4 November 2014

Eat Spirulina from Today!

By
Spirulina

Spirulina is a microscopic filamentous alga that is rich in proteins, vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and essential fatty acids like γ- linolenic acid. It is produced commercially and sold as a food supplement in health food stores around the world.

Until very recently, the interest in Spirulina was mainly in its nutritive value. Currently, however, numerous people are looking into the possible therapeutic effects of Spirulina. [1]

  1. Spirulina boosts immune system, stimulating the production of antibodies.
  2. Shown to perform regulatory role on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism by exhibiting glucose and lipid profile correcting activity.
  3. They are capable to inhibit carcinogenesis due to anti-oxidant properties that protect tissues and also reduce toxicity of liver, kidney and testes.
  4. Spirulina contributes to the preservation of resident bacteria in the gut. [2]
  5. It contains 70 % packed protein, which is easily digestible and hence can be given to malnourished and convalescent patients.
  6. Daily intake of Spirulina can eliminate iron deficiency anaemia, a common mineral deficiency.
An intake of heaping tablespoon (about 15g) daily would be likely to have important antioxidant activity in humans. [3]

References

(1) Amha Belay et al, Current knowledge on potential health benefits of Spirulina, Journal of Applied Phycology, 1993, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 235-241.

(2) Khan Z, Bhadouria P, Bisen P, Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2005, Volume 6, Number 5 , pp. 373-379(7).

(3) Mark F. McCarty, Clinical Potential of Spirulina as a Source of Phycocyanobilin, Journal of Medicinal Food, 2007, 10(4): 566-570


Image Credit: Flickr/ William Ismael

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