Brain Function: Memory, Relaxation, Alertness

Greatly Improved Blood Flow

Since Ecklonia Cava is fat-soluble, it has the capability to cross the blood-brain barrier and considerably improves blood flow to the brain. This is another way ECE improves memory. More specifically, Dr. Lee’s group found that ECE increases the rate of blood flow in the carotid artery (the main artery to the brain) from an average of 36.68 cm/ sec. to 40.09 cm/sec., while the placebo had no improvement.

Memory & Acetylcholine

Memory is related to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). In an animal study, ECE increased rodent acetylcholine by 140% in the brain regions responsible for learning and memory in just 7 days. Memory augmentation increased by 100-200% at a dose as low as 0.2-1mg/kg.

Regard to mechanism, it is contemplation that ECE works by slightly inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine called acetylcholinesterase. By inhibiting this enzyme, the availability and utilization of acetylcholine in the body would be enhanced.


Another study establish that ECE compounds prevented sleepiness in bus drivers and in high school students for the duration of daytime activities. This is also probable due to increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.

Relaxation & Alpha-Waves

An EEG study on brain waves of healthy middle age volunteers found that ECE compounds increase alpha-waves. Alpha-waves are an indicator of relaxation.

Neuroprotective Effects

Ecklonia Cava has demonstrated potent neuroprotective effects due to several features of its components. ECE compounds are both powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds capable of scavenging free radicals and suppressing excessive inflammatory reactions. Fucoidan, an ECE compound, has been found to protect neuronal cells from ischemia-induced (reduced blood flow) inflammatory reactions which often occur in the aged and highly stressed brain. ECE compounds also deactivate the powerful neurotoxic free-radical peroxynitrite.

Resistance of Stress-Induced Learning Deficit in Mice

In a 5-day study, Ecklonia Cava treated mice showed considerable resistance to electric shock treatment-induced learning deficit, as compared to non-treated mice whose learning process was considerably retarded during the test period.

Enhanced Memory in Mice

The positive effects of ECE compounds on memory augmentation were further demonstrated by measuring the latency time avoiding the previously experienced electric shock treatment in mice as passive-avoidance memory testing. After 7 days oral administration of two ECE compounds DE and PFF.

Enhancement of Acetylcholine Levels in Mice

With 7 days of oral administration of two Ecklonia Cava compounds (DE 10 mg/kg and PFF 2 mg/kg), mice under ethanol-induced cognitive impairment showed substantial enhancement of acetylcholine levels in three brain regions related to memory formation, as compared with non-treated mice. Acetylcholine was enhanced by 140% in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain crucial for long-term memory and associative thinking.

(as low as 1 and 0.2 mg/kg), mice under ethanol-induced cognitive impairment showed 130-140% improvement, especially in the PFF group.

Beta-Amyloid Deposition Inhibition in Rats

Researchers at the National Institute of Health’s aging research labs in Baltimore studied ECE in rats, and found it to inhibit beta-amyloid deposition in the brain. Beta-amyloid is the substance that accumulates in Alzheimer’s disease. The rats also learned maze challenges faster, which demonstrated improvement in short-term memory.