Overall Review on Effective Therapeutic benefits of Spirulina:

A Microalgae


Pankaj Sonawane*, Mayur Bhosale, Tejshri Tambe, Sonali Shinde

Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy, Pravaranagar A/p. Loni - 413736,

Tal - Rahata, Dist.- Ahmednagar (M.S.)

*Corresponding Author E-mail: sonawanepankaj98@gmail.com



Known as the superfood, Spirulinaplatensis, a blue-green algae, has stood out in the natural world as a source of nutrition for man for hundreds of times owing to its high content of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In addition, it's also known to retain several pharmacological effects of which one of the most prominent is its effective against inflammation and fever. Spirulina spp. is belonging to the family of Oscillatoriaceae, which having different natural exertion. Spirulinaplatensis (SP) is rich in bioactive composites with numerous medicinal benefits it cyanobacterium rich in proteins, polyunsaturated amino acids, and bioactive composites, similar as C-phycocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity and possible lipid and glucose metabolism effects. Spirulinaplatensis (SP) is a filamentous cyanobacterium microalgae with potent salutary phyto-antioxidant, anti-inflammatory causes reduction in prostaglandin E2 and anti-cancerous properties. The present study aimed to probe to pharmacological conditioning of spirulinaplantensis.


KEYWORDS: Anti-inflammatory, Anticancer, C-phycocyanin, Cyanobacterium, Spirulinaplantesis.




Spirulina, blue green algea has been used since ancient times as a source of food because of its high protein and nutritive value. The chemical composition of spirulina indicates that it has phenolic acid, tocopherol, beta carotene which are known to parade antioxidant effects. Other species of spirulina like spirulina fusiformis retain potent antiviral exertion, anticancer effect acts as Immunity enhancer and antioxidant effect.1,2 It's safety and efficacity for mortal consumption has also been established ththroug various pharmacological and toxicological studies. The Spirulina fusiformis also retain anti-inflammatory against adjuvant convinced arthritis and prostaglandin E2 and they're popular submissive source of complete protein supplement.3


Spirulina species have also been reported to be carotenoids and other micronutrients are abundant in this natural source. Up most of the earlier studies were concentrated on the nutritive values of Spirulina because of its excellent salutary contents. It's naturally low in cholesterol, calories, fat and sodium and consists of large amounts of carbohydrate nine important vitamins and at least fourteen minerals.4 But its most noteworthy nutritional property can be attributed to a stunning 60 protein content, which is a chance advanced than in any food. Accordingly, it has been successfully used in the malnutrition of children.5


Anticancer property has been attributed to one its factors, phycocyanine. One former study had demonstrated a picky inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) by C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein from Spirulina species.6,7,8


Fig.01: Spirulina plantesis


Plant Description:

Spirulina is a blue-green algae genus that is used as a dietary supplement. Cyanobacteria are small freshwater organisms that produce blue-green algae. Their green colour comes from chlorophyll, and their blue hue comes from phycocyanin, a protein.


Geographical description of Spirulina plantesis:

The spirulina is found all over the world, in all continents. In India the property is located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It produces high-quality spirulina using simple eco-friendly procedures made feasible by the spirulina culture's highly alkaline PH level, without the need of herbicides, pesticides, or other environmentally hazardous products. The spirulina has been sun-dried, giving it a unique energy and flavour. The United Nations' World Food Conference in 1974 praised spirulina as probably "the best food for the future." Spirulina is found in mineral-rich alkaline lakes on every continent, especially near volcanoes, where it thrives spontaneously. Today, the highest quantities of spirulina may be found in Mexico's Lake Texcoco, Central Africa's Lake Chad, and east Africa's Great Rift Valley. Since 1960, when it was rediscovered Spirulina has been thoroughly examined by scientists all around the world, and it has been determined to be the most powerful and well-balanced source of nutrition known Platensis is found throughout Africa, Asia, and South America9,10,11, whereas


Microscopy of Spirulina:

Spirulina species are free-floating filamentous cyanobacteria with multicellular cylindrical trichomes organized in an open left-handed helix. They are found in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and carbonate and bicarbonate concentrations.12,13



Preparation of plant extract of Spirulina plantesis:

Whole Spirulina algae was cleaned, shade dried, and pulverized to powder in a mechanical grinder. Required quantity of powder sample (40gm) was weigh and transferred to round bottom flask separately. This is treated with methanol (200ml). The flask was heated on Soxhlet apparatus for 120min. Then the extracts were filtered. The extracts were collected and evaporated to dryness using vacuum distillation units.


