Marine Edible Algae as Disease Preventers

Claudia Mariana Gomez-Gutierrez, Graciela Guerra-Rivas,1 Ima Esthela Soria-Mercado, and Nahara Ernestina Ayala-Sánchez

Contents I. Introduction 30

II. Marine Algae as Food Health Promoters 30

III. Algae as Functional Food: The Preventing Disease Potential 31

A. Risk factors for chronic disease: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) 34

B. Metabolic syndrome prevention 35

C. Cancer prevention 36

IV. Conclusion 37 References 37

Abstract As modern lifestyles and new feeding habits settle in the world, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have evolved to be major causes of disability in developing as well as developed countries. As a concomitant effect, there is a growing interest in natural, healthy food and an increasing awareness of risk factors and determinants of disease. This chapter describes some nutritional facts about seaweeds, which have been used as food since ancient times in China, Japan, Egypt, and India and comments on the potential utilization of marine algae as functional foods.

Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Km 106 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

1 Corresponding author: Graciela Guerra-Rivas, E-mail address: [email protected]

Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 64 © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

ISSN 1043-4526, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-387669-0.00003-X All rights reserved.

This concept and the description of metabolic syndrome are used as a basis to comprehension of seaweeds against two dreadful illnesses of our times: high blood pressure and cancer.

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