Carrageenan, is a polymer derived from red seaweed which helps to create a protective physical barrier in the nasal cavity and has proven to be an effective antiviral in the treatment of the common cold. The present study assessed the efficacy of Carrageenan against influenza viruses, including the pandemic H1N1 influenza strain. Results showed that the polymer directly binds to influenza viruses, effectively blocking the virus from attaching to cells and spreading further. In animal experiments, Carrageenan demonstrated equivalent efficacy when compared to the drug Tamiflu.
"Influenza viruses still represent a substantial threat to public health on a global scale and with increasing viral resistance to Tamiflu, the need for alternatives has never been greater," says Dr. Andreas Grassauer, CEO and co-founder of Marinomed. "This study confirms that iota-carrageenan can be used as an alternative to neuraminidase inhibitors and should be further tested for prevention and treatment of influenza A in clinical trials in humans."
Reference: Andreas Leibbrandt, Christiane Meier, Marielle König-Schuster, Regina Weinmüllner, Donata Kalthoff, Bettina Pflugfelder, Philipp Graf, Britta Frank-Gehrke, Martin Beer, Tamas Fazekas, Hermann Unger, Eva Prieschl Grassauer and Andreas Grassauer. Iota-Carrageenan is a Potent Inhibitor of Influenza A Virus Infection. PLoS ONE.