Antiviral Biosea Health Health Benefits Reviews

Fight Viruses Naturally with Seaweed

Fight viruses naturally with seaweed, as the latest pandemic spread across the entire world. There has never been a better time to boost your immune system. You can fight viruses with seaweed because seaweed is packed with phytonutrients and prebiotics that boost your immunity quickly. But Seaweed is also a powerful tool against the big guns of the virus world such as SARS and HIV/AIDS.

Not convinced?

Here are some of the reasons why seaweed should be your first choice in building your immune health before a virus hits your neighbourhood!

Fight Viruses Naturally

Back in 2004, it was noticed there were higher rates of HIV/AIDS infection in Africa than in South East Asia. Rates in Asia were one-tenth of those in Africa so there must have been something other than sexual contact that was causing the difference. When scientists noticed lower HIV/AIDS rates in pockets of Africa where spirulina was eaten, they decided it was marine algae or seaweed that made the difference. [1]

In 2006, New Scientist[8] reported that a seaweed compound blocks cervical cancer known to be caused by the human papillomavirus [9].  Lead researcher Schiller (USA Bethesda Cancer Institute) said “we were floored by how much better it worked than anything else we tested”. Same mode of action – stopped the virus getting into the cells. But someone needed to take the product through the approval process.  And no one did. A popular vaccine came out at the same time, so further research was shelved.

Research in 2008 [6] showed human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are a predominant cause of common cold and implicated in the worsening of COPD and asthma, as well as the loss of lung transplants. Despite significant efforts, no anti-viral agent is approved for the prevention or treatment of HRV-infection. They suggested spraying the nasal passages with carregeenan. But no one has developed such a product.

We now know it is the sulfated polysaccharides in the cell walls of the seaweed that stop the viruses in their tracks. The seaweed stops the virus from entering cells, so it cant hijack our immune system and make us ill. [2]


Fight viruses with seaweed
Carrageenan inhibited cold viruses in cell culture. (See reference [6])


Fight viruses with seaweed
Red seaweed carrageenan reduces cold virus [6]

Fight Viruses Naturally with Seaweed and High Zinc Levels

Seaweed has 7 times more zinc than oranges. Zinc is involved in all cellular processes, but it is especially important to immunity.

Increased zinc prevents viruses from binding to RNA in cells, so the virus cannot multiply and increase infection in its host. Studies in SARS virus have shown that zinc causes a 3-4 fold reduction in the percentage of the virus binding to RNA. [3]. It is entirely probable that the same mechanism holds for the most recent virus.

Check out our label for the minerals and vitamins in Pacific Seamoss or Kappaphycus alvarezii.  This demonstrates that you can fight viruses with seaweed

Seaweed is high in antioxidants

  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are broken molecules also called free radicals. They appear in cells during infections to kill the invaders but also do damage to the host cell.
  • Antioxidants in seaweed show excellent scavenging ability. [4]
  • Antioxidants roam the cells scavenging excess ROS and prevent damage to the underlying cells and tissues.

This is especially important when the infection is in the lungs as is the case with the latest virus. [5] This shows you can fight viruses with seaweed.


Fight viruses with seaweed. Effect on lung capacity
Look in graph B to a 25% reduction. Reference Snelgrove 2006 [5]


fight viruses with seaweed
Increasing Zinc reduced SARS virus load. Reference [6]


For more than 16 years, science has shown you can fight viruses with seaweed. The current SARs like virus is almost at the pandemic stage globally.

What do you have to lose?


[1] J. Teas, J. R. Hebert, J. H. Fitton, and P. V. Zimba, “Algae–a poor man’s HAART?,” Medical Hypotheses, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 507-510, 2004. (Science Direct)

[2] E. M. Brown et al., “Seaweed and human health,” Nutrition reviews, vol. 72, no. 3, pp. 205-216, 2014.

[3] A. J. Te Velthuis, S. H. van den Worm, A. C. Sims, R. S. Baric, E. J. Snijder, and M. J. van Hemert, “Zn2+ inhibits virus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture,” PLoS pathogens, vol. 6, no. 11, 2010. (PLOS)

[4] K. S. Kumar, K. Ganesan, and P. S. Rao, “Antioxidant potential of solvent extracts of Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty–An edible seaweed,” Food chemistry, vol. 107, no. 1, pp. 289-295, 2008.(Link Here)

[5] R. J. Snelgrove, L. Edwards, A. J. Rae, and T. Hussell, “An absence of reactive oxygen species improves the resolution of lung influenza infection,” European journal of immunology, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1364-1373, 2006.  (PLOS)

[6] Grassauer A, Weinmuellner R, Meier C, Pretsch A, Prieschl-Grassauer E, Unger H. Iota-Carrageenan is a potent inhibitor of rhinovirus infection. Virol J. 2008;5:107. Published 2008 Sep 26. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-107 (PubMed)

[7] Koenighofer, M., Lion, T., Bodenteich, A. et al. Carrageenan nasal spray in virus confirmed common cold: individual patient data analysis of two randomized controlled trials. Multidiscip Respir Med 9, 57 (2014). (SpringerLink)

[8] Khamsi, R 2006 Seaweed compound blocks cervical cancer virus New Scientist

[9] Buck CB, Thompson CD, Roberts JN, Müller M, Lowy DR, et al. (2006) Carrageenan Is a Potent Inhibitor of Papillomavirus Infection. PLOS Pathogens 2(7): e69.

