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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 48-52

Safety and efficacy of sea cucumber containing products

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Vector-borne Diseases Research Group (VERDI), Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences CoRe, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor; Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Bertam, Penang, Malaysia
3 Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
4 Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam; Vector-borne Diseases Research Group (VERDI), Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences CoRe, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Long Chiau Ming
Level 11, FF1 Building, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2045-080X.183038

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Purpose: The aim of this study is to assess the therapeutic effect of sea cucumber. It is a traditional medicine used for centuries as a general tonic to improve the health of the body and to boost the energy levels. Methodology: An electronic search on PubMed, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library with keywords “sea cucumber”, “gamat”, “effectiveness OR efficacy”,“safety OR adverse reaction OR side effects” was carried out. The literatures are summarized in the evidence tables. Findings and conclusions: Most sea cucumbers species have been validated through scientific and ethnopharmacological research and have shown to have medicinal value such as anti-angiogenic, anticancer, anticoagulant antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, antithrombotic, and antitumor. The discovery of bioactive compounds and therapeutic properties isolated from sea cucumber such as chondroitin sulfate, triterpene glycosides (saponins), lectins, heparin, cerebrosides, gangliosides, bioactive peptides, sterols, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids leads to potential drug development in various pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, functional foods, and nutraceuticals industries. However, further clinical trials are still needed which could transform the bioactive compound from sea cucumber extraction into a drug that could be a cure for certain disease.

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