- Excellent source of protein and 100-plus nutrients
- Contains GLA
- Good for bodybuilding, energy and endurance
- Available in powder and tablets
Believed to have been a staple is the ancient Aztec diet, today Hawaiian Spirulina is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The highest quality blue-green algae available, Pure Planet Hawaiian Spirulina is grown under the intense tropical sun. Well known as an excellent source of easily digestible protein, our Hawaiian Spirulina contains 100-plus health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, vegetarian B12, iron, calcium, protein, vitamins, minerals, all 9 essential amino acids, and chlorophyll. An excellent source of the rare but important fatty acid GLA, Hawaiian Spirulina is also superabundant in antioxidants. No wonder it’s a favorite food of athletes, who use it for bodybuilding, energy and endurance. It is available in powder and tablets. Scientific studies at UC Davis shows that Hawaiian Spirulina may be the most potent immune boosting food ever studied. After only 2 weeks, gamma interferon and interleukin levels increased by up to 10 times. These are essential for the body to battle a wide variety of cellular imbalances.
Various types of kelp and other sea plants have been used traditionally by coastal societies for centuries, the use of Spirulina as a food is a rather different story. Although its scientific documentation as a “superfood” did not occur until the 20th century, its first use was actually 200 years prior to that when a severe drought hit the South American continent. Facing starvation the indigenous people gathered green algae from tidal pools that were rapidly reproducing in the mid summer’s heat.
It was not until World War II, however, when facing an embargo that the Japanese government created the Society for the Study of Algaes. After intensive research two strains were found to have the perfect complement of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and essential fatty acids necessary to support human life. These were called Chlorella (grown in fresh water) and Spirulina (grown in salt water). A brilliant scientist named Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura then created unique aqua (water) culture models capable of producing many tons of this life giving superfood. After the war the project continued and Dr. Nakamura traveled to the United States to share his discovery with another brilliant phyco-biologist (sea plant biologist) named Dr. Christopher Hills. Together they planted the seeds of research over 30 years ago that have resulted in spirulina taking its place among the most powerful health promoting foods on earth.
Pure Planet Hawaiian Spirulina comes in both tablet and powder form. Take 6-20 tablets or 1 - 3 teaspoons of powder mixed with juice, water or in a smoothie per day. Hawaiian Spirulina is a whole food, so you can take it either with meals or on an empty stomach.
Some people take as many as 20-40 tablets (2-4 Tbsp powder) per day. It is important to remember that spirulina provides high powered nutrition in a whole food form. It is not synthetic supplementation.
Nature’s Richest Food
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Vitamin B-12. It’s two to six times richer than it’s nearest rival raw beef liver. B-12 is practically a synonym for high energy.
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Biochelated Organic Iron. which is completely nontoxic. It’s 58 times richer than raw spinach and 28 times richer than raw beef liver!
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Vitamin E. It's 3 times richer than raw wheat germ and its biological activity is 49% greater than synthetic vitamin E.
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Beta-Carotene (Pro Vitamin A). It’s 25 times richer than raw carrots. Unlike the preformed vitamin A of synthetics and fish liver oils, beta-carotene is completely nontoxic even in mega doses.
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Antioxidants. It contains a spectrum of every natural antioxidant known, including: the antioxidant vitamins B-1 and B-6; the minerals zinc, manganese and copper; the amino acid methionine; and the super antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin E and trace element selenium.
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Its oils are 3 times richer in GLA than evening primrose oil. Studies have indicated that GLA helps lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure and eases such conditions as arthritis, premenstrual pain, eczema and other skin conditions.
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Chlorophyll - many times richer than alfalfa or wheat grass!
SPIRULINA is nature’s richest whole-food source of Complete High-Biological Value Protein:
Spirulina - 60-70%
Soybeans - 30-35%
Beef - 18-22%
Eggs - 12-16%
Tofu - 8%
Milk - 3%
Spirulina is gaining more attention from medical scientists as a nutraceutical and source of potential pharmaceuticals. There are several peer reviewed scientific studies about Spirulina’s ability to inhibit viral replication, strengthen both the cellular and humoral arms of the immune system and cause regression and inhibition of cancer. While these studies are preliminary and more research is needed, the results so far are exciting.
Potent Anti-Viral Activity
In April 1996, Scientists from the Laboratory of Viral pathogenesis, Dana-Farber cancer institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and Earthrise Farms, Calipatria. California, announced on-going research. Saying “Water extract of spirulina platensis inhibits HIV-1 replication in human derived T-cell lines and in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A concentration of 5-10 ug/ml was found to reduce viral production.” HIV-1 is the AIDS virus. Small amounts of spirulina extract reduced viral replication while higher concentrations totally stopped its reproduction. Importantly, with a therapeutic index of >100, Spirulina extract was non-toxic to the human cells at concentrations stopping viral replication.
Another group of medical scientists has published new studies regarding a purified water extract unique to spirulina named Calcium-Spirulan. It inhibits replication of HIV-1, Herpes Simplex, Human Cytomegalovirus, Influenza A virus, Mumps virus and Measles virus in-vitro yet is very safe for human cells. It protects human and monkey cells from viral infection in cell culture. According to peer reviewed scientific journal reports this extract, “Šholds great promise for treatment of ŠHIV-1, HSV-1, and HCM infections, which is particularly advantageous for AIDS patients who are prone to these life-threatening infections.”
