Spirulina platensis - the swisse army knife of natural medicine

What is spirulina platensis?

Most people with an interest in health have already heard the name 'spirulina', either consciously or unconsciously, but very few associate it with what is best described as the 'Swiss army knife of natural medicine'.

If there were a Nobel Prize for a plant or any nutrient with the highest nutritional content, it would in all likelihood go to spirulina platensis.

No other plant studied to date and no other food has such a wide variety of nutrients as the blue-green freshwater algae spirulina platensis. These include an incredible 2,075 vital substances, which are in a synergy with an unbeatable bioavailability of almost 100 % to us humans for the very effective prevention and treatment of numerous diseases! But what exactly is it, this spirulina?

Spirulina platensis – the mother of all algae

In fact, spirulina is a cyanobacterium; the roots of its ancestors go back around 3.5 billion years. From an evolutionary point of view, spirulina platensis is the 'mother' of all 30,000 known species of algae and at the same time is at a developmental level somewhere between plant and animal – because spirulina has neither a cell nucleus nor a hard cell membrane, even though both are characteristic of a plant.

The metabolism of spirulina platensis occurs via photosynthesis. For this purpose, it collects sunlight with the pigments phycocyan and chlorophyll, which give it its characteristic blue-green colour. From this, it first builds up carbon dioxide and water and thus creates this incredible spectrum of highly concentrated nutrients.

The nomenclature

Under the microscope, spirulina platensis resembles a small spiral, which gives it the synonymous name.

Spirulina a vital substance miracle!

The fact that spirulina platensis has no hard cell walls and that its vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are also organically bound makes it possible for us to benefit from a very fast and smooth absorption of all the nutrients contained therein.

The nutrient supply of spirulina platensis is made up of around 2,000 enzymes, 75 nutrients and amino acids as well as essential fatty acids. Spirulina offers us the full range of vital (essential) and ten non-essential amino acids. Considering that humans practically consist of water and proteins, this fact cannot be overstated!

Spirulina researchers agree that humans would survive many days with just 10 g of spirulina per day, because apart from vitamin C, spirulina provides us with the complete arsenal of nutrients and vital substances that we need to survive – compressed into the smallest space!

Spirulina platensis the extraction

The Mayans and Aztecs appreciated the health benefits of spirulina algae, and today spirulina is the most researched and best selling supplement - even NASA uses as food for their astronauts. While the Aztecs fished green algae foam from Lake Texcoco, the Maya went further by developing the first algae farms.

But it was not until the year 1964 that the western world would discover the blue-green wonder algae for itself. This is due to a Belgian botanist named Jean Leonard, who watched the Kanembub population skim off a blue-green foam from the surface of a lake with large straw baskets to make a kind of cake.

The Japanese scientist Nakamura and his colleagues then pushed forward the research of spirulina and its first processing for commercial purposes.

Today, spirulina platensis is grown in industrialised countries, mainly in Hawaii, China, India, Thailand, the USA and Australia in large farms with numerous man-made ponds under supervision and quality control.

Fortunately, demand is rising, considering that spirulina not only provides extremely high levels of nutrients, but at the same time detoxifies the organism, protects against radiation, builds up the intestinal flora and positively influences allergies, cancer and even AIDS, and can, frequently, even cure them!

This very healing effect is the subject of this section. The mode of action of a 'vital miracle' is objectively analysed and substantiated by hard facts in the form of study results from all over the world.

The ingredients and active ingredients of spirulina platensis

Before we come to the most interesting point, namely the mode of action and the concrete effect of spirulina platensis, it makes sense to first take a closer look at the ingredients and active ingredients of spirulina. 

Spirulina platensis has an incredible 2,075 active ingredients, consisting of 2,000 enzymes and 75 vital substances, amino acids and fatty acids,[1] and in a condition that is optimally absorbed by the body with a bioavailability of almost 100 %!

