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Super nutrition for the 21St century

By Gary Bushkin, PhD, CNC and Estitta Bushkin, PhD, CNC

Spirulina is be
lieved by anthropologists and biologists to be the oldest living plant on the planet. This "old faithful" has provided complete nutrition, unmatched in value, for over 3.5 million years. Only in the past 75 years have we become familiar with Spirulina, a sleeping powder keg of "green power" that has the potential to become the prime choice for a world super food of the future.

Good Greens

Spirulina is one of approximately 1,500 species of microscopic aquatic plants called blue-green micro algae that have inhabited the earth for several million years. In it's natural state, Spirulina has been discovered in the lakes and waterways of Africa, Central America and South America. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Aztec Indians of Mexico regularly harvested Spirulina for food from natural green lakes and ponds. Native cooks mixed it with maize (cornmeal) to make green pancakes that were a staple of their simple diet. Currently, there are two common varieties of this spiral shaped blue-green algae currently being cultivated and harvested for human consumption, known as Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis.

Harvestinq Spirulina

Today, Spirulina is extensively harvested in tank environments that are set up to provide growing conditions that mimic it's ideal natural habitat. Although Spirulina is cultivated around the world, the largest and most respected Spirulina "farm" is located in the hot California desert sunshine far away from polluted city air. There, from April to October, controlled cultivation of Spirulina takes place. Spirulina is grown in man-made cultivation ponds which help keep out undesirable weed algae, micro bacteria and parasites. These ponds are fed Colorado River water, minerals and carbon dioxide, needed by Spirulina for photosynthesis. Many hours each day of intense sunlight promotes rapid growth. Immediately after being harvested from these ponds, Spirulina is filtered to a thick consistency, dehydrated, and put in oxygen-protective containers. Every day, each lot is tested to ensure safety and consistent nutrient levels. The entire process --- from growing pond to powder - takes about 15 minutes. This powder is then bottled and sold as a supplement as either a powder, tablet of capsule. It is also sold as an ingredient that is used in many other dietary supplements.

Bionutritional Functions Of Spirulina

Spirulina has been blessed by nature with a huge arsenal of valuable nutrients. Of special interest is the phycocyanin, a blue pigment naturally present in large amounts. Results of a 1986 study presented at the International Association for Dental Research General Session concluded that phycocyanin was unique because of its cytostatic (suppressing formation of new cancer cell colonies) and cytotoxic (that destroy existing colonies of cancer cells) abilities.

Spirulina is also naturally "pumped" with vitamins, especially the carotenoids like beta-carotene, essential fatty acids (EFA's), the important fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), digestive enzymes, minerals and the richest plant source of vitamin B12. Spirulina is the "must have" green food- a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids present. Its 60% protein content is four times greater than beef (18%)! In our society, where the concept of complete protein is meat and dairy, it is very reassuring to know that greens like Spirulina can provide all the high quality protein and other nutrients needed.

Spirulina and Vitamin B12 Controversy

A major argument frequently used to support the consumption of animal foods in the diet and negate the tremendous value of Spirulina incorrectly states that plants do not contain vitamin B12. A single serving of Spirulina contains 45% of your daily value of vitamin B12. That's good news and reassuring for vegetarians, many of who are incorrectly led to believe that eating animal food is critical to getting this essential blood building vitamin

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DISCLAIMER:This information and these products have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, disorder, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition. Results are not typical. Individual results may vary.


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