Porphyra umbilicalis is an alga that grows in cold and shallow marine waters, classified as a red alga and therefore belongs to one of the oldest groups of eukaryotic algae. This alga thrives in one of the most physically stressful habitats on earth, exposed to low and high tides and extreme solar radiation. For plants, too much sunlight is harmful and therefore the evolutionary history of red algae has led to the development of protection strategies against UV rays. The protective compounds she produces are considered to be the strongest in terms of absorption of UVA rays.
The red algae has been shown to:
Reduce UVA induced DNA damage in skin cells
Protect from lipid peroxidation after exposure to UV rays