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Bioproducts, 3.4 HEALTH BIOTECHNOLOGY
Marine macroalgae (seaweeds) are rich in bioactive compounds that could potentially be exploited as functional ingredients for both human and animal health applications. Despite the intensive efforts that are being made to isolate and identify new compounds with potential medicinal, health or pharmaceutical activities, very few compounds with real potency are available. Bioactive compounds that are most extensively researched include sulfated polysaccharides, phlorotannins and diterpenes. These compounds have been reported to possess strong anti-viral, anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. At the same time, the prebiotic health potential of the polysaccharides from seaweeds is also increasingly being studied either by feeding whole seaweeds or purified polysaccharides to laboratory and farm animals. The present review discusses the pharmaceutical, health and research potential of different bioactive compounds present in brown seaweeds.
Gupta S, Abu-Ghannam N (2011) Bioactive potential and possible health effects of edible brown seaweeds. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 22: 315-326.