Fucus Plus


Fucus vesiculosis ‘Bladderwrack’ metabolic enhancing compound


Published commentary by a turn of the century physician (Dr. J. Herbert Knapp) indicated that he had found this plant to be a specific remedy for both exophthalmia and uncomplicated goiter. In his experience, bladderwrack worked best in individuals under age 30, a population for which he claimed a 100% success rate, and was less dependable for normalizing thyroid function in people beyond this age. This herb is typically employed for metabolic improvement and anti-lectin activity; principally due its high fucose content and its unique class of sulfated polysaccharides, the fucoidins.


Fucus vesiculosus is a mid-shore species of wrack that is generally easily recognized by its paired bladders occurring on either side of a prominent midrib. The recorded use of Fucus vesiculosus, also called “bladderwrack” or “sea wrack” dates back to at least the time period of the Eclectic Physicians of the 19th century. Historically these physicians used this seaweed for goiter (swelling of the tissue or cells of the thyroid) and for obesity.

Bladderwrack (Fucus versiculosus)
Larch arabinogalactan

TABLE 1: Key agents in Fucus Plus.


Dr. D’Adamo has discovered that Fucus vesiculosus was particularly beneficial for blood type O: “bladderwrack seems to help normalize the sluggish metabolic rate and produce weight loss.” It has the ability to help keep thyroid function normal in blood type O’s, and discusses the potential usefulness of this plant for preventing the adherence of some unwanted microorganisms (H. pylori in his book’s example) to the cells lining the digestive tract in blood type O.

Blood type O is characterized by the presence of a terminal fucose sugar on its antigen. Things in nature (like lectins, bacteria, Candida, etc.) with a preference for or a “sweet tooth” for fucose, will always have an affinity for and a greater impact on blood type O’s. Since bladderwrack is such excellent food source of fucose and fucose containing sugar chains, it can actually bind many of the more problematic blood type O lectins, bacteria, and microorganisms.

Metabolic and anti-adhesion food.  One of the emerging fields of research with regards to microorganisms (and lectins) centers about an idea of adherence and anti-adherence. Basically, an unwanted organism can only produce a problem for you to the degree it can attach to or anchor itself to your cells. Lectin damage follows a similar pattern. Recognizing this simple concept of adhesion, you will readily recognize the usefulness of the concept of anti-adhesion or blocking strategies. The question then becomes what foods might provide an anti-adhesion advantage for your blood type.

One of the answers for blood type O is bladderwrack (Note: kelp also has a high amount of fucose sugars so is another answer). Basically, the fucose in bladderwrack can act as a false decoy, binding the unwanted blood type O environmental debris and sweeping it away before it can bind to or irritate the tissue. Because blood types A, B and AB also usually contain some anchoring sites (but proportionately substantially less than an O) for fucose specific lectins and microorganisms, bladderwrack can also act as a form of anti-adhesion food for these blood types as well. However, they also have additional specific blocking sugars they can place at their disposal.

Anti-adhesion, anti-metastatic and anti-tumor activity.  We have already discussed the concept of adhesion and anti-adhesion, but you might not know that this is also an area of great interest in cancer research. In essence, cancer can only spread or metastasize if it can attach to a new target, so substances that can block its adhesion are more routinely being investigated. While this concept is difficult to grasp, in simple terms where cancer wants to stick, we want to make it slide—and where it wants to slide, we want it to stick. It should come as no surprise then that bladderwrack, because of its fucose content, is a potent inhibitor of tumor cell invasion, with modest anti-tumor activity. As such, consumption of bladderwrack might offer a potential health advantage, especially for blood type O’s.

Anti-microbial activity.  The fucoidins found in bladderwrack inhibits the growth of many unfriendly bacteria and viruses. Some of the viruses this compound is antagonistic to include herpes simplex virus, human cytomegalovirus and human immunodeficiency virus. Bladderwrack has been found to agglutinate the cells of several strains of Candida. Bladderwrack also has a toxic effect on some strains of E. coli and all strains tested of Neisseria meningitidis.

Let’s look at a few specific examples of bladderwrack research in the microbial world. The complex sugar structures and other compounds found in bladderwrack have anti-HIV activity. Some of the mechanisms of its activity fall back into the world of our new friend “anti-adhesion”. Researchers have suggested that, since adhesion is the initial step in HIV infection, blocking adhesion might prevent HIV-1 transmission. In vitro evidence supports this suggestion with the complex fucose structures found in bladderwrack showing a capability to block HIV adhesion to cells. These same blocking strategies with fucose sugars have also been used in studies of malaria to prevent its spread to additional red blood cells. In essence these sugars inhibit invasion of your red blood cells by the malaria parasite. Fucus vesiculosus is a specific for blocking attachment of H. pylori---an organism responsible for inducing ulcers and gastritis---in individuals with blood group O.

While no one is suggesting that bladderwrack should be thought of as a solution for HIV or other infectious diseases, one might ponder the question of how the shape of medicine might change if we could use blood type strategies to block HIV and other microorganism from attaching to your cells in the first place. Or, ponder the question of how we could employ blood type anti-adhesion strategies in support of conventional use of antibacterial and anti-microbial drugs.

Immunomodulating activity and anti-inflammatory Activity.  The fucose sugars in bladderwrack can beneficially impact immune system health by stimulating immunoreactions of the humoral and cellular types, and by enhancing phagocytosis (or consumption of invaders) by your macrophages. These same complex fucose sugars also offer several advantages that counter the blood type O tendency to inflammation. Essentially, they block the recruitment or inhibit an overly aggressive inflammatory immune response at sites of inflammation.

Normalizing metabolism and thyroid function.  The historical uses of Fucus vesiculosus was primarily as an agent to enhance thyroid function in cases of goiter and aid in weight loss for obesity. This remains the primary use of this plant today in natural medicine. Frankly, this function has largely been taken over by the Deflect line of anti-lectin formulas.

Typically, the credit for its activity in thyroid conditions has been given to its high content of iodine; however, the high fucose content of this plant, because of its anti-lectin, immune and inflammatory balancing effects, appears to be responsible for some of the observed benefits on optimizing thyroid function in blood type O.

If you are a blood type O and plan on consuming bladderwrack as an aid to metabolism and thyroid health, this plant generally works very slowly. A minimum of 3 months is probably warranted, but in many instances best results are produced when bladderwrack is consumed regularly at a low dose for about 1 year.

Larch Arabinogalactan.  Larch was added to this supplement as a way of modulating the microbiome to help make the immune system more robust. For example, Larch has been shown to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s), principally butyrate and propionate. These special fatty acids are critically important for the health of the colon. Larch has also been shown to modulate Natural Killer Cell and Macrophage activity via interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and IL-6.

Fucus should not be used in individuals currently taking thyroid medication, or in any iodine sensitive situation, such as acne.


Typical dosage is 1-2 capsules twice daily, best taken away from meals.


This product was introduced by NAP in 1997 after first being specifically designed for use in The D’Adamo Clinic.


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