Calcium-Spirulina is a polymerized sugar molecule unique to spirulina containing both Sulfur and Calcium. Hamsters treated with this water-soluble extract had better recovery rates when infected with an otherwise lethal Herpes virus. How does it work? When attacking a cell, a virus first attaches itself to the cell membrane. However, because of spirulina extract, the virus cannot penetrate the cell membrane to infect the cell. The virus is stuck, unable to replicate. It is eventually eliminated by the body’s natural defenses. Spirulina extracts may become useful therapeutics that could help AIDS patients lead longer more normal lives.
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina, (rhymes with “ballerina”), is a traditional food of some Mexican and African peoples. It is a plank tonic blue-green algae found in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes. Wild Spirulina sustains huge flocks of flamingos in the alkalin East Africa Rift Valley Lakes. It possesses an amazing ability to thrive in conditions much too harsh for other algae. As might be expected, it has highly unusual nutritional profile. Spirulina has a % amino acid content, is the world’s richest natural source of Vitamin B-12 and contains a whole spectrum of natural mixed carotene and xanthophylls phytopigments. Spirulina has a soft cell was made of complex sugars and protein, and is different form most other algae in that it is easily digested. Millions of people worldwide eat Spirulina cultivated in scientifically designed algae farms. Current world production of Spirulina for human consumption is more than one thousand metric tons annually. The United States leads world production followed by Thailand, India and China. More countries are planning production as they realize it is a valuable strategic resource.
Spirulina is not Chlorella, or the blue-green algae harvested from Klamath Lake, Oregon. Chlorella, green micro-algae, is a nutritious food but does not have the same anti-viral, anti-cancer and immune stimulating properties of Spirulina. The Chlorella cell was is made of indigestible cellulose, just like green grass, while the cell wall of Spirulina is made of complexed proteins and sugars. The Klamath Lake blue-green algae has the scientific name Aphanizomenon flos-aquae,5 because it can sometimes contain potent nerve toxins. While the scientific literature is full of information concerning the toxicity of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and its dangers to humans and animals, there are few, if any, peer review scholarly scientific papers regarding therapeutic benefit. In contrast, the scientific literature is full of information concerning the benefits and safety of humans and animals eating Chlorella and Spirulina.4
Several studies show Spirulina or its extracts can prevent or inhibit cancers in humans and animals. Some common forms of cancer are thought to be a result of damaged cell DNA running amok, causing uncontrolled cell growth. Cellular biologists have defined a system of special enzymes called Endonuclease which repair damaged DNA to keep cells alive and healthy. When these enzymes are deactivated by radiation or toxins, errors in DNA go unrepaired and, cancer may develop. In vitro studies suggest the unique polysaccharides of Spirulina enhance cell nucleus enzyme activity and DNA repair synthesis. This may be why several scientific studies, Observing human tobacco users and experimental cancers in animals, report high levels of suppression of several important types of cancer. The subjects were fed either whole Spirulina or treated with its water extracts.3,12,13
STRENGTHENS IMMUNE SYSTEM
Spirulina is a powerful tonic for the immune system. In scientific studies of mice, hamsters, chickens, turkeys, cats and fish, Spirulina consistently improves immune system function. Medical scientists find Spirulina not only stimulates the immune system, it actually enhances the body’s ability to generate new blood cells. Important parts of the immune system, the Bone marrow Stem Cells, Macrophages, T-cells and Natural Killer Cells, exhibit enhanced activity. The Spleen and Thymus glands show enhanced function. Scientists also observe Spirulina causing macrophages to increase in number, become “activated” and, more effective at killing germs. Feeding studies show that even small amounts of Spirulina build up both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system.16 Spirulina accelerates production of the humoral system, (antibodies and cytokines), allowing it to better protect against invading germs. The cellular immune system includes T-cells, Macrophages, B-cells and the anti-cancer Natural Killer cells. These cells circulate in the blood and are especially rich in body organs like the liver, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, adenoids, tonsils and bone marrow. Spirulina regulates these key cells and organs, improving their ability to function in spite of stresses from environmental toxins and infectious agents.2,10.12,14,15,16
SPIRULINA PHYCOCYANIN BUILDS BLOOD
Spirulina has a dark blue-green color, because it is rich in a brilliant blue polypeptide called phycocyanin. Studies show that pycocyanin affects the stem cells found in bone marrow. Stem cells are “Grandmother” to both the white blood cells that make up the cellular immune system and red blood cells that oxygenate the body. Chinese scientists document phycocyanin stimulating hematopoiesis, (the creation of blood), emulating the affect of the hormone erythropoetin, (EPO). EPO is produced by healthy kidneys and regulates bone marrow stem cell production of red blood cells. Chinese scientists claim Phycocyanin also regulates production of white blood cells, even when bone marrow stem cells are damaged by toxic chemicals or radiation.17
Based on this effect, Spirulina is approved in Russia as a “medicine food” for treating radiation sickness. The children of Chernobyl suffer radiation-poisoning form eating food grown on radioactive soil. Their bone marrow is damaged, rendering them immunodeficient. Radiation damaged bone marrow cannot produce normal red or white blood cells. The children are anemic and suffer from terrible allergic reactions. Children fed just five grams of Spirulina in tablets each day make dramatic recoveries within six weeks. Children not given Spirulina remain ill.6
OTHER POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Spirulina is one of the most concentrated natural sources of nutrition known, It contains all the essential amino acids, rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene and its co-factors, and other natural photochemicals. Spirulina is the only green food rich in GLA essential fatty acid. GLA stimulates growth in some animals and makes skin and hair shiny and soft yet more durable. GLA also acts as an anti-inflammatory, sometimes alleviating symptoms of arthritic conditions.
