Spirulina (for reference only)
Spirulina (for reference only)

Spirulina 

Spirulina is a Microalgae that can be consumed by humans and animals. It is usually taken by humans as a nutritional supplement and is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.

 Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is available in tablet, flake and powder form.

 

Nutrient and vitamin content

Protein and amino-acid content 

Spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein. It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes. The U.S. National Library of Medicine stated that spirulina was no better than milk or meat as a protein source, and was approximately 30 times more expensive per gram.

Vitamin B12 

Spirulina is not considered to be a reliable source of Vitamin B12. The standard B12 assay, using Lactobacillus leichmannii, shows spirulina to be a minimal source of bioavailable vitamin B12. Spirulina supplements contain predominantly pseudovitamin B12, which is biologically inactive in humans. Companies which grow and market spirulina have claimed it to be a significant source of B12 on the basis of alternative, unpublished assays, although their claims are not accepted by independent scientific organizations. The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada in their position paper on vegetarian diets state that spirulina cannot be counted on as a reliable source of active vitamin B12.The medical literature similarly advises that spirulina is unsuitable as a source of B12 .

Other nutrients 

Spirulina's lipid content is about 7% by weight, and is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and also provides alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) andarachidonic acid (AA). Spirulina contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper,iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, chlorophyll-a, xanthophyll, echinenone, myxoxanthophyll,canthaxanthin, diatoxanthin, 3'-hydroxyechinenone, beta-cryptoxanthin and oscillaxanthin, plus the phycobiliproteins c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin.


In vitro research 

Spirulina has been studied in vitro against HIV, as an iron-chelating agent, and as a radioprotective agent. Animal studies have evaluated spirulina in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced heart damage, stroke recovery, age-related declines in memory, diabetes mellitus, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in rodent models of hay fever.

 

Human research 

In humans, small studies have been undertaken evaluating spirulina in undernourished children, as a treatment for the cosmetic aspects of arsenic poisoning, in hay frever and allergic rhinitis, in arthritis, in hyperlipidemia and hypertension, and as a means of improving exercise tolerance.

 

※ Reference Info from Internet, for medical person and salesperson only



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