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 every day. 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 from radiation illness. 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. Scientists 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 powder, 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 increase health and energy.
"As we age and our diets 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.
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 polysaccaride (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 may be effective for humans. It seems to 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.
Russian patent awarded for Spirulina as a medicine to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness
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 Earthrise Farms in California, and was donated by Earthrise Company and Dainippon Ink & Chemicals of Japan. Since 1990 Earthrise had donated Spirulina to radiation clinics for the Children of Chernobyl.