As described in the Preface to this volume, the first records made of the uses of Spirulina were as a food and what seems to be a major source of protein supply to native tribes in South America and Africa. The re-introduction of Spirulina as a health food for human consumption in the late 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s was associated with many controversial claims which attribute to Spirulina a role of a 'magic agent' that could do almost everything, from curing specific cancer to antibiotic and antiviral activity. Since most claims were never backed up by detailed scientific and medical research, they will not be discussed in this chapter. Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the fact that more than 70 per cent of the current Spirulina market is for human consumption, mainly as health food. Its major claims are summarized in Table 1 1.1.
|Title of host publication||Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira)|
|Subtitle of host publication||Physiology, Cell-biology and Biotechnology|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|ISBN (Print)||9780748406746, 1482272970|
|State||Published - May 1997|