Rhamnan Laboratory was established in 2016 with the goal of introducing the physiological functions of seaweeds.
Since ancient times, seaweeds have commonly been included in the Japanese diet. Seaweeds are rich in minerals and dietary fibers, which help in maintaining good health among the Japanese people. Recent studies continue to scientifically demonstrate the benefits of seaweed consumption on living organisms.
Culinary customs using seaweed as an ingredient are less prevalent in other countries. However, the long lifespan of the Japanese people could be attributed to their unique food culture; therefore, Japanese cuisine has gained a great deal of attention and has recently been registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
There is an increasing awareness about the health benefits of seaweed consumption and the culture of eating seaweed is being promoted globally. Until recently, it was known as “seaweed”; however, currently, it is also being referred to as a “sea vegetable”.
There are many varieties of seaweeds, such as konbu and mozuku (brown seaweed). It is a well-known fact that seaweeds contain polysaccharides, such as alginic acid and fucoidan. Thus, research on the effects of seaweeds on living organisms is further growing.
Investigation of the polysaccharides present in a variety of green seaweeds revealed that Monostroma nitidum (aosa) contained a sulfated polysaccharide known as rhamnan sulfate.
Studies on the effects of rhamnan sulfate on living organisms have shown that it positively affects living organisms as it is associated with the suppression of hepatic fat deposition and regulation of fat metabolism genes, in addition to other benefits such as cholesterol reduction (e.g., fucoidan), anticoagulation, and antiviral effects.
Rhamnan laboratory was established with the aim to conduct extensive research on the physiological functions of seaweeds in order to create awareness in the society about the health promotion and disease prevention benefits of seaweeds.