U-Fucoidan Causes Cancer Cells
Japanese researchers discovered that a
polysaccharide known as Fucoidan, found in kombu and other types of
brown seaweed (wakame, mozuku, and hijiki), causes various types of
established cancer cell lines to self-destruct.
What is U-Fucoidan?
About 4 percent of the total dry weight of many
types of brown seaweed consists of a polysaccharide known as
Fucoidan. Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide that possesses
a complex structure. Its chief components include a sulfuric
esterified L-fucose, and the trace elements of galactose, xylose,
and glucuronic acid.
Working cooperatively, Takara Shuzo's Biomedical
Research Laboratories and the Research Institute for Glycotechnology
Advancement were able to confirm the presence of two different types
of Fucoidan molecules in brown seaweed.
The first type, bearing the name F-Fucoidan,
consists mainly of sulfated fucose. The second type bears the
name U-Fucoidan, and approximately 20 percent of it consists of
Researchers were able to use a technique known as
pyridlamination to shed light on the chemical structure of
The biological activity of Fucoidan
Numerous accounts have ascribed to Fucoidan
properties such as the ability to act as an anti-contraceptive, to
reduce cholesterol levels, and to act as an anti-tumor agent.
However, a definitive consensus concerning the precise nature of
Fucoidan has still not been reached.
The Biomedical Research Laboratories of Takara Shuzo
and the Research Institute for Glycotechnology Advancement have
focused their attention on the anti-tumor properties of Fucoidan,
and have managed to confirm that this substance causes certain types
of rapidly growing cancer cells to self-destruct.
Examples of cancer cell strains where this
self-destruct phenomenon was observed include human acute
promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60 cell line), human stomach cancer
cells (AGS cell line), human colon cancer cells (HCT-116 cell line),
and cancer cells of the descending colon (SW-480 cell line/WiDr cell
line). Moreover, this self-destruction was observed to take
place without affecting normal cells. Currently, efforts are
underway to clarify the precise mechanism by which this phenomenon
Some of the reasons which have until recently
prevented the formation of a definitive scientific consensus
concerning the precise nature of Fucoidan include the fact that it
possesses an extremely complex structure, as well as the difficulty
of obtaining pure samples of Fucoidan.
The mechanism through which cancer cells
In the presence of certain substances, as well as
under other unusual environmental conditions, cells may
self-destruct and disappear altogether. This self-destruct
phenomenon is known as apoptosis. It should be
distinguished from necrosis, which is the death of cells
directly brought about by external stimuli such as poisonous
substances or physical damage to the cell.
Properly speaking, apoptosis is brought about by a
mechanism that is programmed into the natural makeup of cells.
Organisms activate this mechanism when necessary. Once the
apoptosis mechanism has been triggered, the genetic blueprint of the
cell (DNA) is rendered useless, through activation of the
deoxyribonuclease found within the cell itself. Apoptosis thus
can be described as a natural means through which living organisms
manage to eliminate harmful cells from their systems.
The significance of this discovery and
From ancient times (dating from the Jomon era,
approximately before the 2nd Century BC onwards), brown seaweed has
been a mainstay of the traditional Japanese diet. It is
precisely these seaweeds that contain the U-Fucoidan that trigger
the apoptosis mechanism described above.
The inhabitants of Okinawa, Japan enjoy some of the
highest life expectancies in Japan. Okinawans happen to have
one of the highest per capita consumption rates of kombu -- 1 gram
per person per day. It is noteworthy that the cancer death
rate in Okinawa is the lowest of all the prefectures in Japan.
The average per capita consumption rate of kombu in
Japan is approximately 0.5 grams per day. Such a serving of
kombu would include roughly 5 mg of U-Fucoidan. In vivo
experiments are currently underway to determine the effects of
U-Fucoidan within living organisms. If it is confirmed that
U-Fucoidan can help bring about apoptosis solely in cancer cells
that are multiplying at uncontrolled rates, we would then have
within our reach the long-dreamed-of cancer drug -- one that does
its job without causing adverse side effects.
Request our free white paper about U-Fn.
Details of the above discovery were disclosed at the
18th Annual Conference of the Carbohydrate Symposium (August 19-21,
2000), the 69th Annual Proceedings of the Japanese Biochemical
Society (August 26-30, 2000), and the 55th Annual Proceedings of the
Japanese Cancer Society (October 10-12, 2000).
