Australian Marine Phytoplankton - Dunaliella Salina




The Main Benefits Dunaliella Salina May Assist With*:
  • Helps support and maintain vitality and general wellbeing
  • Helps maintain healthy skin and eyes
  • Helps maintain a healthy immune system
  • Reduces premature ageing
  • Protects against free radical damage
  • Assists in the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels
  • Assists natural detoxification processes
Other common names

Microalgae D. salina, D. salina

What is The History of Dunaliella Salina?

D. Salina is a unicellular biflagellate red-coloured alga which synthesises massive amounts of carotenoid pigments, colouring the cells a very bright red.

Michel Felix Dunal first discovered "D. salina" in 1838. It was first sighted in the saltern evaporation ponds of Montpellier, on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. It was 67 years late, in 1905, that it was finally named by the Romanian botanist and scientist - Emanoil C. Teodoresco.

Marine Dunaliella species are commonly observed in salt lakes in all parts of the world from tropical to temperate to polar regions where they often impart an orange-red colour to the water.

D. salina was first cultivated for its beta-carotene (B-carotene) content in the USSR in 1966 but it was the first and second oil shocks of the 1970’s that focussed attention on D. Salina as an alternative feed stock for liquid fuels and the replacement of petroleum based chemicals.

At the same time, there was considerable interest both in Australia and abroad to continue what the Russians had started, by farming D. salina for its B-carotene. Science company Roche was maintaining a D. salina research programme at its Institute of Marine Biology in Dee Why NSW, which suggested that the biosynthetic route might have advantages. One of these advantages could be the rising consumer preference for ‘natural’ over ‘synthetic’ food additives; the main market for B-carotene being as a colourant and pro-vitamin A compound.

Although B-carotene can be synthesized or extracted from other natural sources such as carrots, D. salina is still the richest and best ‘natural’ source of this carotenoid. The extreme saline environment in which D. salina grows also makes the open-air large-scale culture of this algae much easier compared to other unicellular algae. The use of the B-carotene as a food or feed additive and a nutritional supplement means that a high-quality product is required. This means that great care must be taken in the extraction and formulation steps.


Targets and Mechanisms of Action

On a gram for gram basis, D. salina is arguably the most concentrated, nutrient rich food source on earth and it sits at the bottom of the food chain.

D. salina is nature’s richest source of dietary beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids. It contains the important 9-cis beta-carotene isomer which is one of natures most powerful antioxidants. It also contains the important all-trans beta-carotene isomer that can be converted to the safe and non-toxic pro-vitamin A. Of the 600 carotenoids discovered so far, only beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin possess vitamin A activity

It contains a comprehensive spectrum of natural vitamins (especially B12), minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids (DHA/EPA), carbohydrates, polysaccharides, and other phytonutrients. It is a rich source of antioxidants and free radical scavengers. It is also a good source of magnesium, electrolyte minerals and chlorophyll (a great detoxing agent).

D. salina contains a potent mixture of the most important carotenoids, including: B-carotene, A-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Carotenoids are also naturally found in some fruits and vegetables and are considered one of the most important daily nutrients for people to consume every day.

