Spirulina Links

What Is Spirulina

Spirulina's Nutritional Analysis

How Spirulina Is Produced

Spirulina Research References


Products Containing Spirulina

Guardian Greens

Earth's Harvest

Green Magic

Facebook Find Us

INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES

Courtesy of Earthrise Farms Spirulina Library
Earthrise Company. 424 Payran Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 USA.

Anti-Viral Studies

  • Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of spirulina. by Ayehunie, Belay et al. 7th IAAA Conf., Knysna, South Africa. 1996. USA.
  • Calcium Spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina. by Hayashi et al. 1996. Pub. in Journal of Natural Products, 59, 83-87. Japan.
  • An extract from spirulina is a selective inhibitor of herpes simplex virus Type 1. by Hayashi et al. 1993. Japan.
  • Antiviral activity of blue-green algae cultures. by Patterson. Pub. in Journal of Phycology 29, 125-130. USA.
  • AIDS Antiviral sulfolipids from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). by K. Gustafson, et al. 1989. Pub. in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, August 16, 1989, pg 1254. USA.

green bar

Anti-Cancer Studies

  • Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with spirulina. by Babu, M. et al. 1995. Pub. in Nutrition and Cancer, Vol. 24, No. 2, 197-202. India.
  • Inhibitive effect and mechanism of polysaccharide of spirulina on transplanted tumor cells in mice. by Lisheng, et al. 1991. Pub. in Marine Sciences, Qingdao, N.5. pp 33-38. China.
  • Enhancement of endonuclease activity and repair DNA synthesis by polysaccharide of spirulina. by Qishen, P. et al. 1988. Pub. in Chinese Genetics Journal, 15 (5) 374-381. China.
  • Inhibition of experimental oral carcinogenesis by topical beta carotene. by Schwartz, et al. 1986. Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Pub. in Carcinogenesis, May 1986 7(5) 711-715. USA.
  • Prevention of experimental oral cancer by extracts of spirulina-dunaliella algae. by J. Schwartz, G. Shklar, et al. 1988. Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Pub. in Nutrition and Cancer, 11, 127-134. 1988. USA.

green bar

Beta Carotene, Cancer Prevention and Health Improvement

  • Bioavailability of spirulina carotenes in preschool children. by V. Annapurna, et al. 1991. National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. J. Clin. Biochem Nutrition. 10 145-151. India.
  • Large scale nutritional supplementation with spirulina alga. by C.V. Seshadri. 1993. All India Coordinated Project on Spirulina. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MCRC) Madras, India.
  • Inhibition of experimental oral carcinogenesis by topical beta carotene. by Schwartz, et al. 1986. Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Pub. in Carcinogenesis, May 1986 7(5) 711-715. USA.
  • Prevention of experimental oral cancer by extracts of spirulina-dunaliella algae. by J. Schwartz, G. Shklar, et al. 1988. Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Pub. in Nutrition and Cancer, 11, 127-134. 1988. USA.

green bar

Cholesterol Reduction

  • Cholesterol lowering effect of spirulina. by N. Nayaka, et al. 1988. Tokai Univ. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int'l, Vol. 37, No. 6, 1329-1337. Japan.
  • Clinical and biochemical evaluations of spirulina with regard to its application in the treatment of obesity. by E.W. Becker, et al. 1986. Inst. Chem. Pfanz. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int'l, Vol. 33, No. 4, pg 565. Germany.
  • Effects of spirulina on hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver in rats. by T. Kato and K. Takemoto. 1984. Saitama Medical College. Pub. in Japan Nutr. Foods Assoc. Journal. 37:323. Japan.
  • Effects of spirulina on plasma lipoprotein lipase activity in rats. by K. Iwata. 1990. Pub. in Journal Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 36:165-171. Japan.
  • Hypocholesterolemic effect of blue-green algae spirulina spirulina in albino rats. by M.A. Devi and L.V. Venkataraman. 1983. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int'l, 28:519-530. India.
  • The effect of spirulina on reduction of serum cholesterol. by N. Nayaka, et al. 1986. Tokai Univ. Pub. in Progress in Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 11. Japan.

green bar

Diabetes and Hypertension Reduction

  • Effect of water soluble and water insoluble fractions of spirulina over serum lipids and glucose resistance of rats. by Y. Takai, et al. 1991. Pub. in J. Japan Soc. Nutr. Food Science, 44:273-277. Japan.
  • Effects of spirulina on plasma lipoprotein lipase activity in rats. by K. Iwata, et al. 1990. Pub. .in Journal Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol, 36:165-171. Japan.

