is a cold water seaweed that grows mainly in the North Atlantic. A. nodosum
is rich in nutrients and has long been used for animal and human consumption.
contains polysaccharides (e.g. ascophyllan, fucoidan & laminarin), amino acids, proteins, phenols, and an unique combination of vitamins and trace elements/minerals including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12, C, E, K, biotin, carotene, folic acid, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc, etc (Baardseth 1970).
The health benefits of A. nodosum
have been demonstrated in a number of in vitro
and in vivo
studies. A. nodosum
and its natural compounds such as phenols and polysaccharides (e.g. ascophyllan, fucoidan & laminarin) have been found with antibacterial (Kadam 2015), antioxidant (Abu 2013, Tamanai-Shacoori 2014) and anti-inflammatory properties (Zhang 2014, Tamanai-Shacoori). A. nodosum
added to in combination with silver confers synergistic antibacterial and anti-biofilm properties, which was able to completely inhibit Streptococcus gordonii
monospecies biofilm formation as well as to reduce the formation of a bi-species S. gordonii
and Porphyromonas gingivalis
(Tamanai-Shacoori 2014), and these actions were linked to A. nodosum
’s modulation effect on host immune response which is associated to soft-tissue breakdown and periodontal diseases (Tamanai-Shacoori 2014).
has been used widely as an oral dental care ingredient globally. The dental and oral health benefits of A. nodosum
have been demonstrated in clinical studies in human (Van Dijken 2015), and in dogs and cats (Gawor 2013, Gawor 2018), and the clinical effects of A. nodosum are thought to be related to its enriched natural compounds within the seaweed (Van Dijken 2015, Gawor 2013, Gawor 2018).
In the human study (Van Dijken 2015), daily intake of A. nodosum
for 6 months as an adjunct to customary oral hygiene showed a major reduction of supragingival calculus formation and reduced plaque formation, in addition to that, the calculus in theA. nodosum
treatment group was found less solid in structure and easier to be removed.
In the animal study (Gawor 2013), a 6-week observation showed significant improvement of the oral health in dogs and cats of taking an A. nodosum
product, in which, it was found administration of A. nodosum
in dogs and cats reduced the rate of oral health index deterioration, as measured quantitatively with dental plaque and tartar.
In the other more recent study (Gawor 2018), a 90-day study in dogs demonstrated that administration of edible treats containing A. nodosum
efficiently decreased plaque and calculus accumulation. Dogs treated with A. nodosum
also exhibited significantly better oral health status than those in the placebo-control group.
Further than its’ benefits in oral health, A. nodosum
is known for is high concentration of alginates, which might help bind and excrete toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium before they can exert their harmful effects in the body.
Isidori (2019) found oral intake of A. nodosum
might have palatability issues and suggested to include palatants in dog foods containing A. nodosum
to help improve palatability. Vetnex Plaque Control has 5 varieties of A. nodosum
products in the range to help manage palatability problem, especially when the product is used for long term or for prevention purpose. In additional to the original seaweed flavour, Vetnex Plaque Control has additional flavoured dental powders (salmon, kangaroo) and choices of dental chews (beef liver, salmon) for rotational use to help achieve ‘fresh meal’ every day for dogs or cats.
1. Baardseth E (1970). Synopsis of biological data on knobbed wrack Ascophyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Le Jolis [Internet]. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/b0672e/b0672e.pdf.
2. Kadam et al (2015). Laminarin from Irish brown seaweeds Ascophyllum nodosum and Laminaria hyperborea: ultrasound assisted extraction, characterization and bioactivity. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 4270-4280; doi:10.3390/md13074270.
3. Abu et al (2013). In vitro antioxidant activities of sulfated polysaccharide ascophyllan isolated from Ascophyllum nodosum. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 59: 305-312.
4. Zhang (2014). Ascophyllan purified from Ascophyllum nodosum induces Th1 and Tc1 immune responses by promoting dendritic cell maturation. Mar. Drugs 12: 4148-4164; doi:10.3390/md12074148.
5. Tamanai-Shacoori (2014). Silver-zeolite combined to polyphenol-rich extracts of Ascophyllum nodosum: potential active role in prevention of periodontal diseases. PLoS One 9(10): e105475. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105475.
6. Van Dijken et al (2015): A randomised controlled clinical study of the effect of daily intake of Ascophyllum nodosum alga on calculus, plaque, and gingivitis. Clin. Oral Invest. 19:1507-1518, DOI 10.1007/s00784-014-1383-2.
7. Gawor et al (2013). Effects of an Ascophyllum nodosum formulation on oral health index in dogs and cats. Weterynaria W Praktyce (Veterinary in Practice) 10.
8. Gawor et al (2018): Effects of edible treats containing Ascophyllum nodosum on the oral health of dogs: a boule-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled single-centre study. Front. Vet. Sci. 5:168, doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00168.
9. Isidori M, Rueca F & Trabalza-Marinucci M (2019): Palatability of extruded dog diets supplemented with Ascophyllum nodosum L. (Fucaceae, Phaeophyceae). Journal of Applied Phycology 31: 3275-3281.