Rosa, G.P., Barreto, M.C. & Seca, A.M.L. (2019) Pharmacological effects of Fucus spiralis extracts and phycochemicals: a comprehensive review.Botanica Marina, 62(2), 167-178. DOI:10.1515/bot-2018-0047 (IF2019 1,381; Q4 Plant Sciences)
The value of macroalgae to the pharmaceutical and food industries has increased, due to their richness in compounds with relevant biological activities and health effects. However, there are still many species that are worth exploring, like the edible Fucus spiralis L., widespread throughout the European and African Atlantic coasts. In order to demonstrate the phycochemical, pharmacological and nutritional potential of F. spiralis, this work presents a comprehensive review of studies regarding the bioactivities of F. spiralis extracts and their phycochemicals. A critical analysis of studies is presented, identifying the challenges and opportunities, and unveiling the knowledge gaps in order to guide future research with this alga. Although the studies performed so far have shown the potential of F. spiralis, this review shows that there is still a big gap in the knowledge about its metabolites. In this context, it is suggested that future investigations should focus more on the isolation and unequivocal structural characterization of the metabolites, such as phlorotannins. In addition, some weaknesses in the reviewed literature are mentioned here, which should be avoided in future work, in order to allow a better evaluation of the validity of results and their comparison.