Spirulina acts as a functional food, feeding beneficial intestinal flora, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidus. Maintaining a healthy population of these bacteria in the intestine reduces potential problems from opportunistic pathogens like E.coli and Candida albicans. Studies show when Spirulina is added to the diet, beneficial intestinal flora increase.
Based on this preliminary research, scientists hope the use of Spirulina and its extracts may reduce or prevent cancers and viral disease. Bacterial or parasitic infections may be prevented or respond better to treatment and wound healing may improve. Symptoms of anemia, poisoning and immunodeficiency may be alleviated. Scientists in the USA, Japan, China, Russia, India and other countries are studying this remarkable food to unlock its potential. More research is needed to determine its usefulness against AIDS and other killer diseases. However, it is already clear this safe and natural food provides concentrated nutritional support for optimum health and wellness.
Spirulina May Help Repair Brain Tissue
PETALUMA, CA - According to Earthrise, its product, Earthrise spirulina reversed degenerative effects of aging on the brain in a rat study. The study, published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, described the application of standard electrophysiological techniques to compare neuronal function in young and old rats fed either a control diet or a diet supplemented with spirulina, apple, or cucumber (5 mg daily for 14 days). Young rats fed the control diet had a significantly higher neuronal activity than aged rats fed the control diet. When old rats were fed a diet supplemented with spirulina, the activity of their neurons reverted to the higher-level observed in young rats, according to the company. Apples showed an intermediate effect while cucumbers had no effect at all. The study adds “to the mounting evidence on the role of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables in reducing age related declines in central nervous system function,” said Dr. Amha Belay, scientific director, Earthrise Nutritionals. “The present study points to the potential application of spirulina in the prevention and mitigation of neurodegenerative effects of damage by oxygen radicals.”
Food Safety Research
Spirulina has a history of use in Chad where locals traditionally consume 9-13 grams per meal, and these meals are from 10 to 60% of the meals.1 “The attention of the U.N. FAO was attracted by the fact that algae was being consumed by humans. The FAO organized an educational campaign in Chad to encourage consumption of spirulina harvested from natural sources. More than 6000 meals were distributed under the supervision of the FAO and the campaign was crowned as a success. The program was suspended due to the outbreak of war.”2
Another report stated “dih* (spirulina sauce) was served at the school canteen. One must admit the introduction of this product in the young people’s food gave no problem in this region where the majority were kanembou. But equally at Fort Lamy (now Ndjemena) we noted the product was accepted by other people.”
Spirulina was given to malnourished children and adults in clinical studies beginning in the early 1970s. Since the late 1970s, millions of people in the developed countries have used it as a health food supplement, taking 3 to 20 grams a day. Rarely are there any reports of allergies or sensitivities. In the 1970s, spirulina underwent extensive safety studies with animals and fish. Independent feeding tests in France, Mexico and Japan showed no undesirable results and no toxic side effects on humans, rats, pigs, chickens, fish and oysters. Many independent rat feeding trials were conducted in Japan and no negative effects at all were found for acute or chronic toxicity or reproduction. 4,5
In 1980, one of the most important and comprehensive animal studies was sponsored by the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on rats and mice. Spirulina comprised 10% to 35% of the total diet. No second or third generation reproduction, fertility, lactation or birth defect problems were found. No cancer causing properties were found. No problems with heavy metals, nucleic acids, pesticides or bacteria were found. The study concluded any further research would demonstrate its complete safety as a human food. Toxicology research has continued through the 1980s and 1990s, showing spirulina has no peri- and postnatal toxicity in rats, no adverse effects on gestation, and no increase in number of abnormal offspring. 7,8,9
Nucleic Acid Safety Research
Spirulina has about 4% nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), lower than chlorella and other microalgae, yeast and fungi (6-11%). Although there was once some concern that eating microalgae might increase uric acid levels because of the nucleic acids, there is little evidence to support this. In fact, one study found that uric acid levels did not increase in humans taking up to 30 grams a day of chlorella protein (50 grams of chlorella). 10 since spirulina is lower in nucleic acid content, eating up to 50 grams a day is safe as well, and means it can be safely used as major protein source. Published studies from independent laboratories around the world confirm the absence of any toxic effects even when it provides a significant amount of dietary protein.12,13,14 since its introduction as a human food in 1979, its success has confirmed the work of the earlier animal studies. Spirulina has been safely consumed by millions of people in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
Heavy Metal Safety Research
Mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic are widespread in our environment form industrial pollution. Heavy metals are toxic to humans in small amounts. Prolonged eating of foods contaminated with heavy metals can lead to long term health problems. Few companies or organizations disclose levels of these heavy metals in foods. Earthrise Farms, has published strict standards for heavy metals in spirulina.15 A five year testing program in California showed heavy metals were either not detectable or extremely low. Based on 120 independent lab tests, Earthrise set some of the toughest standards for heavy metals. Mercury was not detectable in 40 tests, and the standard for mercury was set at less than 0.05 parts per million (pip). In comparison, the US FDA standard in ’aquatic animals’ is 1.0 ppm, permitting over 20 times more mercury. Standards were set for cadmium (less than 0.05ppm), lead (less than 1.0 ppm) , and arsenic (less than 1.0 ppm). By comparison, the UN Protein Advisory Group standard for single cell protein permits higher heavy metals: 1.0 ppm for mercury; 1.0 ppm for cadmium, 5.0 ppm for lead; and 2.0 ppm for arsenic.
