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This new generation algae that we will detail, is a macroalgae of the family of brown or pheophytic algae of the genus fucus.
It has been an exhaustive analysis, in previous posts, that we have made of the Chlorella Algae, analyzing its properties and health benefits that the consumption of it reports.
And continuing with the study of the existing seaweed literature, we cannot forget another new generation algae, little known and scarcely popular, but which has proven to be tremendously interesting for researchers.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this post to Ascophyllum nodosum, given its growing interest in the world of marine biology. Let’s go to it.
While Chlorella, Klamath and Spirulina are microalgae, the Norwegian Laminaria, such as Creeping Algae or as Nudosa Algae, is a macroalgae, which feeds through the leaves, and lives hooked on the rocks.
It grows in abundance on the shores of western Europe exposed to the Gulf Stream, in the temperate zones of the northern United States (both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean) and, also, in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean that bathe the north Europe.
After being collected, the Ascophyllum is dried at temperatures between 75-85 ° C and then ground to a fine powder. Sometimes, the powder is extracted with water and only the resulting aqueous extract is used, where the solid content of said extract is usually around 10%.
As a dry powder, it can be added to soups, salads and smoothies, although it is usual to take it in tablets.
The seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum, harvested in the clean and rich waters of the Arctic, is what is usually marketed in Spain as a manufactured product on the islands of the west coast of Norway (Bahar, O’Doherty, Smyth and Torres Sweeney, 2016) .
It arrives in our market in the form of capsules containing 100% of it, without any artificial additive. This presentation in tablets is very rare in brown algae, but given its beneficial characteristics for health, there has been no doubt in presenting it as an adjunct in hypocaloric slimming diets (Yang, Yin and Wang, 2019).
What does the Norwegian laminaria bring us?
As most of the research in the field points out, the Ascophyllum Nodosum is a peculiar and rich seaweed, with a broad projection of the future in terms of the benefits that its intake can bring, So much so, that this algae is considered (Taskos, Stamatis, Yvin and Jamois, 2019; Okolie, Mason, Mohan, Pitts and Udenigwe, 2019):
- It is a very rich mineral algae, because more specifically, it can be said that it has more than 60 minerals, among which Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Iron stand out.
- In addition to these minerals, it contains Fucosterol, Fucoxanthin, Beta Carotenes and 13
- It is low in iodine, so it can be consumed in high amounts without exceeding the daily dose recommended by doctors.
- The main mucilaginous components of this marine vegetable are formed by 3 main polysaccharides: Alginic acid, Laminarin and Fucoidin, all substances that are involved in the elimination of glucose and cholesterol that can be found accumulated in the body, since prevent intestinal absorption.
- Also, the Ascophyllum Nodosumayuda to eliminate heavy metals, toxins and radioactive isotopes of the human organism.
- It also promotes digestion by stimulating beneficial intestinal bacteria.
- And, finally, it should be noted that it provides defenses to the body against infections, being a driver of well-being and health, by enhancing the resistance and strength of the skin and hair.
If we have just seen the health benefits and disease prevention, we should also highlight the properties that Ascophyllum nodosum has for agriculture, especially as fertilizer (Guanghong, Wang and Yuan, 2019).
The fertilizers derived from it can be used in all types of crops, both in conventional agriculture and in organic farming, and its application can be foliar or through any irrigation system via soil, both blanket and drip irrigation.
The highlight of the Laminaria in Norway is that its many active ingredients, transferred to the ground, make fertilized plants stand out, especially for a number of advantageous features, such as:
1.- Increased resistance to stress
2.- Higher productivity
3.- More resistance to certain problems of pests and diseases. Let’s see it in more detail.
Applications of algae in Agriculture
In agricultural locations near the sea, it is an ancient custom to use algae as fertilizer and contribution of organic matter to fruit and vegetable crops, especially since their nutritional contributions to agriculture are very technically studied.
Of all seaweed, the Laminaria in Norway is one of the most researched and used in agriculture. And why is this so? Essentially, for the beneficial effects it produces thanks to (Ciliberti, Soccio, Pastore, Albenzio and Caroprese, 2019) its essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, in addition to a wide variety of secondary elements and trace elements such as magnesium, calcium , manganese, zinc, boron, among others.
It also has natural growth hormones in plants, such as cytokinins and auxins and, mainly, zeatin that is of great biological activity. And it is characterized by being a biostimulant (Mazur, Pozdniakova, Mayer, Guelli de Souza and Vilar, 2017) of plants, since it has betaines, polyamines, oligosaccharides, mannitol, alginic acid, laminarin, etc.