Biosea Health Heart Health Reviews

Blood Pressure Control with Seaweed

Blood Pressure Control with Seaweed Dietary Supplement

Hi, I’m Dr Hugh Butler Co-founder.  Over the past 8 years my blood pressure had slowly risen by 15 mmHg  from 120 to 135. I had not realised this until I dug out the data. Was it just that I had aged 8 years? It was not a lifestyle disease as I have been doing upper body exercises and trying to do the moving more. I started eating Pacific Seamoss seaweed in October. The research for blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement was in the science literature when we started down this road. To my surprise, my blood pressure fell 15mm over 3 weeks. While 15mm may not seem much, it moves me from a Hazard Ratio from 1 down to 0.8. That’s a risk reduction of a heart event by 30%. (The hazard ratio is logarithmic).[1]

Blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement shows rapid decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
Blood pressure for Hugh Butler from 2013 to 2020, showing slight rise over 7 years due to aging. Seaweed introduced in late October 2019 and rapid decrease in systolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure control is very important for reduction of risks
Hazard ratio of cardiac event. Note the increase from 120 to 140mmHg increases the Hazard ratio by nearly 15%

Blood Pressure Control with Seaweed 2007

Associate Professor Jane Teas [2] published 13 years ago blood pressure could be reduced if people took a seaweed dietary supplement. She published this information in a number of journals and articles but to our surprise, no one seemed to take any notice.


  • She used a good trial design of a double blind crossover clinical trial using 2 groups. One had lower levels of seaweed, with a placebo group and 4g, and another group ate medium (4g) or higher rate of seaweed (6g).
  • The brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (Japanese wakame) was the seaweed supplement given.
  • Only the sporophylls of the seaweed were used. This area of seaweed is used for smoothies.
  • The blades and leaves were not used to avoid giving the patients high levels of iodine at the rates used..
  • The seaweed was provided in capsules and treatments were placebo, none, 4g or 6g per day. On the high rate patients needed 12 capsules!

The patients, all volunteers had at least one of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The criteria for metabolic syndrome includes at least three of the following four conditions

  • Waist circumference greater than 102 cm for men or greater than 88 cm for women;
  • Fasting triglycerides greater than ≥ 150 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol < 40 mg/dL (male), < 50 mg/dL (female);
  • Blood pressure greater than 130/85 mm Hg;
  • Fasting glucose greater than 110 mg/dL.
wakame parts
The brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (Japanese wakame) was harvested, and only the sporophyll part used as the leaf has too much iodine

All the participants had a large waist and 2 of the other symptoms. None of the participants were taking medication.


blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplements after 8 weeks of eating seaweed
From Jane Teas 2007. After 8 weeks of consuming seaweed, blood pressure was reduced 14 mmHg, and waist was reduced 6 cm for females in the study.


The results are really clear and blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement is unequivocal. Seaweed reduced both blood pressure and weight:

  • Seaweed reduced blood pressure by a about 12 to 16mmHg.
  • There was a dose response. More seaweed reduced blood pressure more.
  • There was no effect when the blood pressure was normal.
  • Some participants (females only) lost over 6 cm of waist and lost weight as well(statistical)

As the trial was restricted to just 8 weeks then some changes may require longer consumption of the seaweed. Pressure Control with Seaweed

Prof Lindsay Brown (Wanyonyi et al 2017 [3]) from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has been studying functional foods for over 15 years.  Functional foods are foods that are eaten in normal daily quantity that are just food, but they have a drug like additional effect.  The experiment on blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement with Kappaphycus alvarezii was done as a prevention trial.


Prof Lindsay Brown (Wanyonyi et al 2017 [3]) from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has been studying functional foods for over 15 years.  Functional foods are foods that are eaten in normal daily quantity that are just food, but they have a drug like additional effect.  The experiment on blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement with Kappaphycus alvarezii was done as a prevention trial.

blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement also stopped weight gain
From Wanyonyi 2017. Addition of seaweed prevented weight gain in rats on a junk food diet.
blood pressure control with dietary seaweed supplement in 2017
From Wanyonyi 2017. Seaweed brought down the blood pressure to the same as the standard food diet. Junk food caused hypertension in the animals

Design of Experiment of Dietary Supplement

  • One group of rats were fed normal rat chow.
  • Second group were given a high fat, high sucrose diet (just like junk food)
  • A third group had the junk food along with the seaweed at 5% w/w added to the seaweed.  This amount of seaweed was designed to equate to the amount of seaweed humans are thought to consume daily.

Human: Queen Garnet Plum Trials

Prof Lindsay Brown has published over 174 articles over the past 15 years on “functional foods” and used rat obesity models. For most of these studies, blood pressure was reduced. In work with Queen Garnet Plums, rats showed a remarkable reduction in blood pressure. The animal study was followed by a human study in 2016 with 24 participants showed reduction in blood pressure but no cognitive improvement. [5]. It would not be unreasonable to assume other functional foods all provide reduction in hypertension in humans.

