Algal Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals: Benefits, Opportunities, and Challenges

Probiotics and Algal Functional Food

Author(s): Mona M. Ismail *

Pp: 341-361 (21)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815051872122010018

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The aim of this work is to explain the probiotic activity of algae and the role of their bioactive compounds as a dietary supplement for promoting growth and disease resistance. Micro- and macroalgae are good alternatives to chemical probiotics because they contain important and safe functional components such as polysaccharides, fatty acids, pigment and proteins, which are considered an extraordinary source of prebiotics with health benefits and enhance healthy colonic microbiota composition. Recently, algae and their extracts have been employed in ingestion systems, simulating the human colon, or animal models. Especially, macroalgae and their polysaccharides have been used for decades to improve human health depending on saccharolytic fermentation by the gut microbiota. Generally, the addition of algae leads to enhance the viability of probiotic bacteria, the acidity of food, and storage quality and, consequently, prevent certain human diseases. Therefore, further investigations should be done for screening and identifying putative prebiotic compounds from algae via the host organism's identification, which utilizes algal bioactive metabolites produced. There will be a need for increasing algae production to replace or supplement the intake of plant foods of terrestrial origin.

Keywords: Bioactive Compounds, Cyanobacteria, Dietary Supplement, Health Food, Seaweed.

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