Spirulina, an unicellular filamentous blue-green alga has been consumed by man since ancient times in Mexico and central Africa. It is currently grown in many countries by synthetic methods. Initially the interest in Spirulina was on its nutritive value: it was found almost equal to other plant proteins. More recently, some preclinical testing suggests it has several therapeutic properties such as hypocholesterolemic, immunological, antiviral and antimutagenic. This has led to more detailed evaluations such as nucleic acid content and presence of toxic metals, biogenic toxines and organic chemicals: they have shown absence or presence at tolerable levels according to the recommendations of international regulatory agencies. In animal experiments for acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity, reproduction, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity the algae did not cause body or organ toxicity. In all instances, the Spirulina administered to the animals were at much higher amounts than those expected for human consumption. On the other hand there is scant information of the effects of the algae in humans. This area needs more research.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||349|
|Journal||Revista de Investigacion Clinica|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 1996|