Conclusion: Results Are Hard to Believe!

The logical conclusion is actually very hard to accept.  One can eat junk food with impunity!  Remember, this study is with rats not humans. But the thought that one can eat junk food and instead of becoming obese, its as though you ate a standard diet.

In this animal trial, seaweed protected against

  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Reduced fatty liver
  • Decreased glucose response
  • Improved inflammatory diseases.
  • Changes in microbiome.

Check out the publication for some of the big changes in inflammation in the heart and stomach.


The gut microbiome changed markedly. The figure below shows the very large effects on just 4 genera of bacteria. With Bacteriodes, you can see that the junk food diet reduced numbers. Seaweed reversed that and numbers are even higher than the standard diet. With a negative genera such as Clostridiacea bacteria, the levels with the junk food were 3 times higher, and the seaweed reduced the levels right back down to the standard diet.

blood glucose control with seaweed dietary supplement
From Wanyonyi 2017. Blood glucose controlled with seaweed provided as a dietary supplement.
gut microbiome changes are the likely reason that blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplments worked.
Figure from Waynonyi 2017. The microbiome was radically changed with the introduction of Kappaphycus alvarezii to the diets of the junk food animals.

Animal Studies 2020 – Seaweed

Professor Lindsay Brown and his team from USQ (du Preez et al 2020 [4]) repeated this experiment in 2019.  Professor Nicholas Paul from University of the Sunshine Coast grew the seaweed in tanks at Bribie Island.  The experiment is a repeat of many of Professor Brown’s trials with functional food, in that this trial design is an intervention trial.  An intervention trial feeds rats over 6 to 8 weeks with a junk food diet.  At this stage the rats are obese and have symptoms just like 65% of Australians or 80% of Americans have.  (Like the human patients in Professor Teas trial as above. I.e. hypertension, visceral fat, glucose intolerance etc)

  • They used a Southern Queensland red seaweed called Sarconema filiforme.
  • Trial design was an intervention trial.
  • Rats are fed either a standard or a high fat/sugar diet for 8 weeks. The junk diet has induced obesity in the rats.
  • Treatment was then the introduction of red seaweed at 5% w/w for both standard and junk diets
  • Animals were then measured over the next 8 weeks.
Blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement also stopped weight gain
From du Preez 2020 Seaweed reduces weight gain from rats on a junk food diet and makes no different to rats on a standard diet.
Blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement reduces liver inflammatory cells
From du Preez 2020. Seaweed markedly reduces liver inflammatory cells in less than 8 weeks. The damage is completely mitigated by the seaweed.

Conclusive Results: Blood Pressure Control with Seaweed

Key findings are much the same as in their previous seaweed prevention trial, the multiple trials with other functional food or even Professor Teas trials from 15 years previously.

  • Seaweed started to reverse the weight gain from junk food.
  • Seaweed decreased abdominal and liver fat.
  • Junk food massively increased inflamed fatty liver cells
  • Seaweed completely reversed the number of fatty liver cells by 100%. So while weight may not have returned to normal, inflammation from the junk diet disappeared.
  • Total plasma cholesterol concentrations fell.
  • Blood pressure increase by junk food was completely reversed by eating seaweed.
Blood pressure control with dietary seaweed supplement mmHg
Figure from du Preez et al 2020. Data shows significant reduction. Seaweed reduced blood pressure back to normal
From du Preez 2020. Sarconema seaweed reduced plasma total cholesterol significantly. See publication for other metabolic variables

Microbiome are Key to Understanding

Like the previous 2017 paper gut microbiome changed. The correlation (Figure 12 of du Preez) is shown below.

Furthermore the authors were able to correlate between the bacterial community structure and the physiological parameters.

gut microbiome correlelates with blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplements
Figure du Preez et al 2020. The correlation between gut microbiome genera and physiological outcomes.

Conclusions – Unbelievable!

If you must eat eat junk food, eat seaweed. Seaweed reduces blood pressure ( hypertension); seaweed eliminates fatty liver; reduces inflammation; eliminates glucose intolerant; reduces high cholesterol, and reduces weight.


[1] Wu, C.-Y. et al. High Blood Pressure and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortalities in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Medicine (Baltimore) 94, (2015).

[2] Teas, J. et al. Could dietary seaweed reverse the metabolic syndrome? 145–157 (2009).

[3] Wanyonyi, S., du Preez, R., Brown, L., Paul, N. A. & Panchal, S. K. Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Nutrients 9, 2 (2017).

[4] du Preez, R. et al. Carrageenans from the Red Seaweed Sarconema filiforme Attenuate Symptoms of Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Mar. Drugs 18, 97 (2020).

