Immunomodulatory effects of fucoidan in recreationally active adult males undertaking 3-weeks of intensified training

Amanda J Cox, Hollie Speer, Ceridwen R Radcliffe, Kathleen Masocha, Rebecca Ramsey, Nicholas P West, David B Pyne

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The aim of the current study was to determine whether daily fucoidan supplementation ( Undaria pinnatifida extract containing >85% fucoidan, 1 g/day) for three-weeks in a double blind-placebo controlled cross-over trial (ACTRN12621000872831) could modulate alterations in faecal (calprotectin, lysozyme and IgA) and salivary (lactoferrin, lysozyme and IgA) markers of mucosal immune competence typically observed in response to both acute physical activity, and a period of intensified exercise training, in healthy recreationally active men ( n  = 12). Participants responded positively to the intensified training with 16-19% improvement in mean power that was not different between supplement groups. Faecal biomarkers and concentrations of lactoferrin, lysozyme and IgA from resting saliva samples were largely stable over the supplementation period. Concentrations of salivary biomarkers varied significantly over time in response to acute exercise, however differences between supplementation groups were modest. For salivary lysozyme, there was a trend for a lower magnitude of increase post-exercise ( p  = 0.08) and limited return towards pre-exercise in response to fucoidan. For salivary IgA, a greater acute exercise response was noted for IgA in response to fucoidan (~2.7-fold higher; p  = 0.02). Different dosage and supplementation protocols and inclusion of additional immune markers should be considered in subsequent assessments of any potential benefits of fucoidan supplementation in healthy active adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2024


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