Are natural medicines from the ocean the answer to a long, healthy life?

Are natural medicines from the ocean the answer to a long, healthy life?

Different cultures from around the globe have long relied on harvesting natural medicines from the ocean. Their traditions include using various parts of marine animals and ocean plants to treat maladies, improve health, and even contribute to the ability to live longer. Modern-day research into these claims is reaching some of the same conclusions.

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of unique and varied species live in the depths of the ocean, and we’ve only scratched the surface of identifying and understanding all of them. Many marine animals and ocean plants, from the shallows to the deepest parts of the ocean, are thought to include qualities that could be beneficial to human health. 

Underwater Ocean Plant Life

They may contain components that can help humans meet the goal of staying healthy and perhaps even provide cures for diseases.1

The secrets of the ocean

New ocean discoveries are being made all of the time, resulting in countless possibilities for developing natural medicines from the ocean. Traditional Asian medicine has relied on the sea for years, often using dried sponges and corals, along with jellyfish, crab shells, oyster, conch and other mollusks, sea cucumbers and seahorses. One of the most fascinating secrets of the ocean is how each organism has developed a system in which to protect themselves from predators.

Scientist looking at flask during testing

Sponges and coral, for example, do not have an obvious defense system like armor; they emit chemicals to protect themselves instead. It has been discovered, however, that they do not always emit the same amount. “High predator abundance correlated with high abundance of chemically defended sponge species, but reefs with few predators were dominated by undefended sponge species…”2

These inert life forms have evolved into emitting more potent chemicals to protect themselves in areas where the presence of enemies make them more vulnerable to attack. The thought is that it may be possible for those chemicals to be used to boost the human immune system against our enemies — human diseases.

Incorporating these natural supplements into your daily life

On top of providing immune boosting qualities, natural medicines and supplements can be used to enhance your everyday quality of life. Some are thought to contain positive health effects, such as increased energy and decreased inflammation. A 2013 paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information breaks down the body of research supporting the benefits of phytoplankton to cellular health. 

“Phytoplankton is an exceptional source of a variety of bioactive compounds. Among them, pigments and lipids are recognized to have numerous health benefits.”3 To name a few, phytoplankton may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-allergic properties. 

It is these benefits that suggest a phytoplankton supplement may enhance your health. 

Our product, Marine phytoplankton liquid drops, undergoes a special process to make the nutrients more available for use in the body. Read more about our proprietary blend on the website page. 

The ocean is the next big frontier in developing medications and supplements that can help human beings fight disease and stay healthy.


References

Medicine from the sea, Smithsonianmag.com. 
2 Chemical defenses and resource trade-offs structure sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | NCBI.
Plastids of Marine Phytoplankton Produce Bioactive Piments and Lipids , Marine Drugs | MDPI | NCBI.

NOTE: The Smithsonian Magazine, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PNAS, and MDPI have not reviewed or approved the above article.