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‘Super seaweed’ on the way for health and medicine? Israeli scientists say we can ‘learn from nature’

Scientists from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute have found a way to increase the health and medicinal properties of seaweed, according to a recent study published in Marine Drugs. The researchers claim to have doubled the seaweed’s antioxidants, tripled the amount of natural sunscreen, and increased protective pigments ten-fold. The team grew types of seaweed alongside fish effluents and then subjected them to various stress conditions before assessing the concentration of valuable biomaterials in the plants. This technique of “stressors” was then replicated to cultivate the seaweed under optimal conditions. The researchers are hoping that the “boosted” seaweed can be used by the superfood, drug, and cosmetic industries. The scientists are investigating a variety of natural compounds in seaweed, including anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibiotic substances. Seaweed supports numerous types of sea life, purifies water, and maintains ecological balance, promoting a sustainable integrated approach to aquaculture. The researchers suggest that the study shows how people can benefit from nature without harming it, and learn from it to help preserve and prosper alongside it.

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