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Seaweed Secondary Metabolites with Beneficial Health Effects: An Overview of Successes in In Vivo Studies and Clinical Trials

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cE3c—Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group & University of Azores, Rua Mãe de Deus, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
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Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Azores, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
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QOPNA & LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18010008
Received: 25 November 2019 / Revised: 16 December 2019 / Accepted: 18 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
Macroalgae are increasingly viewed as a source of secondary metabolites with great potential for the development of new drugs. In this development, in vitro studies are only the first step in a long process, while in vivo studies and clinical trials are the most revealing stages of the true potential and limitations that a given metabolite may have as a new drug. This literature review aims to give a critical overview of the secondary metabolites that reveal the most interesting results in these two steps. Phlorotannins show great pharmaceutical potential in in vivo models and, among the several examples, the anti-dyslipidemia activity of dieckol must be highlighted because it was more effective than lovastatin in an in vivo model. The IRLIIVLMPILMA tridecapeptide that exhibits an in vivo level of activity similar to the hypotensive clinical drug captopril should still be stressed, as well as griffithsin which showed such stunning results over a variety of animal models and which will probably move onto clinical trials soon. Regarding clinical trials, studies with pure algal metabolites are scarce, limited to those carried out with kahalalide F and fucoxanthin. The majority of clinical trials currently aim to ascertain the effect of algae consumption, as extracts or fractions, on obesity and diabetes. View Full-Text
Keywords: seaweeds; secondary metabolites; in vivo studies; clinical trials; health effects; dieckol; eckol; fucoxanthin; kahalalide F seaweeds; secondary metabolites; in vivo studies; clinical trials; health effects; dieckol; eckol; fucoxanthin; kahalalide F
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rosa, G.P.; Tavares, W.R.; Sousa, P.M.C.; Pagès, A.K.; Seca, A.M.L.; Pinto, D.C.G.A. Seaweed Secondary Metabolites with Beneficial Health Effects: An Overview of Successes in In Vivo Studies and Clinical Trials. Mar. Drugs 2020, 18, 8.

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