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Mozuku Fucoidan - must have in shrimp medicine cabinet


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It’s time for some new reading material on SKF. With a view of knowing what new products are out there in our hobby, so we stay ahead of the game and to make informed decisions.  So what’s new in shrimp healthcare?


Intro -
Mozuku, a noodle-like seaweed, CladosiphonokamuranusTokida for its scientific name, is mainly harvested in Okinawa prefecture composed of a series of islands located in the most southern part of Japan.

About 95% mozuku are harvested in this prefecture. Fucoidan has been extracted from Mozuku seaweed. Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide and is used as a dietary fibre, (MW: average 20,000), which is found mainly in various species of brown seaweed such as kombu, limu moui, bladderwrack, wakame, mozuku, and hijiki (variant forms of fucoidan have also been found in animal species, including the sea cucumber).
Dietary fibres are indigestible in enterogastric tract so that it is excreted in faeces. While it goes through enteric tract, however, lymphatic system consisted of lymphatic tracts and lymph nodes densely surrounding enteric tract may perceive it as foreign substance so that it may enhance immune system to break down cancerous cells made in body.


This following article is written in relation to effects in humans, and was mostly lifted off the web. While a lot of experiments have been for human consumption, we are beginning to see products emerge for the shrimp hobby industry.


(sections 1-4 borrowed from web)
1. Power of fucoidan
In early 1988 a researcher announced that fucoidan contained in brown sea weeds had a power to perish cancerous cells. Also other researchers announced following other effects of fucoidan;
1)    anti coagulating effect of blood
2)    resisting the outbreak of cancerous cells
3)    resisting viruses
4)    suppressing allergy
5)    adjusting enterogastric tract
6)    lowering blood cholesterol
7)    anti-oxidant effect
8)    anti-inflammatory effect in the skin and so on


2.    Main components of mozuku and chemical compositions of fucoidan
So then what will be fucoidan and mozuku? Some foods are slippery or mucous in its nature. For instance, we can raise okra, fermented soybean called as natto, egg white, etc.  Such mucous in nature is said to be due to mucoproteins.  Also kelp and mozuku have slippery nature.  This is due to a polysaccharide called arginte.

Main component of mozuku is a series of dietary fibres such as fucoidan, uronate, arginate, and fuco-okigosaccharides.  Sulphate residues bind to some sugars. Also there are some organic acids in mozuku.

Among these fucoidan is a polymer of heterosaccharide composed of many sugars such as L-fuose, d-galactose, D-glucose, D-mannose, D-wylose, and D-glucronic acid, to some of which many molecules of sulphate are binding. Fucoidan is also called fucoidin or fucan. It is contained in many brown algae such as kelp, but mozuku contains it about 5 to 56 times more than kelp.


3.    Mechanism of power of fucoidan
1)    Increasing effective enteric flora and decreasing ineffective ones.
As a role of fucoidan, it is known that it has a power to increase Bifidobacteriumbifudus known as an effective flora. Its main food is lactose which is found in cow’s milk or human milk. In the baby’s colon the effective flora such as Bifidobacteriumbufudus occupy about 90% of all flora, but it decreases as ages go on to about 10% at age of 70s. On the other hand, Clostridium perfringens (Clostridium welchii) as an ineffective flora is known to cause food poisoning. It is found not only in soils, but also in the colon of animals and man. Ineffective flora may produce poisonous or cancerous substances so that such flora should be excluded from our colon. Ineffective flora may fasten ageing because it may deteriorate immune system.

If there are favourable flora, it may reject ineffective flora so that it is natural that effective flora should be increased more.

2)    Why Helicobacter pylori is so fearful?
It is said that about 70% of Japanese are infected with Helicobacter pylori, when they become 40 years old or more. This bacterium lives mainly in very mucous gastric membrane. It is also known that it may cause stomach cancer. Gastritis so called so far is also known to be caused by this bacterium, and it is now clear that it is related with stomach ulcer, duodenum ulcer, stomach cancer, lymphatic tumour, etc.

