Bioactive compounds by microalgae and potentials for the management of some human disease conditions

AIMS Microbiol. 2023 Feb 7;9(1):55-74. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2023004. eCollection 2023.


Microalgae biomasses are excellent sources of diverse bioactive compounds such as lipids, polysaccharides, carotenoids, vitamins, phenolics and phycobiliproteins. Large-scale production of these bioactive substances would require microalgae cultivation either in open-culture systems or closed-culture systems. Some of these bioactive compounds (such as polysaccharides, phycobiliproteins and lipids) are produced during their active growth phase. They appear to have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidative, anticancer, neuroprotective and chemo-preventive activities. These properties confer on microalgae the potential for use in the treatment and/or management of several neurologic and cell dysfunction-related disease conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), AIDS and COVID-19, as shown in this review. Although several health benefits have been highlighted, there appears to be a consensus in the literature that the field of microalgae is still fledgling, and more research needs to be carried out to ascertain the mechanisms of action that underpin the effectiveness of microalgal compounds. In this review, two biosynthetic pathways were modeled to help elucidate the mode of action of the bioactive compounds from microalgae and their products. These are carotenoid and phycobilin proteins biosynthetic pathways. The education of the public on the importance of microalgae backed with empirical scientific evidence will go a long way to ensure that the benefits from research investigations are quickly rolled out. The potential application of these microalgae to some human disease conditions was highlighted.

PMID:36891530 | PMC:PMC9988413 | DOI:10.3934/microbiol.2023004


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