Brown Algae

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Algae, Algas Pardas, Algues Brunes, Algues Brunes Marines, Brown Alga, Brown Algae, Brown Seaweed, EC, ECE, Ecklonia cava, Ecklonia Extract, Eckol, LAD103, Marine Brown Algae, Phlorotannin.


Brown algae are edible algae found off the coast of Japan, Korea, and China.

Brown algae are used for a variety of conditions including cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis, stress, weight loss, heart disease, high cholesterol, and many other conditions.

How does it work?

Brown algae contain several chemicals that work as antioxidants. These chemicals are thought to prevent damage to the body that can lead to cancer and other conditions. Chemicals contained in brown algae might also have effects on inflammation and the body's immune system.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Arthritis.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Insomnia.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Heart disease.
  • Asthma.
  • Gulf War syndrome.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Multiple-chemical sensitivity.
  • Weight loss.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of brown algae.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There is not enough information available to know if brown algae are safe to take for medical conditions.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information available about the safety of brown algae during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using brown algae during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.


The appropriate dose of brown algae depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for brown algae. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Artan M, Li Y, Karadeniz F, et al. Anti-HIV-1 activity of phloroglucinol derivative, 6,6'-bieckol, from Ecklonia cava. Bioorg Med Chem 2008;16:7921-6. View abstract.

Athukorala Y, Kim KN, Jeon YJ. Antiproliferative and antioxidant properties of an enzymatic hydrolysate from brown alga, Ecklonia cava. Food Chem Toxicol 2006;44:1065-74. View abstract.

Jung WK, Ahn YW, Lee SH, et al. Ecklonia cava ethanolic extracts inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in BV2 microglia via the MAP kinase and NF-kappaB pathways. Food Chem Toxicol 2009;47:410-7. View abstract.

Kang K, Hwang HJ, Hong DH, et al. Antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of ventol, a phlorotannin-rich natural agent derived from Ecklonia cava, and its effect on proteoglycan degradation in cartilage explant culture. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol 2004;115-116:77-95. View abstract.

Kang KA, Lee KH, Chae S, et al. Eckol isolated from Ecklonia cava attenuates oxidative stress induced cell damage in lung fibroblast cells. FEBS Lett 2005;579:6295-304. View abstract.

Kang KA, Zhang R, Lee KH, et al. Protective effect of triphlorethol-A from Ecklonia cava against ionizing radiation in vitro. J Radiat Res (Tokyo) 2006;47:61-8. View abstract.

Kim MM, Ta QV, Mendis E, et al. Phlorotannins in Ecklonia cava extract inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activity. Life Sci 2006;79:1436-43. View abstract.

Kim SK, Lee DY, Jung WK, et al. Effects of Ecklonia cava ethanolic extracts on airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in a murine asthma model: role of suppressor of cytokine signaling. Biomed Pharmacother 2008;62:289-96. View abstract.

Li Y, Qian ZJ, Ryu B, et al. Chemical components and its antioxidant properties in vitro: an edible marine brown alga, Ecklonia cava. Bioorg Med Chem 2009;17:1963-73. View abstract.

Park E, Ahn GN, Lee NH, et al. Radioprotective properties of eckol against ionizing radiation in mice. FEBS Lett 2008;582:925-30. View abstract.

Shin HC, Hwang HJ, Kang KJ, Lee BH. An antioxidative and antiinflammatory agent for potential treatment of osteoarthritis from Ecklonia cava. Arch Pharm Res 2006;29:165-71. View abstract.

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