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Fucus - marine flora - Fucus vesiculosus L. to fight cellulite

The common name by which this seaweed, or marine algae (flora) is known is Bladderwrack and this plant belongs to the family of brown algae in which the green color of the chlorophyll has been masked by other pigments, mainly fucoxanthin, which is brown, and is used to fight cellulite.

fucus vesiculosus fight cellulite

This marine plant is used both internally as well as in topical lotions for obesity, rheumatism and to fight cellulite, and is also referred to as the anti-fat herb.

This seaweed reaches lengths of between 0.1 and 1 meter and is often dichotomic with small vesicles full of air in its tape-like frond, which serve as floats to keep the plant erect. 

The thallus is held on to the rock by a basilary lamina with hooks (rhizoids). When the conceptacles on the tips of the thallus come loose, they secrete a red or yellow mucus, antheridia, which are male elements and oospheres, which are female elements. The fusion is carried out in the water and brings about immediate germination.

All seaweeds are rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid. Polygalactosides react with the protective outer surface of the skin and the Ion-ion interaction form a protective moisturizing complex, while the fucose polymers are hygroscopic and act as hydrating agents and the ursolic acid helps form a protective barrier on the skin. REF 23

Fucus contains abundant non-essential and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine and lycine - all of these which are found in the elastic fibers of the skin. With this in mind, these ingredients alone would be helpful for the skin's elasticity by increasing hydration and thereby maintaining and improving the skin's elasticity.

Fucus contains a high degree of vitamin C and a small amount of provitamin A (carotenoids, fucoxanthin) and trace elements, mainly iodine (0.02 -0.1%) which is partially as iodide and partially bound to protein or amino acids; diiodotyrosine plus iodine derivatives of thyronine; polysaccharides, alginic acid, plus a linear polymer with various sequences of B-(1->4)-D-mannuronic and a-(1->4)-L-guluronic acid residues; fucans, (a-(1->2)-L-fucose-4-sulfate residues); polyphenols (phloroglucinols of high molecular weight >10,000); phlorotannins; sterols as free fucosterols; polar lipids, sulfated, or phosphate esters of glycosyl diglycerides and sulfated C18-C30 aliphatic alcohols. REF 5 & 6

Iodine compounds such as TEA-Hydroiodide have effective lipolytic properties by stimulating lipases.

Dried, the seaweed still contains 10-12% water and contains 15% mineral salts (0.3-0.8% iodine and appreciable quantities of potassium), 1-2% fatty acids and fucosterol, 4-5% proteins and 65% condensed carbohydrates, basically algin or alginic acid and also a certain amount of cellulose.

Alginic acid is a polymanuronic acid made up of units of D-mannuronic acid in a pyranous shape with 1-4 links. Beside the mannuronic acid there is glucuronic acid and the two are differentiated by their positions in the carboxylic group.

Alginic acid is insoluble in water and swells by absorbing water up to 100 times its weight. The alginates and magnesium alginates are soluble in water but the calcium alginates and the alginates of the heavy metals are not. Alginic acid is precipitated through the addition of an acid to a solution of alcaline alginate.

Fucoidan is a reserve polysaccharide which is soluble in water and is made up of units of L-fucose with 1-2 links in the shape of I-glycoside and with groups of sulphuric esters in C4. The great viscosity of fucoidan makes it a useful substance.

In cosmetic manufacture, the ingredient Fucus is an extract of the dried thallus of the Bladderwrack algae (alga) (Fucus vesiculosus) and is used as a skin conditioning agent and as a fragrance ingredient and chemically classed as a biological product.

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