25th September 2023 – (Sydney) Groundbreaking research conducted by scientists at Flinders University in South Australia has uncovered the remarkable anti-ageing properties of brown seaweed unique to the region. The study, published on Monday, highlights the potential of South Australian brown seaweed extracts in combating the deterioration of collagen and elastin, essential proteins for maintaining youthful skin.
Co-author of the study, Wei Zhang from Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health, expressed excitement over the findings, stating, “We found that extracts from South Australian brown seaweed have huge potential to be used to help slow the effects of ageing on our skin.”
Collagen and elastin are vital components in the human body, contributing to the strength, elasticity, and overall appearance of the skin. The study revealed that the extracts from three endemic brown seaweed species in South Australia not only stimulated collagen growth but also inhibited glycation, a process that leads to the degradation of collagen and elastin.
South Australia boasts the highest diversity of seaweed in the world, with approximately 1,500 known species, more than half of which are exclusive to the region. This abundance of seaweed resources presents an opportunity for the development of a thriving domestic seaweed cultivation industry. The Australian Seaweed Institute (ASI) predicts that by 2040, the industry could be valued at 1.5 billion Australian dollars (approximately 963.9 million U.S. dollars) annually and employ around 9,000 people.
Zhang emphasised the potential of seaweed as a rich source of bioactive compounds that can be utilized in natural health and skincare products. He stated, “Seaweed is a great source of multiple bioactive ingredients with potential applications in natural health and skincare products.”