Fucoidans—Healthful Saccharides from the Sea!

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The aloe vera plant is fundamental to who we are!

While aloe vera will probably always remain center stage for Mannatech, other actors in our glyconutrient portfolio are certainly worthy of honorable mentions! 

Let’s take the brown alga Undaria pinnatifida (wakame) as an example. Wakame is part of the daily diet for people who live in much of Asia and coastal regions around the world. Some believe that the longevity enjoyed by the Japanese may be attributed, at least in part, to high intake of algae, including wakame (1). Wakame is also used in Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian) traditional medicine, and in Korea, a diet rich in seaweed is given to mothers for the first month after childbirth because it is believed to provide health benefits for both mother and baby (2).

Benefits of wakame and fucoidans.

Our scientists are always looking for new ingredients to expand and improve our product portfolio. In our search for potent new plant saccharides, wakame got our attention because of research showing that many of the benefits associated with wakame intake could be attributed to its saccharides (3). Specifically, fucoidans. For wakame, fucoidans are a great way to protect the plant from its wet, salty world. For people, the fucoidans in wakame provide a host of benefits, primarily supporting healthy immune system function. Wakame is also rich in other nutrients, including protein, vitamins A, C, and E, B vitamins, and some trace elements (such as iodine) (4).

Mannatech’s wakame powder—in Advanced Ambrotose® powder and capsules—is extracted from the plant’s sporophylls, reproductive structures that contain about 16 times the quantity of fucoidans than is found in the leaves (5). We stocked up on our pure, fucoidan-rich wakame, harvested from the clear waters off the coast of Tasmania, before the 2011 earthquake in Japan. While the product is very stable, we do test it every year to confirm that its fucoidan content is consistent. Once we use up our Tasmanian wakame, we’ll be purchasing from a supplier that harvests it in the South Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Argentina.

Advanced Ambrotose supplement does a body good with sugars from the land and the sea!

Adding Advanced Ambrotose to your diet supports a healthy immune system and digestive function, improves memory and cognitive function and enhances mood and decreases irritability.* Both of our Advanced Ambrotose products are plant sourced and gluten-free.

1.  Aaronson S. Algae. The Cambridge World History of Food. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 2000:231-49.

2.  Mori H, Kamei H, Nishide E, Nisizawa K. Sugar constituents of some suplhated polysaccharides from the sporophylls of wakame and their biological activities. In: Hoppe HA, Levring T, eds. Marine Algae in Pharmaceutical Science. New York & Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1982:109-22.

3.  Fitton JH. Brown marine algae:  A survey of therapeutic potentials. Alt Comp Therapy 2003;9:29-33.

4.  Simpson BB, Ogorzaly MC. Economic Botany: Plants in Our World. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

5.  Koo JG, Jo KS, Do JR, Woo SJ. Isolation and purification of fucoidans from Laminara religiosa and Undaria pinnatifida in Korea. J Korean Fish Soc 1995;28:227-36.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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