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23.04.2020


Fucoidan intensifies the attack of the immune system on cancer cells

Fucoidan intensifies the attack of the immune system on cancer cells
Fucoidan, a polysaccharide found in the edible algae wakame with immunomodulatory properties, may also have an anti-cancer effect. According to a Japanese animal study published in Planta Medica in 2006, fucoidan intensifies Natural Killer Cells' attack on cancer cells.

Study
The researchers gave mice feed containing a small amount of fucoidan. If the mice had been adults, they would have received about 6-8 grams of fucoidan daily. Mice in a control group were fed standard feed with no additives.

After the mice had been given enriched food or standard food for some time, the researchers injected them with leukemia cells.

Results
The tumors grew significantly less rapidly in the mice receiving fucoidan. You can see that at the bottom left.


Fucoidan intensifies the attack of the immune system on cancer cells


Fucoidan inhibited tumor growth when administration started before the mice were injected with cancer cells. In another experiment, fucoidan supplementation had no statistically significant effect if supplementation started after the injection with cancer cells. You can see this at the top right.

In T cells taken from the mice's spleen, the researchers found significantly more interferon gamma if the animals had received fucoidan. Interferon gamma is a cytokine that activates both the innate and the acquired part of the immune system to attack germs and derailed cells.


Fucoidan intensifies the attack of the immune system on cancer cells


When the researchers measured the activity of the mice's Natural Killer Cells in test tubes, it was found to be a factor of one and a half greater in the fucoidan group than in the control group.

Conclusion
"Our observations indicate that fucoidan, a polysaccharide derived from Undaria pinnatifida, is a potent antitumor agent and that its mode of action is associated with the immune response", write the researchers.

"We postulate that Undaria pinnatifida extracts can activate Natural Killer cells during the post-initiation phase of cancer. Further study should elucidate the relationship between Natural Killer cells in the antitumor activities of fucoidan."

Source:
Planta Med. 2006;72(15):1415-7.

More:
Supplementation with fucoidan increases flu shot effectivity 10.03.2020

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Cancer Prevention & Survival
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