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Maritech® fucoidan promising for future atopic dermatitis treatment

Topical cream being applied to elbow

Atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common type of eczema, is a widespread condition characterised by dry and itchy skin. A new Australian study investigating the effects of two high purity seaweed extracts on this inflammatory skin condition suggests future potential for their use as topical therapeutic agents.

Fucoidan is a bioactive compound that occurs naturally in brown seaweeds. It has been extensively researched and is particularly well known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Fucoidan is utilised as an active ingredient in topical skincare and dermatological formulations and has shown potential to significantly limit inflammation caused by allergic conditions.  

The study showed that fucoidan significantly altered gene expression in an in vitro 3D model of atopic dermatitis. Genes that were beneficially affected included those typically associated with skin barrier function, wound healing processes and fluid accumulation.

The study also demonstrated that fucoidan significantly inhibited the adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus – a bacterium typically abundant on the skin of AD patients and known to aggravate the condition. Importantly, the fucoidan did not affect the adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis – a common bacterium found on healthy skin.

Lead author of the paper and Marinova research scientist, Dr Ahyoung Park, commented, “There is currently an unmet global need for effective, non-toxic treatments for debilitating inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. These latest results suggest fucoidan may be a useful topical agent to assist in the future management of AD and potentially offer relief to millions of sufferers.”

The fucoidan utilised in the study was Maritech® organic fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus and Undaria pinnatifida seaweeds. It was produced in Australia by Marinova.

The paper, ‘Modulation of Gene Expression in a Sterile Atopic Dermatitis Model and Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus Adhesion by Fucoidan’, is published in the journal  Dermatopathology.

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