green bar

Food and Nutrition

  • Algoculture: Spirulina, hope for a hungry world. by Ripley D. Fox. 1986. Pub. by Edisud, Aix-en-Province, France (in French).
  • Current knowledge on potential health benefits of spirulina. by Amha Belay and Yoshimichi Ota. 1993. Pub. in Journal of Appl. Phycology, 5:235-241. USA.
  • Health Benefits of Spirulina. by Denise Fox. 1993. In Spirulina, Algae of Life. April 1993. Bulletin No. 12. Pub. by Institute Oceanographique, Monaco.
  • Large scale nutritional supplementation with spirulina alga. by C.V. Seshadri. 1993. All India Coordinated Project on Spirulina. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MCRC) Madras, India.
  • Microalgae as Food and Supplement by Robert A. Kay. 1991. In Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutr. 30(6):555-573. Pub. by CRC Press. USA.
  • Spirulina: a model for microalgae as human food. by Alan Jassby. 1988. In Algae and Human Affairs. edited by Lembi and Waaland. Pub. by Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Spirulina, the edible organism. by Orio Ciferri. 1983. In Microbiological Reviews.Dec 1983. 551-578. Italy.

green bar

Glycolipids and Sulfolipids

  • Antiviral activity of blue-green algae cultures. by Patterson. Pub. in Journal of Phycology 29, 125-130. USA.
  • AIDS Antiviral sulfolipids from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). by K. Gustafson, et al. 1989. Pub. in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, August 16, 1989, pg 1254. USA.
  • Biotechnology & Utilization of Algae: The Indian Experience. by L.V. Venkataraman and E.W. Becker. 1985. Pub. by Sharada Press. Pg 114-115. Mangalore, India.
  • Glycolipids isolated from spirulina. by N. Kataoka, et al. 1983. Pub. in Agric. Biol. Chem. 47(10), 2349-2355. Japan.

green bar

Hematopoiesis and Immunomodulation

  • Effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from spirulina on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice. by Zhang Cheng-Wu, et al.. April 1994. Nanjing Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. p.58. China.
  • Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary spirulina. by Hayashi, et al. June 1994. Kagawa Nutrition Univ. Japan. Pub. in Journal of Nutr. Science and Vitaminology. Japan.
  • Phagocytic potential of feline macrophages after exposure to a water soluble extract of spirulina in vitro. by M. Qureshi, et al. January 1996. Pub. in Immunopharmacology. in press. USA.
  • Spirulina extracts enhances chicken macrophage functions after in vitro exposure. by M. Qureshi, et al. 1995. Pub. in Jour. Nutritional Immunology, No. 3 (4) 35-45. USA.
  • Immune enhancement potential of spirulina in chickens. by M. Qureshi, et al. August 1994. Poultry Science Assoc. Dept. of Poultry Science, North Carolina State, NC. Pub. in Journal of Poultry Science Vol 73, S.1. p. 46. USA.
  • Immunomodulary effects of spirulina supplementation in chickens. by M. Qureshi, et al. May 1995. North Carolina State. Pub. in Proc. of 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference, pp 117-120. USA.
  • Immunostimulating activity of lipopolysaccharides from blue-green algae. by L. Besednova, et al. 1979. Pub. in Zhurnal Mikrobiologii, Epidemiologii, Immunobiologii, 56(12) pp 75-79. Russia.
  • Means to normalize the levels of immunoglobulin E, using the food supplement Spirulina. by L. Evets, et al. 1994. Grodenski State Medical Univ. Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade. Patent (19)RU (11)2005486. Jan. 15, 1994. Russia.
  • Radioprotective effect of extract from spirulina in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test. by P. Qishen, Kolman et al. 1989. In Toxicology Letters 48: 165-169. China.
  • Study on effect and mechanism of polysaccharides of spirulina on body immune function improvement. by G. Baojiang, et al. April 1994. South China Normal Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. pp 33-38. China.
  • Immune response activation in channel catfish ictaluras punctatus fed spirulina enriched artemia. by B. Portoni et al. 1996. American Fisheries Society Fish Health Section. USA.