1. Delpeuch, F. et. Al. Consumption as food and nutritional composition of blue-green algae among populations in the Kanem region of Chad. Ann. Nutr. Alinment. 29, 497-516. 1976
2. Institut Francais du Petrol. Rapport ou Comite Consultatif des Proteines OAA/OMS/FISE-Etat d'Avancement du Procede IFP de Production d’algues Dec 1970, p.11.
3. Fadoul, L. Les algues bleues du Kanem. Rapport de mission par L. Fadoul, A. Avrem et G. Le Guedes ( experts de la division de la nutrition, FAO) Juin 1971.
4. Takemoto, K. Subacute toxicity study with rats. Saitama Medical College, Japan, 1982.
5. Atatsuka, K. Acute toxicity and general pharmaclolgical studies. Meiji College of Pharmacy, Japan, 1979.
6. Chamorro-Cevallos, G. Toxicological research on the alga spirulina. UNIDO, 24 Oct. 1980, UF/ MEX/78/048. (French)
7. Becker, W.E., Vanattaraman, L.V. et al. Production and utilization of the blue-green algae spirulina in India. Biomass, 4, 105-125, 1984.
8. Chamorro, G. et al. Subchronic toxicity study in rats fed spirulina. J. de Pharmacie de Belgique 43,29-36,1988.
9. Slazar, M., Chamorro, G. et al. Effect of spirulina consumption on reproduction and peri- and postanl development in rats. Food and chemical Toxicity 34, 353-359. 1996.
10. Waslein, C. et al. Uric acid levels in men fed algae and yeast as protein sources. J. Food. Sci. 1970, 35, 294-8.
11. Jassby, Alan. Spirulina: a model for microalgae as human food. Algae and Human Affairs, Cambridge Univ Press, 1988, P.159
12. Boudene, C. et al. Evaluation of long term toxicity on rats with spirulina. Ann Nutr. Alinment., 1976, 30: 577-588.
13. Til, H.p, and Williams, M. Sub-chronic toxicity study with dried algae in rats. Cent. Inst. For Nutrition and Food Research, Zeist, Ned., 1971.
14. Fevrier, C. and Seve, B. Incorporation of spirlina into pig diets. Ann Nur. Aliment., 1976,29: 625-30 (French)
15. Earthrise Farms. Five year testing of heavy metals in spirulina, 1983-1987. 1988.
16. Carmichael, W.W. The toxins of Cyanobacteria. Sci. American, Jan. 1994, P. 78-86
17. An, J., and Carmichael, W.W Technical Booklet for the Microalgae Biomass Industry: Detection of microcystims and nodularins usining an enzyme linked immunosobant assay (ELISA) and a protein phosphate inhibition assay (PPIA). Dept. Bio. Sci. Wayne State Univ, Dayton OH. July 1996.
SPIRULINA SAFETY AND QUALITY STANDARDS
[ Spirulina Safety Assurance] [ Comparing Spirulina and ’Wild’ Blue-Green Algae]
[ World Spirulina Production 1975 to 1999] [ Available in Over 70 Countries]
[ 30 Years of Research ] [Food Safety] [ Heavy Metal Safety] [Algal Toxin Safety ]
[ International Safety Guidelines] [ USA Natural Food Industry] [ Earthrise Farms Standards]
By Ken Babal, C.N.
There are more reasons than ever to try “green foods.”
Loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, these microscopic plants rank as the most concentrated foods on the plant. Anyone who takes vitamins and minerals knows how critical they are to health and longevity. Your multivitamin/mineral supplement is likely to contain about two dozen nutrients that are essential form maintaining the body’s tissues and turning food into energy. There is, however more to nutrition than vitamins, minerals and calories.
Scientists are discovering thousands of semi-essential, non-vitamin factors in plant foods that are protective against diseases. The only way to assure that you are receiving optimal amounts of these vital sub foods. Among the best choices are green foods, which contain chlorophyll, carotenes and other immune-stimulating and detoxifying compounds, such as broccoli, collard greens, kale, barley grass, wheat grass and a microscopic plant that ranks as the most concentrated food on the planet- spirulina.
