The beneficial roles of MOP may have been hinted to us for very long time. Brown algae, the origin of MOP, have been living in our planet for 170 million years. Among many ecological roles of MOP, its active involvement in the healing process of damaged cells is especially intriguing.
MOPs belong to a special class of oligomeric polyphenols exclusively found in certain species of brown algae. In the scientific world, MOP is called low “molecular weight phlorotannins”. Phlorotannins are polymers of phloroglucinol (1,3,5-benzenetriol) and exist both as high-molecular-weight and low-molecular weight molecules. Among them, MOPs belong to low-molecular-weight phlorotannins, which are made of 2-10 units of Phloroglucinol. Most notable molecules of MOP are called “eckols” originated from several Ecklonia and Eisenia species because they shown huge medicinal potentials in various disease models for intractable diseases such as metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and hyperinflammation.
MOPs had not been recognized as valuable compounds until US FDA authorized MOP-rich Ecklonia cava extract as a new dietary ingredient in 2008 for the first time in the world. This historical MOP is the Ecklonia cava Extract of a specific composition (branded as SeaPolynol®). Later in 2018, the SeaPolynol® was also authorized as a novel food ingredient named "Ecklonia cava Phlorotannins" in the EU. In 2013, a pharmaceutical version of MOP was approved as an IND (Investigational New Drug) by FDA and are currently known to be under Phase 2 clinical trials.
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