In early 1989, professor Matsuda of Shimane University reported that mozuku had a bactericidal power effective against O-157, enterohaemorrbagic E. Coli.

3)    The power starts with contact Bactericidal power and apoptosis effect.
Professor Taguchi of Mie university reported that fucoidan from mozuku had not only bactericidal power but also perishing power of tumour cells. When he put Escherichia coli or tumour cells on a Petri-dish and added a fucoidan solution, he observed that power of fucoidan as described above. Such power to perish tumour cells is known as apoptosis, a phenomenon of self-extinction of tumour cells. For instance, when a tadpole grows and turns to be frog, its tail also spontaneously disappear. Such phenomena are also known as apoptosis. This means that power of fucoidan starts with its direct contact with bacteria or tumour cells.

In fact fucoidan may have such direct effect in our body. Our digestive tracts are covered of mucous membrane and protected by it. Mucous membrane facilitates food stuff to move smoothly. If membrane is damaged by some cause to become stomach or duodenum ulcer, fucoidan in its presence may cover the damaged part and protect it, and eventually reduce pains.

4)    Transporter of cholesterol
Cholesterol is also made in liver and some of its pass through bile tract and enters into digestive tract. Some are absorbed into intestine and come back to liver. This is known as a phenomenon of enterohepatic circulation.

Dietary fibre has a power to reduce blood cholesterol level, since it transports cholesterol excreted from gall into digestive tract and excretes it in faeces. Fucoidan is a dietary fibre as described before, so that it may transport cholesterol as other dietary fibres do.

5)    Activating effective flora and extinguishing harmful flora
It is said that about 300 to 400 kinds of flora live in our large intestine, colon. That means both effective and harmful flora coexist in it.

If fucoidan of mozuku excretes toxides produced from harmful flora, it may cleanse out body. For instance, if you break wind with nasty smell, it may suggest that there are so many harmful floras in your colon.

6)    Possibility of occurrence of enzyme to break fucoidan in our body
Fucoidan is a foreign substance to our body. When it enters into intestine, it may be considered that our body cells may perceive it as a foreign substance, and our immune system would highly react to it so to produce immune cells or substances, that are the self-defensive army to protect our body. Therefore it would be suggested that fucoidan can enhance our immune system.


4.    Other effects of mozukufucoidan
Fucoidan has also other effects such as anti-tumour, prevention of coagulating blood, adjusting intestinal disorders, and so on. Here are raised such effects in detail to some extent.

1)    Allelopathy effect
As a test mozuku in a container of sea water strongly suppressed the growth of other algae. Such suppressive effect is called “allelopathyâ€. Here is a case happened to two men. They were suffering from lung cancer and drank fucoidan solution so that their body weight increased and they got healthier.

2)    Preventing effect of ulcer
Stomach is covered with mucous membrane. Mucous substance is generally called mucoprotein, a kind of sugar-protein. “Muco†means mucous. Fucoidan is a muco-polysaccharide. So focoidan might protect stomach membrane with its mucous nature.

3)    Preventing effect of blood coagulation
As a factor to prevent blood coagulation, it is known that there is a substance called heparin in our body, a product of mucopolysaccharide produced in liver. Chemically it contains sulphate residues in itself as fucoidan does. So fucoidan also has a preventing effect of blood coagulation.

4)    Anti-viral effect
It is reported that fucoidan has an effect against PRVD virus of tiger prawn and HIV virus that is known as AIDS virus.

5)    Anti-allergy effect
It is said that mozuku has an anti-allergy effect. We will raise an example of atopic dermatitis, an allergic illness; A chief doctor of a clinic in Okinawa city said that when he sprayed concentrated fucoidan solution to some patients with atopic dermatitis or dry skin for a test for few days, the itch was gone. Since then at this clinic, he uses that concentrated solution and grains made of the powder for treatment.