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a freshwater, single-celled algae that grows wild in lakes and is cultivated in ponds. Spirulina means “little spiral,” and describes the plant’s appearance under a microscope. This tiny plant is the basis for the food chain, supplying all nutrients necessary to sustain life within the water environment. Scientists define it as a simple hydrocarbon made directly from photosynthesis, the interaction of sunlight and water. One early spirulina researcher called it “imprisoned light.” Blue-green algae such as spirulina were the first life forms to appear on the planet 3.5 billion years ago, producing oxygen in our atmosphere and allowing higher life forms to evolve.
Historically, more than five centuries ago in Mexico, wild spirulina was used as a food by the Aztecs. In Central America, archeological studies reveal that the Mayans may have used artificially constructed ponds for spirulina cultivation. It has also been speculated that manna, the divine food of the wandering Israelites that appeared miraculously on rocks, may actually have been dried spirulina. Today, spirulina is used by many people who value it as a nutrient powerhouse.
Spirulina, a Super food
Gram for gram, spirulina contains more iron than spinach, as much calcium as milk, more beta carotene than carrots and more protein than steak. It is composed of approximately 60 percent protein, supplying 18 of the 22 known amino acids, including all of the eight essential amino acids in balanced proportion. This makes spirulina a complete, high-quality vegetable protein.
Spirulina has vitamins in abundance. A 3-gm serving (about 1 teaspoon, or six 500-mg tablets) contains 6,000 units of beta carotene-1,000 units more than the RDA for beta carotene ( vitamin A ). There are also generous amounts of B vitamins: One tablespoon contains 1.5 times more niacin and 307 times more potassium than a _-cup serving of brown rice. Spirulina is especially notable for containing B12- the vitamin most difficult to obtain from vegetable sources. Beef liver was previously thought to be the richest source of this rare vitamin, but spirulina contains 250 percent more than beef liver. The waters spirulina favors are so concentrated in minerals that no other microorganisms can grow there. Thriving in highly alkaline waters, the algae incorporates a large quantity of these minerals into its cell structure. Minerals tat are organically bound to food are called chelated minerals and unlike inorganic forms ( obtained from rock or ore), are easily assimilated by the body's tissues. Alkaline foods help to balance acidic foods like coffee, sugar, alcohol and meat.
A unique feature of spirulina is its soft cell wall, which makes the nutrients highly bioavailable. Many plant foods have their nutrients locked up in tough, fibrous cell walls that require cooking or processing to make them accessible to the body’s tissues. Spirulina, however, can be digested and absorbed with little effort, thus providing quick energy and nourishment. This is an important consideration for the elderly and undernourished who may not have efficient digestion and therefore, experience malabsorption.
The fat content of spirulina is low- between 4 and 7 percent - mostly in the form of the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is necessary to produce a family of local, short-lived hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins that control every organ in the body. Although healthy adults can synthesize GLA, they can become deficient if they have liver problems or shortages of other critical nutrients, Because prostaglandins are involved in a multitude of physiological functions. A deficiency of GLA can contribute to a wide array of seemingly unrelated disorders, including heart attack, high blood pressure, arthritis, allergies, asthma, menstrual cramps, migraine headache, infertility, glaucoma and possibly cancer.
Microalgae are also loaded with chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their deep-green color and high nutrient levels. Chlorophyll is considered a cleansing and detoxifying phytonutrient that is also soothing and healing; think of it as an internal deodorant that acts like a magnet, drawing toxins out of the body. Chlorophyll is the green “blood” of plants, and in fact, is very similar to our own blood. Its molecular structure closely resembles hemin, the pigment that combines with protein to form hemoglobin. Chlorophyll has magnesium at its core giving it a green color, whereas blood has iron, giving it a red color. Spirulina also contains a unique blue pigment called phycocyanin, which has both magnesium and iron at its center. Not surprisingly, spirulina has a beneficial effect on anemia, probably due to its blue-green pigments and bioavailable iron.
Spirulina and Immunity
New research identifies phytonutrients in spirulina that bolster the immune system. The National Cancer Institute has found that sulfolipids and glycolipids, which make up part of the fat content in blue-green algae, were “remarkably active” against the AIDS virus in test-tube experiments. These compounds seem to prevent viruses from either attaching to or penetrating cells, thus preventing viral infection. In a Japanese study, researchers found that a sulfated polysaccharide ( a type of carbohydrate) in spirulina called calcium spirulan inhibited a group of viruses, including the HIV-1, flu, mumps, measles and herpes viruses, as well as the virus that causes the common cold.
Animal studies show that spirulina inhibits the growth of cancerous oral tumors. Researchers theorize that the large amount of carotenes in spirulina can prevent cancer development by stimulating an immune response that selectively destroys developing malignant cells. One human study that attracted much attention was performed in India. The subjects were 60 tobacco chewers with pre-cancerous mouth lesions. When 45 percent of the patients were fed 1 gm of spirulina daily, they experienced a complete regression of symptoms. A control group of 43 people showed only a 7-percent reduction of symptoms. All participants continued to chew tobacco throughout the study.
