Certain Green Algae Extracts that Potentially Prevent Cancer and Other Diseases

Technology #14452

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Hendrik Luesch
Valerie J. Paul
Rui Wang
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Anita Rao
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
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US Patent Pending

In Vitro and In Vivo Studies Suggest Dietary Consumption or Topical Application of Ulva lactuca Protects Body from Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Specific green algae extracts that mitigate damage caused by oxidative and inflammatory stress that otherwise could lead to cellular damage, inflammation and cancer by activating the body’s antioxidant response element. Seaweed extracts have been used in medicine for many centuries; consumption of green, red and brown algae is inversely related to various cancers. Laboratory studies involving certain marine algae have shown their potential to increase the cellular antioxidant status and thereby decrease inflammation. Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered an edible green alga, Ulva lactuca, commonly called sea lettuce, that when enriched with a new keto-type fatty acid and other agents activates the body’s antioxidant response element. Use of Ulva lactuca in laboratory cell and in vivo studies scientifically demonstrated the molecular basis for potential health benefits for the prevention of inflammation, cancer, and potentially other diseases, as well as age-related effects.

Application

Dietary and topical products made with Ulva lactuca to fight inflammatory conditions, cancer and reduce aging-related effects

Advantages

  • Scientific basis for beneficial activity, strengthening product image and credibility
  • Can cultivate seaweed to allow for mass production, increasing cost effectiveness
  • Can be used to combat inflammatory diseases that could result in cancer, skin diseases, and other age-related ailments, increasing the applicable market

Technology

In humans and other aerobes, reactive oxygen species are produced during cellular respiration and energy metabolism. In a healthy cell, the level of reactive oxygen species is tightly regulated by the antioxidant defense system. However, upon environmental stress or cellular damage, the cell may not be able to readily detoxify the insult and may thereby suffer from oxidative stress, which contributes to the pathogenesis of many age-related diseases, such as inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders such as stroke, chronic kidney disease, Type II diabetes, and aging itself. In order to combat oxidative stress mediated damage, this technology uses certain seaweed extracts enriched with fatty acid and other agents in order to activate the protective Nrf2-ARE pathway. This Nrf2-antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway increases the antioxidant status of a cell and neutralizes reactive oxygen species that can cause pathological conditions. The Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway is one of the major defense systems employed by the cell to counteract oxidative insult.