A new dietary supplement is emerging that could become one of the best products for overall health. The sea cucumber supplement might very well become one of the most popular supplements in the world. When it comes to sports nutrition, sea cucumber supplements have several applications.
A little-known sea creature, Sea Cucumber, has proven to be one of the world’s best superfoods and one of the best all-around supplements. It has been known to Chinese Traditional Medicine and Folk Medicine around the world for everything from joint health and improved mobility, to reduction of inflammation, from improved blood circulation to vasodilation, from blood clot prevention to fighting cancer, from blood sugar regulation to wound healing and gum health. Few nutritional supplements and superfoods can claim such a reputation as the strange but treasured Cucumaria Frondosa Sea Cucumber.
What Is Sea Cucumber
Although the Chinese and other Asian nations treasure Sea Cucumber consumption to the tune of nearly ten-billion US dollars per year, American consumers are only just beginning to catch on to their secret to overall wellness and culinary delight. In China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea, Sea Cucumber is a valued superfood originally afforded only by royalty but now widely circulated and cooked on special occasions, holidays, and to impress honored guests. Prices of dried Sea Cucumber can range from fifteen dollars per LB for undesirable South American species to as much as $2,500 per LB for the rarer more exotic species. It is quite common for people to illegally harvest and sell sea cucumber because they are so expensive. Fortunately for North Americans, the species found in the deep cold waters of the North Atlantic are both plentiful and moderately priced. And, unlike most Sea Cucumbers around the world, the Cucumaria frondosa is not endangered, not farm raised, and not harvested in shallow inshore waters where industrial waste and other pollutants can be found. But more importantly, this Sea Cucumber species (Cucumaria frondosa) has been more studied for its health-promoting attributes than any other species in the world.
Anti-Cancer Benefits of Sea Cucumber
One of the reasons is apparent in its very name – frondosa. A unique, rare, a very potent anti-cancer agent has been identified as a naturally occurring component of this species. This substance known as “frondoside” has so far only been found in one other place, the renowned Maitake mushroom. Scientific studies consistently show cancer cell apoptosis (cell death) in a wide array of human cancer cells exposed to Frondoside-A, from melanoma skin cancer to myeloma leukemia, from pancreatic cancer to glioblastoma brain tumors, from breast cancer to liver cancer, from colon cancer to lung cancer. It is important to note that is cell death has shown to be selective to only the cancer cells. Few naturally occurring materials can tout such potency and shall we say “natural intelligence”. I expect in the coming years new cancer drugs will emerge that employ this powerful life-supporting material and there are some known to be in development. We don’t know for sure if daily intake of Sea Cucumber is going to yield such results as shown in scientific papers detailing both in-vitro and in-vivo laboratory testing around the globe, but it seems to suggest that certainly Sea Cucumber should be considered as an essential must-have dietary supplement for cancer prevention among other things. We know we should all eat our cruciferous and green leafy vegetables to support good health and balanced nutrition, if we take that very same approach to supplementation then there are certainly a few key supplements that are must-haves and given the science, Sea Cucumber certainly fits into that category.
Sports Nutrition Benefits
For athletes, blood flow and vasodilation are important to the delivery of the oxygen and nutrients needed to support performance and cell regeneration. Equally important for optimizing movement and performance is joint health. The special form of chondroitin sulfate found uniquely in Sea Cucumber provides a triple benefit, addressing all three of these essential functions, providing athletes with a secret weapon against joint issues and fatigue. It naturally enhances blood oxygen availability by increasing blood flow throughout the body and dilating blood vessels hence supporting muscle building workouts while it delivers much-needed chondroitin-sulfate to joint tissue. This also suggests that Sea Cucumber is a valuable supplement for male sexual enhancement and improved performance. It is rich in collagen and omega-3 EPA fatty acids, anti-oxidants, and is high in quality protein. It’s unique characteristics and composition make Sea Cucumber the ultimate joint health supplement and the ultimate sports performance supplement. Few supplements on the market can compare with its naturally occurring nutritional potency.
