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Spirulina , is a blue-green algae that has a long history of use as food. Its name derives from the spiral or helical nature of its ﬁlaments. There are reports that it was used as food in Mexico during the Aztec civilization some 400 years ago. It is still being used as food by the Kanembu tribe in the Lake Chad area of the Republic of Chad.
Commercial algae are normally produced in large outdoor ponds under controlled conditions.
Spirulina is a natural alga powder with tablet; capsule form . It has richest natural ingredients: Vitamin B-Complex, Vitamin A ,Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, zeaxanthin, easy-to-absorb Iron ; Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), Phycocyanin ; Chlorophyll ,Glycolipids , SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) a potent antioxidant.
Natural Antioxidants ; Detoxifier , Anti-fungal,Anti-viral,Anti-parasitic properties;Promotes cell reproduce; increases hemoglobin levels; Support and repair injured organs and tissues. It has also been shown useful for liver Detoxifier, Treat wounds, Fight cancer & HIV,digestive system, arthritis, weight loss ; sport training.
Published Studies in medical literature are showing that spirulina may exhibit antiviral, anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activity It has also been shown to have beneficial effects on controlling cholesterol, diabetes, coronary artery disease, weight loss, and wound healing.
Spirulina occurs naturally in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate.
Current production of Spirulina worldwide is estimated to be about 3,000 metric tons. Sold widely in health food stores and mass-market outlets throughout the world, Spirulina safety as food has been established through centuries of human use and through numerous and rigorous toxicological studies.
Some of the potential therapeutic benefits of Spirulina:
Encouraging weight loss
Counteracting toxins in the body
Helping purify the liver
Increasing mental alertness
Lowering blood cholesterol and excess triglycerides
Helping fight viral infections
Treating radiation sickness
Enhancing ability to generate new blood cells
Improving blood sugar problems
Strengthening the nervous system
Strengthening the immune system
Removing toxic metals like lead and mercury from the body
Improving healing of wounds
Spirulina is rich in protein, vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Spirulina is 60-70% protein by weight and contains a rich source of vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and provitamin A (β-carotene), and minerals.
There is a published evidence in the literature that Arthrospira can be used for immune modulation in humans and animals.
In a published journal, it has been reported the results of an investigation on the adjuvant effect of a hot water extract of spirulina in the regression of tumors in tumor-bearing mice. Co-administration of the hot water extract with a cell wall component obtained from Tubercle bacillus resulted in a much higher tumor regression in tumor-bearing mice than with bacteria alone or in the untreated control mice.
Following this, active melanoma cells were implanted subcutaneously. It is believed that microbial cell wall components act as inducers of dendritic cells, which play a major role in the induction of tumor-speciﬁc cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.
In humans, Arthrospira increased the population of friendly bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria which is believed to have three functions: to improve digestion and absorption of foods, to protect from infection, and to stimulate the immune system in patients with an Acquired Immune Deﬁciency Syndrome (AIDS), nutrient malabsorption associated with opportunistic infections from microorganisms like Candida albicans can speed expression of disease symptoms. One recommended strategy for halting the progression of AIDS is based on nutrient supplementation of Arthrospira as well as supplemental Lactobacillus and Bifido bacteria. Spirulina might offer such a nutritional and therapeutic strategy.
The ﬁndings of the published studies summarized above are signiﬁcant in the context of natural and nutritional therapeutic intervention in the prevention of infection by pathogenic organisms. Enhancement of this aspect of the
immune system will therefore have far-reaching advantages in body defense. Moreover, spirulina appears to have a balancing effect on important immune cells and cytokines. Although cytokine-induced responses are generally protective in nature, an excess production and/or activity of cytokines can be harmful. It is known that the body possesses an elaborate system of checks and balances to control the production and activity of individual cytokines and that this process requires proper nutrition. Arthrospira may provide such a nutritional role in modulating immune system function favorably.
The antioxidant activity of a methanolic extract of Spirulina was determined in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro antioxidant assay involved a brain homogenate incubated with and without the extract at 37 degree C. Peroxidation of rat brain homogenate was inhibited by almost 95% with 0.5 mg of the methanolic extract.Spirulina were also found to increase HDL and reduce LDL cholesterol as well as fasting serum glucose level compared with control in humans and animals.
The results of the studies summarized above point to the potential use of Spirulina together with Chlorella and other conventional approaches in a nutritional supplementation strategy geared toward the prevention and mitigation of health problems like cancer, heart disease, and premature aging that are associated with free radical damage. Published health beneﬁts of Arthrospira [Spirulina], and the evidence for its potential therapeutic application is overwhelming in the areas of immunomodulation, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and cholesterol-reduction effects.
In the context of using Spirulina as an antioxidant, it is worth noting that it contains about 7% phycocyanin (dry weight basis) and a relatively high content of superoxide dismutase [SOD](1,700 units/g) in addition to a high content of mixed carotenoids. A signiﬁcant aspect of these studies is that orally-administered phycocyanin is bio available and can even pass the blood brain barrier. The role of phycocyanin in COX-2 inhibition may also result in the potential application of Spirulina in the management of inﬂammatory conditions and toxicity due to chemicals and drugs.
The relationship between antioxidant intake and incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular
disease, cataracts, and premature aging is now well established through many epidemiological, intervention, and
clinical studies. This strong association between diet and cancer led the National Cancer Institute to initiate the
recommendation of consuming 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The United States Department of
Agriculture recommends 5-9. Surveys show that only 23% of adult Americans consume the recommended level, and
the median level was about 3 servings a day. People whose lifestyle choices preclude eating properly may want to
improve their diets by adding nutritional supplements rich in antioxidants. Perhaps spirulina can fill this gap in daily nutritional requirements to feed the world and prevent chronic disease.