Spirulina is a tiny alga in the shape of a perfect spiral. It contains the most notable nutrient concentration known in food, plant, cereal or herb. It is the food with the highest protein content, over 60% completely absorbable plant protein. It has the highest concentration of beta-carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace elements, and also contains the rare essential fatty acid GLA (gamma-linoleic acid).
Nutrition and Spirulina
Spirulina contains a number of unique plant nutrients such as phycocyanin, polysaccharides and sulfolipids that boost the immune system, and possibly reduce the risk of infections, cancer and autoimmune diseases. It contains laxative chlorophyll that helps detoxify the body from the omnipresent infection.
According to studies, spirulina can:
- Boost the immune system
- Improve gastrointestinal health
- Assist in detoxification
- Slow down the spread of cancer
- Assist in confronting allergies
- Spirulina can boost the immune system
When the immune system is under stress or pressure, then it affects the metabolism of the organism. The dogs that suffer from immune system oscillations often feel a chronic fatigue and have low energy levels. Small amounts of spirulina can improve the balance and stability of the immune system, allowing energy that was previously used for metabolism to be used for the processes of vitality, healing and absorption of nutrients. It strengthens the cellular communication processes of the organism, and its ability to recognize and repair DNA as a kind of cellular coordination. Scientists from all over the world – in Japan, China, India, Europe, Russia and the US – are studying how and why spirulina is so effective in human and animal health. Hundreds of published scientific studies reveal that spirulina and its unique herbal ingredients strengthen the immune system and improve health.
Scientists have discovered that spirulina not only stimulates the immune system but also actually enhances the body's ability to produce new blood cells. Important parts of the immune system – bone marrow stem cells, macrophages, T-cells and natural killer cells, spleen and thymus – all demonstrated enhanced activity. Scientists have noticed that spirulina causes an increase in the number of macrophages, it activates them, and makes them more effective in fighting germs. Because spirulina increases resistance to disease in animals, even when used in small quantities, the food industry is studying its use as a new probiotic to replace the use of excessively used antibiotics in animal feed.
Spirulina can improve the health of the gastrointestinal-digestive system
Research studies confirm that spirulina promotes the good functioning of digestion and of the intestine. It fights against bad bacteria such as E-coli and the fungus Candida and helps the good microorganisms such as the lactobacillus and the bifidobacteria. The proper functioning of good microorganisms is the basis for good health; moreover, it increases the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat and also helps against infections.
Spirulina can enhance the detoxification and the natural cleaning of the body
Researchers from Japan have found that spirulina significantly reduces kidney toxicity caused by mercury (a heavy metal) and three drugs. Other studies found that mice that consumed spirulina or chlorella as part of a controlled diet increased by seven times their ability to dispose of the dangerous dioxin from their body.
In 1994, a Russian patent for spirulina was awarded as a pharmaceutical food as it was found to reduce allergic reactions from radiation-related diseases. 270 children from Chernobyl who consumed 5 grams a day for 45 days exhibited a reduction in radionuclides by 50%, and experienced normalization to their allergic sensitivities. Nowadays dogs are subject to an inundation of chemicals from air, water, food and drugs. Their body needs to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina contains a completely unique combination of plant nutrients including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides that help clean the body.
Spirulina may prevent the formation of cancer cells
The blue-green color of the spirulina is more than just a beautiful color; it is the source of most anti-cancer properties. In Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford writes, "With regards to prevention, it is important to mention that spirulina contains in large quantities the blue substance phycocyanin that has been found to inhibit the formation of cancer cells".
Spirulina has been proven to have anticancer effects in animal studies since it activates natural killer cells and similar immune system factors that help fight cancer. Laboratory studies have also shown that spirulina polysaccharides can work to repair genetic material that has been destroyed by toxins or by radiation.
Spirulina can reduce allergies
Clinical investigations show that there is good ground for the allegations of the anti-allergic action of spirulina. In a test whose results were published in August 2008, spirulina showed an immune effect in people who used it for 16 weeks. As it was reported, there was a significant reduction in IL-6 (interleukin-6), indicating a balancing effect on "immune variables". Other laboratory investigations on animals and humans support the findings already reported, and indicate that spirulina is likely to provide protection to people with food allergies. These research results are important because allergic reactions are thought to be partly caused by the wrong immune system responses.
Use of spirulina
Spirulina is often sold in the shape of powder while it is also available in capsules and tablets. According to the botanist Greg Tilford, spirulina is safe for everyday use, but requires caution so that it is not consumed in excessive quantities since it could cause mild stomach discomfort in some people. According to Tilford, a daily dose of 1/4 of a teaspoon per 500g of food is safe, while cats can take up to ½ of a teaspoon per 500g of food.
Try to give your dog spirulina as part of its daily diet and you will notice a shinier coat, a cleaner breath and a generally improved physical condition.