Fucoidan and Lung Function: Value in Viral Infection

Mar Drugs. 2020 Dec 24;19(1):4. doi: 10.3390/md19010004.


Compromised lung function is a feature of both infection driven and non-infective pathologies. Viral infections-including the current pandemic strain SARS-CoV-2-that affect lung function can cause both acute and long-term chronic damage. SARS-CoV-2 infection suppresses innate immunity and promotes an inflammatory response. Targeting these aspects of SARS-CoV-2 is important as the pandemic affects greater proportions of the population. In clinical and animal studies, fucoidans have been shown to increase innate immunity and decrease inflammation. In addition, dietary fucoidan has been shown to attenuate pulmonary damage in a model of acute viral infection. Direct inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro has been described, but is not universal. This short review summarizes the current research on fucoidan with regard to viral lung infections and lung damage.

Keywords: COPD; corona; fibrosis; fucoidan; influenza; lung; respiratory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy


  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan