SPIRULINA – AN EXCELLENT FUNCTIONAL FOOD Dr.K.K.Janardhanan, Ph.D, FNSE, FNABS Professor Amala Cancer Research Centre Thrissur – 680 555, Kerala, India email@example.com
According to World Health Organization(WHO) Spirulina is an interesting food rich iniron and protein which can be administeredto children without risk. WHO also declared it as the best food for future.
What is spirulina? It is a blue-green algae It is a simple, one- celled form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water bodies The name "spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiralProduced from two species of cyanobacteriaArthospira platensis & Arthospira maxicana
History of SpirulinaA German Algae scientist, Dr.Darwin discoveredthe existence of the spiral shaped algae andnamed it Spirulina Dr. Clement of France in 1962 found that the Ganimou/Kanembu people living around Lake Chades in Africa had stronger bodies than other civilized people at that time, despite poor living conditions and limited resources. Ganimou people eat a blue green algae found floating on the lakes surface. This algae was spirulina.
Why Spirulina is known as food of the future Spirulina is being developed as the "food of the future" because of its amazing ability to synthesize high-quality concentrated food more efficiently than any other algae. Spirulina contains 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance.
Spirulina won “the best natural food " award in west Germanys International Food Expo. The United Nations has conducted a 5-year toxicology study on Spirulina and found it to be completely non-toxic!National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA)Scientists from USA tested and found that 1 kgof Spirulina is nutritionally equal to 1,000 kg ofassorted Vegetables & Fruits.
Active ingredients of Spirulina Vitamins Minerals & Trace elements B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Natural Pigments Fe, Mg, Ca, K, Se, etc. E, K, H and others Phytocyanin, Chlorophyll, in colloidal form Xanthophyll,Beta Carotenes Essential fatty acids, like 8%gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) Fa ts (5 - 8% ) Carbohydrates (15%) Proteins Essential (60-75%) Amino Acids Polysaccharides Glycogen
Nutritional value of SpirulinaSpirulina is a highly digestible food, containing 60 to 70% ofprotein, without cholesterol and provides all the essential aminoacids, which is a rarity among plant foods.Worlds highest beta carotene food- ten times more concentratedthan carrots. It reduces long term health risks and supports bodysdefense.Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)- essential fatty acid, important forhealthy bones, normal brain function, growth and development,stimulation of skin and hair growth and regulation of metabolismsuch as lipid
Vitamin B-12 and B Complex- essential for healthy nerves and tissue,especially for vegetarians.Minerals & Trace elements-Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium andtrace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.Unusual phytonutrients - for health and cleansing. Green(chlorophyll), blue (phycocyanin) and orange (carotenoids) colorscollect the suns energy and power growth. Chlorophyll is a naturalcleanser and is often referred to as natures green magic.
Protein 60-63% 3 times higher than beef, fish, or pork; 6 times higher than eggs; 2 times higher than soybeansMinerals 7-13% Including Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and PhosphorusFibre 8-10% 4 times higher than flour and cornVitamin B12 0.2-0.3mg 3-4 times higher than animal liverBeta Carotene 140-330mg 5 times higher than carrots, 40 times higher than SpinachCarbohydrate 15-25%Lipid 6-8%Chlorophyll 1000-2000mg More than 20 times higher than wheatgrassCalcium 130mg 10 times higher than milkiron 33mg 65 times higher than spinach, 30 times higher than beef, 5 times higher than soy beans
Vitamin Spirulina Other source Possible problems resulting from (6g) insufficient VitaminsBeta- 12mg 28 bottle of milk Infections, Lack of smell senseCarotene 550 pcs apples Acne, Dermatitis, EczemaPro-Vitamin AB1 0.24mg 16 pcs sardines Insomnia, Muscle pain, Memory 8 bowls of rice impairment, Acne, Eczema,Reduced immune resistance, Heart problemsB2 0.24mg 4 whole Cataracts,Deteriorated vision, Insomnia, potatoes Stomatitis, Rough and dry skin, Growth retardation, Eczema, Vaginal itchingB3 1.02mg 8 pcs lemons Nervousness, DermatitisB6 43.2ug 90g bread Heart diseases, Insomnia, Stomatitis, 4 pcs Asparagus Rough and dry skin, Nervousness, Eczema, DermatitiB12 7.2ug 4 pcs eel Pernicious, Anemia, Ageing fatigue, 240g cheese Menstruation problems
Nutritional value of Spirulina – a comparisonProtein Content Cheese-24.9% Peanut-25.8 % Milk-3.75 % Spirulina-65 % Egg-12.58 % Chicken 21.39% Soya-15 %
Beta carotene content Apple -110 kg Green Pea - 5 kg Carrot-164g 6g Spirulina- 12mgCabbage-37kg Tomato – 3 kg Chicken – 5.6 kg
Spirulina is an Alkaline foodThere are two main types of food: acidic food and alkaline food.Acidic food - meat, fish, prawns, chicken, bread and flourAlkaline food - vegetables, milk, seaweeds, fruits and egg white.Dr. Ragnar Berg of United States - "Everydays meal should have theproper proportion of 20% acidic food and 80% alkaline food.“
Medicinal properties of SpirulinaSpirulina offers remarkable health benefits for multiplereasons. It is rich in iron and protein and also betacarotene that can overcome eye problems caused byVitamin A deficiency. The protein and B-Vitamincomplex makes a major nutritional improvement. It isan excellent source for essential fatty acid, Gammalinolic acid (GLA), except for mother’s milk, that helpsto regulate the entire hormone system. Spirulina alsoincreases breast milk by stimulating lactiferous glands.