[5] E.O. Igwe, K.E. Charlton, S. Roodenrys, K. Kent, K. Fanning, M.E. Netzel 2017. Anthocyanin-rich plum juice reduces ambulatory blood pressure but not acute cognitive function in younger and older adults: a pilot crossover dose-timing study. Nutrition Research 47 28-43

Biosea Health Cancer Reviews

Seaweed Protects Against Lung Cancer

Prebiotics, including seaweed, and probiotics (yoghurt) prevent lung cancer. How can this be true? Not convinced that seaweed protects against lung cancer. A 2019 study in the Journal of American Medical Association showed prebiotics, including seaweed, and probiotics (yoghurt) have a role in the prevention of lung cancer[1].

How can the gut and the lungs be linked?

The relationship between the gut microbiota and overall health and wellbeing is now well established. Metabolites from the microorganisms, including short chain fatty acids, trigger changes in metabolic pathways throughout the body. It has previously been shown that gut microbiota can influence inflammation in the lungs [2] and also improved lung function in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) [3]

Prebiotics and Probiotics – the difference.

Prebiotics are also known as soluble fibre. They are foods that dissolve when eaten to create a viscous gel that is readily digested by the good bacteria in the colon. This type of fibre is found in legumes and fruit. Prebiotics are different to cellulose rich insoluble fibre which is found in grains and vegetables. These are not digested, but act as bulk to enable bowel movements and prevent constipation.

Probiotics are foods or supplements that already contain a component of bacteria or other micro-organisms. Probiotics deliver bacteria to the lower intestines to improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria. Yoghurt is the most common example of this, but other probiotic foods include kombucha, kefir, miso and sauerkraut.

Peer-reviewed Studies Showing Seaweed protects against Lung Cancer

Scientists from around the world published the study in the Oncology Section of the Journal of the American Medical Association in October 2019.

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of individual or combined prebiotic and yoghurt intake on lung cancer risk. The positive effects from prebiotics and probiotics, specifically yoghurt, have been well documented in the past. Both create health benefits by modulation of gut microbiota and metabolic pathways. However, little research had been done to examine the effect of prebiotic and yoghurt intake on the development of lung cancer.

In this massive study data from 1.4 million participants from America Europe and Asia was collected over a period of 8 years. Scientists looked at fibre intake, yoghurt consumption and other known risks including age, smoking status, obesity and much more.

Results showed that both the prebiotic fibre and yoghurt decreased the risk of lung cancer by just under 20% each. But surprisingly, when prebiotic fibre and yoghurt were combined the risk reduction rose to 30%. This suggests a synergistic effect between prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotic Seaweed Protects Against Lung Cancer

Pacific Seamoss has a carbohydrate content of 38 percent, of which 34 percent is prebiotic soluble fibre. Pacific Seamoss, like other functional foods, has a wide variety of beneficial health effects because of its high prebiotic activity. It is the metabolites from the good bacteria which cross into the blood stream to create medicine-like effects throughout the body and improve overall health and resistance to disease.

This study suggests that Pacific Seamoss also confers a reduced risk of lung cancer, up to 30 percent if you are a regular yoghurt eater as well.

But I don’t smoke, so I don’t need to worry about lung cancer

“Unfortunately, this is a myth. 45% of females who get lung cancer don’t smoke”

Smoking is still the major cause of lung cancer accounting for about 90 percent of cancers in males but only 65 percent in females. Secondhand smoke is also a leading cause. But there is a high percentage of lung cancer cases that have no known origin and may be genetically linked or just related to getting older.

Lung Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths

Lung cancer is the 4th most common cancer but the most deadly. While more people are diagnosed with other cancers, including breast, colorectal, skin and prostate cancers, lung cancer is the deadliest with about 9,000 people dying each year in Australia and about 12,000 new diagnoses each year. [4]

The following figure shows that most people are not diagnosed until they are at stage IV, and the 5-year survival rates are terrifyingly close to zero at 3.2%. If diagnosed early as few are, then survival is about 65%.[4]

The 10 most common cancers are shown in the Table below.

From AIHW: Cancer in Australia 2019.

Seaweed Protects Against Lung Cancer – What We Recommend

The ratio of good to bad microorganisms in the colon changes when we change our diet. This study showed that daily consumption of prebiotic soluble fibre will reduce lung cancer risk, and this effect will be greater if a probiotic is also consumed.

We recommend a daily intake of the functional food capsules of Pacific Seamoss because seaweed protects against lung cancer and therefore while it has maximum prebiotic benefits, it also has high nutrient and nutraceutical content. Add your favourite low sugar yoghurt to your diet and not only are you enjoying your food, you are doing something positive for your long term health.

Both your gut and your family will love you for it.


[1] J. J. Yang et al., “Association of Dietary Fiber and Yogurt Consumption With Lung Cancer Risk: A Pooled Analysis,” JAMA oncology, 2019. (Abstract here)
[2] J. P. McAleer and J. K. Kolls, “Contributions of the intestinal microbiome in lung immunity,” European journal of immunology, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 39-49, 2018. (Publication here)
[3] H. Kan, J. Stevens, G. Heiss, K. M. Rose, and S. J. London, “Dietary fiber, lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the atherosclerosis risk in communities study,” American journal of epidemiology, vol. 167, no. 5, pp. 570-578, 2008. (Publication Here)
[4] A. I. o. Health and Welfare, “Cancer data in Australia,” AIHW, Canberra2019, Available:

Biosea Health Gut Microbiome Health Benefits Reviews

Seaweed Reverses Metabolic Syndrome

Rats fed seaweed reverses metabolic syndrome caused by a junk food diet. Sounds too good to be true?  Professor Brown was astonished. This animal study was published in 2017 but few seem to understand the ramifications.  You can negate a junk food diet with seaweed. Alternatively, you will be able to reverse the ill-health effects of a bad diet.