green bar

Iron Bioavailability and Prevention of Anemia

  • Availability of iron to rats from spirulina, a blue-green algae. by P. Johnson and E. Shubert. 1986. Pub. in Nutrition Research Vol 6, 85-94. USA.
  • Clinical experiences of administration of spirulina to patients with hypochronic anemia. by T. Takeuchi, et al. 1978. Tokyo Medical and Dental Univ. Japan.
  • Iron transfer from spirulina to blood in rats. by K. Takemoto, et al. 1982. Saitama Medical College. Japan.

green bar

Kidney Detoxification

  • Effect of spirulina on the renal toxicity induced by inorganic mercury and cisplatin. by H. Fukino, et al. 1990. Pub. in Eisei Kagaku, 36:5, 1990. Japan.
  • The effect of spirulina on nephrotoxicity in rats. by Y. Yamane, et al. 1988. Chiba Univ. Presented at Annual Symposium of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, April 15, 1988. Japan.

green bar

Lactobacillus Improvement

  • Effects of spirulina on caecum content in rats. by Y. Tokai, et al. 1987. Chiba Hygiene College Bulletin. Feb. 1987 Vol. 5, No. 2. Japan.

green bar

Malnutrition Recovery

  • Algoculture: Spirulina, hope for a hungry world. by Ripley D. Fox. 1986. Pub. by Edisud, Aix-en-Province, France (in French).
  • Clinical experimentation with spirulina. by R. Ramos Galvan. 1973. National Institute of Nutrition, Mexico City, Mexico (in Spanish).
  • Current knowledge on potential health benefits of spirulina. by Amha Belay and Yoshimichi Ota. 1993. In Journal of Appl. Phycology, 5:235-241. USA.
  • Effectiveness of spirulina algae as food for children with protein-energy malnutrition in a tropical environment. by P. Bucaille. 1990. University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. Oct. 1990. Zaire. (in French).
  • Food value of spirulina in humans. by C. Sautier and J. Tremolieres. 1976. Pub. in Ann. Nutrition Alim., 30:517-534. France (in French).
  • Health Benefits of Spirulina. by Denise Fox. 1993. In Spirulina, Algae of Life. April 1993. Bulletin No. 12. Pub. by Institute Oceanographique, Monaco.
  • Large scale nutritional supplementation with spirulina alga. by C.V. Seshadri. 1993. All India Coordinated Project on Spirulina. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MCRC) Madras, India.
  • Observations on the utilization of spirulina as an adjuvant nutritive factor in treating some diseases accompanied by a nutritional deficiency. by V. Fica, et al. 1984. Clinica II Medicala, Spitalui Clinic, Bucuresti. Med. Interna 36 (3). Romania. (in Romanian).
  • Spirulina in Jiangxi China. by Miao Jian Ren. 1987. Academy of Agricultural Science. Presented at Soc. Appl. Algology, Lille France Sep. 1987. China.
  • The study on curative effect of zinc containing spirulina for zinc deficient children. by Wen Yonghuang, et al. 1994. Capital Medical College, Beijing. Presented at 5th Int'l Phycological Congress, Qingdao, June 1994. China.

green bar

Phycocyanin and Immune System Improvement

  • Antitumoral agents containing phycobilin- also used to treat ulcers and hemorrhoidal bleeding. by Dainippon Ink & Chemicals and Tokyo Kenkyukai. 1983. Patent 58065216 A 830418. Japan.
  • Effect of spirulina on the renal toxicity induced by inorganic mercury and cisplatin. by H. Fukino, et al. 1990. Pub. in Eisei Kagaku, 36:5, 1990. Japan.
  • Effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from spirulina on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice. by Zhang Cheng-Wu, et al.. April 1994. Nanjing Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. China.