A woman who bought mozuku extract told as follows; “My son, a junior high school student, had acne on his face and it suppurated. He used medicinal ointment on it but it did not work effectively. I let him drink mozuku extract and also he applied it on his face. So it worked amazingly. Unbelievableâ€

6)    Adjusting intestine disorders
As described before, fucoidan is a kind of dietary fibre. The mozuku powder contains 34.4g dietary fibre per 100g. So that it has an adjusting effect of intestine disorders.

It is a case happened to my friend’s wife. When I visited a friend of mine, I found her face was not glossy. So I was afraid to ask her, and she replied that she was suffering from constipation for last few years.

Then I suggested her to drink the mozuku extract as for a test, and I gave her two bottles of it and said to keep drinking for a week. Few days later, they visited me and she smiled and said, “It come out, it come out.â€

7)    Lowering effect of blood cholesterol
It is said that dietary fibre in mozuku could catch cholesterol in colon and excrete it in faeces. It might be said that as effect of dietary fibre fucoidan could lower blood cholesterol level.

8)    Anti-oxidation effect
Our body needs oxygen to live. Air contains oxygen by about 20% and nitrogen by 79%. The rests of 1% are consisted of helium and argon, and small amount of carton dioxide, etc. Oxygen is essential substance for us to live. However, sometimes it is activated so harmful with its so reactive property. This oxygen is called radical oxygen. It must be lessen in our body. The substances to lessen it are called “anti-oxidants.†Vitamin C, vitamin E or carotene, etc. are included in it. Fuciodan also has an anti-oxidation effect.

9)    Preventing effect of dermatitis
We cannot live without sunlight. Sun gives us not only energy but also it activates vitamin D taken into our body from the outside. In sun beam ultra violet rays and infrared ray are included. Some ultra violet ray activates vitamin D and infrared ray gives heat. But when exposed with both rays too much, it causes inflammation on the skin.

It is lucky, however, that as a result of experiment fucoidan solution was known to prevent this inflammation.

When fucoidan solution is anointed on the skin, it is sticky first, but after a few minutes it becomes very smooth, and you may feel good. This may mean that slippery nature of fucoidan really protects our skin.

As such mentioned above, fucoidan has so many tremendous effects. But you have to be aware that most of the effects so far mentioned are the results of in vitro experiments. The clinical cases shown here come from the experiences of the suffering people. Therefore we have to wait so many clinical results.

As described above, we have been seeing so many cases that after drinking fucoidan solution, stomach ulcer was really cured, or stink of faeces was gone away. This may show that fucoidan worked so surely and effectively in our body by some ways. We have to submit to the wonderful power of fucoidan.

(end of borrowed content)



5. Mozuku Fucoidan for shrimps
With so many instances of possible bacterial infection causing deaths in our shrimp hobby, and unlike the fish hobby, where medication is scarce to non-existent, it’s refreshing to see the first of what seems to be a product that is a must have on our shelves for those times when the shrimp show signs of illness. 
So there seems to be some evidence of the positive effects of Mozuku fucoidan as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral agent. How then, can we utilise this in the shrimp hobby to prevent bacterial or viral outbreaks in our tank?

Currently only one product for shrimps uses Mozuku Fucoidan, and that is a Lowkeys product called Recovers.

It’s unfortunate that we cannot get this product readily in Australia. However, the more hobbyist who know about this ingredient or product, the more chances we have of obtaining it through various means. The bigger players who have a distribution arm in Australia might start making it themselves and making it available locally.

I bought my bottle of Lowkeys Recovers from Aquarist Chamber, and I have been using it the last half of 2013 summer till now. It’s a 200ml bottle, and is easily applied. Just add few drops (5ml) to every 10L, at each water change.

So far no deaths have occurred. There is a lower risk of bacterial infections during the winter months, so I can cut down the usage to maybe every second water change. I will be using this product regularly and will report back if there are any updates.


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Awesome jayc......you've got my vote for member of the week :-)  :smile:

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Another awesome article from Dr Plant, thanks jayc for making us aware of this fantastic product! :D

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If I can get more bottles, I'll let SKF know.

There is a possibility of getting more in December. Maybe sooner if there is significant interest for a group purchase.

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