The Trial

Professor Lindsay Brown University of Southern Queensland supervised this PhD study along with Dr Sunil Pachal at the University of Southern Queensland.  The paper is listed below.

They took rats and fed some of them on an junk food (extra sugar + fat) diet.  Just like in the movie Super Size Me, a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock’s film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003, during which he ate only McDonald’s food. The film documents this lifestyle’s drastic effect on Spurlock’s physical and psychological well-being. If you want to see what a human on junk food diet looks like. Or not.

Professor Brown’s trial had 3 groups of 10 rats each.  Group 1 had normal rat diet. Group 2 had a Junk food diet. Group 3 had the junk food diet plus some seaweed (Kappaphycus sp) .  The trial went for 8 weeks.


This data is taken directly from the peer reviewed published paper, and highlights a few key metrics. There are other more complicated conclusions as well.

Seaweed Reverses Metabolic Syndrome:Weight 

Normal          Supersize Supersize+ Seaweed
Final Weight g




Energy Intake kJ/day




Feed conversion efficiency g/Kj   





Indicator     Normal       Supersize Supersize+ Seaweed
Circumference cm 




Abdominal Fat mg/mm     




Total Fat Mass Times 




Bone Density

Indicator  Normal      Supersize    Supersize+ Seaweed
Bone Mineral Density  g/cm2




Blood Measures

Indicator Normal         Supersize Supersize+ Seaweed
Basal Blood Glucose mmol/L




Total Glucose mmol/L.min




Triglycerides  mmol/L




Systolic Blood Pressure mm





blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement also stopped any weight gain from junk food
From Wanyonyi 2017. The rats on the junk food + seaweed were no different in weight than the standard diet, in contrast to rats on a junk food diet.


blood glucose control with seaweed dietary supplement
From Wanyonyi 2017. Blood glucose controlled with seaweed provided as a dietary supplement.

Additional Measures

  • Gut microbiota diversification profiling
  • Metal and metalloid liver analysis
  • Histology
  • Organ weights
  • Body composition
  • Fatty liver disease reversal
  • Gut microbiome reverts to normal
  • Gut inflammation eliminated.
  • Damage to the heart was reversed.


Blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplement reduces liver inflammatory cells
From du Preez 2020. Seaweed markedly reduces liver inflammatory cells in less than 8 weeks. The damage is completely mitigated by the seaweed.


gut microbiome changes are the likely reason that blood pressure control with seaweed dietary supplments worked.
Figure from Waynonyi 2017. The microbiome was radically changed with the introduction of Kappaphycus alvarezii to the diets of the junk food animals.


Professor Brown was astonished.  The introduction of seaweed did not reduce the symptoms a little. The seaweed had such a dramatic effect it was if these rats had not eaten the junk food diet. What was going on?


[1] Wanyonyi, S; du Preez, R; Brown, L; Paul, N; Panchal, S  2017 Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Nutrients (9) 11 DOI:10.3390/nu9111261 (Click for Abstract) (Click to download full paper)

Alzheimer's Disease Biosea Health Gut Microbiome Health Benefits Reviews

Seaweed Reduces Alzheimers?

Seaweed reduces Alzheimers in animal studies and work is underway with dietary Sargassum fusiforme as it has demonstrated improvement of memory and moreover reduces amyloid plaque load in an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model. The research was presented by Dr Monique Mulder at the Seagriculture 2019 Workshop in Ostende Belgium in September 2019. Dr Mulder is from Erasmus University Rotterdam and working with colleagues globally.

Seaweed Reduces Alzheimer’s Disease – Background

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.

Seaweed reduces alzheimers disease
Aging Memory Decline

An ever-increasing reduction in memory occurs in patients. Language proficiency, the ability to solve problems and other cognitive functions also decrease. The disease is not yet treatable. 44 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The costs involved are $ 1,000 billion. Due to the aging population, these numbers will increase drastically in the coming years. Over the past 20 years AD research has focused on either:

  • Early detection. Catch early and stop progression.
  • Drugs to stop the disease and the symptoms.

AD disease progression is complex.

  • Brain shrinkage. As neurons are injured and die throughout the brain, connections between networks of neurons may break down, and many brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stages of Alzheimer’s, this process—called brain atrophy—is widespread, causing significant loss of brain volume.
  • Beta amyloid.  There is an abnormal build up of a protein called beta amyloid, which forms “plaques” outside the brain cells.
  • Tangles. Inside the brain cells, another protein called tau builds up into “tangles”

Seaweed Reduces Alzheimers in Mouse Memory

Dr Mulder has been working for the past 15 years on dietary and genetic approaches to Alzheimer disease in animal models. Dr Mulder explains that “I ended up in the seaweed by accident. I have always been interested in the relationship between nutrition and health. We were looking for a certain substance (the plant sterol Saringosterol) and found in the scientific literature that this substance had been detected in seaweed. Then it appeared that mice that we had fed with seaweed performed better in the field of cognition (information processing in the brain). That was the trigger for further research.”.