Spirulina is the most researched of all micro-algae; studies in the past 20 years show that it is beneficial for many health concerns, including heart disease and obesity. Clinical trials prove that taking several grams of spirulina daily can lower cholesterol. Other studies find a corresponding reduction in weight along with improved cholesterol levels. Taken before meals, spirulina seems to make a person feel more satisfied and less likely to crave sweets and desserts. Many food cravings are signals that the body is not sufficiently nourished. Spirulina is an ideal supplement to take during a fast, since it sustains energy and assists the detoxification process without taxing digestion. It also supports bowel function by suppressing pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. Spirulina has obvious benefits for backpackers and athletes as well, and is a good choice as a survival food.
Exploring new frontiers in nutrition and wellness
An ancient food offers health benefits for problems of aging
Petaluma, CA, April 1995- Amid reports of new viruses, drug-resistant bacteria, and ineffective antibiotics, scientists are discovering the ability of certain foods to strengthen the immune system and fight problems associated with aging. Scientific reports from around the world indicate that spirulina, a blue-green algae that has been living on the planet for 3.6 billion years, may be on of these disease-preventing, anti-aging foods. People over 50 in particular are likely to notice the benefits of eating a little spirulina everyday. This nutrient rich, easy-to-digest food brings renewed energy. Because many older people don’t eat enough, have restricted diets, or suffer from poor digestion, many have low energy. Spirulina is 60% protein, higher than any other food, and is known to assist recovery from malnutrition. Its all-vegetable protein means seniors can lighten up on meat centered diets that aggravate arthritis and raise cholesterol. Spirulina also has the highest level of the protective antioxidant, beta-carotene, which is good for the eyes and vision. Rich in Vitamin B-12 and iron, this chlorophyll-rich food contains the rare essential fatty acid, GLA< and gram for gram has more calcium and magnesium than other foods. These are essential nutrients for healthy skin and strong bones.
Beyond anti-aging benefits, scientists are discovering unusual phytonutrients in Spirulina. The National Cancer Institute has identified compounds in blue-green algae as remarkable active against the AIDS virus. A Russian patent was awarded to Spirulina as a medical food for improving the immunity of the “Children of Chernobyl” suffering form radiation illness.
58 times more Iron than spinach and 28 times richer in Iron than raw beef liver
Hawaiian Spirulina is the richest whole food source of Chlorophyll
Hawaiian Spirulina is nature’s riches whole food source of Vitamin E containing 3 times more than carrots.
Hawaiian Spirulina contains 100 times more than papaya and 25 times more than carrots.
Hawaiian Spirulina, the richest whole food source of B12
Hawaiian Spirulina is 65-70% vegetable protein, which is 95% digestible, compared to 18-20% digestibility for meat protein. Reports from HIV-positive patients and children with malnutrition show Spirulina helps to boost the immune system. Animal researchers are also realizing the power of Spirulina. Scientist in North Carolina, Japan and China have discovered that small amounts of Spirulina added to animal feed greatly help animals resist infections. Already widely used for aquaculture fish, shrimp, exotic pet birds and race horses, Spirulina will soon be used in feeds for healthier chickens, turkeys, and other animals.
As one of the oldest living plants on the planet, Spirulina has been a source of food for some cultures for centuries. It has been consumed by millions of people of all ages in the U.S. and 40 countries for over 15 years. Sold in tablets, capsules, and power, the dark green powder can be blended into fruit and mild drinks or added to recipes to boost nutritional value. Research suggests 6 tablets or one teaspoon of powder a day can increases health and energy.
“As we age and our diet change, it becomes harder to get the extra nutrition we need,” says Robert Henrikson, president of Earthrise and author of Earth Food Spirulina. “Its more important than ever to maintain a well-balanced and diverse diet to strengthen our defenses and slow the aging process. Fortunately, people over 50 are usually more aware of how their body responds. I’ve heard, again and again, how Spirulina improves vitality, youthfulness and wellness.”
Spirulina boosts immunity and clears bacterial infections
Sacramento, CA March 5,1995- The 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference Scientists announced the natural food spirulina dramatically strengthens the immune system. Immunologist and Professor M.A. Qureshi, Ph.D., released a study sponsored by Earthrise Company of California. “Immunomodulary Effects of Spirulina Supplementation in Chickens” 1,2 shows small daily doses of spirulina in a poultry diet (less than 1%) greatly improve T-cell and thymus function. Spirulina especially boosts cells called macrophages, the first line of body defense. These cells communicate with T-cells to coordinate the fight against infections.
A rare blue pigment, unique to spirulina, is a powerful super antioxidant and immune system stimulant.
Hawaiian Spirulina contains a superior balance of 18 amino acids including all the essential amino acids the body cannot produce.
Hawaiian Spirulina is the only food that contains 96 trace elements in a natural, synergistic balance.
The oils in Hawaiian Spirulina contains 3 times the amount of GLA than evening primrose oil.
Super oxide Dismutase
A very potent antioxidant enzyme
In addition to the above nutrients, Hawaiian Spirulina contains many more organic vitamins, minerals, and over 2000 life-living enzymes.
Spirulina caused the cells to increase in number, be more active and display more effective microbial killing. The whole immune system array of killer cells, helper cells and antibody production is supercharged. This means Spirulina fed birds are much more resistant to infection, with no undesirable side effects. Researchers are testing the theory that Spirulina acts like a broad spectrum vaccine against bacteria. It may also protect against other disease causing microbes and cancer. Because it is a safe natural food, it has created a sensation among animal scientists. They are scrambling to replace ineffective antibiotics with probiotics Spirulina that strengthen immune systems and prevent disease.
