Surprising Uses of Seaweed in Biomedical Industry

Because of the potential that they have shown in the lab, seaweeds are currently one of the hottest research topics. Many research studies have focused on determining the true potential of seaweeds from different aspects and angles. The biomedical applications of seaweed do an interesting reading; we will highlight some of the most illuminating applications in this brief. 

The Traditional Touch 

Many species of seaweed have traditionally been used as pharmaceutical auxiliaries. Here, we are talking specifically about species such as Laminaria spp. that were used in Japanese folk medicine to lower blood pressure. Similarly, Fucus vesiculosus was used as an anti-goiter and weight loss agent. Not only that, but Fucus was also considered a potent agent for the treatment of sore knees and found a role in herbal teas. Members of Rhodophyta were commonly used to treat diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and dysentery. We can go on, but we think that you get the idea that seaweeds aren’t the latest entry in biomedical research. Rather, they have been used for a long time now. 

What Does Research Tell Us? 

As we mentioned earlier, many research studies have tested the biomedical potential of different seaweed species. We are going to give you a glimpse of this line of research in this section:

  1. The Kappaphycus species from Rhodophyta demonstrated an antitumoral activity against different carcinomas such as nasopharynx carcinoma and gastric carcinoma, and different cervical cancer cell lines. 
  2.  Genus Laurencia species produced metabolites that demonstrated an in vitro activity against an acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line. 
  • Undaria pinnatifida from Phaeophyceae has an anti-inflammatory profile. It finds use as a medicine given to women post-birth. It can lower fever and finds use as a diuretic as well. 
  • Ulva rigida, a member of Chlorophyta, was studied for antigenotoxicity activity in human lymphocyte extracts. Promising results suggested a protective role for seaweed against chemotherapeutic agents such as mitomycine-C.
  • Certain studies have focused on seaweed’s neuroprotective profile as well. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are some key neurogenerative diseases that pose a major threat to the cognitive abilities of human beings. Algal polysaccharides demonstrated promising results in this regard. 

Well, as you have just read, the bioactive potential of seaweeds is enormous. Valorizing the bioactive compounds found in many seaweed species can open up new avenues of research in the biomedical field. Oh, and this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means either! It would take several chapters to overview all the studies in this line of research comprehensively. 

Final Thoughts 

That would be all from this brief. Folks, this is just an overview of the massive potential that seaweeds are enriched with. Different bioactive compounds found in different types of seaweeds make them eligible candidates for further research. In the light of what we have just shared with you in this brief, perhaps ordering a seaweed supplement from Herbal Vineyards wouldn’t be a bad idea; what do you reckon? 


Hong, D.D., Hien, H.M, Son, P.N. Seaweeds from Vietnam used for functional food, medicine and biofertilizer. Journal of Applied Phycology. volume 19, pages 817–826 (2007).

Tannoury, M. et al. n Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Laurencia papillosa, Marine Red Algae from the Lebanese Coast. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, Volume: 7, Issue: 3, March, 2017.

Celiker, S. In vitro Antigenotoxicity of Ulva rigida C. Agardh (Chlorophyceae) Extract against Induction of Chromosome Aberration, Sister Chromatid Exchange and Micronuclei by Mutagenic Agent MMC. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Volume 21, Issue 6, December 2008, Pages 492-498.


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