Super Supplement or Super Marketing: Ecklonia Cava the Brown Algae

Ecklonia cava, a species of brown algae that is found of in oceans near Japan, Korea and China have been marketed as a wonder cure. That this algae contains more antioxidants than green tea and red wine, and that it contains other sources of health protecting compounds. It claims that this ocean algae could increase circulation, aid with pain control, speed up metabolism, help with your sexual performance, cure hair-loss, help with your memory and fight off allergies.

The question now is any of those statements true.

Firstly, if you are getting in a balanced diet, packed with fresh vegetables and fruits, then you should in theory already be getting enough antioxidants. The main antioxidants that is mentioned here would be:

• lycopene found in watermelon, tomatoes, papaya and pink grapefruit
• beta-carotene found in yellow and orange and yellow vegetables and fruit
• lutein, zeaxanthin and other carotenoids found in leafy greens and carrots
• anthocyanins which is found in blueberries, but also other blue and purple vegetable and fruits.

When it comes to Ecklonia cava, this brown marine algae claims to offer 200 times more antioxidants potential than any other nutrient. More so, Ecklonia cava consist of polyphenols and phytochemicals antioxidants. What makes Ecklonia cava special is that it polyphenols antioxidants. Green tea, berries and red wine has phytochemicals antioxidants, but there are on remarkable land based plants that contain polyphenols.

Likewise, Ecklonia cava is fat-soluble. This means that it can stay longer in your system to soak up the free radicals. In fact, water-soluble polyphenols that are found in land-based plants will remain in your system for 30 minutes. Ecklonia cava will remain in the system for 12 hours.

Therefore, it should be stated that the power of an antioxidant is mainly dependent on it structure, which consist of rings that trap electrons and neutralizes free radicals. Red wine and its active antioxidant resveratrol has two rings. The antioxidant in green tea, catechins, has four rings. Ecklonia cava is slightly more unique, as it has eight rings of these polyphenols.

The potential health benefits of Ecklonia Cava

Weight loss

One study that was completed in 2012, observed the results of the use of Ecklonia cava over a 12-week period. What was interesting is that all the sample group, their BMI, body fat ration, waist circumference, as well as waist to hip ratio, and total cholesterol dropped after 12 weeks on this supplement.

Stimulating hair growth

On study in 2013, concluded that Ecklonia cava was effective as promoting hair growth. That is since the supplement through its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory responses were able to protect the skin, but also hair. More so, the supplement contains the component dioxinodehydroeckol. This part stimulates hair growth.

Exercise and endurance

In 2010, the School of Health and Life Science, Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea, conducted a research study on the effectiveness of Ecklonia cava’s polyphenol on endurance performance of college students. The conclusion of the study was that Ecklonia cava’s polyphenol, since it is a potent antioxidant and procirculatory agent, this could have a contributing factor to improvement of endurance performance during highly intense exercise. The study furthermore concluded that the supplement enhanced oxidation of glucose and less production of lactate during periods of intense exercise. Moreover, since the supplements has free radical scavenging and procirculatory activities.


A study that was published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, in 2015, indicated that the compound Dieckol, is found in the edible brown algae Ecklonia cava. Furthermore, this compound has been found to inhibit tumor xenograft growth and to induce apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells.

Lowering cholesterol levels and heart health

Ecklonia cava has been identified by studies to be effective to lower bad cholesterol levels. As this algae helps to improve blood flow from an average of 36.68 cm/sec to 40.09cm/sec, and to lower cholesterol, it could also help to keep your heart healthy by avoiding cardiovascular disease. Also, as the supplement contains high levels of antioxidants, they protect the cells from free radical, which otherwise would damage the cells lining your blood vessels. But as the cells are protected and build-up of plaque is avoided, there is less of a risk for heart problems and to avoid the risk of a stroke.

Assist with erectile dysfunction

The brown algae Ecklonia cava could also be more effective than drugs such as Viagra. However, with the algae, unlike the drug, there is no side effects. This is as the algae is improves blood circulation around the nerves and muscles involved in sexual function, but also the penile artery. The problem though is that the drug works fast, and the algae should be used on a daily basis to have the same results.


Glucose concentrations are often raised in diabetics and aldose reductase has long been supposed to be accountable for diabetic complications involving a number of organs. Many aldose reductase inhibitors have been developed as drug candidates but virtually all have failed. However, Ecklonia cava compounds have been found to be potent aldose reductase inhibitors that could be of benefit for patients with metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, or diabetes. More so, this algae has been shown to decrease blood sugar quickly, and even if you cheat on your diet, blood sugar quickly normalizes.

The bottom line

Ecklonia cava is a super antioxidant and there is no side effects recorded against it. It is edible algae and can be seen as food. More so, this algae has no drug interactions. But it should be stated that although the marketing hype around this super supplement might be a bit much, the benefits cannot be ignored.

From protecting your heart, soothing your stiff joints, increasing your energy levels, to increasing your blood circulation, even to your penis, this is a special supplement.

Even though the research on humans are still a bit lacking, that what is known indicates that this is a supplement that should be in every ones cupboards.