Scientists in China and Japan independently reported Spirulina and its extracts fed to mice increase macrophage function, antibody production and infection-fighting T-cells. One study found Spirulina extracts inhibited cancer by boosting the immune system. The active phytonutrients are a polysaccharide (a complex sugar molecule) unique to Spirulina and phycocyanin ( the blue pigment found only in blue-green algae). In 1979, Russian scientists published initial research on the immune stimulating effects on rabbits from lipopolysaccarides in Spirulina. These discoveries are significant for human health. Overused antibiotics have created highly resistant bacteria. Most antibiotics are no longer effective. Now scientists want to identify probiotics that strengthen the immune system to prevent disease and cancer. Based on this animal research, as little as 3 grams per day of Spirulina turbocharge the immune system to seek out and destroy disease causing microorganisms and cancer cells. Spirulina, blue-green algae, is 60% all-vegetable, easy to digest, with the highest food concentrations of the antioxidant beta carotene, iron, vitamin B-12, and the rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Its dark green color comes from the combination of the phytonutrients carotene, chlorophyll and phycocyanin. It is also a source of polysaccharides and sulfoglycolipids. In the past 15 years this nutritious microscopic aquatic plant has gained worldwide acceptance.
Petaluma, CA January 2, 1995: A Russian patent was awarded for the use of Spirulina as a medical food for improving immunity of the Children of Chernobyl. Studies showed that 270 children living in highly radioactive areas, had chronic radiation sickness and elevated levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a marker for high allergy sensitivity. Thirty five pre school children were prescribed 20 Spirulina tablets per day ( about 5 grams) for 45 days. Consuming Spirulina lowered the levels of IgE in the blood, which in turn, normalized allergic sensitivities in the body. Spirulina is a safe whole food consumed by traditional peoples for centuries. It has been enjoyed by millions of people as a natural food supplement in the USA, Japan and Europe for over 15 years. This edible blue-green algae is 60% all-vegetable protein, easy-to-digest, with the highest food concentration of beta-carotene, iron, vitamin B-12, and the rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). A growing number of scientific studies have documented its immune enhancement benefits.
Spirulina for this research was grown at Earhtrise Farms in California, and was donated by Earthrise Company and Dainippon Ink & Chemicals of Japan. Since 1990 Earthrise has donated spirulina to radiation clinics for the children of Chernobyl.
News From UC Davis Health System
UC DAVIS SHOWS SPIRULINA BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM
(Sacramento, Calif.) - Adding spirulina to cultured immune system cells significantly increases the production of infection fighting cytokines, say immunologist at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. Their finding is published in the Fall issue of the Journal of Medicinal Foods. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Used as a food supplement for more than 20 years, spirulina grows naturally in lakes with extremely high pH levels, but it also harvested from large scale commercial ponds, where purity is monitored before being dried and distributed in tablet and powdered form. A number of animal studies have shown spirulina to be an effective immunomodulator (an agent that can effect the behavior of immune cells.) In rats spirulina inhibited allergic reactions by suppressing the release of histamine in a dose-dependent fashion. In cats, spirulina enhanced the ability of macrophages to engulf bacteria, and in chickens spirulina increased antibody responses and the activity of natural killer cells, which destroy infected and cancerous cells in the body. While extensive human studies have not been done, several reports also suggest spirulina has therapeutic effects on hyperlipidemia and obesity. In one study, spirulina decreased total serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while increasing high-density lipoprotein. A 1986 study of obese patients showed a significant reduction of body weight after including spirulina in the diet for four weeks. In the UC Davis study, researchers evaluated the secretion of the cytokines interferon-?, interluekin-4, and interluekin-1ß in the lab to get a better understanding of spirulina’s potential regulatory effect on the immune system. “We found that nutrient-rich spirulina is a potent inducer or interferon-?, (13.6-fold increase) and a moderate stimulator of both interleukin-4 and interleukin-1ß (3.3-fold increase)”, says Eric Gershwin, professor and chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis. “Together, increases in these cytokines suggest that spirulina is a strong proponent for protecting against intracellular pathogens and parasites and can potentially increase the expression of agents that stimulate inflammation, which also help to protect the body against infectious and potentially harmful micro-organisms. Additional studies with individuals consuming spirulina are needed to determine whether these dramatic effects ectend beyond the laboratory”.
In the body, the preferential increase in the production of interferon over interferon-4 would shift the immune system towards mounting a cell-mediated response instead of a humoral response. A cell-mediated response includes the activation of T-cells and antibodies that work with macrophages, another type of immune system cell, to engulf invading micro-organisms. Hence, spirulina’s strength in protecting against intracellular pathogens and parasites. The moderate increase in the secretion of interluekin-1ß, a cytokine that acts on nearly every cell of the body to promote inflammation, works to support the overall immune response. To evaluate the effects of spirulina on the immune system, the UC Davis immunologists collected blood.
