For millions of us the arrival of Spring heralds the arrival of hay fever. As pollen fills the air the hay-fever season starts. But according to a hay fever study by Cemal Cingi of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey shows that spirulina is effective against hay fever.
In the 1990s researchers at Wonkwang University discovered that rats reacted less severely to substances they were allergic to if they had been given spirulina. [Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Apr 1; 55(7): 1071-6.] In 2005, Chinese researchers discovered that spirulina could prevent and reduce rats’ allergic reactions to egg protein – a rodent equivalent of human hay fever. [Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2005 Feb; 30(1): 96-8.]
In the same year American researchers found indications that spirulina may also work against hay fever in humans. In that study hay-fever sufferers were given just 2 grams of spirulina daily. The hay fever sufferers’ immune cells produced 34 percent less interleukine-4 than normal in test tubes. That’s an indication of reduced allergic reactions. [J Med Food. 2005 Spring;8(1): 27-30.]
The Turkish researchers chose a more direct approach in their study. They used 129 hay-fever sufferers, aged between 19 and 49. Half of the subjects took 2 grams of spirulina daily for six months [SIP]. The researchers used supplements they had made themselves, which contained dried Spirulina platensis. The other half were given a placebo containing no active ingredients.
The subjects kept a hay-fever diary in which they noted how badly they had been affected by symptoms such as nasal discharge, nasal itching and sneezing. They used scores from 0 to 3: 0 = not noticeable; 1 = mild symptoms, noticeable but not bothersome; 2 = moderate symptoms, noticeable and disturbing some of the time; 3 = severe symptoms, very disturbing some of the time and/or disturbing most of the time.
The study showed that spirulina made a big improvement to the way the hay fever sufferers were affected. The differences between the curves of the spirulina group and the placebo group shown below are statistically significant.
“Spirulina is clinically effective on allergic rhinitis when compared with placebo”, the researchers conclude. “Further studies should be performed in order to clarify the mechanism of this effect.”
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;265(10):1219-23.
Ergo Log, ‘Take spirulina now, and avoid hay fever in the spring’.
Floating in two-litre plastic bottles on the window sills of a high school classroom, the algae looks more like part of a science experiment than a carefully cultivated superfood. But the plant is full of vital nutrients, and studies suggest it might be the key to eradicating malnutrition worldwide.
Students from Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in Tel Aviv have devised a method to easily cultivate spirulina. They came to Cape Town last week to share the project at the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology. Grade 10 pupils from Heathfield High School, the Centre for Science and Technology in Khayelitsha, Groenberg Secondary School in Grabouw and De RustFutura Academy in Elgin learned to grow the algae.
Ronwin George,17, a Heathfield High pupil, said he found the spirulina project interesting. “There’s a lot of protein in it, especially when you eat it fresh. It’ll make you healthy.”
Pupils at Heathfield High have started growing spirulina at home, where their families can put a few grams of the plant into soups, muffins and peanut butter sandwiches.
Fifteen-year-old Epiphane Furaha said her family “loves the stuff”. “We have like three grams a day. My parents always make sure that we have it.”
Senegal initiated a program to improve the nutritional status of school-age children with the use of spirulina. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of spirulina on academic performance of school children in the municipality of Dakar, Senegal. The evaluation was conducted as a prospective study, comparing school performance of schoolchildren from public elementary schools located in three National Education Departments of Dakar (before supplements, during and after). The study population consisted of students from six schools randomly selected among the 100 who were in the program. We included all children with agreement of their parent or guardian, and those who rejected the spirulina were not included. Supplemental feeding with spirulina was given to young children during two months (from mid-April to mid June 2005). Over these 60 days, the students took a daily dose of 2 grams of spirulina mixed with 10g of honey to make the taste acceptable. The data on age, gender and monitoring of school performance (i.e. the average compositions of the second and third quarters) were collected. Mean differences in grades between second quarter and third quarter (after two months of supplementation) were analyzed and compared by the paired student test. The sample size was a total of 549 schoolchildren: 273 (49.72%) were girls, and 276 (50.28%) boys. The mean age was 91 months [90.29-91.71]. The average of 2rd quarter marks before supplementation was 5.17 out of 10 IC = [4.99-5.35] and the same for the 3rd quarter after two months of supplementation was 5.78 out of 10 IC = [5.59-5.97]. The mean difference between pupils’ marks at the 3rd and the 2nd trimester was 0.59 (p <– 0.0001). After two months of supplemental feeding, the academic performance of the children was improved.
Read more at pubmed
Iron is an essential mineral that is critical for many of the body’s functions. It is needed to make proteins, such as hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein present in red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to our tissues, while myoglobin helps supply oxygen to our muscles.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), men over the age of 19 have a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 8 mg of iron. Premenopausal women have a much greater iron requirement than men. Women aged 19-50 have an RDA of 18 mg. After age 50, the number falls in line with men at 8 mg/day. Requirements are different for children under 18, as well as for pregnant or lactating women.
Eating the following 5 foods packed with iron, together with sources of vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, will improve your body’s absorption of iron.
Spirulina, one of nature’s great superfoods, is a blue-green algae that grows in fresh water lakes. It is a complete protein, contains a significant amount of B12, as well as vitamins A through E and is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. A tablespoon of dried spirulina contains 2 mg of iron.
Source: Yahoo Shine
Spirulina can help clear skin from acne. The protein in spirulina is thought to accelerate the removal of toxins beneath the skin surface.
Have a look at our Spiralyne spirulina infographic showing how spirulina can help your body and support good health:
Spirulina is shown to ameliorate anaemia and immunosenescence in older immune systems.
The research paper can be found at: http://www.nature.com/cmi/journal/v8/n3/full/cmi201076a.html
A study has shown that natural vitamins, in particular natural B vitamins are better for you than synthetic ones.
Read more at: http://www.drheise.com/bvitamin.htm
Research has shown that the amino acid phenylalanine improves the mood of depressed patients.
Read more at: http://www.life-enhancement.com/article_template.asp?id=1987
NASA and the European Space Agency are studying spirulina as optimum food for astronauts due to its remarkable nutritional values.
Read more at: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMQTE1D