Therapeutic Effects of Fucoidan: A Review on Recent Studies

Mar Drugs. 2019 Aug 21;17(9):487. doi: 10.3390/md17090487.


Fucoidan is a polysaccharide largely made up of l-fucose and sulfate groups. Fucoidan is favorable worldwide, especially amongst the food and pharmaceutical industry as a consequence of its promising therapeutic effects. Its applaudable biological functions are ascribed to its unique biological structure. Classical bioactivities associated with fucoidan include anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-coagulant, anti-thrombotic, immunoregulatory, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. More recently, a variety of in vitro and in vivo studies have been carried out to further highlight its therapeutic potentials. This review focuses on the progress towards understanding fucoidan and its biological activities, which may be beneficial as a future therapy. Hence, we have summarized in vitro and in vivo studies that were done within the current decade. We expect this review and a variety of others can contribute as a theoretical basis for understanding and inspire further product development of fucoidan.

Keywords: anti-viral; bioactivity; fucoidan; therapeutic effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Distemper / drug therapy
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis B / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use
  • Seaweed / chemistry*
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan