Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spirulina- Health Benefits

Posted on 2:30 PM by Dr. Saleh Muhammad Aarif

The superfood spirulina is beneficial for everyone- children, athletes, busy adults, pregnant women, the elderly, the sick and the healthy

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.

Since Spirulina is a concentrated whole food, it is easy to incorporate Spirulina in food preparations, especially for children who don't like vegetables. 

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. Spirulina is a potent antioxidant and body detoxifier 

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. Human studies in Germany and India found a weight reduction effect from spirulina along with the cholesterol normalizing effects.
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. 

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 

Curbs appetite/cleanses
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 problems towards 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) 

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. 

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. 

Spirulina has anti-viral and anti-allergic effects, and is a natural antihistamine.

The information above is extracted from 

Sexual Vitality
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). 

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.
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)

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