The Efficacy of Octopus

Octopus is an inventive sea creature, capable of fooling us with its camouflage and manipulating the world around it. It may also be a remarkably effective teacher. Jennifer Mather, a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, says that while octopus may have a different “way of being” in the world than humans do, it has a similar mind that can explore to acquire information and make decisions.

Moreover, an octopus’s brain is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Octopus contains a variety of nutrients like vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like copper and magnesium. In addition, octopus is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for immune system function, cardiovascular health and weight loss. Octopus is also low in cholesterol and other saturated fats, making it a healthier alternative to red meat.

A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that organic extracts from octopus contain antimutagenic properties, which can help reduce cancer cell growth and prevent the formation of metastases. It is also rich in sepiapterin, which produces sperm cells in males and promotes a healthy reproductive system in men. Additionally, octopus contains the antioxidant glutathione, which helps maintain a healthy liver and protects against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

For octopus to grow, it needs high-quality food. Its natural diet consists of crustaceans, shellfish and other marine creatures. Its high growth rate, favourable food conversion index and easy adaptation to captivity makes it an innovative species for aquaculture.

However, a shortage of suitable feed in Europe has delayed the development of methods for rearing this versatile seafood in large quantities. Research is ongoing to develop a nutritionally balanced octopus diet that is affordable, safe and sustainable.

Another area of focus for researchers is octopus’s ability to adapt to ocean acidification, which is caused by fossil fuel emissions that increase carbon dioxide levels in the air and decrease pH levels in seawater. A recent study conducted by Lloyd Trueblood, an associate biology professor at La Sierra University, and Kirt Onthank, an associate biology professor at Walla Walla University, showed that octopuses have a greater tolerance for hypoxia—decreased water-borne oxygen—than other animals.

These findings indicate that octopuses can potentially play a role in the management of marine ecosystems and fisheries, as they are highly adaptive and have a strong ability to adjust their metabolic rates in response to environmental changes. The octopus could also serve as a model organism for other marine species to study and learn from, including humans.