Spirulina is a blue - green algae. The name "Spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiral". Spirulina is the richest whole-food source available in nature. It has been consumed by humans since pre historic times. Spirulina fits into practically any dietary plan because it is an extremely digestible, high-energy, low-calorie, low-fat natural food containing an incredibly wide range of important nutrients.
Best protein source having the protein content of 65-70% as compared to flesh (15-25%), soybeans(35%), dried milk (35%), peanuts (25%), and dried eggs (12%). Only plant source of Vitamin B-12. Approximately twenty times higher in Beta-carotene than Carrot along with other natural mixed Carotenoids. Approx. six times higher in iron than animal liver and 20 times higher than in Spinach (pallak). Three times higher in essential fatty acid, Gamma Linolenic Acid then Evening Primrose Oil.
Spirulina is totally safe for human consumption. Spirulina does not contain any toxic substance and is totally safe for human consumption. Till date, there are no reported side effects of consuming Spirulina. It has been consumed in Africa for many decades. People in all over world have extensively used Spirulina to replenish their diet with the intake of adequate nutrients.
Spirulina is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. It contains every natural known antioxidant including zinc, manganese, selenium and copper, vitamin E, B complex vitamins (highest vegetarian source of vitamin B12), beta-carotene (Vitamin A source), bio-chelated iron and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid that helps lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure and eases conditions such as premenstrual pain, eczema like skin conditions.).
Anti-Viral Effects:- Scientists from the Department of Viral Pathogenesis, Harvard Medical School and Earthrise Farms carried out research to test the effect of a water extract of Spirulina platensis on the HIV- 1 virus. It was found that the water extract of Spirulina inhibits the replication of HIV-1 in the human derived T-cell lines and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A concentration of 5-10 tg/ml was able to reduce the viral activity. Calcium-Spirulan, a polymerized sugar molecule containing both sulfur and calcium, showed the same inhibition activity.
Anti-Cancer Effects:- Uncontrolled cell growth and damage of DNA lead to various kinds of cancers. Special enzymes like endonuclease repair the damaged DNA and help to keep cells alive and healthy. Radiations or toxins may deactivate these enzymes leaving the DNA unrepaired further leading to cancer. Unique polysaccharides of Spirulina are found to enhance the cell nucleus enzyme activity and DNA repair synthesis. This activity of Spirulina has suppressed several important types of cancers.
Cholesterol Reduction:- Spirulina is known to be high in carbohydrates and low in cholesterol, fats etc. this led scientists around the world taking sample size of people and monitoring how the cholesterol levels are affected by the introduction of Spirulina in their bodies. The effect of Spirulina was that it reduced the cholesterol level. The reason for this was said to be the effect of Spirulina on the mechanism of lipoproteins. A study on rats revealed this aspect of Spirulina.
Kidney and Liver Toxicity Reduction:- Kidney plays the essential role for cleansing the body from toxins. Various heavy metals and drugs are found to be toxic to kidney. There are two basic indicators of toxicity in the kidney- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Serum Creatinine. By feeding the rats with about 30% of Spirulina in their diet it was found that there was suppression in the level of BUN and creatinine. The fecal excretion of dioxins was found to be 7 to 11 times higher when the rats were fed on chlorophyll rich food diet. It was found that Spirulina helped in liver toxicity reduction too.
Antibiotic Effects:- studies show that Spirulina affected the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Extracts of Spirulina are being used as face creams, body wraps, skin poultice etc. Usage of whole Spirulina, raw juice and extracts in creams, ointments, solutions and suspensions is being done due to its wound healing properties.
Cure for Anemia:- Iron is one of the most important mineral of the body and iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies today. People suffering from iron-anemia are not able to full fill the basic quantity of iron required by the body. The iron supplements are not well absorbed by the human body leading to unhealthy red blood cells and weak immune system. Spirulina was tested along with another iron supplement by feeding it to rats and 60% more iron absorption by the rats was found from Spirulina as compared to the iron supplement. It was stated that Spirulina could cure the iron deficiency.
Healthy Lactobacillus Availability:- People take lactobacillus supplements as it helps in stimulation of immune system, proper digestion and absorption, and protection from infection. A study on rats with the increase in Spirulina content in their diets showed an increase in the lactobacillus and improvement in the already existing vitamin B1 in the body.