With small variations depending on origin and product, the analysis of the ingredients of spirulina platensis is as follows:

 

Nutrient analysis of spirulina

Averages

Protein

65 %

Carbohydrates

15 %

Fat

7 %

Minerals

7 %

Fibres

 3 %

Moisture

3 %

Vitamin analysis of spirulina

Averages

Biotin

250 mcg/kg

Vitamin B12

2,000 mcg/kg

Pantothenic acid

8 mg/kg

Folic acid

610 mcg/kg

Inositol

830 mcg/kg

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

146 mg/kg

Vitamin B6

7 mg/kg

Vitamin B2

35 mg/kg

Vitamin B1

21 mg/kg

Vitamin E

80 mg/kg

Vitamin D

120,000 IU/kg

Vitamin K

22 mg/kg

Mineral analysis of spirulina

Average

Calcium

8950 mg/kg

Phosphorus

8940 mg/kg

Sulphur

6,900 mg/kg

Iron

980 mg/kg

Sodium

9,000 mg/kg

Magnesium

3690 mg/kg

Manganese

38 mg/kg

Copper

5 mg/kg

Zinc

30 mg/kg

Chrome

1 mg/kg

Potassium

16,000 mg/kg

Selenium

140 mcg/kg

Cobalt

230 mcg/kg

Germanium

6,000 mcg/kg

Natural phytopigments

 

Total carotenoids (yellow and orange)

4,700 mg/kg

Chlorophyll (green)

11,900 mg/kg

Phycocyanin (blue)

49,500 mg/kg

Natural carotenoids

 

Beta-carotene

2,100 mg/kg

Other-carotenes

400 mg/kg

Myxoxanthophyl

900 mg/kg

Zeaxanthin

800 mg/kg

Cryptoxanthin

100 mg/kg

Other xamthophyll pigments

400 mg/ kg

Other ingredients

Averages

Nucleic acids

4.5 %

Gamma-linolenic acid

12,800 mg/kg

Linoleic acid

9,000 mg/kg

SOD activity

1,100,000 IU/kg

Glycolipids

20,000 mg/kg

Sulpholipids

1,000 mg/kg

Polysaccharides

46,000 rag/kg

Essential amino acids

 

Isoleucine

4.1 %

Leucine

5.8 %

Lysine

4.0 %

Methionine

2.2 %

Phenylalanine

4.0 %

Threonine

4.1 %

Tryptophan

1.1 %

Valine

6.0 %

Nonessential amino acids

 

Alanine

5.8 %

Arginine

6.0 %

Aspartic acid

 

Cystine

0.7 %

Glutamic acid

8.9 %

Glycine

3.5 %

Histidine

1.1 %

Proline

3.0 %

Serine

4.0 %

Tyrosine

4.6 %

Source: Wolframkober.de

 

Spirulina platensis – what it works against, and how

The spirulina algae is a veritable nutrient bomb, because just a few grams of it can counteract deficiency symptoms, even if food intake is severely restricted.

This fact is related to a remarkable nutrient density, a considerable amount of compressed nutrients in the smallest of spaces, created over 3.5 billion years of evolution! In total, there are 2,075 active ingredients (2,000 enzymes and 75 nutrients) that spirulina may call its own; it contains all but one of the substances that humans fundamentally need to maintain their health.

Due to the outstanding number and concentration of nutrients (see 'Ingredients'), the effect of the spirulina algae is expected to be very broad. But before we look more closely at the effect, we first clarify the mode of action – that is, the reasons why spirulina platensis works as well as it does.

Of course, it's the optimal combination of perfectly balanced ingredients that make spirulina a masterful, natural active ingredient.

In dry form, spirulina consists of up to 65-71 % of protein and is impressive not least because of its almost complete amino acid profile, consisting of all eight essential and ten nonessential amino acids. These include the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine and valine, on the nonessential side, cysteine, arginine, glutamic acid, alanine, histidine, serine, proline, glycine and aspartic acid. Our organism needs these components of protein to build our cells, maintain our immune system and produce hormones and enzymes. The amino acids, however, have other, often misunderstood functions.



[1] Frank Felte: Spirulina – Die Wunderalge: Essen Sie Leben! ('Spirulina – The Wonder Alga: Eat Life!'), 2002, p. 74

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