HUGE HEALTH BENEFITS
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Research and Studies
While Spirulina research conducted over the years has clearly shown its multi-faceted
health promoting effects, the two latest studies in the areas of immunomodulation
and cancer protection tell the big story.
Controls Immunomodulation and Uprequlates Immunity
Spirulina's most powerful health benefits lie in its ability to stimulate
and maintain immune system activity. The results of the Mao, Van De Water
and Gershwin study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food (2000),
and conducted at the university of California at Davis School of Medicine,
provide continued understanding and proof of the awesome power of Spirulina.
The study, performed
on Spirulina grown by Earthrise Nutritionals, demonstrated that Spirulina
was able to raise the levels of three cytokines (specialized proteins
produced by immune system lymphocytes) particularly one form of interferon
(IFN)-y, to 13.6 times basal levels, and two forms of interleukins, (IL)-1
beta to 3.3 times basal levels, and IL-4, to 2.0 times basal levels. This
evidence is highly convincing in terms of expanding Spirulina research
and it's use in food. Earlier, the results of the Baojiang study, given
at the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology, 1994, concluded
that polysaccharides of Spirulina platensis, at the dosage of 150-300
mg/kg by injection or taken orally, can increase the percentage of T-lymphocyte
in the blood. The results demonstrate that Spirulina polysaccharides can
improve cellular and humoral immunity.
Hayashi, in the Journal
of Nutritional Science Vitaminology, showed that Spirulina extract significantly
enhanced interleukin-1 (IL-1) production from peritoneal macrophages.
These results suggest that Spirulina enhances the immune response, particularly
the primary response, by stimulating macrophage functions, phagocytosis,
and IL-1 production.
At the 30th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Immunology in November
2000, breakthrough research was reported by the Osaka Institute of Public
Health. Spirulina, in conjunction with BCG-CWS, a cell wall component
derived from Tubercle bacillus; was able to enhance the anti-tumor propagation
effect of BCG-CWS. This inhibitory effect occurred because Spirulina upregulated
the tumor destroying activity of natural killer (NK) cells and the cytokine
This heightened activity
was observed 1-2 weeks after initiating Spirulina use, continuing 12-
24 weeks after treatment ceased.
that the clinical findings support the serious potential for Spirulina
as an Immunotherapy agent. Mishima and colleagues reported in Clinical
& Experimental Metastasis, 1998, that Ca-SP, calcium spirulan isolated
from Spirulina platensis, could reduce the lung metastasis of B16-BL6
melanoma cells by inhibiting the tumor invasion of basement membrane probably
through the prevention of the adhesion and migration of tumor cells.
Is A Powerful Antioxidant
As a food additive, Spirulina maxima contains beta-carotene, tocopherols
and phenolic acids, which are proven to exhibit antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant activity of Spirulina can be attributed to phycocyanin,
the blue pigment found in blue-green algae that contains phytochemicals
with scavenging properties. The Miranda study (1998), published in the
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, demonstrated a 71
% antioxidant capacity for the group taking the Spirulina extract and
54% for the group that did not, indicating strong antioxidant protection.
The results obtained
indicate that Spirulina provides some antioxidant protection for both
in vitro and in vivo systems. The Romay study demonstrated that phycocyanin
is able to scavenge the very dangerous hydroxy radical and inhibit the
oxidation of lipids in the liver.
At the Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science, Deemed University in
Coimbatore, India, Ramamoorthy and colleagues tested the effects of Spirulina
on patients with a combination of high cholesterol (above 250 mg/dI) and
ischemic heart disease. They concluded that Spirulina plays a key role,
lowering blood cholesterol levels and improving lipid profiles.
Spirulina's cell wall
is unique too. It is made up of mucopolysaccharides that provide numerous
Of special interest
is the ability of these mucopolysaccharides to lower blood fats. This
was also brought to light in a 1976 study showing that Spirulina controlled
the tendency and ability of cholesterol and other lipoproteins to bond
with arterial receptors and attach to artery walls.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Research studies show that Spirulina was able to cause a significant change
in vascular tone by increasing the synthesis and release of nitric oxide and
by decreasing the synthesis and release of a vasoconstricting substance from
the endothelial cells.
A 1998 study conducted at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical
School has also given us some positive news. Using an aqueous extract of Spirulina,
researchers were able to inhibit the replication of the HIV-1 virus in human
T-cells of the immune system, mononuclear blood cells and Langerhans cells
of the pancreas. While this was a test-tube study, it tends to confirm what
is seen in animals fed Spirulina or Spirulina extracts. A 1993 issue of Phytotherapy
Research reported scientists feeding Spirulina extract to hamsters infected
with a lethal form of Herpes Simplex Virus. Hamsters had prolonged survival
times and increased survival rates when fed Spirulina extract before infection.
While no official guidelines for recommended daily intake have been established
at this time, many experts suggest 3,000 mg per day as a preventive, healthy
dose, ideally taken with food in servings of powder, capsules or tablets.
For therapeutic use, 10,000 mg and even 20,000 mg per day is indicated.
Spirulina is available in forms that are convenient to take, easy to digest,
have no saturated fat, and have not been treated with nor contain chemicals
or pesticides. Spirulina is a nutritional wonder food.
A Colorful Conclusion
While many dietary supplements and foods regularly "pop" on
the market with a big bang, they frequently become short lived, trendy
items without strong science behind them.
Although long known
to man, green plants, earth's most ancient foods, have now emerged as
the world's newest nutritional wonders. They hold the power to nourish,
protect and heal, the body, extending lifespan at the same time. Because
the research on Spirulina is extensive, thorough and very convincing,
we believe it will be a world powerfood of the future.
New green food supplements
are always in development. Interest and purchases of Spirulina and green
food supplements are rising steadily, as people are being given an opportunity
to learn a great deal more about them and their exceptional health benefits.
The time has come for the power of green foods and green food supplements
to be unleashed into the world food chain to improve the health regimens
of people everywhere. Whether the choice is tablets, capsules or green
food powders to mix into juices and other beverages for a healthy treat,
the future of health is green!
Gary Bushkin, PhD, CNC and Estitta Bushkin, PhD, CNC, are natural health
authors, journalists and consultants with diverse experience in nutrition
and the natural health products industry. Earning their degrees from the Clayton
College of Natural Health, this versatile duo has co-authored two books, "FAA's
- All About Green Food Supplements" (Avery Publishing, Spring 1999) and
"The Folic Acid Book" (DW Press, Spring, 2001. As contributing editors
to popular consumer and trade magazines, the Bushkin's have penned dozens
of articles about natural health, nutrition and alternative medicine for Better
Nutrition, Food Distribution Magazine, Great Life, Health Products Business,
and are members of the Health Products Business Editorial Board. They were
also "Q & A - Ask the Experts" columnists for Nutrition Science
News and Health and Nutrition Breakthroughs. As consultants to the natural
products industry, they have developed and formulated dietary supplements
and functional foods. The Bushkins are Certified Nutritional Consultants and
members of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants and the Coalition
for Natural Health.
why Earthrise Spirulina is Superior
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