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From the Townsend Letter
February/March 2008


Super Antioxidant from the Sea: More Potent than EGCG from Green Tea
by Robert Jay Rowen, MD

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Ecklonia Cava Extract (ECE), a polyphenol/phlorotannin rich nutraceutical, is derived from a specific species of brown algae Ecklonia cava. Over 30 million dollars has been spent on research, which has presented intriguing treatment leads, stemming mostly from ECE's powerful antioxidant function, for much of present-day illness. ECE offers nutritional intervention for fibromyalgia, hypertension, sexual and erectile dysfunction, memory enhancement, relaxation and alertness, deep sleep, allergies, asthma and lung disease, cardiovascular health, arthritis, neuropathy, weight loss, increased muscle mass and obesity, Syndrome X, and diabetes.

Phase I Clinical Trial Results (Preliminary)
A preliminary Phase I study of established fibromyalgia (FM) patients was undertaken with an original recruitment of 36 patients and completion by 29 patients.

This eight-week clinical study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using ECE as an adjunct therapy to the FM patients' current standard of physician care. The trial was conducted to establish safety of ECE with FM patients as well as initial indications of efficacy on both a single dose and high dose. Standard FM clinical trial assessment forms typically found in FM clinical trials were used, together with physician visits to monitor for toxicity, adverse events, as well as performance of blood tests and EKGs. Aside from the discontinuation of the study by six patients who had pre-existing diarrhea form of IBS, the results established the general safety of ECE. Preliminary efficacy measures showed statistically significant changes in the following:

1. sleep: mean time to sleep (<47 min, p<.024), amount of sleep (+1.6 hrs/night, p<.001), soundness of sleep (+80%, p<.01);
2. fatigue (-30%, p<.001);
3. energy (+71%, p<.001);
4. number of "good days" (+56 hrs/week, p<.001); number of lost "work" days/week (-31 hrs/wk, p<.001);
5. pain (-31%, p<.001); and
6. global assessment of general condition (+39%, p<.001).
A strong dose-response relationship was not established at statistically significant levels. ECE was concluded to offer reasonable safety and statistically significant improvement in symptoms for most of the study population over the eight-week trial period (Figures 1-7).

Figure 1: Hours Slept Each Night Before and After Therapy

Hours Slept

Figure 2: Quality of Sleep

Quality of Sleep

Figure 3: Reduction on Overall Fatigue

Figure 4: Summary Data for Pain Inventory

Summary Data for Pain Inventory


Figure 5: Pain Inventory

Pain Inventory

Figure 6: Number of Good Days

Number of Good Days

Figure 7: Reduced Work Days Lost by 40%

Reduced Work Days

The Molecular Structure of ECE Compared with other Polyphenols

Resveratrol belongs to a well-known class of phytochemicals called flavonoids. Flavonoids and related compounds are called polyphenols. A phenol is a simple ring chemical.

Polyphenols are phytochemicals (plant-made) with multiple, interconnected phenol rings. Flavonoids have a typical three-ring structure as seen in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Quercitin Structure

Quercitin Structure

Green Tea Catechins
Catechins from green tea have four rings (corresponding to their four peaks under high-pressure liquid chromatographic [''HPLC"] analysis) (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Catechin Structure

Catechin Structure


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Keywords: fibromyalgia, hypertension, sexual and erectile dysfunction, memory enhancement, relaxation and alertness, deep sleep, allergies, asthma


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