What is Fucoxanthin?

There are more than 750 different types of carotenoids in nature. Photosynthetic organisms are mainly involved in the production of carotenoids on the earth. This is because carotenoids are responsible for the first very important process of photosynthesis, photosynthesis, and they can also play a dual role in removing active oxygen, which is inevitably generated in the process of photosynthesis. The production volume is enormous and is said to be over 100 million tons per year.

Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid mainly present in the chlorophyll of brown algae such as kelp, hijiki seaweed, and wakame seaweed, and belongs to xanthophyll. (Brown algae = fuco) + (xanthophyll = xanthine) = fucoxanthin. Β -carotene and lycopene, which are present in green and yellow vegetables, are well known as healthy ingredients, but fucoxanthin is overwhelmingly abundant because it is widely distributed in the ocean, and it is the most abundant carotenoid among carotenoids. I'm proud. However, what is not well known is that in Europe and the United States, there is no habit of eating brown algae, and even in research, as shown in Fig. 1, chemical synthesis due to the complex and strange structure with allene structure, epoxide and hydroxyl group. The reason was that it was difficult to extract and separate from nature because the content was very low. However, in recent years, Japanese researchers have reported the anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of fucoxanthin, and it has received a great deal of attention as a carotenoid originating in Japan.

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​Lycopene

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A type of carotenoid

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​Astaxanthin

​Shrimp and crab

​Salmon

​Flamingo pigment

Fucoxanthin

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​kelp

​Mozuku

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​Beta carotene

​Lutein

Functionality of the Fukoki trichosanthin

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effect, but etc. angiogenesis inhibitory action has been reported, here, Ru good in the important and other countries not to rotenoids very unique mechanism as a food material we introduce for anti-obesity and anti-diabetic action.

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Fucoxanthin

<Anti-diabetic effect 1-3)>

When a diet containing 0.2% fucoxanthin extracted, separated and purified from wakame seaweed was orally administered to 5-week-old diabetic / obese mice (KK-Ay) for 4 weeks, the weight gain was suppressed (Fig. 2 (A)). On the other hand, it did not affect the body weight of healthy mice (C57BL / 6J). Interestingly, fucoxanthin administration reduced the weight of white adipose tissue (WAT) compared to the control group (Fig. 2 (B)).

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Figure 2. Changes in body weight of mice orally administered a 0.2% fucoxanthin-containing diet for 4 weeks (A) and total white adipose tissue weight (B)

<Anti-diabetic effect 1-3)>

When a diet containing 0.2% fucoxanthin extracted, separated and purified from wakame seaweed was orally administered to 5-week-old diabetic / obese mice (KK-Ay) for 4 weeks, the weight gain was suppressed (Fig. 2 (A)). On the other hand, it did not affect the body weight of healthy mice (C57BL / 6J). Interestingly, fucoxanthin administration reduced the weight of white adipose tissue (WAT) compared to the control group (Fig. 2 (B)).

The mechanism by which fucoxanthin exerts its anti-obesity effect is thought to be due to the induction of the expression of uncoupling protein 1, UCP1 which is a mitochondrial protein in WAT. UCP1 is a protein that is normally highly expressed in brown adipose tissue and converts fatty acids into heat, and its expression level in WAT is extremely low. Fucoxanthin can induce the expression of this UCP1 in white adipose tissue. As a result, energy metabolism in the beginning a living body WAT isadvance, believed to be expressing an anti-obesity effect. This mechanism of action is very unique and is the most characteristic point of fucoxanthin, which is not found in other carotenoids.

The anti-obesity effect of fucoxanthin has also been confirmed in clinical trials. By ingesting 16 weeks seaweed lipid containing 2.4 mg fucoxanthin,Susumu reduction and energy metabolism of body fat in humans have been identified.

<Anti-diabetic effect 1,4,5)>

When a diet containing 0.1% and 0.2% fucoxanthin was administered to diabetic / obese KK-Ay mice for 4 weeks, the blood glucose level was improved as shown in Fig. 5 (Fig. 3).

In addition, a decrease in blood glucose level has been confirmed in mice in which dietary obesity was induced by a high-fat diet. As a mechanism of action, it is known that WAT suppresses the expression of TNF-α and IL-6 mRNA, which induces insulin resistance and causes the onset of diabetes. Furthermore, it has been reported that fucoxanthin activated glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), which is responsible for the glucose uptake function, in skeletal muscle tissue, which is the largest energy-consuming organ in the body.

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Figure 3. Blood glucose levels of KK-Ay mice that were orally administered a 0.2% fucoxanthin-containing diet for 4 weeks.

Fucoxanthin metabolism, 6,7

It is known that the above-mentioned functionality is not exerted by fucoxanthin being absorbed by the living body as it is, but by metabolites. When fucoxanthin is orally administered to mice, fucoxanthin is not detected in vivo, but fucoxanthinol with acetyl-desorbed fucoxanthinol and its oxide, amarousiaxanthin A, are detected. However, in the case where the fucoxanthin containing kelp extracts of 31 mg to a human was a single dose, fucoxanthinol in blood seminal plasma will be detected, but not been detected Amaro Ushia xanthine A.

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The future of fucoxanthin

In the future, if mass culture of fucoxanthin-rich microalgae becomes possible at low cost, it is fully expected that clinical trials will be conducted, safety and functionality will be confirmed, and breakthroughs will occur.

References:

1) Hosokawa M, Miyashita T, Nishikawa S, Emi S, Tsukui T, Beppu F, Okada T, Miyashita K. Fucoxanthin regulates adipocytokine mRNA expression in white adipose tissue of diabetic / obese KK-Ay mice. Arch Biochem Biophys. 504 ( 1): 17-25 (2010).

2) Maeda H, Hosokawa M, Sashima T, Funayama K, Miyashita K. Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 332 (2): 392-7 ( 2005).

3) Abidov M, Ramazanov Z, Seifulla R, Grachev S. The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat. Diabetes Obes Metab. 12 (1): 72-81 (2010).

4) Woo MN, Jeon SM, Kim HJ, Lee MK, Shin SK, Shin YC, Park YB, Choi MS. Fucoxanthin supplementation improves plasma and hepatic lipid metabolism and blood glucose concentration in high-fat fed C57BL / 6N mice. Chem Biol Interact. 186 (3): 316-22 (2010).

5) Nishikawa S, Hosokawa M, Miyashita K. Fucoxanthin promotes translocation and induction of glucose transporter 4 in skeletal muscles of diabetic / obese KK-A (y) mice. Phytomedicine. 19 (5): 389-94 (2012).

6) Asai A, Sugawara T, Ono H, Nagao A. Biotransformation of fucoxanthinol into amarouciaxanthin A in mice and HepG2 cells: formation and cytotoxicity of fucoxanthin metabolites. Drug Metab Dispos. 32 (2): 205-11 (2004).

7) Hashimoto T, Ozaki Y, Taminato M, Das SK, Mizuno M, Yoshimura K, Maoka T, Kanazawa K. The distribution and accumulation of fucoxanthin and its metabolites after oral administration in mice. Br J Nutr. 102 (2): 242-8 (2009).