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Abstract

A REVIEW ON THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPIRULINA

Amit A. Shahapurkar*, Madhavi A. Shahapurkar and Rajesh A. Shastry

Abstract

Spirulina is a biomass of microscopic and filamentous cyanobacterium growing in alkaline water bodies that have a long history of use as a safe functional food. Now it is widely used as nutraceutical food supplement all over the world. Recently, great attention and extensive studies have been carried out to evaluate its therapeutic benefits on an array of diseased conditions including hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and viral infections. Potential health benefits of spirulina are mainly due to its chemical composition, which includes proteins, carbohydrates, essential amino acids, minerals (especially iron), essential fatty acids, vitamins, and pigments. Spirulina is generally considered safe for human consumption supported by its long history of use as food source and its favorable safety profile in animal studies. This review article is designed to cover the pharmacognostic aspects and some of the important health benefits of spirulina.

Keywords: Biomass, Cyanobacterium, Nutraceutical, Pigments.


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