We could go on and on about the scientific aspects and nutritional components in Sea Cucumber, but I think that is best reserved for the scientists and the studies themselves. There’s about one-hundred scientific studies supporting the benefits of taking this powerful superfood, of them that can be found on the internet, a good number of the assays are on the PubMed website. What is import for the laymen to know is that Sea Cucumber is safe to use, very safe, unless one is allergic to fish and seafood. Sea Cucumber is classified as a fish allergen by US FDA and therefore should not be used or handled by those allergic to fish and seafood. Also, those persons on blood thinning drugs should avoid the use of Sea Cucumber to avoid excess thinning of the blood and bleeding issues and this fact is a testament to its unique potency.
Buying A Good Sea Cucumber Supplement
Sea cucumber has been treasured for centuries and now, thanks to visionaries in the nutritional field, it is easily accessible and easy to add to one’s supplement regimen. The best brands to buy are wild caught, Cucumaria frondosa species, from the USA and packed in an FDA inspected facility. When buying a North American Sea Cucumber supplement, you can be assured that you are getting what it says on the label and not a cheap low cost or low-quality substitute which can be found in low priced brands. We recommend Vita-Canyon SeaFit as one of the better brands of Sea Cucumber supplement due to its purity, species, and catch origin.
Let’s breakdown the bio-active components to take a quick look at the wherefore and why of the North American Sea Cucumber’s value as a must-have nutritional supplement and top superfood:
The Bio-Active Components of The Sea Cucumber Supplement
Proteins, Collagen, and Amino Acids – pound for pound this sea cucumber delivers one of the highest quality pure proteins in the world, next to proteins like whey protein and hydrolyzed protein powders, egg whites, which is great for muscle building! Ultimately animal proteins are more useful and of the right structure for human nutritional uptake and body bio-chemistry when compared to plant proteins. Sea cucumber is rich in the best form of marine collagen (collagen is a key structural protein that provides strength to connective tissue such as tendon, but which can be found throughout the human body). Unlike hydrolyzed collagens from mammals, there is no risk of prion disease which is a potential risk factor of bovine collagens. Intake of natural collagen is an essential nutritional requirement of an anti-aging diet as collagen levels tend to become depleted as we age. Collagen’s role in healthy connective tissue such as muscles, tendons, skin, and joints is key to sustained performance and the prevention of sports and motion injuries. The unique shape-shifting elasticity of the sea cucumber (stiffening and softening at will) suggests it may offer enhancements over other forms of marine collagen such as that derived from fish skin. Sea cucumber is an unusually elastic creature that can change its shape and texture instantly and when cooked resembles soft cartilage. Which brings us to the subject of the next important nutrient found in Sea Cucumber, i.e. peptides.
Peptides – closely linked to proteins and collagens, peptides are important molecular and chemical structures that support protein synthesis and the functional aspects of various tissue such as skin, muscle, and ligaments in their ability to flex, relax, and display elasticity. Hence, peptides are often added to skin care products. Sea cucumber peptides are considered very high quality and have garnered the attention of scientists.
Fatty Acids – a unique complex of oily fats with EPA Omega-3 at about 24% relative basis. EPA is widely recommended for supporting a healthy cardiovascular system including heart, veins and arteries including arterial wall elasticity, muscle health, improved HDL cholesterol, dietary-fat burning, brain development and brain cell composition, improved mood, liver cleansing, skin health, and better joint health including improved mobility and reduction of stiffness and pain. Pure Sea Cucumber powder delivers a well-rounded matrix of essential fatty acids, although EPA Omega-3 is the most prevalent fatty acid found in the product.
Vitamins – a naturally occurring B complex which delivers energy and alertness including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin); and vitamin A, D, and E
Minerals – zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, and calcium all essential nutrients needed to support cellular, blood, and bone health
Anti-inflammatories – users of Sea cucumber powder typically report significant reductions in visible inflammation and in joint pain (usually caused by inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and spondylitis as well as overexertion and excessive use).
GAGS (glycosaminoglycan, mucopolysaccharides, and sulfated polysaccharides): GAGS serve as liquids that lubricate joints and act as shock absorbers like a hydraulic shock absorber, and this is just one of the reasons why Sea Cucumber is so suited to active lifestyles. Users of Sea Cucumber usually report very significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness, improved mobility and reduced inflammation. The same is true for older dogs given small amounts Sea Cucumber powder mixed into their daily food.
