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Dr. D'Adamo, I own a small health food store and have a customer who is reading your book. She is type O and was interested in your section on 'bladder wrack' on page 90. You list your source for bladder wrack as 'Fucus vesiculosus' and although we carry several different brands of kelp in the store, they are either 'Laminaria spp' or 'Ascophyllum nodosum'. Can either of these be used with the desired results, or do I need to find the source listed in your book?


Bladderwrack is an excellent nutrient for type Os. However, there are many kelps which are referred to as "bladderwrack. Only Fucus vesiculosis will do the trick. The critical sugar fucose, which is found in Fucus seems to help normalize the sluggish metabolic rate and produce weight loss.

In addition to fucose, Fucus vesiculosus contains a wide spectrum of polysaccharides including fucoidans (containing mainly fucose and sulfate) and fucans (composed of neutral sugars with a high content of uronic acids), as well as glucosamine. Fucus vesiculosus also has a lectin or lectin-like compound.

In addition to its effects on metabolism (largely through modulating the effects of the immune system on the the thyroid gland) Fucus has the following additional actions::

Anticoagulant Activity: Results indicate the fucoidan fraction posseses anticoagulant activity,1 and fibrinolytic properties. (1,2) Antimetastatic and Antitumor Activity: In vitro, fucoidan is a potent inhibitor of tumor cell invasion, acting to block tumor cell adhesion. (3) Immunomodulating Activity: Fucoidan stimulates immunoreactions of the humoral and cellular types, (4) enhances the phagocytosis of macrophages, (5) and suppresses eosinophil recruitment to sites of allergic inflammation. (6) Antimicrobial Activity: Fucoidan inhibits the growth of gram negative and positive organisms, (7) and a variety of viruses. (8) The lectin extracted from Fucus vesiculosus agglutinates Candida guilliermondii and C. krusei, (9) and has a toxic effect on some strains of E.coli and all strains tested of Neisseria meningitidis. (10) Evidence indicates that fucose containing carbohydrates can inhibit adhesion of Helicobacter pylori.

(11) Fucoidan has anti-adhesion activity against Plasmodium falciparum (the malaria parasite) and is capable of inhibiting sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes and merozoite reinvasion of erythrocytes. (12) Inflammatory recruitment of leukocytes into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during bacterial meningitis has been shown to contribute to neurological damage. Fucoidin treatment dramatically reduces the accumulation of both leukocytes and plasma protein in the CSF of rabbits with bacterial meningitis. (13)

It is available from the shopping mall on this website. As a retailer, you may want to contact North American direct set up an account to purchase bladderwrack direct from them.


1. Rozkin MIa, Levina MN, Efimov VS, Usov AI. Comparative study of the anticoagulant activity of sulfated polysaccharides from marine brown algae. Farmakol Toksikol 1988;51:63-68. [Article in Russian]

2. Durig J, Bruhn T, Zurborn KH, et al. Anticoagulant fucoidan fractions from Fucus vesiculosus induce platelet activation in vitro. Thromb Res 1997;85:479-491.

3. Soeda S, Ishida S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. Inhibitory effect of oversulfated fucoidan on invasion through reconstituted basement membrane by murine Lewis lung carcinoma. Jpn J Cancer Res 1994;85:1144-1150.

4. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]

5. Itoh H, Noda H, Amano H, et al. Antitumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan, prepared from Sargassum thunbergii of Phaeophyceae. Anticancer Res 1993;13:2045-2052.

6. Teixeira MM, Hellewell PG. The effect of the selectin binding polysaccharide fucoidin on eosinophil recruitment in vivo. Br J Pharmacol 1997;120:1059-1066.

7. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]

8. Baba M, Snoeck R, Pauwels R, de Clercq E. Sulfated polysaccharides are potent and selective inhibitors of various enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1988;32:1742-1745.

9. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Selective interaction of a Fucus vesiculosus lectin-like mucopolysaccharide with several Candida species. Ann Microbiol (Paris) 1983;134A:149-154.

10. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Toxicity of an algal mucopolysaccharide for Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis strains. Rev Esp Fisiol 1984;40:227-230.

11. Stromqvist M, Falk P, Bergstrom S, et al. Human milk kappa-casein and inhibition of Helicobacter pylori adhesion to human gastric mucosa. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1995;21:288-296.

12. Rowe A, Berendt AR, Marsh K, Newbold CI. Plasmodium falciparum: a family of sulphated glycoconjugates disrupts erythrocyte rosettes. Exp Parasitol 1994;79:506-516.

13. Granert C, Raud J, Xie X, et al. Inhibition of leukocyte rolling with polysaccharide fucoidin prevents pleocytosis in experimental meningitis in the rabbit. J Clin Invest 1994;93:929-936.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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Many sea vegetables, and in particular bladderwrack, have many unique characteristics and properties and are used extensively as food in coastal cuisines around the world.

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