Medicinal and health benefit effects of functional sea cucumbers

J Tradit Complement Med. 2017 Jul 17;8(3):341-351. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.06.007. eCollection 2018 Jul.


Sea cucumbers have long been used as food and traditional medicine in Asian countries with Stichopus hermanni, Thelenota ananas, Thelenota anax, Holothuria fuccogilva, and Actinopyga mauritiana as most highly-valued species. These organisms are potential source of high value-added compounds with therapeutic properties such as triterpene glycosides, carotenoids, bioactive peptides, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, collagens, gelatins, chondroitin sulfates, amino acids. In the recent years, health benefit effects of sea cucumbers have been validated through scientific research and have shown medicinal value such as wound healing, neuroprotective, antitumor, anticoagulant, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. These functional materials lead to potential development in various foods and biomedicine industries. In this review, we have presented a general view of major medicinal and health benefit effects of functional sea cucumbers from Asia region. The structural significance and the potential application of sea cucumber-derived functional materials as well as their nutritional value are also discussed.

Keywords: Functional; Health; Materials; Medicinal; Sea cucumber.

Publication types

  • Review