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Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 141;

The Osteogenic Potential of Brown Seaweed Extracts

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AG, UK
School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Science, Queen’s University Belfast 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, MBC, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Organisms for Bone Regeneration)
PDF [1917 KB, uploaded 28 February 2019]


Marine drugs hold significantly more promise than their terrestrial counterparts, which could help to solve the current shortfall in treatments for osteoporosis and other bone related diseases. Fucoxanthin is the main carotenoid found in brown seaweed, and has many perceived health benefits, including potential bone therapeutic properties. This study assessed the osteogenic potential of pure fucoxanthin and crude extracts containing both fucoxanthin and phenolic fractions (also cited to have osteogenic potential) isolated from two intertidal species of brown seaweed, Laminaria digitata and Ascophyllum nodosum. In vitro studies were performed using a human foetal osteoblast cell line (hFOBs) and primary human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). The results found pure fucoxanthin inhibitory to cell proliferation in hFOBs at higher concentrations, whereas, the crude extracts containing both polyphenols and fucoxanthin showed the ability to scavenge free radicals, which masked this effect. None of the extracts tested showed strong pro-osteogenic effects in either cell type tested, failing to support previously reported positive effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: brown seaweeds; fucoxanthin; osteogenic; bone regeneration; osteoporosis brown seaweeds; fucoxanthin; osteogenic; bone regeneration; osteoporosis

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Walsh, P.J.; McGrath, S.; McKelvey, S.; Ford, L.; Sheldrake, G.; Clarke, S.A. The Osteogenic Potential of Brown Seaweed Extracts. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 141.

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