About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria. Spirulina's scientific name is arthrospira platensis. This edible algae has a long history of safe human consumption and over 30 years of safety testing. Special farms where spirulina is cultivated under controlled conditions do not allow the growth of other contaminant blue-green algae, as in lakes and waterways.
World's highest beta carotene food reduces long term health risks.
Spirulina beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots. So even if you don't eat the recommended 4 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (most people eat only 1-2, including french fries), get your natural beta carotene insurance from spirulina to help support your body's defenses.
60% easy-to-digest vegetable protein without the fat and cholesterol of meat.
People are eating less meat and dairy protein because they want to lower fat, cholesterol, and chemicals in their diet. Spirulina is the highest protein food with all the essential amino acids and has only a few calories to keep your waistline where you want it.
A rare essential fatty acid is a key to health.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in mother's milk helps develop healthy babies. Studies show nutritional deficiencies can block GLA production in your body, so a good dietary source of GLA can be important. Spirulina is the only other whole food with GLA.
Iron for women and children's health.
Iron is essential to build a strong system, yet is the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.
High in Vitamin B-12 and B Complex.
Spirulina is the highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians.
Unusual phytonutrients for health and cleansing.
Scientists are discovering the benefits of polysaccharides, sulfolipids & glycolipids, and the rainbow of natural pigments that give spirulina a deep green color. Green (chlorophyll), blue (phycocyanin) and orange (carotenoids) colors collect the sun's energy and power growth. Chlorophyll is a natural cleanser and is often referred to as nature's green magic.
So, it's not so bad, is it?
If you take in too much beta-carotene your skin can become yellow...
but this is not too bad since your body will eventually excrete it. It doesn't do any harmful/permanent damage
Vitamin A is a different story though and can cause some serious problems. I'm not sure if spirulina contains Vitamin A...
Yes, but a very low quantity. Or so i remember... Anyway you can't overdose from it...
Or maybe something like Vitamin C. It is an antioxidant, but if you get too much it has just the opposite effect.
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishment the scroll
I am the Master of my fate
I am the Captain of my soul.
NEW RESEARCH ON SPIRULINA REVEALS HEALTH BENEFITS
An international detective hunt has been underway for 20 years. Researchers in Japan, China, India, Europe and the USA are discovering how and why the microalgae Spirulina is so effective for human and animal health. Hundreds of published scientific studies reveal how Spirulina, and its unique phytonutrients and extracts, boost the immune system and improve health in many ways.
LATEST SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
EFFECTS ON THE AIDS VIRUS, CANCER AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
BY RONALD HENSON AND RICHARD KOZLENKO DPM, PH.D. M.P.H.
There are several new peer reviewed scientific studies about the ability to inhibit viral replication, strengthen both the cellular and humoral arms of the immune system and cause regression and inhibition of cancers. While these studies are preliminary and more research is needed, the results so far are exciting.
POTENT ANTI-VIRAL ACTIVITY
In April 1996, scientists from the Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School announced on-going research, saying "Water extract of Spirulina platensis inhibits HIV-1 replication in human derived T-cell lines and in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A concentration of 5-10 µg/ml was found to reduce viral production."
HIV-1 is the AIDS virus. Small amounts of Spirulina extract reduced viral replication while higher concentrations totally stopped its reproduction. Importantly, with a therapeutic index of >100, Spirulina extract was non-toxic to the human cells at concentrations stopping viral replication.
Another group of medical scientists in Japan has published new studies regarding a purified water extract unique to Spirulina named Calcium-Spirulan. It inhibits replication of HIV-1, Herpes Simplex, Human Cytomegalovirus, Influenza A virus, Mumps virus and Measles virus in-vitro yet is very safe for human cells. It protects human and monkey cells from viral infection in cell culture. According to peer reviewed scientific journal reports this extract, "holds great promise for treatment of HIV-1, HSV-1, and HCM infections, which is particularly advantageous for AIDS patients who are prone to these life-threatening infections."
Calcium-Spirulan is a polymerized sugar molecule unique to Spirulina containing both Sulfur and Calcium.
How does it work? When attacking a cell, a virus first attaches itself to the cell membrane. However, because of Spirulina extract, the virus cannot penetrate the cell membrane to infect the cell. The virus is stuck, unable to replicate. It is eventually eliminated by the body’s natural defences.
Several studies show Spirulina or its extracts can prevent or inhibit cancers in humans and animals. Some common forms of cancer are thought to be a result of damaged cell DNA running amok, causing uncontrolled cell growth. Cellular biologists have defined a system of special enzymes called Endonuclease which repair damaged DNA to keep cells alive and healthy. When these enzymes are deactivated by radiation or toxins, errors in DNA go un-repaired and cancer may develop. In vitro studies suggest the unique polysaccharides of Spirulina enhance cell nucleus enzyme activity and DNA repair synthesis. This may be why several scientific studies, observing human tobacco users and experimental cancers in animals, report high levels of suppression of several important types of cancer. The subjects were fed either whole Spirulina or treated with its water extracts.
STRENGTHENS IMMUNE SYSTEM
Medical scientists find it not only stimulates the immune system, it actually enhances the body's ability to generate new blood cells. Important parts of the immune system, Bone Marrow Stem Cells, Macrophages, T-cells and Natural Killer cells, exhibit enhanced activity. Spleen and Thymus glands show enhanced function. Scientists also observe Spirulina causing macrophages to increase in number, become "activated" and, more effective at killing germs.
Feeding studies show even small amounts build up both humoral and cellular arms of the immune system. Spirulina accelerates production of the humoral system (antibodies and cytokines), allowing it to better protect against invading germs. The cellular immune system includes T-cells, Macrophages, B-cells and the anti-cancer Natural Killer cells. These cells circulate in the blood and are especially rich in body organs like the liver, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, adenoids, tonsils and bone marrow. Spirulina up-regulates these key cells and organs, improving their ability to function in spite of stresses from environmental toxins and infectious agents.
