Protective effects of Actinotrichia fragilis (red algae) against osteoarthritis

Actinotrichia fragilis (commonly known as red algae), both in powder and gel form, can potentially become an alternative therapy for mitigating the underlying factors of osteoarthritis. This is because of its capacity to inhibit inflammation, proteinase, and oxidants, according to a study conducted by the Cairo University in Egypt. The research, which was published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, studied the therapeutic ability of red algae in treating joint pain and cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis.

  • A. fragilis was examined in vitro to understand its physical and chemical constitution. This was done to gather its chemical profile, amino acid content, proteinase inhibition levels, stabilization activity for the red blood cell membrane, ability to protect against free radicals, total antioxidant potency, and its ability to counter the effects of nitric oxide.
  • Red algae were collected then rinsed with seawater to remove excess sand, debris, dirt, and epiphytes. The plants were then air-dried in shade for a week, then milled. The powder was then stored at -20 C until it was used.
  • In order to create the gel, researchers added 100 grams of red algae powder to 300 milliliters of water for two hours. This was then boiled to produced a semisolid gel and was cooled at room temperature.
  • The resulting red algae powder and gel were tested for its anti-arthritic effect, particularly in its proteinase inhibitory activity, as well as its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities.
  • Results indicated that red algae gel and powders are potent inflammatory-proteinase-oxidant inhibitors because of its bioactive components.

Overall, researchers concluded that red algae gel and powders have the potential to be anti-osteoarthritis agents because of the chemicals present which prevents the progression of the condition.

Full text of study at this link.

Journal reference:

Amany A. Sayed, Shimaa A. Sadek, Amel M. Soliman, Mohamed Marzouk. PROSPECTIVE EFFECT OF RED ALGAE, ACTINOTRICHIA FRAGILIS, AGAINST SOME OSTEOARTHRITIS AETIOLOGY. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 2017; 14: 1 DOI:

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