Elite athletes sign up for seaweed trial
CLINICAL trials are underway to see if elite athletes could use an organic seaweed extract from Tasmania’s waters to help with gut health, muscle recovery and inflammation.
Tasmanian biotechnology firm Marinova is running a trial to examine how fucoidan effects key inflammatory markers in sub-elite Australian cyclists.
Another trial is investigating the effect of the seaweed extract on muscle recovery.
Marinova, based in Cambridge, hand harvests an invasive brown seaweed species and has developed a world-first chemical free technology for extracting fucoidan, an extract of brown seaweeds used in research and development of nutritional, pharmaceutical and dermatological applications.
The business has carved out a niche export market as the world’s only producer of high purity, certified organic fucoidan, and exports to more than 25 countries.
Marinova’s chief scientist, Helen Fitton, said the benefits of fucoidan across a range of human health areas were well known.
“We’re hopeful these current studies on gut health and inflammation will confirm that fucoidan significantly benefits sports performance and muscle recovery,” Dr Fitton said.
“There is a lot of interesting research underway at present and we are looking forward to having the results at hand in the first half of 2020.” Marinova recently finished the active phase of a major clinical trial in partnership with the Brisbane Lions AFL club and Griffith University. That data is now being analysed.
Dr Fitton is in the running for the Premier’s Tasmanian STEM Researcher of the Year Award to be announced November 20. Marinova also has been shortlisted for the Australian Organic Industry Awards in the export market leader category to be announced in Melbourne next Friday.