What Is Fucoxanthin?
Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid (a compound found in plants responsible for yellow, orange, or red color). The structure of fucoxanthin makes it different from other plant carotenoids (it has an unusual allenic bond, a 5,6-monoepoxide, and 9 conjugated double bonds).
Though its structure makes fucoxanthin unique, it also contributes to its instability, which makes it difficult to study. However, this same instability is exactly what gives it the 1potential to help with health issues such as obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer .
How It Works
Fucoxanthin’s anti-obesity effects are thought to be mediated through its ability to influence gene expression of the following genes related to fat metabolism (in rats) :
- Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)
- Fatty acid synthase (FAS)
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH)
- Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA)
- Acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT)
- Brown algae
Fucoxanthin Health Benefits
1) May Help With Weight Loss
In mice on high-fat diets, fucoxanthin increased weight loss .
2) May Help With Depression
3) May Be Anti-Malarial
4) May Fight Aging
In mice treated with ultraviolet radiation, fucoxanthin applied to the skin blocked the premature aging of skin .
In skin cells, fucoxanthin protected against sunburn caused by ultraviolet radiation .
5) May Protect the Brain
In mice with traumatic brain injury, fucoxanthin reduced brain cell death .
6) May Reduce Inflammation
This effect was also seen in cell studies .
7) May Have Anti-Diabetic Effects
In a study on mice on high-fat diets, fucoxanthin reduced insulin resistance, which is a large factor in diabetes .
8) May Reduce Cholesterol and Triglycerides
9) May Protect Against Oxidative Stress
10) May Have Anti-Cancer Effects
In cells, fucoxanthin improved the effectiveness of the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin .
11) May Combat Bone Disease
In cells, fucoxanthin blocked the development of osteoclasts, a type of cell that helps break down bone to restore calcium to the blood. It also had anti-osteoporosis effects in mice with their ovaries removed .
12) May Benefit the Heart
Limitations and Caveats
A limitation to fucoxanthin research is the lack of human trials, as almost all of the studies mentioned were conducted on animal models.
Side Effects & Precautions
Although fucoxanthin has no proven side effects in humans (possibly due to the limited number of human trials), in mice, it increased cholesterol levels. However, it didn’t have negative effects on the kidney, liver, spleen, and gonads or cause any cellular mutations in the mice [32, 33].
Inhibiting the activity of CYP3A4 can have two different effects on drug metabolism.
It can decrease the inactivation or degradation of the drug, and thus, increase the amount of the active form in the blood, which often causes unfavorable and long-lasting effects .
Or, it can decrease the activation of medications that are administered as a pro-drug, and thus, decrease the actual dose of the active form of the drug that reaches the blood, which lowers the biological efficacy of the drug .
The following drugs are likely affected by fucoxanthin and thus, consumption should be discussed with your doctor if you take these medications:
- Opioids: sufentanil  and methadone 
- Immunosuppressants: cyclosporine , tacrolimus , and sirolimus 
- Antihypertensive drugs: felodipine  and nifedipine 
- Anticancer drugs: endoxifen , tamoxifen , and sunitinib 
- Sedatives: midazolam 
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins): simvastatin , atorvastatin, and lovastatin 
- Antibiotics: erythromycin 
- Corticosteroids: fluticasone propionate 
The only human trial mentioned used a dosage of 0.8 – 4.0 mg fucoxanthin combined with pomegranate seed oil, which caused no adverse effects .
Users say fucoxanthin patches work well to increase weight loss and increase energy. However, some users believe the patches don’t work fast enough and don’t help with decreasing appetite.
Many users taking fucoxanthin pills believe they work well in reducing weight without needing to physically exercise.
This section contains sponsored links, which means that we may receive a small percentage of profit from your purchase, while the price remains the same to you. The proceeds from your purchase support our research and work. Thank you for your support.