism, to evaluate its potential binding affinity to estrogen and progesterone receptors, and to determine its effects on proliferation in hormone-sensitive tissues. These investigations should also be expanded to include effects of bladderwrack on other sex hormones including the androgens and gonadotropins. In this regard, animal and in vitro studies are currently underway in our laboratory to elucidate the potential mechanisms and clinical relevance of bladderwrack bioactivity, and to identify and isolate the active components involved. Competing Interests

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Incorporation of seaweed in daily diet

Since Indian diet is high on flavors it makes it easy to use seaweed in various recipes. Tips for Preparing Sea Vegetables Many types of sea vegetables require soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding to your dish. The soaking water can be used for soups or to Healthy Sauteing vegetables. Healthiest Way of Cooking Sea Vegetables Sea vegetables require no cooking. A Few Quick Serving Ideas Make homemade vegetable rolls by wrapping your favorite vegetables in sheets of nori. Slice nori into small strips and sprinkle on top of salads. Combine soaked hijiki with shredded carrots and ginger. Mix with a little olive oil and herbs.

When cooking beans, put kombu in the cooking water. It will not only expedite the cooking process, but will improve beans' digestibility by reducing the chemicals that can cause flatulence. Add sea vegetables to your bowl of soup. Adding seaweed in rice recipe to enhance flavour.

Mochiko chicken Mochiko chicken is another delicious Hawaiian dish. I've never been to Hawaii but after trying out some Hawaiian recipes prepared by Pat, it comes to a surprise that Hawaiians sure know how to mix in their flavors! If you want to try out a new chicken recipe, try out something different - fried chicken with a twist! The plates will be empty in two hula shakes! Aloha! By the way, the secret to its wonderful flavor is the Mochiko flour. If you do not have it, I suggest you not substitute with some other flour. It just won't taste the same. What you need 2 lb Chicken thighs (or your favorite part) 4T Cornstarch 4T Mochiko flour (sweet rice flour) 4T Sugar 5T Shoyu (soy sauce) 2 Eggs 1/2t Salt 1c water 2 Cloves garlic 1/4c Green onion Nori Sheets (seaweed) 1 tsp Ginger (optional) What to do Cut chicken into pieces. Mix all ingredients together (not the chicken!) into bowl and marinate at least 4 hrs (overnight better). Cut nori into strips and wrap the nori around the marinaded chicken parts. Fry these in a skillet until golden

brown. It is best to place the chicken on paper towels so that the excess oil will be removed. One thing good about this recipe is the chicken can be served hot or cold! It makes a great picnic snack. Do not reuse the marinade. Discard immediately. Musubi is a very popular snack in Hawaii, made in the tradition of Japanese onigiri. Traditionally, this eye-appealing morsel is made with spam, which is pretty gross. Here, weve replaced the spam with marinated squash and tofu. What Youll Need: Musubi Press (get it at any kitchen supply store or HERE on amazon) 1 package firm tofu (cut into 1 x 1/4 strips) 1 butternut squash (skinned and cut into 1 x1/4 strips) 2 cups of sushi rice 3 tbsp Maple Syrup 3 tbsp Shoyu 3 tbsp Rice Vinegar 1 tbsp Sesame Oil 1/4 cup Orange Juice Directions: 1. Prepare sushi rice according to directions on bag. 2. Combine shoyu, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and orange juice into a marinade. 3. Lightly oil a casserole dish, put in squash and tofu, pour on marinade and bake at 350 for about 30 min until tender (but not mushy). 4. Cut Nori sheets into 1 inch strips. Each piece of Musubi will be wrapped by 1 strip. 5. Press rice in the Musubi Press, cut in half, add toppings, wrap with a nori strip, and seal the strip seam at the bottom with a drop of water. For variations, try avocado, pickled radish, mushrooms, or other marinated veggies. Thanks to Aylssa and Jodi for this yummy treat!

Tasty cream cheese and smoked salmon nori.

