The superfood spirulina is beneficial for everyone- children, athletes, busy adults, pregnant women, the elderly, the sick, the healthy and those who want to look young, have a radiant skin and look slimmer
Spirulina is a blue-green alga found naturally in alkaline, warm-water lakes. It has the essential fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic and arachidonic acids. It is naturally low in cholesterol, calories, fat and sodium. It is an excellent source of iron, calcium, folic acid and magnesium. Spirulina is also a potent antioxidant and body detoxifier
Since Spirulina is a concentrated whole food, it is easy to incorporate Spirulina in food preparations, especially for children who don't like vegetables and women who are prone to iron deficiency.
Good for Vegans/vegetarians
Spirulina is virtually the only vegetarian source of vitamin B12, which is needed for healthy red blood cells; and contains significant amounts of iron, protein (60 to 70 percent), essential amino acids, the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, and chlorophyll.
Vitamin B12 is essential for normal growth and neurological function. A deficiency in B12 can cause fatigue and moodiness.
Maintains Peak Brain/cognitive function
"Boosting intake of folic acid and vitamin B-12 through nutritional supplements is a very effective and important way to maintain peak brain function." Holistic nutritionist Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition
It has long been known that folate and vitamin B-12 are important to the healthy functioning of the nervous system. Now a new study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" suggests that the interaction between these nutrients may play a significant role in protecting cognitive function as a person ages.
The study, conducted by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, found that among seniors with adequate vitamin B-12 levels, high levels of blood folate were associated with better cognitive function.
Reduces blood cholesterol levels
Spirulina is a naturally digestible food that helps to protect the immune system, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and boost the absorption of necessary minerals.
Studies with men in Japan and India showed that several grams of spirulina daily can reduce serum LDL and improve the cholesterol ratio.
Beta-carotene also plays a role in preventing heart disease (a study by Harvard Medical School involving 22,000 physicians). It appears to discourage the formation and oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thus reducing the chances of atherosclerosis (damage to arteries, see John Hopkins University, 1991). The GLA, essential fatty acids, in spirulina can prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the body (Samuels et al, 2002; J. Med.Food, 5 (2):91-96)
Also see Nayak, N et al (June, 1988) "Cholesterol lowering effects of Spirulina" (Nutrition Reports International, Vol.37, No. 6)
Human studies in Germany and India found a weight reduction effect from spirulina along with the cholesterol normalizing effects.
Helps with Depression
Folic acid is important during the aging process because it provides nourishment for the brain. Folic acid supports the production of energy and the production of blood cells. Supplementing with folic acid may help in the treatment of depression.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 321
Taking spirulina in supplement form is beneficial while fasting, as it supplies the nutrients needed to cleanse and heal, while also curbing the appetite. If you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), you may benefit from using this food supplement.
(Source:Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 33)
Overweight to Ideal weight
Spirulina's pure protein, which arrives within the context of massive amounts of beta-carotene, chlorophyll, fatty-acid GLA, and other nutrients, is especially helpful to those who are overweight, diabetic, hypoglycemic, or suffering from cancer, arthritis, or other degenerative diseases. (Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 164)
With spirulina, you can maintain high energy levels with low calorie intake. Spirulina helps to satisfy your appetite as it is high in digestible protein (you get your essential amino acids), polysaccharides (blood glucose supply), beta carotene, B vitamins, GLA, enzymes and micronutrients. It nourishes your body and helps you to attain your weight loss goals in a safe way.
Spirulina is also effective in preserving intestinal flora and in decreasing Candida albicans (yeast infections) (see Blinkova el al, 2001; Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol, 2: 114-118)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Spirulina restores the body to a state of high energy according to those who use it. The process may be through its high levels of polysaccharides and essential fatty acids.
Arthritis , Premenstrual Syndrome, Skin Disorder
It was found that Spirulina has unusually high levels of GLA (Gamma linolenic acid which the body uses to make a very important hormone-like substance called PGEI -Prostagladin EI which helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes, prevents inflammation and pains, improves circulation, slows down cholesterol production-see Crisafi, 1992-Health Naturally). GLA is found to be useful in treating arthritis (see Belch et al, 1988; Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 47, 96-104; Kendler, 1987; Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol 39, No 2)
GLA is also found to be an important nutrient in preventing skin disorders such as psoriasis (Ziboh and Fletcher; 1992; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 55:39-45) and it appears to reduce PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome, see Horrobin, 1983; Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 28:465-468)
In Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford writes, "The special form of protein in spirulina benefits those with problems resulting from excessive animal protein, which does not assimilate well and further burdens the body with waste products." If you already have cancer, making a few diet modifications, such as adding spirulina and restricting meat and cheese, can make all the difference in your recovery, according to Patrick Quillin's Beating Cancer with Nutrition and Joseph B. Marion's Anti-Aging Manual. This difference can be the deciding factor between life and death.
