Pharmacological and cosmeceutical potential of seaweed beach-casts of Macaronesia

Zárate, R., Portillo, E., Teixidó, S., Carvalho, M.A.A.P., Nunes, N., Ferraz, S., Seca, A.M.L., Rosa, G.P. & Barreto, M.C. (2020) Pharmacological and cosmeceutical potential of seaweed beach-casts of Macaronesia.

Applied Sciences, 10(17), 5831. DOI:10.3390/app10175831 (IF2019 2,474; Q3 Materials Science, Multidisciplinary)
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  • Sep, 2020


Seaweed beach-casts are a seasonal phenomenon that regularly deposits tons of algae biomass on beaches, which are usually disposed of in landfills. The present work aimed to contribute to the valorization of this biomass by studying bioactivities that reveal its potential in the pharmaceutical and/or cosmeceutical industries. Methanol and ethanol extracts and fractions from 15 beach-casts biomass were tested for a range of bioactivities. Eight of the most active samples exhibit IC50 values between 11.38 µg/mL and 19.28 µg/mL and selectivity indexes higher than 3.8, against NCI-H1299 (lung cancer) and T47D (breast cancer). Concerning antiaging potential, all the extracts tested presented UV protection, with SPF values above 30, like the standard sunscreen. Regarding aging-related enzymes, 24 samples were tyrosinase inhibitors exhibiting IC50 values from 9.01 µg/mL to 200.09 µg/mL. Eight extracts inhibited collagenase (IC50 < 248.76 µg/mL), two of them more actively than positive control EDTA (IC50 = 59.26 µg/mL). In addition to UV protection, the cumulative effect of antityrosinase and anticollagenase activities shown by the samples suggest that they may play a significant role in preventing skin photoaging. The results obtained demonstrate the high potential of beach-cast seaweed biomass as sources of cosmetic bioproducts with antiaging effects, and of selective cytotoxic metabolites.