Affiliations: [a] Institute of Clinical Haemostasiology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany
| [b] Department of Biomaterials and Healthcare, Fraunhofer Institute Applied Polymer Research (IAP), Division of Life Science and Bioprocesses, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Institute of Biotechnology, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg, Senftenberg, Germany
| [d] Carbon Biotech Social Enterprise Stiftungs AG, Senftenberg, Germany
Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. F. Jung, Institute of Clinical Haemostasiology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany. E-mail: Friedrich.Jung@hzg.de.
Abstract: Spirulina platensis, a multicelluar, photosynthetic prokaryote (algae) contains a high amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals superior to many foods as e.g. soybeans. Thus, Spirulina platensis was recognized as nutritious food by the United Nations World Food Conference. Due to the high amount of nutritive ingredients Spirulina has a long history as dietary supplement. In addition, spirulina platensis is also efficiently used as forage with known effects on flesh, egg and plumage color, milk yield and fertility. The versatile utilization of the alga can be explained on the one hand with the nutrient levels and on the other hand with recognized effects as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory substance. Therefore, this alga is named as “superfood”. Beyond, these algae convert carbon dioxide into organic substances and produce oxygen during their growth in alkaline and saline water thereby not wasting fresh water allowing the production in barren areas. Despite this diverse use of Spirulina platensis due to its beneficial properties, many basic mechanisms on a molecular and cellular level are not well understood and should be explored in future studies.