Fucoidan: A review of its potential in limiting viral lung damage

A new Australian review discusses recent research into the potential for the marine polysaccharide fucoidan to assist in limiting lung damage that is often caused by respiratory viral infections.
Fucoidan is a highly bioactive compound that occurs naturally in brown seaweeds. It has been extensively researched for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumorigenic and anti-viral effects.

Respiratory viral infections, including the current pandemic strain SARS-CoV-2, can cause both acute and chronic damage to the lung. Chronic lung damage caused by respiratory viral infections, and ensuing bacterial infections, often takes considerable time to heal. It can also result in permanent lung scarring and difficulties in the rebuilding of damaged lung architecture.

The new review summarizes the current research on fucoidan and its potential to ameliorate viral lung infections and lung damage. It notes that fucoidan has been shown to increase innate immunity and decrease inflammation in both clinical and animal studies. In addition, dietary fucoidan has been shown to attenuate pulmonary damage in an animal model of acute viral infection.

“The preservation of lung function and the limiting of lung damage may benefit individual patients and global health systems currently under immense strain,” said Marinova’s Chief Scientist and the lead author of the paper, Dr Helen Fitton. “Fucoidan preparations have potential as supplementary dietary agents to limit the damage caused by respiratory viral infections by restoring innate immune function and inhibiting inflammation. Marinova is continuing to explore this potential with additional studies investigating immune function.”

As the world continues to combat the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, and awaits the approval and distribution of effective vaccines, Marinova strongly advocates the importance of adhering to all guidelines and advice issued by public health authorities.

The paper ‘Fucoidan and Lung Function: Value in Viral Infection’, published in Marine Drugs.

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