Xanthin – antioxidants: Anti-oxidants: The antioxidants found in this species of sea cucumber include xanthan carotenoids, which pound for pound are among the most high value and pricey anti-oxidants in the world. A novel carotenoid called Cucumariaxanthins A B and C is uniquely found in Sea Cucumbers and in higher concentrations in the Cucumaria species, but it also includes Beta-Carotene, Beta-echinenone, canthaxanthin, phoenicoxanthin and astaxanthin. The orange and rusty color of the Cucumaria frondosa sea cucumber is a testament to this carotenoid content. These bio-actives are known to be very potent and highly valuable bio-active compounds. For example, astaxanthin is considered to be the most powerful anti-oxidant available against free radicals and it is one of the most expensive of all antioxidants; it is useful in suppressing tumor growth, it has been determined to helps in preventing muscle and skeletal damage, it is thought to improve arterial walls and protect against hypertension, and is good for promoting clearer and less wrinkly skin.
Glycosphingolipids and Cerberosides which serve a key role in muscle tissue and nerve membranes.
Additional bio-actives found in this sea cucumber include Triterpene Glycosides (saponins), Fucolsylated chondroitin sulfate, Sterols (glycosides and sulfates), Glycoprotein & Phenolics.
With these important and often hard to come by bio-actives one would be remiss not to include Sea Cucumber in one’s daily supplement regimen. So, if we look closely of the biological implications of each sea cucumber components themselves, and then take into consideration the plethora of global scientific studies on Sea Cucumber it becomes plain to see that Sea Cucumber, particularly that from North Atlantic waters, the single Cucumaria frondosa species, is indicated for sports nutrition, elderly nutrition, and overall well-being and efficient body biochemical functions. The evidence strongly suggests that Sea Cucumber has been wisely prescribed in traditional folk medicine for the following benefits and uses:
Anti-oxidant free radical scavenging
Anti-cancer / Anti-tumor
Anti-coagulant / anti-thrombotic
Blood Sugar Modulation
Immuno-modulary and anti-viral
The bio-active components in sea cucumber has furthermore been shown to enhance blood flow, improve energy levels, protect and nourish joints and connective tissue, nourish and support muscle development, nourish and support brain development, and improve both sports and sexual performance.
The Best Sea Cucumber Supplement & What To Look For
There are numerous Sea cucumber brands on the market, and price levels can vary dramatically with species, origin, processing attributes, purity and other specifications. Most important to remember is that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to Sea Cucumber this old truth cannot be emphasized enough. Species attributes, bio-active content, processing methods, catch and quality vary greatly. Most species are endangered as they are overharvested and are most often found in shallow near shore or “in-shore” waters. Sustainability is a big issue, and that is the first reason why it is wise to choose the Cucumaria frondosa species from North Atlantic waters as this deep water species is not endangered and the fishery is well managed and proven to yeild strong production quantities for the past 20 years of the industry harvesting history. Widely distributed in the cold water regions of the North Atlantic, this species is richer in Omega-3 fatty acids than warm water species and is typically captured far from industrial waste and run-off so commonly found in shallow water harvest areas where other species are captured around the globe.
Product processed from live sea cucumber in the USA yeilds the highest quality in food safety, produced under strict GMP’s and federal oversite, you can be assured that you are getting what it says on the label and not something else. Brands that do not show what species of Sea Cucumber is in the bottle are considered risky as you just don’t exactly know what is in the bottle or where it came from. Typically such suppliers and brands get what they can from distributors and traders on the open market and can range from a mix of species, product adulterated with fillers, to very undesirable origins both environmentally, food safety-wise, and sustainability wise. Most Sea cucumber on the market is farm raised in China, in inshore waters where industrial pollution, drug and anti-biotic and aquaculture chemicals are found in horrifying abundance. So, if you see a low priced product in the marketplace or online, you can be assured it is most often from an undesirable third world resource, often dried outdoors in the open air where it can be contaminated with dirt, insects, animal excrement and more.
Lastly, the Cucumaria frondosa is by far the most researched and scientifically tested species of sea cucumber in the world, providing buyers with the additional assurance of safety and optimum efficacy.
So there you have the three key reasons why it is important to demand and purchase only US and Canadian sourced Sea Cucumber powders:
- Purity & Safety
- Most researched, analyzed, tested – proven potency
So, remember, look for North American wild catch product, don’t buy the cheapest product offered, and don’t forget to take you Sea Cucumber every day, twice a day for a total of two grams (2,000 mg) without fail. You’ll be glad you did and I can assure you, you will consider this Sea Cucumber supplement to be one of your very best friends.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.