Spirulina, the superfood that keeps its promises
Nutrition is one of society’s key concerns. While some countries suffer from malnutrition, others have worrying levels of obesity
Scientific research has therefore focused on studying natural nutrients that can fill the gaps in unbalanced diets in both extremes.
And so the term ‘superfood’ was born, defined as a nutrient-rich natural food. This category of food has expanded over the years, so that any food could be considered ‘super’, since all foods contribute to the body’s well-being. This has caused some confusion about how to use this concept.
However, there are many plant nutrients that have an exceptional variety of compounds beneficial to the body. The best known is an alga called spirulina. And its fame is much more than just a marketing phenomenon!
The ‘blue gold’ recommended by the UN and NASA
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis, formerly Spirulina platensis) is a cyanobacterium with photosynthetic capacity that grows in alkaline waters (1).
This spiral-shaped blue-green algae grows naturally in lakes on different continents: in America (Mexico’s Lake Texcoco), in Africa (Chad, Niger and the Great Rift Valley), and in Asia (in its tropical and subtropical regions) (2).
It was consumed by the Aztecs (who called it techuitlatl), especially their messengers, to preserve their energy when travelling long distances (3). It has been observed that members of the African Kanembu tribe, major consumers of spirulina in Lake Chad, do not have any nutritional deficiencies (3).
Its value and properties are such that spirulina has been called ‘blue gold’. After harvest, it is dried and ground to a very fine green powder.
The European Space Agency and NASA have recommended consuming it to satisfy the nutrient needs of astronauts during long-term space missions (2).
The United Nations Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) regularly runs campaigns promoting its production and consumption. China, its main supplier (50% of 5,000 tonnes worldwide), has declared it a food of national interest (4.5).
A complete nutritional supplement
55 to 70% of spirulina’s dry weight is made up of proteins, making it an exceptional plant source of protein. While very low in calories, it contains 15-20% carbohydrates, 69% fats, and fibres, minerals (manganese, zinc, magnesium, notably assimilable iron) and vitamins (B, C, D, E) (3, 6, 7).
It is one of the few species to contain phycocyanin, the pigment that gives the algae its blue colour and antioxidant, detoxifying (5) and anti-inflammatory (8) properties. Its carotenoid and polysaccharide content give it hepatoprotective and immunostimulatory action (9,10). Spirulina helps to reduce glucose and ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL) levels in the blood and increase ‘good cholesterol’ (HDL) (2, 11).
One study showed that daily intake of 6 g of spirulina over 4 weeks increases fat oxidation, glutathione concentration (antioxidant molecule) (12), as well as oxygenation of the muscles.
It is a particularly effective anti-ageing ally in cases of anaemia and for the treatment of cancer.
Since it meets the large majority of daily nutritional needs, it is clear that spirulina has truly earned its superfood title!
Our spirulina, 100% natural and organic
An ideal dietary supplement to prevent and treat various deficiencies, our spirulina is derived from organic cultures and fulfils the microbiological criteria laid down by European pharmacopoeia.
Anastore offers you an exceptional quality spirulina in different forms:
- ORGANIC SPIRULINA, in a capsule containing algae powder for practical consumption; See product file
- Naturland™-certified ORGANIC SPIRULINA AND CHLORELLA, two algae for a detoxifying synergy; See product file
- ORGANIC SPIRULINA POWDER, to mix with juices and smoothies; See product file
- ISOTONIC SPIRULINA, a refreshing isotonic with a peppermint aroma; a drink especially designed for athletes. See product file
- Deng and Chow (2010) Hypolipidemic, antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovasc Ther 28(4): e33–e45.
- Habib et al. (2008) A review on culture, production and use of spirulina as food for humans and feeds for domestic animals and fish. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1034. Rome, FAO.
- El-Desoky et al. (2013) Improvement of mercuric chloride-induced testis injuries and sperm quality deteriorations by Spirulina platensis in rats. Plos One 8(3): e59177.
- Ramírez-Moreno and Olvera-Ramírez (2006) Uso tradicional y actual de Spirulina sp. (Arthrospira sp.). INCI 31 (9).
- Seo et al. (2013) Stable isolation of phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis associated with high-pressure extraction process. Int J Mol Sci 14: 1778-1787.
- Grzanna et al. (2006) Immolina, a high-molecular-weight polysaccharide fraction of Spirulina, enhances chemokine expression in human monocytic THP-1 cells. J Altern Complement Med 12(5):429-35.
- Madrigal-Santillán et al. (2014) Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects. World J Gastroenterol 20(40): 14787-14804.
- Torres-Durán et al. (2012) Effect of Spirulina maxima on postprandial lipemia in young runners: a preliminary report. J Med Food 15 (8): 753–757.
- Kalafati et al. (2010) Ergogenic and antioxidant effects of spirulina supplementation in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(1): 142-51.