Nutrition and health: Fucoxanthin, the brain’s natural ally

March 2, 2021

Fucoxanthin is a powerful, scientifically recognized antioxidant derived from microalgae that maintains and boosts cognitive function. Microphyt harnesses the powers of fucoxanthin in its product BrainPhytTM.

Maintaining the brain’s ability to think and interact is a challenge at every stage of life. Fucoxanthin is a scientifically proven natural molecule with specific properties that reduces oxidative stress on the brain and helps preserve cognitive function. Microphyt has leveraged its potential in its compound BrainPhytTM for nutrition and health.


Our cognitive functions, in other words the brain’s ability to think and interact, evolve throughout our lifetime. The challenge facing us all is to maintain a high level of mental activity and to age well, regardless of what stage of life we are in.

During periods of learning, and especially in higher education, stress can make it difficult to cope and cause memory lapses. By boosting our cognitive performance, we can absorb information more effectively, improve memorization and concentration, and be better prepared to deal with situations of tension.

Once we reach adulthood, in professional and/or family environments, maintaining a good level of cognitive function is vital to ensure that we are mentally at our best every day and to help us manage our daily routine calmly and with confidence.

For those in the latter years of life, age-related cognitive decline can be a constant battle, with symptoms ranging from a reduced concentration span to memory loss and difficulties communicating. By maintaining the brain’s capabilities, elderly people can become more independent and sustain their social connections for longer.

At all ages, decline in cognitive function is exacerbated by multiple external factors such as poor diet, stress, pollution, tobacco and alcohol, which generate oxidative stress.

Over the past few years, scientific research on microalgae has revealed natural molecules that offer an effective solution to live better for longer.


Fucoxanthin is a molecule found naturally in some algae and microalgae, such as Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This pigment from the carotenoid family is a powerful antioxidant which protects the body’s cells from free radicals and therefore also from the effects of aging.

What is remarkable about fucoxanthin is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (the physiological barrier between the blood and the central nervous system). Extensive preliminary research suggests that this capability, unique in molecules of this type, helps reduce certain biomarkers such as IL-6 and LPM in brain cells. How does it work? Fucoxanthin acts directly on microglial cells, the main form of immune defense in the central nervous system. Fucoxanthin is also effective in activating the mechanism that eliminates intracellular waste in brain cells caused by oxidative stress. If this waste is not eliminated, oxidative stress and the damage it causes are further exacerbated.

So by reducing IL-6, LPM, oxidative stress and their consequences on the brain, fucoxanthin helps prevent cognitive decline, enabling us to maintain our mental capabilities and to age more healthily.


Microphyt, a pioneer in microalgae-based natural solutions for nutrition and well-being, has designed and developed a patented state-of-the-art technology: CAMARGUE photobioreactors. Using this innovative technique, Microphyt can grow Phaeodactylum tricornutum microalgae in a closed environment, in a controlled, sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. The subsequent extraction process isolates the useful molecules (both individual molecules and molecules acting in synergy) for their health benefits. This was the process used by Microphyt to develop BrainPhytTM, a compound derived from Phaeodactylum tricornutum and composed of several bioactive molecules – including fucoxanthin for its antioxidant properties that help maintain cognitive function. BrainPhytTM has proven to be effective in seven preclinical studies and is currently the focus of a human clinical trial, the results of which will be available in 2022.

To know more about this ingredient, click here.