Medicinal and health benefit effects of functional sea cucumbers

Deep Sea Diamond News   •   March 27, 2019

Sea cucumbers have long been used as food and traditional medicine in Asian countries withStichopushermanni,Thelenota ananas, Thelenota anax, Holothuria fuccogilva,andActinopyga mauritiana as mosthighly-valued species. These organisms are a potential source of high value-added compounds with therapeutic properties such as triterpene glycosides, carotenoids, bioactive peptides, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, collagens, gelatins, chondroitin sulfates, amino acids. In recent years, health benefit effects of sea cucumbers have been validated through scientific research and have shown medicinal value such as wound healing, neuroprotective, antitumor, anticoagulant, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. These functional materials lead to potential development in various foods and biomedicine industries. In this review, we have presented a general view of major medicinal and health benefit effects of functional sea cucumbers from the Asia region. The structural significance and the potential application of sea cucumber-derived functional materials, as well as their nutritional value, are also discussed.

  • Sea cucumbers are a source of high value-added compounds with health benefit effects to be used as functional ingredients. Bioactive peptides, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, saponins, carotenoids, collagens, gelatins, chondroitin sulfates, amino acids, fatty acids, and other bioactive compounds are an example of such sea cucumber derived functional ingredients that can be added at different stages of the food and biomedicine pro-duction process.

  • Sea cucumber represents good nutritional values which make them good candidates as a source of amino acids, triterpene glycosides, PUFA, polysaccharides, carotenoids, vitamin, minerals, collagen, gelatin, phenolic, flavonoids, and bioactive peptides. Additionally, sea cucumber presents low contents in lipids.

  • Sea cucumbers showed high potential as natural ingredients in foods as well as the pharmaceutical industry; hence, these marine organisms can be used maximally in the research areas of new drug development. However, understanding the specific structures and bioactivities relationship of marine algal fibers is still a great challenge, further, there is a considerable gap in this area compared with the isolation rate of new compounds.