Seaweed Reduced Brain Atrophy

The brain atrophy is due to lack of cholesterol.  The brain cannot get cholesterol from the body as cholesterol cannot move across the Blood Brain barrier.  Dr Mulder’s previous work showed that the memory of mice with Alzheimer’s disease improves if the transport of cholesterol in the brain is activated with synthetic substances that stimulate certain receptors (LXR α and β). Unfortunately, serious side effects occur, such as fatty liver and accumulation of fatty substances in the blood, so that ruled out the synthetics.

But with in Sargassum, a natural substance was (Saringosterol) did work. It activated fat transport in the brain via LXR β. In mice with Alzheimer’s disease, she saw an improvement in memory and fewer brain abnormalities when they let them eat seaweed. Moreover, no adverse side effects occurred.

Reduction of brain with Alzheimer diseaser

Dr Mulder presented that the key issue is that the brain has to synthesis its own cholesterol – there is no blood to brain transfer. Defective synthesis in the brain causes brain disease. The regulation is with compounds called LXR. Brain sterols also play a part.

Details of the Research

In previous published work, when they increased the cholesterol turnover by LXR activation with compounds at about 0.015% w/w then mice improved their object recognition and object location tasks. (Did not affect mice without AD).

It turns out that common plant sterols (such as those from Sargassum) can enter the brain, and they are very similar to cholesterol but the ones they have tried previously do not change the LXR levels.

It is not simple, as the compounds have to turn on / turn off genes.  These compounds have to “agonist”. An agonist is a chemical that binds to a receptor and activates the receptor to produce a biological response.

A few years the research discovered that a sterol from Sargassum fusiforme is a novel selective LXR. The work at Erasmuwas done in collaboration with Shulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Sargassum is very active anti oxidant

The researchers compared a range of plants and compounds including Azadirachta indica (neem oil) which has reputed health benefits.  You can see the much larger response from Sargassum

Sargassum fusiforme activates LXRb

This figure shows that the Sargassum stopped the folding of the brain which is associated with brain atrophy and tangles. There was no sign of fatty liver from the eating of the sterols, and that is consistent with research with research with the seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii where it was protective.

Sargassum activates LXR target genes in the brainThis figure shows that Sargassum actually affected 3 of the genes that regulate the LXR target genes.

The microbiome: A target for Alzheimer disease?

All the evidence from this work, and from others such as Lin 2019 shows that the getting the gut from a leaky gut to a healthy gut is subtle but very important. The Toll Like Receptors (TLRs) play a huge part in the regulation. The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is very important as well. Normally nothing gets into the brain except glucose.

Microbiota Gut Brain Axis

From Lin Fig. 1. Potential implications of TLRs and gut-brain-axis for AD. In healthy subjects, the gut epithelium is guaranteed by tight junctions between the cells. TLRs are expressed on macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), and intestinal epithelial cells, serving as sentinels to monitor the pathogens in gut. Vagus nerve appears to modulate communication between the gut and the brain. The whole microenvironment maintains in homeostasis. During aging, the tight junction of intestinal and BBB become permeable. In AD patients, the diversity of gut microbiota decreased, while the population of pro-inflammation bacteria increased. Bacteria and their excretions could cross the leaky gut and then activate the TLRs in epithelium, IECs and macrophages, leading to production of pro-inflammation cytokines. These cytokines make their way through circulation or vague nerves to the brain, enlarge the neuro-inflammatory responses, and promote neuro-degeneration in CNS.

Findings from the Current Research

Seaweed improved memory in mice.  There are multiple reasons.

  • Sargassum seaweed is much more effective than other compounds or “anti-oxidants”
  • Sargassum increased cholesterol levels and that shows promise that brains won’t shrink.
  • Sargassum activates LXR-targets genes in the brain and there is half as much brain folding (i.e. degradation) and there has been reduction in beta amyloid and less tangles.
  • There is no downside.  Sargassum did not induce fatty liver or other side effects.

Will this Work in Humans?

In over 400 animal studies since 2002, the failure of drug development has been over 99% when the drugs trials were transitioned from animal studies to human studies. These studies by Mulder and her teams are different in that the Sargassum appears to be affecting all 3 of the causes of dementia.

  1. Plant sterols cross the blood-brain barrier to give a supply of cholesterol like plant sterols that are used in brain regeneration.
  2. One of the compounds works on the LXRb gene expression process
  3. There is less amyloid plaque deposited

So this is very promising work.  Would you consume seaweed now to prevent AD?


Are some animal models more equal than others? A case study on the translational value of animal models of efficacy for Alzheimer’s disease. Veening-Griffioen et al Eur J Pharmacol. 2019 Sep 15;859:172524. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172524.