Malnutrition Reduction:- The most important health aspect of Spirulina is that it provides one with all the important nutrients which are required by the body and helps one live a longer and healthier life. Spirulina was given to undernourished infants, who showed a positive increase in their health without any adverse effects.
Anti-Diabetic Effects:- Spirulina has shown positive effects against diabetes. Studies show that Spirulina was effective in lowering down the serum glucose level. Reduced blood pressure was also examined during the study on rats.
The appropriate quantity of consuming Spirulina powder is based on recommendation from Diet & Nutrition Advisor. Generally, a daily intake of 1- 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of Spirulina is recommended for start up. For health maintenance 3 grams (1 teaspoon) per day is recommended. Spirulina is not a medicine; it is health food or dietary supplement so it can be consumed with any medicine. It should be mentioned that over consuming or overdose does not have any negative effect.
Spirulina is a natural food and is safe for children of all the ages. Spirulina is the only natural food that contains GLA an essential fatty acid that is found only in mother's milk. This GLA plays a very vital in balancing the hormonal system in the body. So it is actually very good to give Spirulina to the children.
Spirulina protein is 95% digestible compared to meat sources, which are often difficult for the body to break down. Spirulina is a wonderful way to consume high quality protein that's easy on the body. This is because of the thin cell membrane of Spirulina and also it contains enzymes, which naturally assist in the digestion process.
Spirulina can be consumed by person of any age group because it contains essential nutrients which are required for healthy growth of body. Since it is easily digestible and is full of essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids required by the human body, it is very useful for children, young, middle aged and old people.
Spirulina is also a useful natural supplement for recuperating patients
As Spirulina is a nutritional supplement it can be taken any time. However the people with middle, old age, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, weight loss, beauty and health should eat Spirulina half an hour or an hour before a meal. Before puberty, the young with cancer, anemia, major surgery, major trauma, poor physical and feeble takes after the meal.
More than 70 countries have approved Spirulina as safe for consumption by their respective health agencies. In an evaluation of Spirulina by WHO in 1992, the organization states that: "Spirulina is a high quality food product. It is rich in iron and protein. It is safe to consume and is an excellent nutrient supplement for children." The appropriate quantity of consuming Spirulina powder is based on recommendation from Diet & Nutrition Advisor. They recommend daily intake of 1- 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of Spirulina as start up. It should be mentioned that over consuming or overdose does not have any negative effect. Also, since Spirulina is a health food/dietary supplement; it can therefore be consumed with any medicine. A dietary supplement is a preparation used to provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids or amino acids that are not normally consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet and are meant to improve ones diet. Where as drug is "a chemical substance which is used for treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. Spirulina is a dietary supplement and not a drug. - Human Consumption: As super food.
The World Food Conference of 1974, held in Rome, Italy declared Spirulina as the "Best Food for Tomorrow". WHO (World Health Organization) WHO has hailed Spirulina "The Greatest Super Food on Earth".
IIMSAM (Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition)
IIMSAM works to promote the use of Spirulina to eradicate malnutrition and hunger, worldwide.
Spirulina has been proposed by both NASA (CELSS) and the European Space Agency (MELISSA) as one of the primary foods to be cultivated during long-term space missions.
Directions of Use
Adults: Recommended daily intake is three (3) to six (6) tablets/capsules per day.
Teenagers: Recommended daily intake is two (2) to four (4) tablets/capsules per day.
Children: Recommended daily intake is up to two (2) tablets/capsules per day.
- Animal Feed: Spirulina can be used as a protein supplement in poultry and live stock feed.
- Agriculture: Spirulina can be used as a Bio Fertilizer.
The appropriate quantity of consuming Spirulina powder is based on recommendation from Diet & Nutrition Advisor. They recommend daily intake of 1- 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of Spirulina as start up. It should be mentioned that over consuming or overdose does not have any negative effect. Also, since Spirulina is a health food/dietary supplement; it can therefore be consumed with any medicine.
A dietary supplement is a preparation used to provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids or amino acids that are not normally consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet and are meant to improve ones diet. Where as drug is "a chemical substance which is used for treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. Spirulina is a dietary supplement and not a drug.
- Human Consumption: As super food.
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