Home Seaweeds The Biological Uniqueness of Seaweed
The Biological Uniqueness of Seaweed

Seaweed has an important role in nature as a producer of organic agents in water reservoirs. Studies show that they produce a quantity of organic carbon identical to the quantity produced by plants that grow on land. Directly or indirectly, all creatures that live in water are dependent on seaweed. It is interesting to note that it is possible to find seaweed on the ground, on the bark of trees and on stones. Many common seaweeds connect with other organisms and participate in the circulation of natural resources.

Seaweed has an important role in nature as a producer of organic agents in water reservoirs. Studies show that they produce a quantity of organic carbon identical to the quantity produced by plants that grow on land. Directly or indirectly, all creatures that live in water are dependent on seaweed. It is interesting to note that it is possible to find seaweed on the ground, on the bark of trees and on stones. Many common seaweeds connect with other organisms and participate in the circulation of natural resources.  

By tripling the groups of organisms that take part in the circulation of nature’s resources (producing - consuming - decomposing), seaweed works together with autotrophic bacteria and uppermost plants as a productive link, due to which all of the organisms that do not produce chlorophyll are able to exist. 

Seaweed holds fast to the seabed by means of rhizoids and suckers. The chemical composition is variable. The green seaweed is characterized by its high protein content - 40-45%, in addition to, bicarboxylase, algin, arginine, leipin. The content of proteins in green seaweed is 30 - 35%, fats 10%, zinc, copper, iron, cobalt and other elements. The brown seaweed contains 5 - 15% protein, 70% carbohydrates, 1 - 3% fats. The carbohydrates are composed of mannitol, laminite, polyuronide, alginate acid and porin acid, pyroxidine, laminarine (seaweed starch), fiber, and the ratio between protein and non-protein nitrogen is 1:1; the proteins contain a large quantity of iodinic acids.

The red seaweed contains up to 70% carbohydrates; of the simple sugars - fluoridazine, of the disaccharides - trehalose, a sugar with the highest value amongst the polysaccharides - agar. All of the saccharides are contained in the components of the seaweed surface as sodium salts, potassium and calcium in the appropriate acidity. About 20% protein. The ash contains a large quantity of graphite and, in smaller quantities, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and chlorine. 

Seaweeds contains a high nutritional value. They are rich in many vitamins (especially the B group vitamins), micro- and macro - elements. Seaweed is able to store elements whose content in seawater is smaller. Thus the concentration of the element magnesium in Laminaria seaweed is 9 - 10 times higher than its concentration in seawater; sulphur - 17 times; bromine - 13 times. One kilogram of Laminaria contains the identical quantity of iodine as is contained in 100,000 liters of seawater. Laboratory studies show that Laminaria contains a quantity of pro-vitamin A equal to the quantity that is found in apples, plums, cherries and oranges. The quantity of B1 vitamins in Laminaria equals the quantity of vitamins in dry yeast. Dry Laminaria contains between 15 - 240 mg. of Vitamin C. The brown seaweed contains Vitamin C in a quantity identical to that contained in oranges, pineapple, forest berries and green onions. 

Seaweed contains a large series of bioactive agents: unsaturated fatty acids, chlorophyll derivatives, polysaccharides, fucoidan, glucan, alginic acid, plant sterols, carotenoids. Laboratory tests found that Vitamin A in seaweed prevents hemorrhage. Many types of seaweed have anti-tumor qualities (Laminaria, Fucus), are anti-inflammatory and strengthen the immune system. 

Laminaria seaweed is rich in alginic acid. The many medical properties of seaweed can be explained by the presence of the above-mentioned polysaccharides, the level of absorption of which is higher than the level of absorption of any other absorbent materials in nature. When alginate of potassium, alginate of sodium, alginate of magnesium and sodium alginate dissolve in water they create a viscose solution, and due to this quality much use is made of them in the food and pharmacological industries. Presently, the brown seaweed is the only raw material that constitutes a source for the production of alginic acids.