What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green alga in the shape of a spiral coil, living both in sea and fresh water. Spirulina is the common name for human and animal food produced primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis, and Arthrospira maxima. Though referred to as 'algae' because they are aquatic organisms capable of photosynthesis, cyanobacteria are not related to any of the various eukaryotic algae.
Arthrospira is being cultivated all over the world and used as a nutritonal supplement which comes in various forms like capsules, tablets, flakes and powder form. It is also used as a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium, and poultry industries.
The spirulina herb actually belongs to the single-celled blue algae family. spirulina is a rich source of nutrients. In fact, it contains a total of 10 kinds of vitamins, 8 minerals, and about 18 amino acids, both essential and non-essential.
Spirulina represents an interesting food for multiple reasons, and it is able to be administered to children without any risk. Other proposed uses of spirulina are for cancer prevention, fibromyalgia, hay fever, herpes infection, high cholesterol, hives, HIV infection, liver protection, weight loss.
Spirulina is also packed with protein because it contains about 70% protein . This number far exceeds the protein content of a regular steak by 15 times, but is about 5 times easier to digest and absorb. It's also packed with a lot of beta carotene.
There are also various medical and scientific studies which have proven Spirulina as an effective weight loss product. Spirulina offers remarkable health benefits to an undernourished person. It is rich in beta carotene that can overcome eye problems caused by vitamin A deficiency. The The Vitamin B complex and protein content is also a major nutritional improvement for infants' diet. It is the only food source, except for mother's milk, containing substantial amounts of an essential fatty acid GLA that helps regulate the entire hormone system.
One tablespoon a day can eliminate iron anemia, the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is the most digestible protein food, especially important for malnourished people whose intestines can no longer absorb nutrients effectively. There are clinical studies which have shown that it helps build healthy intestinal flora. These health benefits have made it an excellent food for rapid recovery of children from malnutrition related diseases in Mexico, Togo, Romania, China, Rwanda , Zaire, India, Ukraine and Belarus .
Due to all these overwhelming benefits, spirulina dietary supplements have grown in popularity as well. They are usually available in 500 milligram tablets. If you wish to take spirulina tablets, one brand which is recommended by Medicines From Nature by Ross Gardiner, available in both New Zealand and Australia. It's also established that Spirulina has cancer fighting properties and ingredients. It also improves our immune system. Not only that, spirulina has been seen to reverse the signs of aging.
Ayehunie, S. et al. "Inhibition of HIV-1 Replication by an Aqueous Extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis)." JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes & Human Retrovirology. 18, 1, May 1998: 7-12.
Kulshreshtha, A., Zacharia, J., Jarouliya, U.,Bhadauriya, P., Prasad, G.B.K.S., & Bisen, P.S. (2008). "Spirulina in Health Care Management". Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 9 (5): 400-405
Simpore, J., et al. "Nutrition Rehabilitation of HIV-Infected and HIV-Negative Undernourished Children Utilizing Spirulina." Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. 49, 2005: 373-380.
Mao, TK, et al. "Effects of a Spirulina-based dietary supplement on cytokine production from allergic rhinitis patients." Journal of Medicinal Food. Spring 2005;8(1):27-30.
What Is Spirulina?