Marine algae have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and anti-cancer potential. Sargassum sp. is a type of brown algae that possess pharmacological properties, such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral activities. These pharmacological properties are a result of the biological activity of metabolites such as alkaloids, steroids, terpenoids, saponins, polyphenols, phlorotannin, and fucoidan.
In a recent study, researchers used a rat model to assess treating in vivo stress (swimming model) with Sargassum by measuring levels of glucose, triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, and cortisol, and liver histopathology.
The results were very promising. Rats fed Sargassum (450 mg/kg) has similar results as when treated with diazepam (0.18 mg/kg). The Sargassum treatment improved blood glucose, triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, and cortisol levels and liver histology by decreasing the severity of inflammation.
This news couldn’t come at a better time. Sargassum is currently overrunning beaches due to ocean warming and eutrophication. Even better, this study simply used dry powdered Sargassum. There were no costly extraction methods, meaning anyone simply eating Sargassum could potentially benefit.
This work was published in the journal of Preventive Nutrition and Food Science.