The antimutagenic and cancer cell growth inhibitory effects of methanol extracts from 9 kinds of seaweed were studied in the Ames assay and cell culture systems, respectively. The methanol extracts from the seaweeds of sea lettuce, chlorella, sea tangle, sea mustard, sporophyll of sea mustard, fusiforme, seaweed papulosa, purple laver and ceylon moss showed antimutagenicities against aflatoxin B₁(AFB₁) and N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine(MNNG) in the Salmonella typhimurium TA100. These extracts revealed relatively higher antimutagenicity against AFB₁(indirect mutagen) than MNNG(direct mutagen). Sporophyll of sea mustard and seaweed papulosa exhibited strong antimutagenic activity against AFB₁, and sporophyll of sea mustard, sea tangle and ceylon moss also reduced the mutagenicity induced by MNNG. The sporophyll fo sea mustard exerted the highest antimutagenic activity among the samples treated. The methanol extracts from 9 kinds of seaweed inhibited the growth of two cancer cell lines, AGS human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells. Sea tangle, sea mustard and sporophyll of sea mustard inhibited the growth of cancer cells significantly. These results suggest that various seaweeds show not only antimutagenic activity but also growth inhibitory effect of some cancer cells.
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