An Australian study investigating the effects of two Maritech organic fucoidan extracts on atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common type of eczema, has suggested potential for their use as topical therapeutic agents. The study showed that fucoidan significantly altered gene expression in an in vitro 3D model of atopic dermatitis. Affected genes included those typically associated with skin barrier function, wound healing processes and fluid accumulation.
The study also demonstrated fucoidan significantly inhibited the adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium typically abundant on the skin of AD patients and known to aggravate the condition. The fucoidan did not affect the adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis – a common bacterium found on healthy skin.
Lead author of the paper and Marinova Research Scientist, Dr Ahyoung Park, said: “There is currently an unmet global need for effective, non-toxic treatments for debilitating inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. These latest results suggest fucoidan may be a useful topical agent to assist in the future management of AD and potentially offer relief to millions of sufferers.”
The results build upon previous gut microbiome studies showing that dietary fucoidan has potential to maintain the balance of beneficial and harmful gut flora, reduce gut inflammation and protect gut flora from antibiotics.
The paper, ‘Modulation of Gene Expression in a Sterile Atopic Dermatitis Model and Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus Adhesion by Fucoidan’, published in Dermatopathology is available here.