Spirulina is a blue green algae that grows in the alkaline waters of volcanic lakes. Today though, large commercial algae farms cultivate spirulina for export throughout the world.
Spirulina is anywhere from 62-71 percent essential amino acids. It also contains beta carotene (ten times more concentrated than that of carrots), along with other carotenoids. It also contains chlorophyll, GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid), and vitamin B12. It is actually the richest source of vitamin B12. B12 is important for healthy tissues, energy, and nerves…especially for strict vegetarians.
The phytonutrient in spirulina that gives it the striking blue green color is phycocyanin. In animal studies, it is showing great promise in the stimulation of the production of stem cells in bone marrow. These stem cells will mature into red blood cells and white blood cells.
Spirulina is valuable in helping to stabilize blood sugar. It is also showing promise in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A study reported in Nutrition and Cancer that was conducted among tobacco chewers in India reported a complete regression of pre-cancerous mouth lesions in 45 per cent of subjects who were given extracts of spirulina for 12 months. This was the first human study using spirulina as a cancer therapy.
The United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva has confirmed: “Spirulina represents an interesting food for multiple reasons, and it is able to be administered to children without any risk. We at WHO consider it a very suitable food.”
According to a scientific review from Latin America, spirulina has a vast array of beneficial properties. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of allergies, anemia, cancer, high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, viral infections, inflammatory conditions, liver damage, immuno -deficiency, cardiovascular diseases, and other conditions.
Mark Stengler in his book, “A Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies”, wrote: “More than 100 published scientific references help support the case for the health benefits of spirulina. Some studies demonstrate that spirulina seems to possess anticancer effects and antiviral properties. Also, animal studies show that it is a powerful tonic for the immune system.”
Donald R. Yance Jr. in his book, “Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer” wrote: “Spirulina’s pure protein, which arrives within the context of massive amounts of beta-carotene, chlorophyll, fatty-acid -gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and other nutrients, is especially helpful to those who are overweight, diabetic, hypoglycemic, or suffering from cancer, arthritis, or other degenerative diseases. ”
An advocate of natural medicine and a Consultant Homeopath at the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicine in Santa Fe New Mexico, United States, Prof. Osmond Ifeanyi Onyeka, told The Guardian that spirulina contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb.
“Spirulina has the highest protein food which is over 60 per cent of all the digestible vegetable protein. Most notably, spirulina is 65 to 71 per cent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 per cent protein. It also has the highest concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace minerals and the rare essential fatty acid GLA. These surely make Spirulina an incredible whole food alternative to the isolated vitamin and minerals,” Onyeka said.
“Spirulina is rich in natural carotenoid antioxidants that promote cellular health and lessen the risk of cancer. It also has cleansing chlorophyll which helps detoxify bodies that are always prone to present pollution,” Onyeka said.
He further explained: “Scientifically explained the most important dictate of our body’s metabolism is to support our immune system. When our immune system is stressed or is suffering, it draws on our body’s metabolic energy. People with immune system imbalance often feel chronic fatigue and low energy.
“Both scientific research and the experience of thousands of consumers indicate that Spirulina is an immune regulating food. Small amounts can help balance and stabilise the immune system, freeing up more of our metabolic energy for vitality, healing and assimilation of nutrients. It enhances the body’s cellular communication process and also has the ability to read and repair DNA, like a kind of cellular tune up. This is why individuals taking Spirulina often report they have more energy levels.”
A senior lecturer at the Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, Anambra State, Dr. Abiodun Nwora Ozumba, told The Guardian: “It is unfortunate that the country is sitting on a goldmine and is not doing anything about it. The best spirulina in the whole world grows at our backyard on Lake Chad. It is sold for almost nothing on the streets of Maiduguri. Westerners come here, buy it for little or nothing, go back, develop it into supplements, and ship it back to us to buy.