Certain Types of Edible Seaweed Can Help With Heart Health & Parkinson's!
Research has shown that Mozuku Wakame is the species that produces the highest amount of Fucoidan that aids in blood vessel health and growth and it is mainly cultivated in Okinawa, Japan fucoidan from Wakame is also commonly found in areas like Australia, Argentina, Japan, Korea and China, etc.
Fucoidan, a molecule derived from seaweed with a similar structure as the commonly used anticoagulant drug heparin, was added to modify synthetic blood vessels, It demonstrated a tendency to improve growth of vascular cells around the inner surface of the graft reducing the risk of clots. Recently, there is great awareness about possible health contributions of the wakame species that grows in Japan. The Iwate Prefecture produces the most wakame in Japan. Edible seaweed with a substance called fucoidan can help to to create blood vessels in the heart and brain and the surface areas of the skin. Commercially available fucoidan is commonly extracted from the seaweed species Fucus vesiculosus, Cladosiphon okamuranus, Laminaria japonica and Undaria pinnatifida.
Variant forms of fucoidan have also been found in animal species, including the sea cucumber. Researchers are using this natural material derived from seaweed to promote vascular cell growth, prevent blood clots and improve the performance of synthetic vascular grafts used in heart bypass surgery. Fucoidan is a natural sulfated polysaccharide that exists mainly in the cell wall matrix of various species of brown seaweed that are consumed by humans, such as mozuku, kombu, limumoui, bladderwrack, and wakame (the Japanese name of U. pinnatifida)
They are abundant in several bioactive sulfated polysaccharides known as fucoidan (FCD). Research studies demonstrated the beneficial functions of FCD in human medicine because of its immunomodulating, antioxidant, anti-allergic, antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. Wakame is a type of edible seaweed that has been cultivated in Japan and Korea for centuries. In addition to bringing a unique taste and texture to soups and salads, wakame is low in calories but high in several nutrients that are essential to health. Plus, it offers a long list of potential benefits, including improved heart health and enhanced weight loss.
Here are some surprising health benefits of wakame seaweed. Rounding out its stellar nutrient profile, wakame is a good source of iodine. In fact, wakame contains approximately 42 mcg of iodine per gram, which is about 28% of the RDI. Iodine is an essential mineral that your body uses to produce thyroid hormones, which help support growth, metabolism, protein synthesis and cell repair. Animal and human studies show that wakame does help reduce blood pressure levels but scientists have not studied how it does this as their is no monetary incentive to do so as natural foods can't be patented. Studies have found that wakame lowers cholesterol levels and help improve heart health.
In fact, one study found that supplementing with wakame seaweed was effective at lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Similarly, another study showed that dried wakame powder altered the expression of specific genes to help significantly decrease cholesterol levels after just 30 days! However, some studies have had mixed results. One study of 52,679 women reported that increased seaweed consumption was linked to a higher risk of thyroid cancer, which could be a result of excess iodine intake. So seaweed with high iodine content should not necessarily be eaten everyday in large amounts. Although iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, consuming excess amounts can harm the health of your thyroid and cause symptoms like fever, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. If some tissues aren't receiving enough oxygen (hypoxia), cells in the affected area send out chemical signals that cause angiogenesis to begin. It's like an SOS call for help.
In response, cells that line your blood vessels (called endothelial cells) arrange themselves in ways that allow new capillaries to develop. New blood vessels can develop from the walls of existing small vessels by the outgrowth of endothelial cells, which have the capacity to form hollow capillary tubes even when isolated in culture. Consuming healthy foods that promote endothelial calls and exercise generally stimulates growth of new blood vessels and boosts muscle mass. Vitamins and supplements such as Ginkgo biloba, spirulina and beetroot juice can increase oxygenation through enhanced blood flow while branched-chain amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids can improve maximum oxygen consumption , good sleep patterns and routine exercise bolster the results.