Twitter      Youtube      Facebook     
HomeArticles › Spirulina (Hawaiin)

Spirulina (Hawaiin)

A blue-green algae, Spirulina belongs to the domain – bacteria, plylum – cynobacteria, order – chroococcales and family – spirulinaceae.(1) It is a spirally coiled, free floating cyanobacteria living in sea as well as fresh water and is commonly known under species namely Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maxima. They are primarily characterized by cylindrical, multicellsular trichomes in an open left-hand helix inhabiting water bodies having rich concentrations of Ph, carbonate and bicarbonate. Arthrospira platensis is a native of Africa, Asia and South America and Arthrospira maxima finds its home in the Central American region.(2) These cynobacterium species get their color from the green pigment chlorophyll and blue from a substance called phycocyanin.(3)

Nutritional Analysis :

Spirulina has been found to have extremely high concentrations of protein ranging from 55 to 77% depending on the source it is extracted from. It is found to be a complete protein inclusive of all essential amino acids, as well as essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic and stearidonic acid. It also contains lesser amount of the amino acids methionine, cysteine and lysine. Among vitamins, Spirulina is rich in thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), Nicotinamide(B3),pyriodoxine, folic acid and vitamin C, D and E. Besides, calcium, chromium, copper, phosphorous, selenium, iron, manganese, bioflavonoids, magnesium, zinc and sodium are the minerals found in Spirulina. There are many pigments which also form a part of this cynobacterium specie such as echinenone , myxoxanthophyll , zeaxanthin , canthaxanthin , diatoxanthin , 3'-hydroxyechinenone , beta-cryptoxanthin , oscillaxanthin , chlorophyll-a , xanthophyll , beta-carotene , phycobiliproteins c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin. (1)

Usage :

Human beings are constantly exposed to various metals in some form or the other such as aluminum in deodorants, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in dental fillings. No matter how much ever one tries to avoid these, their intake in human body is inevitable. One of the most effective cleansing agents in this regard is Spirulina which has been found to combat all heavy metal toxins along with radioactive substances from the body. Spirulina actually binds with these metal substances and then carries them out from the body.(4)

Spirulina has been researched to boost performance and burn fat among athletes, particularly cyclists. Greek scientists gave Spirulina to cyclists who rode consistently for two hours at a moderate speed and then sprinted for as much their body allowed. This experiment revealed that Spirulina helped them burn fats more than the carbs during their 2-hour cycle jaunt. (5)

Preparations :

Spirulina is widely found in powder as well as tablet form. Their dosage starts from 500 mg per day to 20-30 grams per day which can also be further increased depending on body's adjustment with it. It can be brought down once the detox is complete.(4)

References :

(1) Vonshak, A. (ed.). Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira): Physiology, Cell-biology and Biotechnology. London: Taylor & Francis, 1997.

(2) Article – ‘ Spirulina and Chlorella Aid Heavy Metal Detox', Tuesday, December 15, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist

(3) Article - January 10, 2010. ‘ Spirulina Boosts Performance, And Maybe Bovine Colostrum Too; Wall Street Journal Gives Serious Converage To Fitness/Health Through Running'