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Seaweed Extract Stops COVID in Early Testing

Dec. 6, 2021 — A sort of marine algae often known as ulva, or “sea lettuce,” that’s a food plan staple in locations like Japan, New Zealand, and Hawaii might have one other profit for individuals. Lab experiments counsel that ulvan, an extract from this kind of algae, might assist combat COVID-19.

Different types of edible seaweed have additionally proven promise as antivirals in opposition to COVID — at the least in very early research accomplished in check tubes and animals. However ulvan has been examined as an antiviral therapy in opposition to sure agricultural and human viruses, too. This precipitated researchers to wonder if ulvan would possibly assist stop COVID infections.

To seek out out, scientists grew ulva algae in a lab, extracted ulvan, after which uncovered cells in check tubes to each the coronavirus and to ulvan. When cells have been uncovered to ulvan, they didn’t get contaminated with the coronavirus, in response to experiment outcomes reported inPeerJ.

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That mentioned, it’s doable that the method used to extract ulvan from seaweed might affect 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 perfect technique to develop ulvan with the perfect antiviral properties, the researchers level out.

One restrict of the experiment is that variations within the chemical makeup of the 2 extracts may need influenced the end result, making it onerous to know for certain how a lot of the antiviral exercise would possibly come straight from ulvan versus these chemical substances.

And even when the seaweed extract proves efficient in additional lab exams, it might nonetheless must 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 research authors conclude.

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