[From algae to "functional foods"]

Clin Ter. 2015;166(4):e281-300. doi: 10.7417/T.2015.1875.
[Article in Italian]


In the recent years, a growing interest for nutraceutical algae (tablets, capsules, drops) has been developed, due to their effective health benefits, as a potential alternative to the classic drugs. This review explores the use of cyanobacterium Spirulina, the microalgae Chlorella, Dunaliella, Haematococcus, and the macroalgae Klamath, Ascophyllum, Lithothamnion, Chondrus, Hundaria, Glacilaria, Laminaria, Asparagopsis, Eisenia, Sargassum as nutraceuticals and dietary supplements, in terms of production, nutritional components and evidence-based health benefits. Thus, our specific goals are: 1) Overview of the algae species currently used in nutraceuticals; 2) Description of their characteristics, action mechanisms, and possible side effects; 3) Perspective of specific algae clinical investigations development.

Keywords: Algae; Anti-inflammatory; Anti-tumoral; Antioxidant; Functional foods; Immuno-modulatory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chlorella*
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Functional Food* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Phaeophyta*
  • Rhodophyta*
  • Spirulina*