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Fucoidan shown to increase muscle size and strength

Abstract image of muscle fibres

A new Australian study has demonstrated that oral supplementation of the unique marine polysaccharide fucoidan may increase both muscle size and muscle strength.

The study is the latest instalment in an ongoing research program being conducted by Marinova into the beneficial effects of fucoidan on sports performance.

Fucoidan is a highly bioactive compound that occurs naturally in brown seaweeds. It has been extensively researched and is particularly well known for its bioactivity across a range of health settings. In addition to its widely reported anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumorigenic and anti-viral effects, there is growing evidence supporting long term supplementation of fucoidan as an ergogenic aid to improve skeletal muscle performance.

The study involved supplementing the diets of both exercised and non-exercised mice with a novel blend of fucoidan. After four weeks it was revealed that there was a significant increase in the cross sectional area of muscle fibres in both groups of mice. In addition to this increase in muscle size, a significant increase in muscle force was observed in both in fast and slow twitch muscles.

Discussing the findings, Marinova’s Chief Scientist and a co-author of the paper, Dr Helen Fitton, said “Fucoidan increased muscle size and strength after just four weeks of supplementation in both exercised and non-exercised mice. The findings are extremely exciting as they suggest an important influence of fucoidan on skeletal muscle physiology. We look forward to the results of further research currently underway which is examining the effect of fucoidan in muscle maintenance and sports performance. A role for fucoidan in the sports nutrition category certainly looks promising.”

The fucoidan utilised in the study was Maritech® fucoidan manufactured in Australia by Marinova.

The full paper, ‘Oral fucoidan improves muscle size and strength in mice’, published in Physiological Reports, is available here.

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