Benefits of Spirulina
Are there any dangers of Spirulina?
The benefits of spirulina ....
Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, is a small, single-celled microorganism that contains concentrations of nutrients unlike any other single plant, grain, or herb.
Among its valuable components are unusually high amounts of protein -- between 60 to 70 percent, and all the essential amino acids. As such, spirulina is considered a complete protein. It is also a particularly rich source of other nutrients including various B vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, carotenoids, chlorophyll, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).
Spirulina also contains other valuable components such as linoleic and arachidonic acids, and phycocyanin, a phytonutrient that gives spirulina its dark blue-green color.
Now, let's move on to the health benefits of spirulina ….
What Are The Health Benefits of Spirulina?
One of the benefits of spirulina, which of course comes with no surprise, is that it is used for nutritional support. It's important to note that spirulina is said to be the world's richest source of vitamin B12, (needed, especially by vegetarians, for healthy red blood cells). Unfortunately, the bioavailability of vitamin B12 in spirulina is in dispute and, as such, it cannot be counted on as a reliable source of active vitamin B12. Nevertheless, because of its rich source of protein as well as other valuable nutrients, spirulina has been used traditionally as a nutritional supplement by people who cannot obtain sufficient calories or protein through diet alone. In addition, it has been used by people whose nutritional requirements are higher than normal.
In fact, while we are on the topic of nutritional support, many authorities have recommended that spirulina be used on a large scale to combat world hunger because of its excellent nutritional value as well as of its cost effectiveness.
But wait, there are more benefits of spirulina …
Spirulina is an excellent source of vegetable protein with all of the amino acids. It is also a rich source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor of vitamin A.
The Health Benefits of Spirulina: Hype/Speculation
For those of you that are here to find out whether or not spirulina is some highly nutritious super seaweed that can melt away arthritis pain, increase energy, boost immunity, improve liver function, ward off heart disease and cancer, suppress AIDS, control appetite, and guard against cell damage from exposure to X rays or heavy metals, unfortunately, there's little or no scientific evidence to support most of these claims. More specifically, most of the claims for spirulina are unproved or based on laboratory studies.
On the other hand, there are some very intriguing possibilities. The following are a few examples:
Both test tube and animal studies of spirulina have demonstrated anticancer and immune-enhancing effects. Phycocyanin, which is a blue pigment that is only found in blue-green algae, increased the survival rate of mice with liver cancer in laboratory experiments.
In other animal and test tube studies, it is suggested that spirulina increases the production of antibodies and other cells that improve immunity and help to ward off infection and other illnesses such as cancer.
Test tube studies demonstrated that spirulina has favorable activity against herpes, influenza, cytomeglovirus, and the HIV virus.
Interestingly, spirulina was used to treat the children of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. In these children, whose bone marrow had been damaged from radiation exposure, providing them with spirulina seemed to boost their immune system.
Again, these are just a few intriguing possibilities of spirulina. In the mean time we urge healthy skepticism about these results.
Bottom line…more research is needed on all of these intriguing possibilities of spirulina.
Are there any Dangers of Spirulina?
While there are many benefits of spirulina, there are also precautions. First, never take spirulina that you happen to find in a local lake or pond because it could be contaminated with toxins. Second, make sure you purchase supplements from highly reputable companies. Some wild spirulina products may be contaminated by environmental toxins, bacteria, and other potentially harmful contaminates, which are health risks. This is because supplements are not highly regulated in the U.S.
In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that contains the amount of ingredients stated on the label or one that does not harbor contaminates.
Therefore, we highly recommend that you select a spirulina supplement from only pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities, which adhere to very stringent manufacturing standards.
Spirulina Side Effects: Precautions
Occasional gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported such as nausea and diarrhea. Also, there have been a few reports on allergic or sensitivity reactions.
If you are pregnant or nursing, it is not recommended that you take spirulina supplements.
In addition, anyone on any prescription medications or suffer from any health condition should consult their physician before taking ANY dietary supplements.
Interested in reaping the benefits of Spirulina for vibrant health?
Xtend-Life Natural Products from New Zealand has a product called Zupafood GREENZ. Zupafood GREENZ is a ‘green’ health tonic that goes way beyond spirulina. It contains a superfood blend of Organic Spirulina, Organic Chlorella, Green Tea Extract, Grape Juice Powder, Kiwifruit Powder, Apple Fiber Powder, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Wheat Grass, Grape Seed Extract, Grape Skin Extract, and Kiwifruit Extract. In addition, Xtend-Life products adheres to strict GMP protocols, which means what you see on their label is exactly what you get!
Click here to learn more about called Zupafood GREENZ.
We hope this webpage discussing the benefits of spirulina was useful to you.
To Your Health!
If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from Xtend-Life. Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many other herbal extracts.
More than the Benefits of Spirulina can be found at our Herbal Guide web-page