Prime

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre-menopausal women: a case report.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Rates of estrogen-dependent cancers are among the highest in Western countries and lower in the East. These variations may be attributable to differences in dietary exposures such as higher seaweed consumption among Asian populations. The edible brown kelp, Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack), as well as other brown kelp species, lower plasma cholesterol levels. Since cholesterol is a precursor to sex hormone biosynthesis, kelp consumption may alter circulating sex hormone levels and menstrual cycling patterns. In particular, dietary kelp may be beneficial to women with or at high risk for estrogen-dependent diseases. To test this, bladderwrack was administered to three pre-menopausal women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and/or menstrual-related disease histories.

CASE PRESENTATION

Intake of bladderwrack was associated with significant increases in menstrual cycle lengths, ranging from an increase of 5.5 to 14 days. In addition, hormone measurements ascertained for one woman revealed significant anti-estrogenic and progestagenic effects following kelp administration. Mean baseline 17beta-estradiol levels were reduced from 626 +/- 91 to 164 +/- 30 pg/ml (P = 0.04) following 700 mg/d, which decreased further to 92.5.0 +/- 3.5pg/ml (P = 0.03) with the 1.4 g/d dose. Mean baseline progesterone levels rose from 0.58 +/- 0.14 to 8.4 +/- 2.6 ng/ml with the 700 mg/d dose (P = 0.1), which increased further to 16.8 +/- 0.7 ng/ml with the 1.4 g/d dose (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

These pilot data suggest that dietary bladderwrack may prolong the length of the menstrual cycle and exert anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Further, these studies also suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component apart from soy that is responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers observed in Japanese populations. However, these studies will need to be performed in well-controlled clinical trials to confirm these preliminary findings.

Links

  • PMC Free PDF
  • PMC Free Full Text
  • FREE Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    School of Public Health, Molecular Epidemiology and Toxicology Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. chrisfs@berkeley.edu

    Source

    MeSH

    Administration, Oral
    Adult
    Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
    Drug Administration Schedule
    Endometriosis
    Estradiol
    Estrogen Antagonists
    Female
    Fucus
    Humans
    Menorrhagia
    Menstrual Cycle
    Menstruation Disturbances
    Phytotherapy
    Pilot Projects
    Progesterone

    Pub Type(s)

    Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    15294021