Researchers say seaweed could be the secret to preventing some cancers

By | December 4, 2019

NAPLES

Could the secret to preventing some cancers be under Florida waters?

University of Florida scientists think if you eat a certain kind of seaweed, you may get ahead of some deadly diseases.

Right now, their work is making strides, but still has a long way to go.

Mark Katsnelson from Naples enjoys sipping and sitting out on his lanai. While it may look like a plain, old cup of coffee, “It’s a fake cappuccino,” he says. “It gives me all of the flavors, but no coffee.”

Because of his Chron’s disease, he has to get creative with what he can eat.

“Sometimes, it’s very unpredictable. I might have a good week, a good month, and then the next month I’ll be in bed,” said Katsnelson.

Just as he is hoping for a solution, so are University of Florida students. Researchers, including Doctor Hendrik Luesch, found that consuming a type of seaweed found near the Florida Keys could hold the answer to preventing digestive tract inflammation, Chron’s disease and even cancer.

“It could be digested as a food source, certain seaweeds, or all of them, are dietary,” said Luesch.

He said the seaweed has a chemical compound that has anti-inflammatory traits, which can be eaten or used as an extract.

“I’m hopeful that one day we’ll know more about it,” said Katsnelson.

For someone who has had around 30 treatments for his condition, Katsnelson remains optimistic. “Don’t give up. Life is too precious and too beautiful to not enjoy it.”

And researchers won’t give up either. The next step for UF researchers is to start human clinical studies. Then they can figure out the right dosage for patients.

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