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Spirulin: astonishing seaweed

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  1. Introduction.
  2. What is Spirulin?
  3. Composition and nutritonal analysis.
    1. Proteins.
    2. Lipids.
    3. Glucids.
    4. Vitamins.
    5. Pigments.
    6. Minerals and trace elements.
  4. Numerous beneficial effects for the body.
    1. Effects on the immune system.
    2. Antiviral effects (notably against the HIV 1).
    3. Anticancerous effects.
    4. Fight against the proteino-energy malnutrition (MPE).
    5. Others effects on organism.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Acknowledgements.
  7. References.

From a biological point of view, Spirulin is one of the oldest inhabitants of the Earth. This cyanobacterium appeared 3.5 billions years ago. It is thought to have achieved photosynthesis for another billion years, until the first plant apparition. It naturally grows between latitudes 35 N and 35 S, in the shallow hot waters of salty and alkaline lakes in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It can be a fabulous food supplement, and that is the reason why we have been interested in it. Indeed, in Sub-Saharian Africa, in a world area where malnutrition is prevalent, NGOs observed that lake Chad bank's inhabitants were significantly less concerned with this problem. Now, they have been eating ?dihé? for generations, which is a spirulin cake naturally dried by the sun. In the 50s, spirulin's exceptional nutritious qualities were scientifically analysed and highlighted by scientists. The United Nations, in 1974, even said that spirulin was undoubtedly: ?The best food of the future and one of the most precious nutrition source offered to humanity ?.

[...] Furthermore, the necessary surface to cultivate one kilogram of this seaweed is also very less: 0.6 m2 against 22 m2 for the corn. It is just recorded that spirulin is pleasant to consume and it provides most vitamins. We can conserve it for some days at a low temperature or in a mixture of salt and oil. Spirulin can be consumed, mixed with a lot of food. It does not change the taste but modifies the color. Spirulin's current dose as a food supplement is around 2-4g per day for children and 3-10g per day for adults over a period of three to five weeks, although five grams per day is an optimal dose. [...]

[...] Hwang, 1989). But spirulin is also very rich in linoleic acid and other essential fatty acids. Antiviral effects (notably against the HIV Small quantities of spirulin extract have allowed reducing in vitro the viral replication of HIV 1 while stronger concentrations completely interrupted the reproduction. Besides, these quantities are not toxic for the human cells . Discovery of calcium-spirulan: In 1998, a group of scientists (Mishima, Murata, and Toyoshima) published new studies on a unique spirulin extract, called calcium-spirulan. It is is a glucidic polymerized molecule specific to spirulin, containing both sulfur and calcium. [...]

[...] They degrade year after year our potential of fighting against attacks of all kinds. The S.O.D enzyme (Superoxidize dismutase) contained in spirulin checks these free radicals, thus avoiding a fast degeneration of all that constitutes our vitality. Conclusion Today, scientists worldwide are interested in spirulin because of its virtues. It does not certainly represent the ultimate solution against hunger in the world but it contributes to improving the nutritional state in places where other proteins, iron sources, the vitamin A are not available. [...]

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