Nutritional and therapeutic potential of Spirulina

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2005 Oct;6(5):373-9. doi: 10.2174/138920105774370607.


Spirulina, a filamentous cyanobacterium, possesses diverse biological activities and nutritional significance due to high concentration of natural nutrients, having bio-modulatory and immuno-modulatory functions. Different Spirulina preparations influence immune system viz. increase phagocytic activity of macrophages, stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines, increase accumulation of NK cells into tissue and activation and mobilization of T and B cells. Spirulina have also shown to perform regulatory role on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism by exhibiting glucose and lipid profile correcting activity in experimental animals and in diabetic patients. Preparations have been found to be active against several enveloped viruses including herpes virus, cytomegalovirus, influenza virus and HIV. They are capable to inhibit carcinogenesis due to anti-oxidant properties that protect tissues and also reduce toxicity of liver, kidney and testes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / chemistry
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Biological Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Spirulina
  • Xenobiotics / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biological Factors
  • Biological Products
  • Xenobiotics