By also having amino acids, such as glutamic acid, alanine, phenylalanine, glycine, proline and lysine, among others, it can increase the resistance and tolerance of plants to stress due to the environment, diseases and attacks of pests and other alterations. Based on this, and according to the existing scientific literature, it can be affirmed that the Ascophyllum Nodosum, used as fertilizer, allows (Ligen Chen, Wei Xu, Dan Chen, Guijie Chen and Hongjun Zhu, 2018):
- Stimulate root growth and vegetative growth.
- Motivate the exchange between the root and the soil.
- Recover those crops that suffer stress.
- Increase the power of root absorption and translocation of nutrients.
- Improve the root system.
- Improve the transplant.
- Boost crop yield.
- Increase the number of fruits and improve their quality.
- Reduce the absorption of sodium by the plant.
In conclusion, we can say that the Laminaria of Norway is an advantageous algae in the health of the human being, since it is particularly rich in mineral salts of iodine, sodium, potassium, silica and calcium. It also contains a glycoside called laminarin, much mucilage, mannitol and various polysaccharides. Finally, there are vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
It also has some compounds with antibiotic activity, to the point where it is particularly indicated in blood thinning and purification therapies, as well as in radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments (Abu, Jiang, Ueno, Isaka and Oda, 2015) .
At the agricultural level, it is also extremely advantageous, since its biostimulants help to achieve a better well-being of plants and crops in order to reach the best conditions for ripening (Salvi, Brunetti, Cataldo, Niccolai, and Mattii, 2019 ) and, therefore, that agricultural yields are improved.
Abu, R., Jiang, Z., Ueno, M., Isaka, S. and Oda T. (2015). Anti-metastatic effects of the sulfated polysaccharide ascophyllan isolated from Ascophyllum nodosum on B16 melanoma. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 458 (4), 727-732.
Bahar, B. O’Doherty, J.V., Smyth, T.J. and Torres Sweeney (2016). A comparison of the effects of an Ascophyllum nodosum ethanol extract and its molecular weight fractions on the inflammatory immune gene expression in-vitro and ex-vivo. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 37 (Part B), 276-285
Ciliberti, M.G., Soccio, M., Pastore, D. Albenzio, M. and Caroprese, M. (2019). Antioxidant / Oxidant Balance: Application as a biomarker of the antioxidant status in plasma of ewes fed seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum and flaxseed under high ambient temperature. Small Ruminant Research, 170 (1), 102-108.
Guanghong, X.L., Wang, L.L. and Yuan, W. (2019). Optimization of antioxidant extraction from edible brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum using response surface methodology. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 114 (1), 205-215. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbp.2019.01.003
Ligen Chen, Wei Xu, Dan Chen, Guijie Chen and Hongjun Zhu (2018). Digestibility of sulfated polysaccharide from the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum and its effect on the human gut microbiota in vitro. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 112 (1), 1055-1061
Mazur, L.P., Pozdniakova, T.A., Mayer, D.A., Guelli de Souza, S.M. and Vilar, V.J. (2017). Cation exchange prediction model for copper binding onto raw brown marine macro-algae Ascophyllum nodosum: Batch and fixed-bed studies. Chemical Engineering Journal, 316 (1), 255-276
Okolie, C.L., Mason, B., Mohan, A., Pitts, N. and Udenigwe, Ch.C. (2019). The comparative influence of novel extraction technologies on in vitro prebiotic-inducing chemical properties of fucoidan extracts from Ascophyllum nodosum. Food Hydrocolloids, 90 (1), 462-471
Salvi, L., Brunetti, C., Cataldo, E., Niccolai, A. and Mattii, G.B. (2019). Effects of Ascophyllum nodosum extract on Vitis vinifera: Consequences on plant physiology, grape quality and secondary metabolism. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 139 (1), 21-32
Taskos, D., Stamatis, S., Yvin, JC, and Jamois, F. (2019). Effects of an Ascophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jol. extract on grapevine yield and berry composition of a Merlot vineyard. Scientia Horticulturae, 250 (1), 27-32.
Yang, Z., Yin, J. and Wang, Y. (2019). The fucoidan A3 from the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum enhances RCT-related genes expression in hyperlipidemic C57BL / 6J mice. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 134 (1), 759-769.