Dec. 6, 2021 — A kind of marine algae generally known as ulva, or “sea lettuce,” that’s a weight loss program staple in locations like Japan, New Zealand, and Hawaii could have one other profit for individuals. Lab experiments counsel that ulvan, an extract from one of these algae, could assist battle COVID-19.
Different types of edible seaweed have additionally proven promise as antivirals towards COVID — a minimum of in very early research executed in take a look at tubes and animals. However ulvan has been examined as an antiviral remedy towards sure agricultural and human viruses, too. This brought about researchers to wonder if ulvan would possibly assist stop COVID infections.
To search out out, scientists grew ulva algae in a lab, extracted ulvan, after which uncovered cells in take a look at tubes to each the coronavirus and to ulvan. When cells have been uncovered to ulvan, they didn’t get contaminated with the coronavirus, in line with experiment outcomes reported inPeerJ.
In Take a look at Tubes
That stated, it’s potential that the method used to extract ulvan from seaweed could influence its antiviral properties. Investigators in contrast two extraction strategies and located one in every of them resulted in ulvan with greater than 10 instances the virus-fighting energy. This implies that extra analysis is required to refine the most effective methodology to develop ulvan with the most effective antiviral properties, the researchers level out.
One restrict of the experiment is that variations within the chemical make-up of the 2 extracts might need influenced the end result, making it exhausting to know for certain how a lot of the antiviral exercise would possibly come instantly from ulvan versus these chemical compounds.
And even when the seaweed extract proves efficient in additional lab checks, it might nonetheless have to be examined in animals and people. However ought to it show efficient in human trials, seaweed extract has the potential to assist stop COVID an infection in individuals who can’t simply afford or entry vaccines, notably in low-income nations, the examine authors conclude.