Health benefits and potential applications of fucoidan (FCD) extracted from brown seaweeds in aquaculture: An updated review

Second Author's Department

Center for Applied Research on the Environment & Sustainability

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Fish & shellfish immunology

Publication Date





Nowadays, the application of immunomodulators in aquaculture has become of an urgent need because of high incidence of fish and shrimp diseases. For a long time, researchers have paid great interest to find suitable, relatively economical, and environmentally safe immunostimulant products to be used either as feed or water additives to boost immunity and increase the resistance of fish and shrimp against the challenging pathogens. Probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, phytobiotics, herbal extracts, microalgae, macroalgae, and essential oils have been extensively evaluated. Brown seaweeds (Phaeophyceae) are a large group of multi-cellular macroalgae that are widely distributed in marine aquatic environments. They are abundant in several bioactive sulfated polysaccharides known as fucoidan (FCD). Research studies demonstrated the beneficial functions of FCD in human medicine because of its immunomodulating, antioxidant, anti-allergic, antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. In aquaculture, several researchers have tested the benefits and potential applications of FCD in aquafeed. This literature review provides an updated information and key references of research studies that focused principally on using FCD in aquaculture. Its effects on growth, intestinal health, antioxidant capacity, and immune responses of several finfish and shellfish species will be discussed. This review paper will also highlight the potential efficacy and mechanisms of FCD in the modulation of toxicity signs and increasing the resistance of fish and shrimp against bacterial and viral infections. Hence, this contribution will be valuable to maintain aquaculture sustainability and to improve the health and welfare of farmed fish and shrimp.

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