.......Infections Brown seaweed (or the brown kelp) may benefit Herpes infections. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infections were found to have low reactivation rates and Herpes type 2 (HSV-2) infections have lower incidence in Japan than in the west. Australian researchers fed 21 patients with either active or latent Herpetic infections (HSV-1, 2, EBV, Zoster) with brown seeweed extracts. They found that ingestion of these brown seeweed extracts was associated with increased healing rates in patients with active infections. It is interesting to know if the benefit of this extract can be extended to other infections. [I1] The major component of an aqueous extract of the brown seaweed Undaria pinnati fi da has been identified previously as a galactofucan (GFS), a sulfated polysaccharide. Researchers from The University of Chicago showed that the mode of action of the GFS against herpes simplex virus to be the inhibition of viral binding and entry into the host cell in an in vitro study. [i2] _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Brown seaweed side effects Probably, brown seaweed does not have serious side effects. However, it may contain heavy metals. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Reference:  Anti-obesity compound found in brown seaweed 232nd American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco Reuters Mon Sep 11, 2006. Anti-obesity compound found in brown seaweed BBC, Sep 11, 2006.  Maeda H, et al, Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 1;332(2):392-7.  Murata M, et al, Dietary fish oil and Undaria pinnatifida (wakame) synergistically decrease rat serum and liver triacylglycerol. J Nutr. 2002 Apr;132(4):742-7. [T1] Maruyama H, et al, Antitumor activity and immune response of Mekabu fucoidan extracted from Sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida. In Vivo. 2003 May-Jun;17(3):245-9. [A1] Suetsuna K, et al, Identification of an antihypertensive peptide from peptic digest of wakame (Undaria pinnatifida). J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Sep;11(9):450-4. [A2] Sato M, et al, Angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitory peptides derived from wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and their antihypertensive effect in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6245-52. [I1] Cooper R, GFS, a preparation of Tasmanian Undaria pinnatifida is associated with healing and inhibition of reactivation of Herpes. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2002 Nov 20;2:11. Epub 2002 Nov 20. [i2] Thompson KD, et al, Antiviral activity of Undaria pinnatifida against herpes simplex virus. Phytother Res. 2004 Jul;18(7):551-5. [A3] Murata M, et al, Hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzyme activities are stimulated in rats fed the brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida (wakame). J Nutr. 1999 Jan;129(1):146-51. [A4] Suetsuna K, et al, Antihypertensive effects of Undaria pinnatifida (wakame) peptide on blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2004 May;15(5):267-72. Ikeda K,et al, . Effect of Undaria pinnatifida (Wakame) on the development of cerebrovascular diseases in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2003 Jan-Feb;30(1-2):44-8. [A6] Ito S, Miyoshi T. [Determination of Mg and Zn contents of Naruto "wakame" (Undaria pinnatifida)] Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 1990 Aug;45(3):795-800.