Proven Health Benefits of Spirulina
Extensive research has found that spirulina is beneficial in cases of arthritis, diabetes, anaemia, liver disease, carbohydrate disorders, ulcers, pancreatitis, visual complaints, leucocyte loss prevention, allergies, heavy metal poisoning, skin conditions, assimilation and control of appetite, obesity, digestion, constipation, mood and energy swings, hypoglycaemia, heart disease, cancer prevention and viruses.
Spirulina's Anti-Cancer Effects
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 unrepaired 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.
Spirulina Strengthens the Immune System
Spirulina is a powerful tonic for the immune system. In scientific studies of mice, hamsters, chickens, turkeys, cats and fish, Spirulina consistently improves immune system function. Medical scientists find Spirulina not only stimulates the immune system, it actually enhances the body's ability to generate new blood cells.
Important parts of the immune system, the Bone Marrow Stem Cells, Macrophages, T-cells and Natural Killer cells, exhibit enhanced activity.
The 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 that even small amounts of Spirulina build up both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system 16. 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.
Spirulina Phycocyanin Builds Blood
Studies show that Phycocyanin 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 of Spirulina in tablets each day make dramatic recoveries within six weeks. Children not given Spirulina remain ill.
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 phytochemicals. Spirulina 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.
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 anemia, 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.
Supporting Spirulina Health Benefits
1.Ayehunie S., Belay A., Hu Y., Baba T., Ruprecht R., 7th IAAA Conference, Knysna, South Africa April 17, 1996. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).
2. Baojiang G., et al, Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology, April 25-27, 1994, p. 24. Study on Effect and Mechanism of Polysaccharides of Spirulina platensis on Body Immune Functions Improvement.
3. Babu.,M., et al, Nutrition and Cancer 1995, V. 24, No. 2, p.197-202. Evaluation of Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer with Spirulina fusiformis.
4. Belay A., Ota Y., Miyakawa K., Shimamatsu H., Journal of Applied Phycology 5:235-241, 1993. Current Knowledge on Potential Health Benefits of Spirulina.
5. Carmichael, et al Scientific American January 1995. "The Toxins of Cyanobacteria."
6. Evets L.B. et al Grodenski State Medical University, January 15, 1994 Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade, Patent Number: (19) RU (11) 2005486 C1 (51) 5 A 61K35/80. Means to Normalize the levels of Immunoglobulin E Using the Food Supplement Spirulina.
7. Fukino H., Takagi Y., Yamane Y., Eisei Kagaku 36: 5.,1990. Effect of Spirulina Platensis on the renal toxicity induced by inorganic mercury and cisplatin.
8. Hayashi T. & Hayashi K., et al, Journal of Natural Products 1996, Vol. 59, No. 1, 83-87, American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy. Calcium Spirulan, an Inhibitor of Enveloped Virus Replication, from a Blue-Green Alga Spirulina platensis.
9. Hayashi K., et al, Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 7, 76-80 (1993). An Extract from Spirulina platensis is a Selective Inhibitor of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Penetration into HeLa Cells.
10. Hayashi O., et al, Journal of Nutritional Sciences and Vitaminology, 40, 431-441, 1994. Enhancement of Antibody Production in Mice by Dietary Spirulina platensis.
11. Kolman A., et al Toxicology Letters, 48 (1989) 165-169 Elsevier. Radioprotective effect of extract from Spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test.
12. Lisheng L., et al, Marine Sciences, Qindao China, N. 5, 1991, p. 33-38. Inhibitive Effective and Mechanism of Polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis on Transplanted Tumor Cells in Mice.
13. Pang Qishen et al, Acta Genetica Sinica (Chinese Journal of Genetics), V.15(5) p. 374-381, 1988. Enhancement of Endonuclease Activity and repair DNA Synthesis by Polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis.
14. Qureshi M.A., Kidd M.T., and Ali R.A., Journal of Nutritional Immunology V.3(4) 1995, pages 35-45. Spirulina platensis Extract Enhances Chicken Macrophage Functions After in vitro Exposure.
15. Qureshi M.A., Ali R.A., Immunopharmacology, Jan. 1996. Phagocytic potential of Feline macrophages after exposure to a water soluble extract of spirulina in vitro.
16. Qureshi M.A., Garlich J.D., Kidd M.T., Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 1996 (submitted), "Dietary Spirulina platensis Enhances Humoral and Cell-mediated Immune Functions In Chickens".
17. Zhang C., et al, 1994 Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Alga Biotechnology, April 25-27, p.58. The Effects of Polysaccharide and Phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis variety on Peripheral blood and Hematopoietic system of Bone Marrow in Mice.
Spirulina Quotes and Extracts
Spirulina is the primary source of beta-carotene on the planet. The vitamin A provided by beta-carotene keeps the skin, eyes and inner linings of the body healthy and resistant to infection. It is required for healthy teeth, nails, hair, bones, glands and body tissues, especially mucous membranes.
Research has shown that beta-carotene protects the skin against photosensitivity to sunlight and works as an antioxidant, protecting cells against harmful environmental elements.
“It appears to block the process by which a normal cell can turn malignant”
Dr. Charles Simone
“Significant investigations indicate that vitamin A or its derivatives counteract the effect of carcinogenic chemicals by inhibiting tumour formation”
Dr James Outen and Dr Otto Nehaus
“Spirulina is the kind of gold standard proof that physicians have been waiting for.”
Michael Gaziano, Harvard Medical School
“The blue-green algae organisms will be evaluated as sources of potential antineoplastic agents, with the ultimate goal being the discovery of compounds of novel structural types which can be developed for the selective treatment of cancers in man.”
National Cancer Institute
Cystine is an amino acid found in spirulina effective:
“not only in preventing hangovers, but also in preventing damage such as emphysema and cancer caused by smoking.”
“A majority of chronic degenerative illnesses, whether physical or mental, have a B-6 utilisation disorder. The culprit in this problem seems to be a cystine deficiency.”
Dr William Philpott
“Eating the right foods can do incredible things for your brain functions. It can add 20 to 30 points to your I.Q., improve your memory and alertness, boost your energy, pull you out of depression, calm anxiety and irritability, and improve your sleep.”
Dr George Schwarz
Spirulina enriched cookies are being supplied by the Mexican Government to all children as part of a new health initiative.
Kala, India, has begun using noodles made with spirulina as part of a self sufficiency project.