Seaweed Research Paper

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Seaweeds are one of the largest producers of important marine living renewable resources being one of the major components of primary biomass production in coastal maritime ecosystems. According classification systems, they are classified into green algae (Phylum Chlorophyta), red algae (Phylum Rhodophyta) and brown algae (Phylum Ochrophyta or Heterokontophyta) depending essentially on their particular pigment composition and/ or chemical composition. These marine organisms play essential ecological functions in marine environment as habitat and substrata for invertebrates, fish, mammals, and birds and drastic reduction of their communities directly influences marine biodiversity, as well as reproduction, recruitment, and growth rates of marine…show more content…
In the last 50 years it has been estimated that more than 3000 natural compounds were discovered from seaweeds, which have been found to be associated with numerous health-promoting effects, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, anti-tuberculosis, antiviral and antitumor. Moreover, they are also referenced as an important source of functional ingredients well recognised due to their valuable health beneficial effects, such as low content in lipids, high concentration in polysaccharides, natural richness in minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins. The benefits of seaweeds inclusion on the diet were observed on different epidemiological studies, which revealed the low prevalence of diseases such as coronary heart disease and diet-related cancers in countries with high seaweed consumption (China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and…show more content…
Furthermore, there are human dietary studies suggesting that the use of seaweeds in diet has a protective effect against tumour development. In fact, several seaweeds and their metabolites have shown potent cytotoxic activities against several cancers. The existence of cytotoxic compounds in seaweeds are not surprising, since these molecules play important ecological functions, such as protection against herbivory and invasion of other organisms into their habitat. Different groups of bioactive molecules with antitumor activity have been isolated from seaweeds, such as sulfated polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, carotenoids and terpenoids, which have exhibited cytotoxicity and anti-proliferative activities in different human cancer cell lines, as well as inhibitive activities in tumours growing in animal models table X. In spite of many studies have demonstrated the high cytotoxic potential of compounds isolated from seaweeds on different tumour models, there are few studies that characterize the intracellular signal pathways involved in the effects observed. However, in some studies this characterization was done demonstrating that the activity of these compounds is mediated by different intracellular signal pathways associated to regulation of cell cycle,

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