Medical Applications of Algae: A Review
Algae are known as powerful agents since ancient times. In recent years, more and more studies suggest algae’s potential in the medical field. This review aims to show the most important advances in the uses of algae in the medical field. Due to their bioactive compounds (such as polyphenols, polysaccharides and more) algae (both micro-and macro-algae) have a variety of uses. They were proven to have antioxidant activity, were used as anti-viral agents or for anti-cancer treatment. Also due to their polysaccharides, they were also shown to possess anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-hypertensive effects. Species of micro-algae were used with success in urinary tract infections treatment. Some algae found uses in dentistry. They were included in toothpaste in order to reduce the chance of cavities (they possess anti-microbial activity which can help protect against cavities). Bioactive compounds from algae were also found to have neuroprotective potential.