Details concerning the Research Institute for
Glycotechnology Advancement: With funding from the Bio-oriented
Technology Research Advancement Institute (a special legal person
under the joint jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry and the Ministry of Finance), Aomori
prefecture, Hirosaki city, as well as eleven private sector
companies, the Research Institute for Glycotechnology Advancement
was founded in February 1991. The Institute ranks as a
research organization operating under the auspices of the
Intelligent Research Institute, a body that was formed as part of
the overall efforts to promote the development of the Tohoku
About Our U-Fucoidan Product, U-Fn
U-Fn is not just another dried, ground seaweed
formulation. It is a completely natural, unblended food
product extracted from the dried, highly concentrated juice of brown
seaweed (Laminaria japonica, or kombu). This
seaweed is harvested from one of the clearest ocean beds in the
world off the eastern coast of Russia, north of Japan.
The soft inner part of the brown seaweed is squeezed
out of the leaves and made into dry powder using a simple
cold-temperature extraction process that retains the important
organic elements. When taken with plenty of water, U-Fn
delivers all of the naturally occurring minerals and vitamins of
Laminaria in a soluble, bioavailable form that is easily digestible.
This seaweed is harvested from the South Pacific coastal
areas in cold waters near the Antarctic. Divers bring the seaweed to shore, where the huge
Laminaria leaves are hung across wooden fences to quickly dry in the
sun in the traditional Japanese way. The seaweed is then
transported to a plant where it is soaked in fresh water, which is
retained so as not to lose the water-soluble polysaccharides.
Within about eight hours the leaves return to their
original size and the outer skin can be removed. All the heavy
fibers are disposed of, and the remaining inner part is ground up.
The resulting thick, rubbery substance is dried in a vacuum chamber
without using heat so as not to lose any of the original nutrients.
The active ingredient in Laminara, U-Fucoidan, is
the basis of our product known as
U-Fn. This nutrient fights cancer without killing off the
healthy cells –- the all-too-frequent and dangerous result of
standard chemotherapy and radiation.
U-Fn is a high-potency
herbal extract (not a formulation). It was developed
to maximize the essential polysaccharides found in Laminaria
japonica (kombu) and at the same time to leave a natural balance of
vitamins and minerals.
Two different types of fucoidan molecules are found
in brown seaweed. The first type, bearing the name U-Fucoidan,
consists of approximately 20 percent glucuronic acid. The
second type bears the name F-Fucoidan and consists mainly of
U-Fn contains 35 percent U-Fucoidan and 11
percent F-Fucoidan, by volume.
U-Fn has been found to be especially effective for
combating cancers of the reproductive system (prostate, ovaries, and
breast), the blood (lymphoma and leukemia), and the lower
gastrointestinal tract (colon and bladder) when 4 to 6 capsules a
day are taken for 3 to 4 months.
Aggressive Dosage for Active Cancers:
U-Fn has been found effective in reversing serious stages of cancer
when taken at 6 capsules per day -- three before breakfast and
three before lunch. Then stop for the rest of the day, because
U-Fn's energizing effect may cause sleep disturbances if it is taken
later in the day. One positive side-effect of U-Fn is that it
balances the hormonal system and increases the activity of the
thyroid. At this dosage, a cancer patient will require nine
bottles for a 90-day course (one bottle of 60 would last 10 days).
Note to Animal Lovers: U-Fn is a good
anti-tumor agent for animals as well as humans!
Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent cancers in
dogs and cats, and this is indeed one of the types of cancers for
which U-Fn has been found to be most effective. Our pet-loving
friends who have tried U-Fn when their dogs and cats get tumors
report that the tumors are now under control or reduced, and that
older pets have a renewed vigor and energy that belies their years.
Veterinary Dosage: For veterinary use, base
the dosage on the animal's weight, keeping in mind that the
therapeutic dose for a 150 pound human is 4 to 6 capsules per day
for 2 to 3 months. For example, the equivalent dosage for a
50-pound dog would be one-third the human dosage, or 1 to 2 capsules
per day for the same length of time. Start out slowly and
increase the dosage gradually over one week, watching to see how the
animal tolerates it from a digestive standpoint.
Request our free white paper about U-Fn.
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