Red algae may hold key to preventing spread of COVID-19

Marine resources are today a renewable source of various compounds that are used in numerous industries. In recent years, considerable attention has been focused on diverse algae or their metabolites to develop several novel bioactive substances. Algae derivatives are defined as a food or part of food that has health benefits and prevention or treatment of disease. Algal sulfated polysaccharides have a high potential as a source of functional ingredients with a wide range of applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Fucoidan and carrageenan, as two main seaweed sulfated polysaccharides, possess numerous biological properties. These polysaccharides are highly valuable in food and healthy immune system diet and also can be applied in the pharmaceutical field. They have shown antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 infection by preventing virus entry into the cell or interfering with viral replication. Thus, they may provide some novel ingredients for the production of healthy functional foods, antiviral supplement formulations, or algal-based treatments for viral respiratory diseases, especially anti-COVID-19 and recommend solutions to this global health problem in the future. 
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