Fucoidan Supplementation Restores Fecal Lysozyme Concentrations in High-Performance Athletes: A Pilot Study.
Mar Drugs. 2020 Aug 4 ;18(8). Epub 2020 Aug 4. PMID: 32759709
Amanda J Cox
Nutritional strategies to help promote immune competence are of particular interest for a range of population groups. This study aimed to assess the potential impacts of fucoidan, a seaweed-derived bioactive polysaccharide, on gut markers of immunity and inflammation. A group of professional team-sport athletes were selected for inclusion in the study given the recognized potential for intense physical activity to induce alterations in immune function. A retrospective analysis was performed on stored fecal samples which had been collected from professional team-sport athletes (= 22) and healthy adults (= 11) before and after seven days of supplementation with fucoidan (/extract, 1 g/d). Fecal concentrations of calprotectin, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and lysozyme were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The supplement was well tolerated by participants with no adverse events reported. At baseline, fecal lysozyme concentrations were ~73% higher in the healthy adults compared to the professional athletes (= 0.001). For the professional athletes, a significant (~45%) increase in fecal lysozyme was observed following the supplementation period (= 0.001). These data suggest that fucoidan supplementation may have the potential to promote the secretion of antimicrobial peptides in specific population groups and contribute to the regulation of mucosal immune health.