There are various sea or marine plants - and although they are sometimes collectively grouped as algae - they all have various unique points, as well as a range of similarities. Laminaria digitata is sometimes also referred to as Atlantic kelp.
All seaweeds are rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid.
Polygalactosides react with the protective outer surface of the skin and the Ion-ion interaction form a protective moisturizing complex, while the fucose polymers are hygroscopic and act as hydrating agents and the ursolic acid can help form a protective barrier on the skin.
They contain abundant non-essential and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine and lycine - all of these, which are found in the elastic fibers of the skin as well. With this in mind, these ingredients alone would be helpful for the skin's elasticity by increasing hydration and thereby maintaining and improving the skin's elasticity.
Scientifically, Laminaria digitata belongs to the family of brown algae. They are 3 to 4 meters long and the thallus is composed of a cylindrical caulome and a frond which is wide, long and cloven or split depending on the species. They contain mucilage glands, which are covered in groups of sporangia at certain times of the year, and are held on to the rocks by rhizoids.
The constituents are calcium, potassium, iodine, mannitol, as well as fat, protein, carbohydrates and vitamins E, C, B12, B6, B3, B, A and Zn, F, Cr, Co, Mn, I, Na, Fe, P, Mg, K, Ca.
Laminaria in dry form contains 12% water, 15% mineral salts (chlorines, sulphates and iodines). Iodine is particularly abundant in this kind of seaweed, which can contain as much as 0.5% in terms of its dry weight and has higher iodine content than that of Pacific kelp.
Iodine compounds such as TEA-Hydroiodide have effective lipolytic properties by stimulating lipases.
The dried Laminaria digitata seaweed contains less than 1% lipids, some 5% protides and 65% or less of its content is represented by sugars, represented by the following: Mannitol (12-15%) -Soluble condensed glucosides (15-40%) and particularly Fucoidine and Laminaran. Laminaran is a glucane which exists in two forms, one insoluble in cold form and the other soluble. The two forms are made up of D-glucose (1-3), but there are also proportions of 1-6 links and remains of mannitol. Their content varies depending on the time of year when they are collected, and represents as much as 35% of the dry weight. Algin: 15-40% of the dry weight.
Laminaria is used mainly in treatments against cellulitis and obesity, either alone or combined with other extracts to enhance its activity.
The mineral salts and especially iodine stimulate the general metabolism and cause an increase in the osmotic exchanges thus bringing about elimination of the excess fluids.
This phenomenon is made use of in the treatment of cellulitis and obesity, which is why Laminaria extracts are used in preparations for massage or topical application.
The alginic acid or algin present in Laminaria has thickening and emulsifying properties, and these are also very useful in cosmetic science, and antibacterial properties have also been attributed to this seaweed.
Copyright 2006 Dr. BriceE. Vickery
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