Therapeutic compounds can be derived from various natural sources like plants, animals, marine organisms, and microorganisms. Although the marine biota accounts for around 50% of the total world biodiversity, but their potential as a rich source of bioactive products and their applications in both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries have only recently been identified through several scientific studies. Marine biotechnology is an upcoming area that involves about the study of marine microorganisms and animals including algae, sponges, and coral as a novel source of bioactive substances that can be used in the treatment of various human diseases like cancer, anemia, diarrhea, obesity, diabetes, atopic dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, etc. They are also potential sources of natural antioxidants, colors, immuno-suppressants, enzyme inhibitors, hypocholesterolemic agents, vitamins, enzymes, and antibiotics. However, marine microorganisms have not yet been given the attention they deserve and a very limited scientific data is available on bioactive potential of marine microorganisms. There is still scope for a higher magnitude of research and investigation to explore the potential of both marine organisms and marine microorganisms as producers of novel drugs. This chapter deals with the exploitation of microbes from marine sources as potential sources for various nutraceuticals and their possibilities for applications in variety of diseases and as functional food supplement.
Part of the book: Nutraceuticals