Use of Marine Natural Products in Medicine


Topic: Marine natural products in drug discovery.

Main point 1

Oceans and seas make 70% of the earth’s surface (Thakur and Thakur). Some of the major seas include the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, and the Red Sea. These are natural habitats for a wide variety of fauna and flora. These living organisms have lived in the seas and oceans for more than 3500 million years. They have natural products which can be used in the making of new drugs. Some of them also cause infectious diseases. Therefore, they have a positive and negative impact on the healthcare industry.

  1. Sub-point 1

For a long time, human beings have been dedicated to learn and understand how they can use the oceanic and sea resources.

  1. Sub-point 2

The Indians and the Japanese have in the ancient times consumed some of the seaweeds which they believed they were rich in iodine to help them lower the incidences of suffering from goiter. In Taiwan and Japan, products made from the coral reefs have been long used to help in easing menstrual pains and reduce the risk of cancer and abscesses  (Kinnel, Esquenazi, Leao, Moss, Mevers, Pereira, and Gerwick).

  • Sub-point 3

The human beings are also aware that some of the flora and fauna in the seas is venomous in nature and have known these since 4000 years ago (Salvador-Reyes, Engene, Paul, and Luesch). This means that they are aware and cautious of the flora and fauna that they should use for wellness or treatment.

Main point 2

Understanding the chemical composition of the seas and oceans is important in order to be able to interpret the relationship between marine chemical warfare and human health.

  1. Sub-point 1:

The invertebrates in oceans and seas filter the seawaters in order to find their food.

  1. Sub-point 2

Because seawater is highly concentrated with bacteria, the invertebrates have to produce antibiotics which help them in defending themselves against any harmful microorganisms which might be in the seawater from which they feed on.

  • Sub-point 3

The chemicals produced to be used for defense by the marine organisms can be closely linked with how they can produce antibiotics which can be used by humans for their health.

Main point 3

There is a relationship between chemotherapy and marine products.

  1. Sub-point 1

The organisms which are able to rapidly kill the dividing cells is the hallmark of how chemotherapy is done to stop the division of cancer cells by killing them. The healthy and normal cells are however not killed. For this reason, there is a connection of the marine chemical warfare can be applied to how marine products can be used in medicine.

  1. Sub-point 2

When biotechnology is applied, it would be possible to develop modern drugs from marine natural products to help in treating different diseases.

  • Sub-point 3

New discoveries are made every year with over 10,000 compounds being discovered. However, they are usually highly diluted and it should be ensured that they become potent before use so that they can have effects during treatment.

Main point 4

There is a list of marine natural products which are used in different clinical areas and phases.

  1. Sub-point 1

Ara-A and Ara-C are products from a marine sponge and they are currently used in the market as antiviral and anticancer application areas respectively. Cephalosporins which is acquired from marine fungi is used as an antibiotic. Seas slugs, sharks, sponges, and sea squirts also produce chemicals used in the treatment of cancer between the I, II and III phases.

  1. Sub-point 2

The marine microbes have biochemical and genetic microbes which can be used in making novel effective drugs (Takamatsu, Hodges, Rajbhandari, Gerwick, Hamann, and Nagle).

  • Sub-point 3

The pharmaceutical researchers are now considering the world oceans to be some of the sources of natural products which can be used in medicine (Wei Chang).

Works Cited

Kinnel, R. B., E. Esquenazi, T. Leao, N. Moss, E. Mevers, A. R. Pereira, and W. H. Gerwick. “A Maldiisotopic Approach to Discover Natural Products: Cryptomaldamide, a Hybrid Tripeptide from the Marine Cyanobacterium Moorea producens.” Journal of Natural Products 80.5 (2017): 1514-1521. Web. <10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00019>.

Salvador-Reyes, L. A., N. Engene, V. J. Paul, and H. Luesch. “Targeted Natural Products Discovery from Marine Cyanobacteria Using Combined Phylogenetic and Mass Spectrometric Evaluation.” Journal of Natural Products 78.3 (2015): 486-492. Web. <10.1021/np500931q>.

Takamatsu, S., T. W. Hodges, I. Rajbhandari, W. H. Gerwick, M. T. Hamann, and D. G. Nagle. “Marine Natural Products as Novel Antioxidant Prototypes.” Journal of Natural Products 66.5 (2003): 605-608. Web. <10.1021/np0204038>.

Thakur, N. L., and A. N. Thakur. “Marine natural products in drug discovery.” (2005): Web. <>

Wei Chang, H. “Drug Discovery and Bioinformatics of Marine Natural Products.” Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development 4.1 (2013): n. pag. Web. <10.4172/2155-9910.1000e121>.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *