Elite ath­letes sign up for sea­weed trial

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - PA­TRICK GEE

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.

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