Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Helen O'Shea

Second Advisor

Prof. Hugh McGlynn

CIT Disciplines

1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Microbiology; Marine biology


Due to rapid global urbanization and therefore increased adoption of a 'Westernized' lifestyle, including decreased physical activity and increased consumption of highly processed and refined foods with a high sugar, fat and salt content, prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders are on the rise. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in particular is closely associated with this type of lifestyle. IBD is a term used to describe chronic inflammatory conditions which affects all or parts of the gastrointestinal tract. It includes conditions such as Crohn's Disease, which affects all the gastrointestinal tract and Ulcerative Colitis which mainly affects the colan. Due to the role of chronic inflammation in the development of gastrointestinal malignancies, development of these disorders has also been linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer. While the exact aetiology of IBD remains unclear, key features of this disease have been identified as therapeutic targets, such as abnormal immune responses. As such current therapeutic methods are aimed at the suppression of these immune responses. Along with the mentioned environmental factors, dysregulation of the gut microbiota has been linked to the pathogenesis of IBD. The gastrointestinal tract host a complex community of microorganisms which are integral to host's health. Microbial dysbiosis is a common sympton associated with IBD and is thought to contribute to the chronic inflammatory responses observed in this disorder. However, use of immune suppressing agent to treat IBD may increase susceptibility to foodborne or hospital infections. With incidences of IBD increasing, novel bioactives from natural sources have been considered as a means to manage this disorder. Seaweed and seaweed extract, particularly those from brown seaweed, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which could be utilised in the treatment of IBD. Seaweed has also been noted as a potential source of prebiotics, which could promote a balanced microbial community in the gut. The aim of this project was to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of extract from four brown seaweed species Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta, Ascophyllum nodosum and Fusus vesiculosus using an invitro model of gastrointestinal inflammation

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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