Creating Recipes with spirulina can be fun, enlivening and tasty. Use spirulina powder in culinary creations, sprinkle it lightly over dinner and salads, and find a new zest and excitement with food. It’s easy, nutritious and colorful.
Spirulina Calcium Drink
1 cup soaked unhulled sesame seeds
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 cups water
6 Tbsp carob
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tsp spirulina
1 banana (optional)
Blend, sieve & enjoy!
Here are a few simple rules to follow:
When first using spirulina powder, use 1 to 2 teaspoonful per recipe to acclimate to the taste, you can always add more later. Add spirulina towards the end of the cooking process, as the most benefit will lessen if spirulina is heated. Spirulina can be added to any recipe, however, spirulina is a dry ingredient, so add it to recipes accordingly.
The following recipes are all allergy-free and nutritious. All ingredients are readily available in health food stores and some supermarkets. Enjoy!
Spirulina Potato Chips
3 tsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp spirulina powder
Slice potatoes in long thin strips. Toss with spices and bake at 375° until browned.
Combine with popped popcorn:
2 tsp spirulina powder
2 tsp brewers yeast
2 tsp kelp
3 tsp tamari soy sauce
Mix well. For sweet popcorn, soften 2 tbsp honey and add to other ingredients omitting soy sauce and garlic powder.
1 tbsp ginger
2 tsp spirulina powder
6 cloves garlic
3 spring onions, chopped enough water to cover
12 soaked almonds (soak overnight, drain & rinse)
1 Tbsp lecithin
1 lemon juiced
3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
4 Tbsp brewers yeast
Whiz all ingredients in the blender. Chill before serving. Goes well with celery & carrot sticks or healthy chips.
Banana Energy Treats:
4 mashed bananas
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
_ cup soaked currants
_ cup tahini or almond butter
4 Tbsp soy milk powder
1 cup coconut
2 Tbsp lecithin
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp spirulina powder
Combine all ingredients. Make into balls or logs. Roll in coconut and chill.
4 Large baked potatoes
2 onions, diced
1_ cups corn, peas & celery
2 Tbsp brewers yeast
_ tsp chili powder
2 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried
2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp spirulina powder
Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the potato from shell. Sautè remaining ingredients in _ cup water (except spirulina). Add the mixture to the potato, then add Spirulina powder. Put this mixture back in the shell and bake for 15 minutes at 400°. Top with Gravy Verde (see below) if desired.
_ cup rice flour
1 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp spirulina powder
3 Tbsp brewers yeast
4 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, pressed
Brown rice flour in pan stirring constantly until slightly brown. Add water gradually until thick and creamy, stirring continuously. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-10minutes. Add more water if necessary. Add spirulina before serving.
_ lb green beans
1 onion sliced in rounds
_ cup chopped fresh dill weed
Juice of 1 lemon
12 slivered almonds
1 tsp spirulina powder
Steam beans & onions for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and sprinkle spirulina on top.
2/3 cups of water
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger
_ tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp miso
2 tsp spirulina powder
Whiz together in a blender and serve immediately. Very delicious on a fresh tossed green salad!
Mixed in bowl:
4 cups coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup barley flour
_ tsp salt
1 Tbsp spirulina
1 1/3 cups maple syrup
2 tsp almond extract
Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
1 block tofu
Juice of 3 lemons
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp tamari
3 Tbsp Lecithin
1/3 cup brewers yeast
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
1 Tbsp spirulina powder
fresh herbs to taste i.e. parsley, basil, dill.
Blend all ingredients in the blender adding water, if needed, to acquire a smooth consistency. Heat and serve over steamed vegetables.
World’s First 100% Pure Spirulina Tablet!
Pure Planet has perfected a unique method of producing the world’s purest spirulina tablets. We do not use binders or fillers or any tableting aids in our spirulina tablets. Most other manufacturers use binders, fillers, or some type of tablet press lubricants or flow agents. As another alternative, other manufacturers use the granulation method which destroys spirulina's nutritional potency by increased exposure of the spirulina to light, moisture, heat and oxygen. You can rest assured that when you use Pure Planet spirulina you get the cleanest tablets in the world!
Not All Proteins are Created Equal...
The proteins in spirulina are absolutely unique. * Unlike other plant proteins which are notably low in biological value (incomplete proteins) because of incomplete essential amino acids, spirulina has a high-biological value protein with a superior complete amino acid profile containing - in the correct proportions - all 8 essential amino acids plus an additional 10 nonessential amino acids.
Superior Assimilation and Easy Digestion
Spirulina contains virtually no indigestible substances. Unlike other plant foods whose nutrients are largely unavailable (unless cooked or sprouted) because they are encased like microscopic nuts within walls of tough indigestible cellulose, spirulina's cell walls are bubble-thin complex natural sugars which practically dissolve upon contact with moisture and digestive enzymes. Within moments, its concentrated nutrients, enzymes, and living essences are absorbed into the bloodstream without the momentous loss of energy incurred in the digestion of ordinary foods.
* Unlike other high-protein foods, which are characteristically difficult to digest, spirulina is extraordinarily easy to digest: it has an unmatched digestibility coefficient of 95%! Its amino acids are delivered in an essentially “free form” state for almost instantaneous assimilation.