A recently published animal study1 evaluated the effect of Undaria pinnatifida-derived fucoidan (UPF) in a severe influenza A H1N1 mouse model. Fucoidan is a bioactive compound naturally occurring in brown seaweed. Mice were given either no fucoidans, 3.52 mg/day, or 7.04 mg/day in their feed. Results showed that the highest dosage of fucoidans significantly reduced gross lung pathology, called lung “consolidation,” which is a common adverse effect of severe viral lung infections where fluid fills the alveoli of the lungs and interferes with vital gas exchange. Clinical signs of influenza were also reduced in a dose dependent manner.
“The reduction in symptoms and in lung consolidation in this study indicates potential for fucoidan to be utilized in nutritional supplements for the management of viral infections where lung damage is occurring. Importantly, even small reductions in lung damage can substantially reduce the overall disease burden,” said co-author of the paper and chief scientist at Marinova, Helen Fitton, PhD, in a press release. “This research adds to previous data demonstrating that fucoidan inhibits damage in influenza models.”
1. Richards C et al. “Oral Fucoidan Attenuates Lung Pathology and Clinical Signs in a Severe Influenza A Mouse Model.” Marine Drugs, vol. 18, no. 5 (2020): 246