SPIRULINA – THE SUPERFOOD?

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Is Spirulina the superfood of the new millennium? According to nutritionist, western research, medial universities, and researchers from around the world, if it isn’t, it comes really close.

Research on Spirulina started in the 1950’s as part of a search to provide a low cost protein. Yet, the high cost of production has precluded it from becoming an everyday food source.

WHAT IS SPIRULINA

Spirulina was originally classified as a blue-green algae which grows in warm, alkaline, fresh water bodies. Later, Spirulina was moved to cyanobacteria due to its cell structure. Cyanobacteria are related to bacteria, but are capable of photosynthesis. Spirulina is believed to be easily digested because it lacks a cellulose cell wall. Instead, the cell wall is composed of glcoproteins or sugars and proteins.

Spirulina contains about 60% protein by weight versus beef which is 27% by weight. Besides protein, Spirulina contains all eight essential amnio acids making it a complete protein and is rich in Vitamins and Minerals.

IS SPIRULINA SAFE AND NON-TOXIC

Spirulina has been proven to be safe and non-toxic for human consumption. According to Dr. E.W. Becker, “Before a new food item is declared safe for human consumption, it has to undergo a series of detailed toxicological tests to prove the harmlessness of the product. This applies especially to unconventional protein sources, which is where micro-algae are grouped. By considering the available information on possible toxic properties or any other adverse effects of the different algae tested so far, it can be stated that none of these algae showed any negative effect. No serious anomalies were found neither in short-term or long-term feeding experiments nor in studies on acute or chronic toxicity. All tests, including human studies, failed to reveal any evidence that would restrict the utilization of properly processed algal material.”

Even though consumption has been proven safe, side-effects have been reported. The side effects include: nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flu like symptoms. Daily quantities as small as 4 grams of dried Spirulina have reported side effects. Many of these are independent testimonials that can be found on the web. They report the symptoms abated in a day or so.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY

As well as being a superfood, claims have been made that Spirulina can detox the body, improve the immune system, rebuild the body, strongly support the liver, improve mental function, fight against cancer, reduce inflammation and pain, and much more.

The research seems to support these claims.

These are just a few of the many studies out there that support the health benefits of Spirulina. Check it out and see what you think.

OTHER REFERENCES:

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