treats Eye disorders, Oral leukoplakia, Chronic viral hepatitis, Malnutrition, High cholesterol, Allergic rhinitis, Weight loss, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Arsenic poisoning, and Diabetes
Alternate TitleAphanizomenon flos- aquae, Blue- green algae, Arthrospira plantensis
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
AFA, Aphanizomenon flos- aquae, Arthrospira platensis, BGA, blue- green algae, calcium, copper, cyanobacteria, cyanobacterium, dihe, free fatty acids, iron, Immulina™, klamath, magnesium, manganese, Microcystis aeruginosa, M. wesenbergii, monogalactosyl monoacylglycerols, Multinal, nickel, Nostoc spp., lead, phosphatidylglycerols, phycocyanin, phytoplankton, plant plankton, pond scum, prokaryotic cyanobacterium, Selen- Spirulina, Spirulina fusiformis, S. maxima, S. platensis, Spiruline, tecuitatl, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerols, zinc.
Note: Non- spirulina species, such as Anabaena species, Aphanizomenon species, and Microcystis species are possibly unsafe because they are usually harvested naturally and may be subject to contamination.
The term spirulina refers to a large number of cyanobacteria or blue- green algae. Both Spirulina spp. and non- Spirulina spp. fall into the classification of cyanobacteria and include: Aphanizomenon spp., Microcystis spp., Nostoc spp., and Spirulina spp. Most commercial products contain Aphanizomenon flos- aquae, Sprirulina maxima, and/ or Spirulina platensis. These algae are found in the warm, alkaline waters of the world, especially of Mexico and Central Africa. Spirulina spp. are most often grown under controlled conditions and are subject to less contamination than the non- spirulina species that are harvested naturally.
Spirulina is a rich source of nutrients, containing up to 70% protein, B- complex vitamins, phycocyanin, chlorophyll, beta- carotene, vitamin E, and numerous minerals. In fact, spirulina contains more beta- carotene than carrots. Spirulina has been used since ancient times as a source of nutrients and has been said to possess a variety of medical uses, including as an antioxidant, antiviral, antineoplastic, weight loss aid, and lipid- lowering agent. Preliminary data from animal studies demonstrate effectiveness for some conditions as well as safety, although human evidence is lacking. Based on available research, no recommendation can be made either for or against the use of spirulina for any indication.