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J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Apr;96(6):1856-66. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7489.

Health benefit of fucosterol from marine algae: a review.

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Department of Food and Life Science, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Republic of Korea.
Angiogenesis and Chinese Medicine Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Republic of Korea.


Seaweeds belong to a group of marine plants known as algae, which are consumed as sea vegetables in several Asian countries. Recent studies have focused on the biological and pharmacological activities of seaweeds and their highly bioactive secondary metabolites because of their potential in the development of new pharmaceutical agents. Although several varieties of bioactive novel compounds such as phlorotannins, diterpenes and polysaccharides from seaweeds have already been well scrutinized, fucosterol as a phytosterol still needs to reinvent itself. Fucosterol (24-ethylidene cholesterol) is a sterol that can be isolated from algae, seaweed and diatoms. Fucosterol exhibits various biological therapeutics, including anticancer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antihyperlipidemic, antifungal, antihistaminic, anticholinergic, antiadipogenic, antiphotodamaging, anti-osteoporotic, blood cholesterol reducing, blood vessel thrombosis preventive and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. In this review, we address some potential approaches for arbitrating novel fucosterol biologics in the medical field, focusing on the selection of personalized drug candidates and highlighting the challenges and opportunities regarding medical breakthroughs. We also highlight recent advances made in the design of this novel compound, as the significant health benefits from using these optimized applications apply to the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical fields.


fucosterol; health benefit; marine algae; nutraceutical

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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