Spirulina - A powerful AntioxidantSpirulina is exceptionally rich in antioxidants that neutralize free-radicals.Spirulina contains beta-carotene, tocopherols and phenolic acids,which are proven to exhibit antioxidant properties.Phycocyanin is able to scavenge the very dangerous hydroxy radicaland inhibit the oxidation of lipids in the liver and kidneys.A study demonstrated 71 % antioxidant capacity for the grouptaking the Spirulina extract and 54% for the group that did not,indicating strong antioxidant protection (Miranda.,1998., Brazilian Journalof Medical and Biological Research).
Spirulina Prevents CancerSpirulina has been found useful in cancer prevention.The anti-mutagenic effect of Spirulina is beneficial in cancer protection andtreatment. Experimental studies have demonstrated its profoundeffect on oral cancer. Spirulina was found to reverse oralleukoplakia in tobacco chewers in Kerala. Complete regression wasobserved in 45% of the treated people with a dose of 1g/day for12 months.Calcium spirulan isolated from Spirulina platensis, reduced the lungmetastasis of B16-BL6 melanoma cells by inhibiting the tumorinvasion of basement membrane (Mishima et al., 1998., Clinical &Experimental Metastasis).Prevent heart damage caused by chemotherapy using Doxorubicin,without interfering to its anti-tumor activity (Khan et al., 2005.,Phytotherapy Research)
Spirulina is CardioprotectiveSpirulina is cholesterol free.Reduces the level of serum LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL(good cholesterol).Spirulina cause a significant change in vascular tone by increasingthe synthesis and release of nitric oxide and by decreasing thesynthesis and release of a vasoconstricting substance from theendothelial cells.
• Spirulina was found to lower cholesterol. Clinical studies have shown that thirty healthy men with high cholesterol, mild hypertension and hyperlipidemia after eating Spirulina for eight weeks were found to have lower cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL). The findings concluded that antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C and E, selenium etc present in Spirulina offer significant protection against cardiovascular diseases
Dietetic therapy with Spirulina for hyperlipemiaHigher total cholesterol levels or neutral fat levels increases bloodviscosity and adheres to vascular walls.Dietetic therapy - decreasing the consumption of animal proteins, fat,salt and sugar and increasing their intake of dietary fiber.Phosphatidyl inositol, a compound lipid existing in Spirulina, waseffective in controlling total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and neutralfat levels.
Dietetic therapy with Spirulina for liver diseasesThe basic treatment for liver diseases consists of rest treatment andnutritional treatment to protect and repair the liver.A diet high in protein and vitamins is generally indicated in thesepatients in order to improve liver function.Spirulina which is abundant in vitamins and minerals is one of theoptimum nutritional supplements to improve liver function and protectthe liver.
Dietetic therapy with Spirulina for diabetes mellitusDiabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease in which carbohydrateutilization is reduced and blood glucose level is extremely high.Untreated diabetes mellitus show various symptoms complicated withdiabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy.The basic treatment consists of the daily control of blood glucose levelsand calorie control by dietetic therapy.These patients are required to reduce their food intake and tosupplement balanced amounts of necessary nutrients and dietary fiber.These conflicting demands are fulfilled only by Spirulina which containsprotein and trace elements abundantly. (Clinical test performed by ChibaHygienic College; Literature No.44, 273-277, 1991)
Spirulina is Anti-ViralAqueous extracts of Spirulina inhibit the replication of the HIV-1 virus inhuman T-cells of the immune system, mononuclear blood cells and Langerhans cells of the pancreas.Japanese scientists discovered an anti-viral compound in Spirulina calledCalcium SpirulanCalcium Spirulan was found to be active against numerous viruses, includinginfluenza, herpes, and HIV.
Spirulina for AnemiaOne table spoon of Spirulina a day can eliminate irondeficiency, the most common reason for anemia.Spirulina is the most digestible protein food,especially of significant importance to malnourishedpeople. The health benefits of Spirulina have made itan excellent food for rapid recovery of children frommalnutrition related diseases.
Spirulina for malnutrition Baby saved from malnutrition by spirulina,before and after in Togo, West Africa.Spirulina is recommended for nursing mothers. For newborns,malnutrition is often caused by a lack of mother’s milk, the motherherself often being ill. Spirulina given to the mother helps a return tolactation and the babies rapidly gain weight.
Spirulina for AthletesAthletes need extra nutrition.Spirulina contains GLA which is known to stimulate prostaglandins, masterhormones which regulate every cell of the body, including heart, skin,circulation and musculature. Correct prostaglandin levels are necessary forgood health and performance.World Class and Olympic athletes in China and Cuba use spirulina to improveperformance.
Spirulina reducing Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)Studies show women with more severe PMS have unusually low levelsof certain nutrients, so many health experts urge a nutritionalapproach.Three key factors increase the severity of PMS – poor nutrition, lackof exercise and stress.Many clinics recommend foods or supplements rich in B-complex,magnesium, zinc, beta carotene, GLA and other vitamins, minerals andherbs. By containing many of these nutrients, spirulina is useful in aPMS reducing plan, and several PMS supplements contain spirulina.
• Spirulina is used as slimming agent in USA. The phenylalanine present in Spirulina is said to signal the brain to stop hunger pangs leading to reduction in food uptake.• Spirulina is used in balms and anti-wrinkle creams. It helps in skin metabolism, cell regeneration and skin secretion. Spirulina is used in Japan as a safe bio-lipstick and eyeliner.
TAKE HOME MESSAGEWHO in 1992 declared “Spirulina is a high quality food product,rich in iron and protein, safe to consume and an excellentnutrient supplement for children”.Over 200 scientific studies have demonstrated potential healthbenefits of Spirulina.To maintain your good health and longevity, use spirulina, naturesgift of superfood to mankind.