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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2013, Article ID 325636, 8 pages
Review Article

Spirulina (Arthrospira): An Important Source of Nutritional and Medicinal Compounds

Department of Chemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, P.M.B. 1069, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria

Received 24 January 2013; Revised 13 April 2013; Accepted 16 April 2013

Academic Editor: Horst Felbeck

Copyright © 2013 Abdulmumin A. Nuhu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic organisms known for their rich pigments. They are extensively employed as food supplements due to their rich contents of proteins. While many species, such as Anabaena sp., produce hepatotoxins (e.g., microcystins and nodularins) and neurotoxins (such as anatoxin a), Spirulina (Arthrospira) displays anticancer and antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral) activities via the production of phycocyanin, phycocyanobilin, allophycocyanin, and other valuable products. This paper is an effort to collect these nutritional and medicinal applications of Arthrospira in an easily accessible essay from the vast literature on cyanobacteria.