Mozuku Seaweed is a Good Source of Fucoidan

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The edible seaweed, Mozuku, is also known by its botanical name Cladosiphon okamuranus.  Mozuku is naturally found in Okinawa Japan and is known by the Japanese name モズク; 水雲; 藻付; 海蘊; 海雲 and is derived from the word “Mo ni tsuku”.

Mozuku is in the brown seaweed family and is harvested from natural populations in the more tropical climate of the southern islands of Japan (Kagoshima and Okinawa Prefectures).  It grows in depths of 1-3 m for 5-6 months from late October to April.  The perfect growing environment for Mozuku is a flat reef in calm waters with continuous and moderate water currents that supply needed nutrients.

Mozuku is dark brown and in Japan is often eaten with vinegar.

The main constituents of Mozuku are:

  • Carbohydrates
    • Alginic Acid
    • Fucoidan
    • Fuco-Oligosaccharide
    • Fucose
    • Xylose
  • Fat-Soluble Components
    • Arachidonic Acid
    • EPA
    • Fucosterol
  • Carotenoids
    • Fucoxanthin

A very important chemical compound in Mozuku is fucoidan which has demonstrated wide and various health benefits.  Fuicodan is a sulfated polysaccharide found mainly in various species of brown algae. 

Other than Mozuku, fucoidan is also found in the following brown algae’s:

  • Bladderwrack
  • Hijiki
  • Kombu
  • Wakame

A number of in vitro studies have shown that fucoidan has the following health benefits:

  • Anti-arthritic  1 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects to protect against various organ injuries  2  3  4
  • Antitumor and antiangiogenic  5  6  7  8
  • Antiulcer  9
  • Antiviral  10  11
  • Immunomodulatory  12
  • Neuroprotective  13  14
  • Radioprotective  15

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