Hypertension-stemming seaweed: Indian institute seeks industry backing to commercialise new nutraceutical

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

The CMFRI researchers used bioactive pharmacophore leads from the seaweeds to develop the product, which comes in 400mg capsules. ©Getty Images
The CMFRI researchers used bioactive pharmacophore leads from the seaweeds to develop the product, which comes in 400mg capsules. ©Getty Images

Related tags Hypertension Seaweed India

India's Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a novel nutraceutical product from seaweed that is said to be able to combat hypertension, and is now on the lookout for industry partners to help bring it to consumers.

As part of its continued efforts to maximise the medical applications of marine organisms, the CMFRI has produced CadlaminTM Antihypertensive extract (CadalminTM AHe) from commonly found seaweeds in Indian coastal waters, which are known for their multiple medicinal properties.

The CMFRI researchers used bioactive pharmacophore leads from the seaweeds to develop the product, which comes in 400mg capsules.

It has since called on start-ups and entrepreneurs to step forward to commercialise the product via an expression of interest (EOI).

Regulation and prevention

Its regulatory effects on hypertension can purportedly help to prevent strokes, heart failure, heart attacks and arterial aneurysms and chronic kidney failure.

According to senior scientist Kajal Chkaraborty, who was mainly responsible for developing the product using a patented technology, the extract contains 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from selected seaweeds.

He added: “This nutraceutical does not have any side effects, as established by detailed pre-clinical trials. CadalminTM AHe is the only product made with 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from seaweeds, to provide a natural remedy for hypertension."

He further said that the CMFRI was continually working on elucidating the health benefits of seaweeds, and had found that their high potassium content was instrumental in lowering blood pressure by minimising the negative effects of excessive sodium consumption.

Fucoidan, a compound present in brown seaweed, has also been found to prevent and treat blood clots. With a similar structure to the anticoagulant drug Heparin, it provides a natural, more sustainable alternative to avoiding blood clots, or minimising their negative effects in the event of a stroke.

Recent research has also reported that seaweed polyphenols can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Industry helping industry

CadalminTM AHe is the sixth nutraceutical product the CMFRI has developed so far; its previous endeavours include commercialised natural products for prevalent health issues in India, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism and arthritis.

It was launched at a CMFRI function by Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Research and Education.

At the event, ICAR-CMFRI director Dr A Gopalakrishnan extended an invitation to start-ups and entrepreneurs in India to upscale and market the product through an EOI with the CMFRI.

He said that this would not only make the product commercially accessible to consumers across India, but also support and create employment for farmers, fishermen, and other workers in coastal communities in the country.

"The institute is in the process of developing more health products from the country’s under-utilised seaweeds.

"Efforts are being made to standardise and promote seaweed farming all along the Indian coasts as a livelihood option for coastal communities. 

"This is expected to compensate for the dip in income for the fishermen during the lean seasons."

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