B-Carotene Activity
  • Improves cognitive function in the elderly
  • Reduces cutaneous penetration of UV rays
  • Associated with reduced occurrences of type II diabetes
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Blocks the effects of arsenic-induced toxicity
  • Shows beneficial effects in the treatment of lead toxicity
  • Assists in modulating blood pressure
  • Lowers malondialdehyde (MDA) levels
  • Is a chemotherapeutic reagent for the treatment of neuroblastoma via HIF-1a
  • Regulates the differentiation and stemness of cancer stem cells
  • Interferes with cancer development by inhibiting cell proliferation, arresting cell cycles, and increasing cancer cell death
  • Protects against testicular toxicity and improving spermatogenesis
  • Exerts anti-keratopathy effects and corneal changes in the eye
  • Enhances mucosal IgA secretion in the digestive tract
  • Powerfully inhibits atherosclerosis progression in arteries
  • Decreases cholesterol absorption in the intestines and increases its faecal excretion
  • Is a highly effective physical and chemical singlet oxygen quencher and a potent scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Prevents alcohol-induced liver damage and fibrosis
  • Reduces inflammatory markers - interleukin (IL)-1β, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interlukin-6 (IL-6), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) in both human and animal models
  • Reduces retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) which plays a crucial role as a proinflammatory marker by activating c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathways, as well as increasing the secretion of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α expression
  • Blocks the oligomerization of Aβ42 and Aβ40 during Aβ peptide formation
Zeaxanthin and Lutein Activity
  • Significantly reduces the risk of cataract surgery
  • Absorbs short wavelengths and high energy blue light, and subsequently protects the retina from photochemical damage
  • Protects against UV-induced peroxidation and neutralises reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the eye
  • Enhances visual performance such as photo stress recovery, glare tolerance, and contrast sensitivity.
  • Prevents cognitive decline and delays neurodegenerative diseases progression by suppressing proinflammatory cytokines, triggering Aβ peptide production, and reducing oxidative stress
  • Reduces Alzheimer’s disease mortality
  • Suppresses NF-κB activation
  • Reduces the oxidisation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Protects the myocardium from ischemia injury by decreasing oxidative stress and apoptosis
  • Decreases the proliferation of breast cancer cells by ameliorating ROS and improving the expression of cellular antioxidant enzymes via activation of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and antioxidant responsive element (ARE) 
  • Reduces the risk of hip fracture in the middle-aged and elderly population
  • Increases bone density in young healthy adults
  • Protects against oxidative stress and osteoporosis by downregulating the inflammation and osteoclast-specific marker (NFATc1) expression via Nrf2 activation
  • Suppresses osteoclastic bone resorption and enhances bone formation.
Fucoxanthin Activity
  • Destabilizes Aβ fibril and inhibits Aβ formation
  • Restores insulin and blood glucose levels via the upregulation of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) mRNA expression in the skeletal muscle
  • Prolongs lifespan and promote the viability of organisms in various longevity models
Astaxanthin Activity
  • Decreases blood glucose levels, improves insulin serum levels, and reduces glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Reduces high glucose-induced ROS production in the mitochondria and downregulates the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), TGF-β, NF-κB, and MCP-1
  • Prevents diabetic neuropathy by inhibiting peroxynitrite (ONOO−), nitric oxide (NO), and superoxide (O2−) induced by high glucose concentrations
  • Increases DAF-16 gene expression and reduces mitochondrial production of ROS
  • Modulates insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signalling
Essential Fatty Acid Activity
  • Contains highly concentrated unsaturated fatty acids. These lipids include omega 3, omega 6, linoleic acid, alpha linoleic acid, vitamin E and other fat-soluble vitamins
  • Helps to reduce fat and cholesterol in the blood
  • Has strong preventative action on heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation in arthritis and other joint diseases
  • Supports brain function and development of grey and white matter
  • Provides building blocks for myelin sheath development to protect nerves
  • Provides fatty content for strong cell membranes
  • Supports the production of hormones


* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA or TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

EXCLI J. 2016; 15: 1–4. Published online 2016 Jan 6. doi: 10.17179/excli2015-664. An update on the potential health benefits of carotenes. Jae Kwang Kim

Kent M, Welladsen HM, Mangott A, Li Y (2015) Nutritional Evaluation of Australian Microalgae as Potential Human Health Supplements PLoS ONE 10(2)e0118985 .pone

Mol Vis. 2012; 18: 1540–1547. Published online 2012 Jun 13. Protective effects of Dunaliella salina – a carotenoids-rich alga – against ultraviolet B-induced corneal oxidative damage in mice. Chia-Fang Tsai, Fung-Jou Lu, and Yu-Wen Hsu

Mar Drugs. 2015 Oct; 13(10): 6152–6209. Published online 2015 Sep 30. doi: 10.3390/md13106152 Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae in Chronic Inflammation and Cancer. Elena Talero, Sofía García-Mauriño, Javier Ávila-Román, Azahara Rodríguez-Luna, Antonio Alcaide, and Virginia Motilva

PLoS One. 2014; 9(4): e95214. Published online 2014 Apr 16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095214 Zeaxanthin Dipalmitate Therapeutically Improves Hepatic Functions in an Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Model through Modulating MAPK Pathway. Jia Xiao, Jiteng Wang, Feiyue Xing, Tao Han, Rui Jiao, Emily C. Liong, Man-Lung Fung, Kwok-Fai So, and George L. Tipoe

Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA Intern Med. 2014 May;174(5):763-71. doi:  10.1001/ jamainternmed.2014.328. Effect of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and lutein + zeaxanthin supplements on cardiovascular outcomes: results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) randomized clinical trial. Writing Group for the AREDS2 Research Group; Denise E Bonds, Molly Harrington, Bradford B Worrall, Alain G Bertoni, Charles B Eaton, Judy Hsia, Jennifer Robinson, Traci E Clemons, Lawrence J Fine, Emily Y Chew

Dunaliella salina Teod. as a Prominent Source of Eicosapentaenoic Acid. January 2010International Journal on Algae 12(2):185-189 DOI:10.1615/InterJAlgae.v12.i2.70 Authors: Rahul A Bhosale University of Nottingham, Mohit Pradip Rajabhoj, Indian Institute Of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram Bhupal Chaugule Savitribai Phule Pune University