Properties of fucoidans beneficial to oral healthcare


Fucoidans are sulfated polysaccharides that are found in marine algae and have many useful activities, including antitumor effects, promotion of apoptosis of cancer cells, and antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic actions. In oral medicine, several case reports have shown that fucoidan-containing creams and tablets markedly improved recurrent aphthous stomatitis, symptomatic inflamed tongue, and recurrent oral herpes labialis. The aim of this study was to examine the properties of fucoidans for use in oral healthcare. The antimicrobial, anti-adhesion, endotoxin-neutralizing, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibitory activities of fucoidans were examined. Four key results were obtained: fucoidans showed strong antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans, Streptococcus mutans, and Porphyromonas gingivalis; significantly inhibited the adhesion of S. mutans to bovine teeth and porcelain; were suggested to bind to and neutralize endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) in an LAL assay; and showed COX-1 and/or COX-2 inhibitory activity. These results suggested that fucoidans may be useful in the field of oral healthcare.

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The authors are grateful to Daiichi Sangyo Corporation (Osaka, Japan) for generously providing the fucoidan extract (Power fucoidan) and Cream (Power fucoidan cream); to Dr. Masayuki Taniguchi and Mr. Ryousuke Aida (Niigata University, Niigata, Japan) for advice on the LAL assay; to Dr. Kenjirou Nakamura (Nippon Dental University, Niigata, Japan) for advice on treatment of C. albicans; to Ms. Linda Stevens (National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA) for valuable advice. This work was supported by a Research Promotion KAKENHI Grant (15K11063, 19K10369) from JSPS and NDU Grants (N-17010, N-18014) from The Nippon Dental University.

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SO, ST, and AI designed the study; SO, MO, MM, and AI performed experiments; SO, and AI analyzed data; and SO and AI wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Shunya Oka.

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Oka, S., Okabe, M., Tsubura, S. et al. Properties of fucoidans beneficial to oral healthcare. Odontology 108, 34–42 (2020).

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  • Fucoidan
  • Antimicrobial
  • Endotoxin-neutralizing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Oral healthcare