Preparation Time 30 minutes Makes 24 rolls Ingredients

300g sliced smoked salmon 100g cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup pure cream 1 tablespoon chopped pickled ginger (see note) 3 nori sheets (see note) 1 small avocado, peeled, stone removed, thinly sliced

Method 1. Place one-third of the salmon, all the cream cheese, cream and ginger in a food processor. Process until smooth. 2. Cut nori sheets in half. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny side down, on sushi mat. Arrange one-sixth of the remaining salmon slices in a single layer on 1 nori sheet, leaving a 1cm border along the long edge opposite you. Thinly spread one-sixth of the salmon mixture over salmon slices to cover. Arrange avocado in a row along side of nori sheet closest to you. 3. Using your thumbs and index fingers, pick up edge of mat closest to you. Use other fingers to hold filling in place. Roll mat forward tightly to roll up nori. Repeat with remaining salmon slices, nori sheets and salmon mixture. Cut each nori roll into 4 pieces. Serve.

Green and Purple Salad 4 cups of watercress 1 cup dulse pieces 1 cup goat cheese Olive oil and lemon at table for dressing

Tear watercress and dulse into pieces. Arrange on 4 plates of brilliant hue. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Dress with oil and lemon. Voila! It's ready to eat!

Purple Potato Salad with Arame 1 1/2 lbs small purple potatoes 3/4 cup sour cream (tofu sour cream is best) 1 T apple cider vinegar 1 T Dijon mustard 2 T pickled ginger, minced Some chopped cilantro 1 cup dried arame Salt to taste Place the arame in a bowl of water and soak while you prepare the salad. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook until a knife receives no resistance when poked through the potato. Drain the potatoes and cool them to room temperature. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the arame for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain in a fine mesh sieve. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. If you are making this for a more informal setting, you can leave the nutrient rich skins on, but they will eventually get lost in the salad. Mix together the cream, vinegar, mustard, and ginger.

Toss the potatoes, arame, and cream together, making sure to coat the potatoes nicely with the mixture. Lastly, mix in the chopped cilantro. I like to leave some small pieces of pickled ginger whole in the salad along with the cilantro in order to bring soft pink and green colors to the mix. If you let this dish sit for a few hours in the fridge, the purple color of the potatoes becomes incredibly vibrant. Serves four as a side dish. Wakame Seaweed and Cucumber Salad Ingredients: 3 ounces/ 90 g fresh wakame, sliced into 2-inch lengths 5 plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1/3 teaspoon salt 2 small cucumbers, sliced thin 2 ounces/ 55 g shirasuboshi (dried tiny sardines), or canned salmon or tuna flakes, shreds of crab meat, or boiled chicken 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and shredded for garnish Pour boiling water over the wakame, then immerse immediately in cold water to retain color. Drain and sprinkle 1 tablespoon vinegar over the seaweed. Sprinkle salt over the cucumber slices, let stand for 5 minutes until soft and watery, then squeeze out excess water. Blanch shirasuboshi in boiling water, drain, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce and stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the cucumber, shirasuboshi, and wakame seaweed. Garnish with shredded ginger and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a salad course. Crispy seaweed - a healthy snack choice

Prepare your own healthy snack. All you need are: Nori sheets Salt, preferably sea salt Sesame oil Simple instructions: Heat your non-stick skillet over medium heat. For easy application, brush the sesame oil on both sides of the nori sheet then sprinkle lightly with salt. All it takes is about 15 to 20 seconds each side. Cut to bite-size pieces. And it's ready! Seaweed Pizza Seaweed pizza is something you might want to try at home. Sometimes I run out of ideas for an afternoon snack or early dinner on a Saturday night when I am just too lazy to cook. Here's an idea for pizza: 1 pizza crust (I did mention this is for when you're too busy or lazy) olive oil garlic onions your favorite cheese :-) your favorite seafood Take a pizza crust and sprinkle olive oil on top. Then add the chopped garlic and onions (if desired). Grate your favorite cheese (mozzarella, perhaps?) and sprinkle on top of the crust. Next comes the seafood. Here are a few ideas: shrimp, tuna, salmon, anchovies... Add the seaweed on top of all the ingredients. I love the taste of nori, but you can experiment with other types of seaweed. Pop into your pre-heated oven at 220 for 15 minutes. This depends on the kind of crust you've picked.

