The aim of the SeaHealth project was to evaluate a range of different Irish and Australian seaweeds as a potential source of bioactives to be used as functional ingredients in food. In particular, with a focus on the gut and metabolic health. SeaHealth was a collaborative effort between Teagasc & CyberColloids (Ireland) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. Follow this link to find out more about the project.
Dr Emer Shannon, the research fellow who conducted the work, joined the CyberColloids team for a 6 month secondment to gain a commercial insight into the development and evaluation of new extracts and ingredients from seaweed.
The study showed that both Irish & Australian seaweeds had the potential to improve gut health. Selected seaweed-derived peptides, polysaccharides and polyphenols inhibited enzymes associated with metabolic syndrome in vitro and some whole seaweeds and their polysaccharide & polyphenol extracts also had prebiotic potential. More detail can be found in the following publications:
- Shannon et al. 2021 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303941/
- Shannon 2022 – https://researchfeatures.com/harnessing-power-seaweed-improve-gut-health/
- Shannon et al. 2022 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9146517/
- Shannon 2023 – https://www.teagasc.ie/news–events/daily/other/screening-seaweeds-for-positive-health-benefits.php
- Shannon et al. 2023 – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10811-022-02900-1
- Shannon 2021 – https://www.teagasc.ie/about/research–innovation/research-publications/tresearch-autumn-winter-2021/the-benefits-of-seaweed-for-our-gut/
The SeaHealth Project (2021-2023) was funded by the Research Leaders 2025 postdoctoral programme, co-funded by Teagasc and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 754380.