In 2020, a new study published in the journal "Marine Drugs" showed that single-dose wakame brown algae polysaccharides (UPF) can affect gene expression related to basic cellular processes. miRNAs are small molecules that regulate gene expression. They are widely used as biomarkers for the evaluation of various health indicators, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and inflammation. The study found for the first time that a single dose of rock ash polysaccharide can change the composition of microribonucleic acid (RNAs/miRNA).
The placebo, controlled, double-blind pilot study was funded by Australian biotechnology company Marineva and the Australian Department of Industry and Innovation, and recruited 17 healthy male volunteers between the ages of 25 and 65. All subjects took a placebo or two Maritech fucoidan capsules (500 mg/capsule) produced by Marinova. The subjects' blood samples were collected before taking the capsules, and their miRNA composition was analyzed 24 hours later.
The results of the study showed that there were differences in the number and type of miRNAs between the two groups of subjects, and there were both up-regulation and down-regulation. Taking the placebo group as an example, the subjects' miRNAs were up-regulated by 19 and down by 44, while the subjects in the treatment group were up-regulated by 15, Down by 38. The research analysis also found that only one miRNA (has-miR- -34b) in both groups showed significant and up-regulation, while the other five miRNAs in both groups were found to be down-regulated.
The study also showed that the addition of fucoidan may affect the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling pathway, which supports the antidepressant effect of the previously documented rockwort polysaccharide.