Clear Soup with Wakame Ingredients: 1x20 cm 8-inch piece of Wakame seaweed 960 ml/ 32 fl. oz. Dashi stock 1 tbs sake 1 teaspoon light soy sauce Directions: 1. Soak the wakame in cold water for 10 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, place the dashi in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. 3. Add the sake and soy sauce to the dashi and mix well. 4. Rinse the soaked wakame, drain well and cut into 2.5 cm to 1-inch pieces. 5. Add the wakame to the saucepan and simmer for 1 minute only. 6. Serve immediately. Cubes of soft tofu can also be added to the soup. Carrot, Onion & Hijiki This hijiki recipe is from the culinary delights of Susun Weed. What you need 1 cup dried hijiki 1 cup warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 onions crescent cut 2 carrots diagonal cut 1 tablespoon tamari What to do Soak hijiki in water about 20-30 minutes. Cut onions in half from top to bottom, then cut into slices. Cook onions in oil until very brown.

Put the carrots in an even layer over the onions. Top with a layer of hijiki. Add tamari and about half of the soaking water and cover pan tightly. Cook until the carrots are tender.

Dietary Seaweed Modifies Estrogen and Phytoestrogen Metabolism in Healthy Postmenopausal Women the american institute 2009 Cancer Causes and Control Volume 23, Number 2, 239-244, DOI: 10.1007/s10552-011-9871-z Seaweed intake and urinary sex hormone levels in preschool Japanese children Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(5):743-8. Epub 2011 Jun 28. Serum IGF-1 concentrations change with soy and seaweed supplements in healthy postmenopausal American women. The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breastcancer Jane Teas Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of extracts from a variety of edible seaweeds Yvonne V. Yuan , , Natalie A. Walsh Epidemiology/Lifestyle Factors: Diet and Cancer 2 Seaweed as chemoprevention: From breast cancer epidemiology to breast cancer cell culture. Jane Teas, Qixia Zhang and Stephanie Muga University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre-menopausal women: a case report Christine F Skibola 1 Accepted August 4, 2004. Clinical effects of brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida (wakame), on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition 2001, vol. 30, pp. 43-53 [11 page(s) (article)] (38 ref.) Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2009;18 (2): 145-157 145 Could dietary seaweed reverse the metabolic syndrome? Effects of 12-week Oral Supplementation of Ecklonia cava Polyphenols on Anthropometric and Blood Lipid Parameters in Overweight Korean Individuals: A Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial Article first published online: 30 JUN 2011 Am J Hypertens. 1991 Jun;4(6):483-8. Effects of a sodium-potassium ionexchanging seaweed preparation in mild hypertension.

Seaweed intake and blood pressure levels in healthy pre-school Japanese children Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:83 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-83 A randomised crossover placebo-controlled trial investigating the effect of brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus) on postchallenge plasma glucose and insulin levels in men and women Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2011, 36:(6) 913-919, 10.1139/h11-115 Effects of seaweed supplementation on blood glucose concentration, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus Accepted May 23, 2008 nutrition reviews MEDICC Review, Fall 2009, Vol 11, No 4 Ma-Pi 2 Macrobiotic Diet Intervention in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Carmen Porrata. Nutrition Research Volume 20, Issue 10, October 2000, Pages 13671375 Nori seaweed consumption modifies glycemic response in healthy volunteers Evaluation of 8-week body weight control program including sea tangle (Laminaria japonica) supplementation in Korean female college students Nutr Res Pract. 3(4): 307314. Jeong Soon You, Min Jung Sung,et al2009 Winter; Seaweed

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