green bar

Polysaccharides and Immune System Improvement

  • Calcium Spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina. by Hayashi et al. 1996. Pub. in Journal of Natural Products, 59, 83-87. Japan.
  • An extract from spirulina is a selective inhibitor of herpes simples virus Type 1. by Hayashi et al. 1993. Japan.
  • Effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from spirulina on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice. by Zhang Cheng-Wu, et al.. April 1994. Nanjing Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. p.58. China.
  • Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary spirulina. by Hayashi, et al. June 1994. Kagawa Nutrition Univ. Japan. Pub. in Journal of Nutr. Science and Vitaminology. Japan.
  • Immune enhancement potential of spirulina in chickens. by M. Quereshi, et al. August 1994. Poultry Science Assoc. Dept. of Poultry Science, North Carolina State, NC. Pub. in Journal of Poultry Science Vol 73, S.1. p. 46. USA.
  • Immunomodulary effects of spirulina supplementation in chickens. by M. Qureshi, et al. May 1995. North Carolina State. Pub. in Proc. of 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference, pp 117-120. USA.
  • Immunostimulating activity of lipopolysaccharides from blue-green algae. by L. Besednova, et al. 1979. Pub. in Zhurnal Mikrobiologii, Epidemiologii, Immunobiologii, 56(12) pp 75-79. Russia.
  • Inhibitive effect and mechanism of polysaccharide of spirulina on transplanted tumor cells in mice. by Lisheng, et al. 1991.Pub. in Marine Sciences, Qingdao, N.5. pp 33-38. China.
  • Radioprotective effect of extract from spirulina in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test. by P. Qishen, Kolman et al. 1989. In Toxicology Letters 48: 165-169. China.
  • Study on effect and mechanism of polysaccharides of spirulina on body immune function improvement. by G. Baojiang, et al. April 1994. South China Normal Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. pp 33-38. China.
  • Enhancement of endonuclease activity and repair DNA synthesis by polysaccharide of spirulina. by Qishen, P. et al. 1988. Pub. in Chinese Genetics Journal, 15 (5) 374-381. China.

green bar

Radiation Protective Effect and Immune System Improvement

  • Means to normalize the levels of immunoglobulin E, using the food supplement Spirulina. by L. Evets, et al. 1994. Grodenski State Medical Univ. Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade. Patent (19)RU (11)2005486. Jan. 15, 1994. Russia.
  • Radioprotective effect of extract from spirulina in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test. by P. Qishen, Kolman et al. 1989. In Toxicology Letters 48: 165-169. China.
  • Spirulina- natural sorbent of radionucleides. by L.P. Loseva and I.V. Dardynskaya. Sep 1993. Research Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk, Belarus. 6th Int'l Congress of Applied Algology, Czech Republic. Belarus.
green bar

Human Health Research by Country

Belarus

  • Spirulina- natural sorbent of radionucleides. by L.P. Loseva and I.V. Dardynskaya. Sep 1993. Research Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk, Belarus. 6th Int'l Congress of Applied Algology, Czech Republic. Belarus.

China

  • Spirulina in Jiangxi China. by Miao Jian Ren. 1987. Academy of Agricultural Science. Presented at Soc. Appl. Algology, Lille France Sep. 1987. China.
  • The study on curative effect of zinc containing spirulina for zinc deficient children. by Wen Yonghuang, et al. 1994. Capital Medical College, Beijing. Presented at 5th Int'l Phycological Congress, Qingdao, June 1994. China.

Germany

  • Clinical and biochemical evaluations of spirulina with regard to its application in the treatment of obesity. by E.W. Becker, et al. 1986. Inst. Chem. Pfanz. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int'l, Vol. 33, No. 4, pg 565. Germany.

India

  • Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with spirulina. by Babu, M. et al. 1995. Pub. in Nutrition and Cancer, Vol. 24, No. 2, 197-202. India.
  • Bioavailability of spirulina carotenes in preschool children. by V. Annapurna, et al. 1991. National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. J. Clin. Biochem Nutrition. 10 145-151. India.
  • Large scale nutritional supplementation with spirulina alga. by C.V. Seshadri. 1993. All India Coordinated Project on Spirulina. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MCRC) Madras, India.

Japan

  • Clinical experiences of administration of spirulina to patients with hupochronic anemia. by T. Takeuchi, et al. 1978. Tokyo Medical and Dental Univ. Japan.
  • Cholesterol lowering effect of spirulina. by N. Nayaka, et al. 1988. Tokai Univ. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int'l, Vol. 37, No. 6, 1329-1337. Japan.

Mexico

  • Clinical experimentation with spirulina. by R. Ramos Galvan. 1973. National Institute of Nutrition, Mexico City, Mexico (in Spanish).

Romania

  • Observations on the utilization of spirulina as an adjuvant nutritive factor in treating some diseases accompanied by a nutritional deficiency. by V. Fica, et al. 1984. Clinica II Medicala, Spitalui Clinic, Bucuresti. Med. Interna 36 (3). Romania. (In Romanian).