Lin C, Zhao, S et al 2019 Microbiota-gut-brain axis and toll-like receptors in Alzheimer’s disease 2019 Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal Volume 17, 2019, Pages 1309-1317

24(S)-Saringosterol from edible marine seaweed Sargassum fusiforme is a novel selective LXRβ agonist. Chen et al J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 2;62(26):6130-7. doi: 10.1021/jf500083r.

Good Catch!

Arthritis Biosea Health Reviews

Seaweed Stops Rheumatoid Arthritis in its Tracks

Seaweed stops rheumatoid arthritis in its tracks. Dr. Jan Villadsen had spondylarthritis / Psoriatic arthritis and it was gone in 17 days. For the first time in 5 years, his C-Reactive Protein levels went to zero. Symptoms went.


Arthritis is a complex set of over 100 different types – generally categorized as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. The main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis was thought to be caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints. (The cause of osteoarthritis has recently been challenged.) Arthritis affects more than 350 million adults globally.

When people get chronic inflammatory diseases such as spondylarthritis or Psoriatic arthritis, patients may be given disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). DMARDS are a category of otherwise unrelated drugs defined by their use in rheumatoid arthritis to slow down disease progression. The term is often used in contrast to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS, which refers to agents that treat the inflammation but not the underlying cause and steroids (which blunt the immune response but are insufficient to slow down the progression of the disease).

Dr. Jan Villadsen is a Consultant Specialist Immunology at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. Dr. Villadsen had suffered from spondylarthritis / Psoriatic arthritis for decades. Despite the treatment of conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) and combination therapy of sDMARD and bDMARD, there had been no significant improvement. Dr. Villadsen was provided with a synbiotic (seaweed/oilseed rape fiber fermented mix) from a commercial provider Fermbiotics (see

The outcome was astonishing. For the first time in 5 years, his C-Reactive Protein (CPR) went to zero. The seaweed mix was also provided to other hospital staff, and they wanted it for weight loss and general health.


seaweed stops rheumatoid arthritis for Dr Jan Villadsen

What Is this Research?

This research work comes out of the Macro Cascade project of the European Union Horizon 2020 program, where the primary aim is to get novel feed products for pigs to avoid using antibiotics. The product is made with brown seaweeds (Saccharina and Ascophyllum) and rapeseed waste and fermented with lactobacillus yeasts.

The current research between Fermbiotics and the Aarhaus Hospital is a clinical trial of 257 patients to look at this outcome more broadly with Dr. Villadsen and Dr. Henning Glerup.

 Seaweed stops Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gut health is now known to be very important in a whole range of autoimmune diseases including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Diabetes mellitus 2
  • Cancer
  • Autism
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Allergy and asthma among others.


[1] Review: Microbiome in Inflammatory Arthritis and Human Rheumatic Diseases. Jose U. Scher Dan R. Littman Steven B. Abramson 02 September 2015

[2] Combined Pre- and Pro-biotic Composition. Compositions comprising fermented seaweed and/or algae WO 2017/077139A1


Seaweed stops arthritis

Carrageenan Friend or Foe?

Two forms of carrageenan plus one that is entirely different. What are they and how are they unique?

Carrageenan is Safe and Healthy

Carrageenan is a polysaccharide that naturally occurs in edible red seaweed

Carrageenan extract is commonly used as a food additive or thickening agent in items such as ice-cream and cheese. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the additive for use.

Polysaccharides are naturally occurring carbohydrates or sugars that are cheap, non-toxic and readily available. Carrageenan is mostly used in the food industry as a gelling or thickening agent as well as in the field of pharmaceuticals to test for anti-inflammatory agents. There are many studies that have been conducted on the health effects and the safety of carrageenan. Many of these studies are based what sometimes called “degraded carrageenan”, which is in fact an entirely different molecule called Poligeenan.

  1. Natural carrageenan is found in whole, unprocessed seaweed such as Pacific Sea Moss which has been termed a super food. Seaweed has been the food of our ancestors for millennia.
  2. Food grade carageenan such as that used in the thickening of ice cream is readily extracted from red seaweed, and is processed with alkaline substances. It is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and also the European regulators.
  3. So-called denatured carrageenan is significantly altered at the molecular level with heat and acid. It is more accurately referred to as poligeenan. Poligeenan is not a food product, and only used in the lab. It is known to  present considerable health risks. 

Confusion between poligeenan and carrageenan

So called denatured carrageenan is in fact a different molecule which is correctly named poligeenan. Poligeenan has been extensively researched on animals and has been shown to cause ulcers and gut tumors, and even cause colon cancer in animals such as rats and mice. Few studies have been extended to humans due to these adverse effects. Poligeenan is not a food substance, it does not occur in nature, rather is is a potent chemical used in industry.

A detailed review of about 45 studies on carrageenan on animals revealed that most of these studies were based on poligeenan, which is derived from but not a form of carageenan. Poligeenan has been found to have harmful health effects. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between these different molecules.

