Toxicity and Antioxidant Activity in Vitro and in Vivo of Two Fucus vesiculosus Extracts


The consumption of seaweeds has increased in recent years. However, their adverse and beneficial effects have scarcely been studied. Two extracts from the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus containing 28.8% polyphenols or 18% polyphenols plus 0.0012% fucoxanthin have been obtained and studied to determine their toxicity in mice and rats and also their antioxidant activity. Both extracts were shown to lack any relevant toxic effects in an acute toxicity test following a 4 week daily treatment in rats. The extracts exhibited antioxidant activity in noncellular systems and in activated RAW 264.7 macrophages, as well as in ex vivo assays in plasma and erythrocytes, after the 4 week treatment in rats. Our ex vivo results indicated that compounds from extract 2 may be more easily absorbed and that the antioxidants in their parent or metabolized form are more active. These findings support the view that the daily consumption of F. vesiculosus extract 2 (Healsea) would have potential benefits to humans.

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