Russia

  • Means to normalize the levels of immunoglobulin E, using the food supplement Spirulina. by L. Evets, et al. 1994. Grodenski State Medical Univ. Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade. Patent (19)RU (11)2005486. Jan. 15, 1994. Russia.

Zaire

  • Effectiveness of spirulina algae as food for children with protein-energy malnutrition in a tropical environment. by P. Bucaille. 1990. University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. Oct. 1990. Zaire. (in French).

green bar

Production of Spirulina

  • Algoculture: Spirulina, hope for a hungry world. by Ripley D. Fox. 1986. Pub. by Edisud, Aix-en-Province, France (in French).
  • Biotechnology & Utilization of Algae: The Indian Experience. by L.V. Venkataraman and E.W. Becker. 1985. Pub. by Sharada Press, Mangalore, India.
  • Earth Food Spirulina: How this remarkable blue-green algae can transform your health and our planet. by Robert Henrikson. 1989, Revised 1994. Pub. by Ronore Enterprises, Inc. PO Box 1188, Kenwood, CA 95452 USA.
  • Micro-Algal Biotechnology. edited by Borowitska. 1986. Pub. by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Production of high quality spirulina at Earthrise Farms. by Amha Belay and Yoshimichi Ota. 1994. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conference on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. USA.
  • Spirulina National Symposium (India). by C.V. Seshadri and N. Jeeji Bai. 1992. Pub. by Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MDRC), Madras, India.
  • Spirulina, Algae of Life. April 1993. Bulletin Special No. 12. Pub. by Institute Oceanographique, Monaco.

green bar

Reference Books on Spirulina and Microalgae

  • Algoculture: Spirulina, hope for a hungry world. by Ripley D. Fox. 1986. Pub. by Edisud, Aix-en-Province, France (in French).
  • Earth Food Spirulina: How this remarkable blue-green algae can transform your health and our planet. by Robert Henrikson. 1989, Revised 1994. Pub. by Ronore Enterprises, Inc. PO Box 1188, Kenwood, CA 95452 USA.
  • Microalga Spirulina. by Robert Henrikson. 1993. Pub. by Ediciones Urano, Barcelona Spain (in Spanish). Oikos Pharmaceuticals, C/ San Pedro, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Costa del Sol, España.
  • Rejuvenating the Body through fasting with Spirulina plankton. by Christopher Hills. 1979. Pub. by Univ. of the Trees, Boulder Creek, CA. USA.
  • Spirulina. A Good Health Guide. by Jack Joseph Challem. 1981. Pub. by Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT. USA.
  • Spirulina, Algae of Life. April 1993. Bulletin Special No. 12. Pub. by Institute Oceanographique, Monaco.
  • Spirulina National Symposium (India). by C.V. Seshadri and N. Jeeji Bai. 1992. Pub. by MDRC, Madras, India.
  • Spirulina, the Whole Food Revolution. by Larry Switzer. 1982. Pub. by Bantam Books, NY. USA.
  • The Spirulina Cookbook. by Sonia Beasley. 1981. Pub. by Univ. of the Trees, Boulder Creek, CA. USA.
  • The Spirulina Diet. by Saundra Howard. 1982. Pub. by Lyle Stuart, Secacus, NJ. USA.

green bar

Latest Scientific Research on Spirulina:
Effects on the AIDS Virus, Cancer and the Immune System.

by Richard Kozlenko DPM, Ph.D M.P.H. and Ronald H. Henson.© Copyright 1997

Spirulina is gaining more attention from medical scientists as a nutraceutical and source of potential pharmaceuticals. There are several new 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 cancers. 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 µg/ml was found to reduce viral production" 1.

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, "holds great promise for treatment of ...HIV-1, HSV-1, and HCM infections, which is particularly advantageous for AIDS patients who are prone to these life-threatening infections." 8.

Calcium-Spirulan 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 9.

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 1, 8, 9.

What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina, (rhymes with 'ballerina'), is a traditional food of some Mexican and African peoples. It is a planktonic blue-green algae found in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes. Wild Spirulina sustains huge flocks of flamingos in the alkaline East African Rift Valley Lakes. It possesses an amazing ability to thrive in conditions much too harsh for other algae. As might be expected, it has a highly unusual nutritional profile. Spirulina has a 62% amino acid content, is the world's richest natural source of Vitamin B-12 and contains a whole spectrum of natural mixed carotene and xanthophyll phytopigments. Spirulina has a soft cell wall made of complex sugars and protein, and is different from most other algae in that it is easily digested.