Different Extraction process of Spirulina plantesis:

Phycocyanin the active constituents were extracted from the wet mass of Spirulina by using the following methods,


1) Homogenize the cells in Mortar pestle:

The biomass of Spirulina is homogenizing in mortar pestle in the presence of diatomaceous earth.


2) Inorganic acid extraction:

The biomass of Spirulina is treated with hydrochloric acid (HCL) with different concentration and left for 24 hours at room temperature.


3) Organic acid extraction:

The biomass of Spirulina is treated with acetic acid (1 Molar) at room temperature.


4) Water based extraction:

Spirulina plantesis were dried and extracted using distilled water as solvent in a Soxhlet apparatus.


5) Ethanolic extraction:

Spirulina platensis dried powder (10gm) were extracted by adding 100ml of 80% ethanol kept overnight on a rotary shaker at room temperature.14


Fig 02: Extraction of Spirulina plantesis


Major Chemical Constituents of Spirulina:

Spirulina is a beneficial microalgae. It's particularly high in the polyunsaturated amino acid -linolenic acid (GLA), as well as hues like phycocyanin, myxoxanthophyl, and zeaxanthin, when compared to other sources.

1) Lipids-

Typical of cyanobacteria, which are generally poor in lipids, Spirulina contains only 6 – 13 per cent lipids, half of which are adipose acids. Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), sulfoquinovosyl diacyl glycerol (SQDG) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) are the major lipids, amounting to 20–25percent each Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) contributed only 7 – 10 per cent, while triglycerides were a minor element (1 – 2 per cent). Other lipids, similar as the colorful colors, don't contain adipose acids.

a) Sulfolipids-

 Lately, cyanobacterialsulfolipids (SQDG) were shown to be effective against the HIV contagion


2) Pigments:

The color composition of Spirulina is typical of cyanobacteria. The only chlorophyll present is chlorophyll a, its content varying from 0.8 to1.5 percent of dry weight. The xanthophyll content of snap- dried Spirulina is considerable. The other major carotenoids are myxoxanthophyll.15


3) Proteins and Amino Acids:

Spirulina is especially rich in proteins, which quantum to 64 – 74percent of its dry weight. The high quantum of protein in Spirulina is unusual for a microorganism, being surpassed only by that in certain bacteria. The ccarbohydrate in Spirulina is low as compare to protein and ranges from 12 to 20 percent. Up most of the carbohydrates are water extractable.


4) Phycocyanobilins:

The proteins having the loftiest profitable eventuality are the biliproteins. Spirulina contains two biliproteins c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin. The protein bit may contain up to 20 percent of phycocyanin, a water-answerable blue color. The subunits of c-phycocyanin were shown to have high molecular weight, while the subunits of allophycocyanin were lower, with low molecular weights.


5) Proteins for Food and Feed:

The great increase in the world’s mortal population during recent decades and man’s desire for a better quality of life have made great demands on world food product, especially of protein-rich foods. Microalgae can be employed as protein sources because of their fast growth rates and high protein contents. The cyanobacteriumSpirulina contains up to 70 percent proteins. Also, the residue after the extraction of desirable chemicals from upmost algae is rich in protein and can be employed as an animal feed.


6) Carbohydrates:

Polysaccharides account for 10 to 15 percent of the carbs in spirulina.Carbohydrates are largely utilised by the body to provide energy. They supply roughly 50-70 percent of the body's total energy requirements.16


Structure of phycocyanin with its homologues:



Spirulina is a potent source of nutrients. It contains phycocyanin, a strong plant-based protein. This has antioxidant, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and brain-protective qualities, according to research. Spirulina contains many antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties in the body. It also shows anti-pyretic, hair growth and moisturizing properties.


