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.