Millions of people worldwide eat Spirulina cultivated in scientifically designed algaefarms. 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.

Differences between spirulina, chlorella and 'wild' blue green algae.
Spirulina is not Chlorella or the blue-green algae harvested from Klamath Lake Oregon. Chlorella, a 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 wall 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. It is not the same as Spirulina. While scientific literature includes information concerning the potential toxicity of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, there are few peer reviewed scholarly scientific papers regarding the therapeutic benefit of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. In contrast, the scientific literature is full of information concerning the benefits and safety of humans and animals eating Chlorella and Spirulina 4.

Anti-Cancer Effects
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 up-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
Polypeptide called Phycocyanin. Studies show that Phycocyanin 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 from 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 phytochemicals. 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.

Conclusion
Based on this preliminary research, scientists hope the use of Spirulina and its extracts may reduce or prevent cancers and viral diseases. 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.

green bar

    References:

  1. Ayehunie S., Belay A., Hu Y., Baba T., Ruprecht R., 7th IAAA Conference, Knysna, South Africa April 17, 1996. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).
  2. Baojiang G., et al, Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology, April 25-27, 1994, p. 24. Study on Effect and Mechanism of Polysaccharides of Spirulina platensis on Body Immune Functions Improvement.
  3. Babu.,M., et al, Nutrition and Cancer 1995, V. 24, No. 2, p.197-202. Evaluation of Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer with Spirulina fusiformis.
  4. Belay A., Ota Y., Miyakawa K., Shimamatsu H., Journal of Applied Phycology 5:235-241, 1993. Current Knowledge on Potential Health Benefits of Spirulina.
  5. Carmichael, et al Scientific American January 1995. "The Toxins of Cyanobacteria."
  6. Evets L.B. et al Grodenski State Medical University, January 15, 1994 Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade, Patent Number: (19) RU (11) 2005486 C1 (51) 5 A 61K35/80. Means to Normalize the levels of Immunoglobulin E Using the Food Supplement Spirulina.
  7. Fukino H., Takagi Y., Yamane Y., Eisei Kagaku 36: 5.,1990. Effect of Spirulina Platensis on the renal toxicity induced by inorganic mercury and cisplatin.
  8. Hayashi T. & Hayashi K., et al, Journal of Natural Products 1996, Vol. 59, No. 1, 83-87, American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy. Calcium Spirulan, an Inhibitor of Enveloped Virus Replication, from a Blue-Green Alga Spirulina platensis.
  9. Hayashi K., et al, Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 7, 76-80 (1993). An Extract from Spirulina platensis is a Selective Inhibitor of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Penetration into HeLa Cells.
  10. Hayashi O., et al, Journal of Nutritional Sciences and Vitaminology, 40, 431-441, 1994. Enhancement of Antibody Production in Mice by Dietary Spirulina platensis.
  11. Kolman A., et al Toxicology Letters, 48 (1989) 165-169 Elsevier. Radioprotective effect of extract from Spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test.
  12. Lisheng L., et al, Marine Sciences, Qindao China, N. 5, 1991, p. 33-38. Inhibitive Effective and Mechanism of Polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis on Transplanted Tumor Cells in Mice.
  13. Pang Qishen et al, Acta Genetica Sinica (Chinese Journal of Genetics), V.15(5) p. 374-381, 1988. Enhancement of Endonuclease Activity and repair DNA Synthesis by Polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis.
  14. Qureshi M.A., Kidd M.T., and Ali R.A., Journal of Nutritional Immunology V.3(4) 1995, pages 35-45. Spirulina platensis Extract Enhances Chicken Macrophage Functions After in vitro Exposure.
  15. Qureshi M.A., Ali R.A., Immunopharmacology, Jan. 1996. Phagocytic potential of Feline macrophages after exposure to a water soluble extract of spirulina in vitro.
  16. Qureshi M.A., Garlich J.D., Kidd M.T., Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 1996 (submitted), "Dietary Spirulina platensis Enhances Humoral and Cell-mediated Immune Functions In Chickens".
  17. Zhang C., et al, 1994 Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Alga Biotechnology, April 25-27, p.58. The Effects of Polysaccharide and Phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis variety on Peripheral blood and Hematopoietic system of Bone Marrow in Mice.