Spirulina is rich in phycocyanin, a pigment with anti-cancer properties. Spirulina is also the highest plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid which strengthens immunity and inhibits excessive cell division. (Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, page 378)
Spirulina also obtains its color from chlorophyll. According to Alan Keith Tillotson's "One Earth Herbal Sourcebook," the high levels of chlorophyll in spirulina may explain its ability to stop cancer colonies from forming. As Tillotson writes, "Foods and herbs that contain high levels of chlorophyll show pharmacological evidence of cancer prevention,
Several animal studies have documented the ability of spirulina to arrest the development of cancer progression, reduce risk of cancer initiation, and boost the immune system.
The information above is extracted from http://www.naturalnews.com.
Beta-carotene have been shown to exert a protective effect against the development and progression of cervical cancer (Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Palan et al, 1992; American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 167: 1899-1903). It may also help protect the skin against the effects of sunlight, thus preventing skin cancers (Kornhauser A., Wamer W. and Giles, A. Jr., 1986).
Other studies have shown (Ziegler, 1989; Journal of Nutrition, 119: 116-122; Wald et al, 1988; British Journal of Caner, 57: 428-433), people whose diets are high in beta carotene have lower incidence of cancers. Low beta carotene levels in the blood of smokers have been later been linked to incidences of lung cancer (Stahelin et al, 1991; American Journal of Clinical Nurtition, 53: 265S-9S). Smokers should maintain their beta carotene levels.
The high content of protein and its high digestibility as well as all the other vitamins, minerals and enzymes make Spirulina a super food to improve sexual vigour.
Another interesting factor is that Spirulina has a relatively high content of arginine which is important for the production of (male) seminal fluid which is about 80% arginine and for keeping the blood clean.
Eye Disease- Loss of Vision, Cataracts and Glaucoma
A clinical report by Yoshito Yamazaki, MD, lecturer at Tokyo College of Medicine and Dentistry clearly shows the benefits of spirulina for eye diseases. In the Japanese research with Spirulina and other aiding measures confirmed it to be highly effective in 90% of geriatric cataracts out of a total of 480 cases. The treatment included eye-disease related diseases such as geriatric cataracts, diabetic retinal damage (retinitis), nephritic retinal damage, high blood pressure and hardening of retinal blood vessels (angiosclerosis) (Hills).
Also high doses of beta-carotene is said to help those who are hypersensitive to visible light (see Mathews-Roth, 1981).
Hepatitis and Cirrhosis
It has been shown in many clinical reports in Japan that Spirulina has a preventative as well as a corrective power for fatty liver and hepato-cirrhosis. After only one month of Spirulina intake a positive effect was obvious. After three months a change to the normal condition was reported. Also see Torres et al, 1998; Biochem Mol. Int. 44 (4): 787-793) and Gorban et al, 2000; Lik Sprava, 6: 89-93
Spirulina has anti-viral and anti-allergic effects, and is a natural antihistamine. A study by University of California Davis's School of Medicine examined Spirulina's effect on allergies that cause inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose (allergic rhinitis). The researchers concluded that Spirulina has protective effects on sufferers of allergic rhinitis (see Mao et al, 2005; J. Med. Food 8 (1): 27-30) Consuming spirulina reduced the cytokine Interleukin-4 in patients.
Also see Remirez et al, 2002, Mediators Imflamm. 11 (2): 81-85; Hayashi et al, 1996, J. Nat.Prod.
59 (1), 83-87; Henandez-Corona et al, 2002; Antiviral Res.,56 (3): 279-285
Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers
The amino acids, cystein and high content of high quality protein makes Spirulina a very good treatment for ulcers. Spirulina with its richness in chlorophyll also makes it valuable for retaining and restoring a good digestion.
Spirulina is rich in three substances known to have an anti-ageing effect. Tyrosine, Vitamin E or Tocopherol and Selenium. For example, Tyrosine may slow the ageing of cells and suppresses hunger.
The above information comes from: Harald W. Tietze: Spirulina - Micro Food Macro Blessing 2 , 4th edition (1999/ 2004)