Pharmacological activities of Spirulina:

1) Anti-inflammatory action of spirulina:

Inflammation is the response of the vulnerable system to contagious agents and is characterized by a series of symptoms similar as pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Presently, medicines used for inflammation treatment can be simply classified as steroids and non steroidalanti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Natural composites uprooted from shops can play different natural function similar as antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Thus, the composites from a natural source for anti-inflammatory operation is largely needed. Therefore, the Spirulina species show potent anti-inflammatory exertion by reducing MDA composition it also decreases LDL cholesterol and IL-6 (Interleukin) expression. Spirulina plantesis also reduces Prostaglandin E2 which causes the inflammation in the arthritis. It also offset G-linolenic acid which is also causes inflammation.17-19


2) Anti-pyretic action of Spirulina:

Spirulina plantesis was plant to be the more potent and effective act as an anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory agent. This might due to the advanced quantum of characteristic ingredients’ likes high protein content, vitamins (especially B12 and β-carotene), amino acid composition, linolenic acid (especially gamma-linolenic acid), phycocyanin and others, phycocynin has been proved to reduce inflammation.20,21,22


3) Anti-Cancer action of Spirulina:

phycocyaninas really important cell underpinning, calming and hostile to malice parcels colour plant distinctly in Spirulina and different types of blue green growth. It has been proposed that Spirulina's combined cancer prevention agent and resistance regulatory properties may include an implicit aspect of tumour obliteration and so play a role in complaint anticipation. 23,24


4) Anti-microbial and anti bacteria action of Spirulina:

Spirulina is currently mass-produced as a monoculture in out-of-door civilisation systems, with the growing medium used as a crucial input and accounting for a significant portion of the costs associated with the Spirulina output. Spirulina contains other cyanobacteria species and is utilised to produce a wide range of antibacterial compounds, making it a good candidate for biocontrol agents to control pathogenic bacteria and fungi.25,26


5) Moisturizer activity:

Skin aging is a complex process that depends on both a inheritable predilection and external factors, and causes functional and structural skin damage. Water moites play a vital part in maintaining the skin structural mores indeed, water binds the dermal proteins, similar as collagen, and ensures the tissue Consistence. Thus, aged skin is poor of bounded water and has weak hydration networks, which make skin look less and less glowy and firm. Generally, UV radiation, pollution, a poor diet and an unhealthy life are the main causes of skin aging, and thus of the loss of humidity together with the drop of skin decreases skin barriers. Presently, the increase in life expectation and the growing interest in a immature appearance have lead the ornamental request to formulate antiage products with moisturizing and wrinkle reduction goods. Considering that beauty companies are also involved in searching sustainable stapal and active constituents, the studies on the antiaging goods of algae, like Spirulina, aroused great interest in recent years.27



Study confirms and claimed that the property of Spirulina in suppressing inflammation, fever, shows anti viral action as well as anti oxidant. It also shows the anticancer property. The algae is also generally considered safe for mortal consumption on base of its long literal use. Spirulina can be used as a model for the biotechnological product of antioxidant composites. This study showed that Spirulina has hepatoprotective effect, important antioxidant action and free revolutionaries scavenging exertion. Spirulina contains a combination of nutrients (β carotene, vitamin B12, tocopherols, essential adipose acids, polysaccharides, glycolipids, sulfolipids and phycobiliprotein) which exerts further neuroprotective goods than single nutrient source. The present review has collected the multitudinous studies conducted on Spirulina to establish its counteraccusations as a potent source of nutrition, it's birth process, it's chemical constitutions and its operations.



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Received on 17.05.2022         Modified on 16.06.2022

Accepted on 05.07.2022       ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res. J. Pharmacognosy and Phytochem. 2022; 14(3):214-218.

DOI: 10.52711/0975-4385.2022.00038