PHYCOCYANIN BUILDS BLOOD
Spirulina has a dark blue-green color, because it is rich in a brilliant blue polypeptide called Phycocyanin. Studies show it affects the stem cells found in bone marrow. Stem cells are "Grandmother" to both the white blood cells that make up the cellular immune system and red blood cells that oxygenate the body. Chinese scientists document Phycocyanin stimulating hematopoiesis, (the creation of blood), emulating the affect of the hormone erythropoetin, (EPO). EPO is produced by healthy kidneys and regulates bone marrow stem cell production of red blood cells. Chinese scientists claim Phycocyanin also regulates production of white blood cells, even when bone marrow stem cells are damaged by toxic chemicals or radiation.
Based on this effect, Spirulina is approved in Russia as a "medicine food" for treating radiation sickness. The Children of Chernobyl suffer radiation poisoning from eating food grown on radioactive soil. Their bone marrow is damaged, rendering them immunodeficient. Radiation damaged bone marrow cannot produce normal red or white blood cells. The children are anemic and suffer from terrible allergic reactions. Children fed just five grams in tablets each day made dramatic recoveries within six weeks.
OTHER POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Spirulina is one of the most concentrated natural sources of nutrition known. It contains all the essential amino acids, rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene and its co-factors, and other natural phytonutrients. This is the only green food rich in GLA essential fatty acid. GLA stimulates growth in some animals and makes skin and hair shiny and soft yet more durable. GLA also acts as an anti-inflammatory, sometimes alleviating symptoms of arthritic conditions.
Spirulina acts as a functional food, feeding beneficial intestinal flora, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidus. Maintaining a healthy population of these bacteria in the intestine reduces potential problems from opportunistic pathogens like E. coli and Candida albicans. Studies show when spirulina is added to the diet, beneficial intestinal flora increase.
Based on this preliminary research, scientists hope the use of Spirulina and its extracts may reduce or prevent cancers and viral diseases. Bacterial or parasitic infections may be prevented or respond better to treatment and wound healing may improve. Symptoms of anaemia, poisoning and immunodeficiency may be alleviated.
Scientists in the USA, Japan, China, Russia, India and other countries are studying this remarkable food to unlock its potential. More research is needed to determine its usefulness against AIDS and other killer diseases. However, it is already clear this safe and natural food provides concentrated nutritional support for optimum health and wellness. More about <A HREF="http://www.allseasonshealth.co.uk" REL="nofollow">Spirulina</A>
Uhuh... now that sounds exactly like biased hype that always freaks me out. It is surely nice to apply funding for a project that cures cancer, AIDS, famine, malnutrition, blood disorders and apparently whatever one can conjure up. I'm not saying that Spirulina doesn't sound like an iteresting topic that certainly warrants further investigation, but this last reply seems to completely lack objectivity, and hence credibility - to me it looks just like a marketing speech disguised behind scientific terms.
Anyone who has read proper peer-reviewed journals knows that a paper / review that comes with this many flashy or extreme adjectives hardly gets a green light from any well-respected reviewer. So either the writer has made them up themselves, or the articles aren't quite from Nature or New Scientist.
"The children are anemic and suffer from TERRIBLE allergic reactions."
"Children fed JUST five grams in tablets each day made DRAMATIC recoveries within six weeks."
"...are studying this REMARKABLE food to unlock its potential."
"...to determine its usefulness against AIDS and other KILLER diseases."
"It inhibits replication of HIV-1, Herpes Simplex, Human Cytomegalovirus, Influenza A virus, Mumps virus and Measles virus in-vitro yet is VERY safe for human cells."
"HUNDREDS of published scientific studies reveal how Spirulina, and its UNIQUE phytonutrients and extracts, boost the immune system and improve health in many ways."
...and those were just a few examples, many of the more suspicious claims are either extremely generalised or vague. Heck, there are hundreds of substances out there that inhibit viral replication in vitro, and are safe (sorry, very safe!) to human cells - but are still completely useless agains viruses in therapeutical terms.
I hope you get my point, this "review" or whatever you called fulfill all the requirements for a misleading scientific text. You can basically pick whatever a topic you wish and find "hundreds" of peer reviewed papers - just who reviewed them and in which paper..? (the Chinese are always a good pick, because until nowadays, nobody could ever check their results or methods anyway - and even today the situation is quite different from many other countries )
I truly hope nobody makes their opinion about Spirulina based on this text!
To: Tuyet Giang: In short, yes it is good for your health. The downside is it does not taste very good, and can be messy. The limitation on how much can be consumed is the nucleic acid content. The UNIDO suggests to use less than 45 grams per day. Health benefits in humans begin at just one gram per day, and probably peak at about 10-15 grams per day.
To: biohazard; You are quite right. The piece I wrote more than ten years ago is of the commercial genre', not scientific.
For science go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/ and enter phycocyanin NADPH oxidase or just Spirulina.
The value to human health of Spirulina is primarily it's peculiar form of bilin (phycocyanin) and polysaccharide. The bilin is not only a direct antioxidant in-vivo, it powerfully inhibits NADPH oxidase and COX-2, which means it is a powerful immunosupressant.
The polysaccharide is finding applications in medicine as an immunostimulant.
Eating Spirulina provides both immunostimulant and immunosuppressant effects, which though it sounds odd, do not cancel one another out. Both effects are desirable in most people.
I buy my spirulina online, it's cheaper than buying it at the drugstore.
Last edited by canalon on Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: And you dispose of your spam online, because it is cheaper too?
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