• The cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis is one of the most promising sources of the polyunsaturated fatty acid -y-linolenic acid (GLA). The GLA content of Spirulina can be enhanced by cultivation under light-dark cycles in the laboratory or outdoors. Thus, in strain BP, the GLA content increased from 1.2 to 1.6% when cultivated under light-dark cycles. Moreover, in the derived mutant Z19, the GLA content reached 2.4% when cultivated outdoors. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest GLA content ever reported for any alga. Introduction is mainly concentrated in galactolipids (GLs). Later works claimed that the proportion of GLA in the fat-The polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) -y-linolenic ac.id ty acids of Spirulina is rather low (Hudson & Karis, (GLA, 18:3CJJ6) was shown to be of potential value 1974), or that 18:3CJJ3 rather than GLA is the main for lowering low density lipoproteins in hypocholes-PUFA in this alga (Kenyon & Stanier, 1970). Ciferri terolemic patients (Ishikawa et al., 1989), for allevi-(1983) was the first to suggest that Spirulina can be ating the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (Hor-used as a source of PUFAs, and especially of GLA robin, 1983), and for treatment of atopic eczema (Biagi and it is now clear that Spirulina is the richest algal et al., 1988). The main commercial sources for GLA source ofGLA. Cohen et al., (1987) evaluated the fat-are oils of evening primrose and black currant. The ty acid composition of 19 different Spirulina strains

publication date

  • January 1, 1994