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also called Blue Green Algae, is one of hundreds of algae species. Because so many
kinds exist, they are identified by their color. They are tiny organisms that
grow in water. Some of the different types are blue-green, green, yellow-green, red, and brown.|
Unlike most other plants, it does not have roots, leaves, or stems. It does contain a coloring called chlorophyll which is required by all plants to turn sunlight into energy. It also removes carbon dioxide from the air and releases oxygen.
Around the world, it is used as food source for animals and humans. While considered a food staple in some parts of the world, it is also known for its medicinal applications. It contains antioxidants such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin that are believed to lower the activity of free radicals that damage body cells, by a chemical process called oxidation, and suppress immune function.
In animal and human studies, it has shown to increase immune function. It increases production of anti-inflammatory chemicals known as interferons and interleukins. Some believe that it may decrease or prevent some allergic responses and block the release of histamine from mast cells during an allergic reaction. By blocking histamine release, it may prevent histamine's effects, which include blood vessel expansion, muscle contraction, and stomach acid production.
It also seems to help block the entry of viral cells into host cells. Several viruses, including HIV, were apparently killed or damaged by Spirulina or chemicals derived from it in recent clinical trials. Additional animal studies have confirmed these effects, but more study is needed to prove its ability to treat and prevent viral diseases.
Dosage and Administration
It is available in tablets and powder. One tablespoon of powder is about 7,000 mg (7 grams). Follow the directions on the bottle. Doses used in some human studies varied from about 1,000 mg (one gram) per day to more than 5,000 mg (5 grams) per day.
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