Poligeenan is quite different to carrageenan From [1]

Naturally occurring Carrageenan is good for our health

Natural carrageenan is found in Pacific Sea Moss, which is whole seaweed food and is safe for human consumption. There have been several peer-reviewed studies that support statement. In a study on mice fed on carrageenan extracted from seaweeds, inhibitory activity of tumour growth in mice was detected. In another study on male rats, there was neither detected changes in their body weights nor any change in their health. Carrageenan extracted from red marine algae is a strong anti-inflammatory agent in rodents such as mice. In yet another study, carrageenan from marine algae has shown signs of inducing cells to detect and destroy pathogens found in the body of rats. Another peer-reviewed study used a set of five rats and fed them with carrageenan extracted from red seaweed. After 10 days of observation, there was similar weight gain and fecal excretion in all the rats that were studied. There was no carrageenan detected in the liver or intestines of these rats and the carrageenan excreted in the faeces had similar gel filtration distribution pattern as that of the carrageenan that had been administered.

These studies indicate that the native carrageenan extracted from Pacific Sea Moss is entirely safe and has no negative effects. They are not degraded in the gut and therefore are not toxic. Obviously, if the good carrageenan found in Pacific Sea Moss were to be degraded in the body, it would have been detected in the numerous studies and should have resulted in significant ulceration and tumor growth.


[1] Re‐evaluation of carrageenan (E 407) and processed Eucheuma seaweed (E 407a) as food additives European Food Safety Commission

“Seaweed is – all the weed you will ever need.”

You might like these articles:

  1. The Many Uses of Seaweed
  2. How Is Seaweed Linked to Weight loss
  3. Health Benefits of Seaweed. 8 Things You Should Know
Arthritis Reviews

Natural Arthritis Relief with Seaweed

Natural Arthritis Relief with Seaweed

Seaweed and its anti-oxidant compounds reduce inflammatory pro-inflammatory cytokines (signal carrying proteins), part of the cause of arthritis and seaweed reduces this inflammation. Research is focused on the mechanism and the compounds associated with startling results and also clinical trial on the improved health outcomes observed in animal trials and limited human trials.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is characterized by swelling and tenderness of a joint or joints in the body and is often accompanied by pain and stiffness of the affected areas [1]. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, in which the collagen cushioning joints breaks down, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), where the immune system attacks the joints and the joint lining. Other forms of arthritis can result from disease and infections, as well as the presence of uric acid crystals [1] [5].

Over time, arthritis continues to progress and symptoms can worsen. The resulting stress on joints can lead to a loss of range of motion and interference in the ability to complete everyday tasks. In severe cases even standing or sitting become difficult [1].

Treatment for arthritis varies, but centers around managing symptoms with the goal of decreasing inflammation and providing pain relief [1] [2]. Research into natural remedies for arthritis has led scientists to investigate the lifestyle habits of Eastern cultures, where the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is significantly lower [3].

Natural Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Properties

One characteristic that fascinates science is the Eastern diet, which is very different from that of the West. As more is discovered about the world’s oceans, the correlation between dietary seaweed and improved health has led to research into its potential benefits for those with arthritis.[3].

Red, brown and green seaweeds contain a variety of nutrients, minerals, and other compounds [3]. Some of these compounds have been shown to possess properties that may treat the symptoms, and perhaps the causes of arthritis [5]. In laboratory studies, polysaccharide alginate, naturally found in some types of seaweed, has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-immunogenic properties [4].

Arthritis inflammation is attributed to pro-inflammatory cytokines [5] (signal carrying proteins [8]). Testing demonstrated that the production of free radicals can accelerate inflammation associated with arthritis. Seaweed and seaweed derivatives may reduce the pain of arthritis by treating the source of the inflammation, free radicals [5]. Furthermore, research into seaweed may prove to be a link in the development of natural-based analgesic medication [9]

Anti-Oxidants to Break Down Free Radicals

Antioxidants are substances that protect living cells from the effects of free radicals. Whether found in the outside environment or within the body, free radicals are believed to contribute to cancer, heart disease, and other health issues, including arthritis [2].  Foods containing antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains [2]. Science is now exploring seaweed as an alternative source of antioxidants with the added benefits of anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties [7].

Research suggests that a high concentration of free radicals in the body could be responsible for the inflammation brought about by rheumatoid arthritis. The same study proposes that the worsening of RA over time may also be due to an increase in free radicals within joint tissue [5].

During another study, the antioxidant properties of seaweed scavenged free radicals in vitro (from laboratory cultures). The results of further testing concluded that sulfated alginates protected against free radicals and inflammation [4].

Seaweed for Humanity

There is still a great deal of research yet to be conducted regarding the possible health benefits of seaweed. However, current paths of study have the scientific community excited about the possibilities of finding more effective treatments for arthritis [4] [6] as well as other diseases and disorders.

Seaweed supplements offer a readily accessible and convenient way to include seaweed in a healthy diet. Biosea Health promises to deliver the all-natural health benefits fresh from the ocean to your doorstep in less than 2 weeks.

As with any dietary supplement, you should consult a healthcare professional if you have any questions about adding seaweed to your diet. We make no medical claims.  But we all understand seaweed is healthy. What you may not know is that peer reviewed scientific papers have shown in countless studies on humans, animals and in test tubes that seaweed is healthy. Biosea Health provides seaweed as a simple way to consume food.  Simply good healthy food.