Also known as
Arthrospira platensis, Blue Green Algae (a misnomer), BGA, and Cyanobacteria
For centuries, the native peoples of Mexico, Africa and Asia have eaten spirulina and made it one of their major sources of protein. The blue green algae is plentiful in lakes and inland bodies of water that are warm and alkaline. The plant’s chemical makeup is 65% amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). The high concentration of amino acids has made spirulina a popular nutritional supplement for those who are unable to obtain sufficient calories and protein through diet alone, particularly athletes who burn calories at a high rate. In addition to amino acids, spirulina is also a rich source of numerous other nutrients, including many essential vitamins and minerals. Research into the medical benefits of spirulina is ongoing, but there is no doubt about its nutritional benefits. Among other things, it contains as much iron as equivalent weights of beef.
The Spirulina offered by Mountain Rose Herbs was recently tested by an independent laboratory and was found to have an ORAC Value nearly 4x higher than blueberries and 3x higher than Cranberries. The ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a way to measure the antioxidant values of foods and was developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our Spirulina offers an impressive array of powerfully protective antioxidants including high levels of phytopigments like Phycocyanin, Beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin and other phytonutrients.
Antioxidant power against peroxyl radicals - 8,700
Antioxidant power against hydroxyl radicals - 8,000
Antioxidant power against peroxynitrite - 300
Antioxidant power against singlet oxygen - 7,400
Total ORAC (sum of above) - 24,000
Dried and processed algae
Powdered and taken as a capsule, incorporated into drinks and smoothies, and sometimes as a liquid herbal extract.
While more study is needed to define precisely what actions spirulina may provoke in the body, there is a remarkable lack of harmful side effects or suggestions that there are any drawbacks. Even if it is used only for its nutritional content, spirulina is a valuable addition to the diet.
Persons with PKU should consult a doctor before taking spirulina.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.