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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.
Spirulina was used to treat the children of Chernobyl. They suffering from the effects of radiation sickness from eating food grown on the radioactive soil. One of the results can be bone marrow damage, there is difficulty in producing adequate red blood cells and white blood cells.
These poor children were not only in danger of cancer, but also anemia, allergies, and infections.
Children given 5 grams of spirulina in tablet form per day have actually been reported to have made dramatic recoveries, not so with the children not given the spirulina.
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.
One of the more exciting areas of study where spirulina is concerned is in the arena of the immune system. Research is pointing to spirulina stimulating many aspects of our immune system-including our natural killer cells, T-cells, B-cells, and the macrophages.
Spirulina does not really have any side effects. Occasionally someone will report sensitivity or allergy. Usually supplementation is Adults 2,000 - 3,000 milligrams per day. Children 500- 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day.
Spirulina can usually be found in capsules, powders, tablets, or flakes.
If you are interested in optimal health, spirulina is a good "green" food to consider.