Small alga, big miracle? Spirulina is the name of the new superfood, which is used to supplement the normal diet. Effective against viruses, helpful in allergies, protecting against cancer – but is that true? What effect does Spirulina have?
Spirulina: These ingredients are in it
Their ancestors have been inhabiting the earth for centuries, probably the first to produce oxygen – but until a few years ago spirulina was still relatively unknown – now superfood is experiencing a boom: spirulina, meaning “little spiral” , Actually, this alga is a bacterial genus – the cyanobacteria (formerly blue-green algae) – found in alkaline mineral lakes.
No wonder that spirulina – literally – is on everyone’s lips, yet it opens up a whole range of vitamins, nutrients, essential amino acids and antioxidants.
Particularly noteworthy is the dog protein powder in spirulina: With more than 60 percent, it should have the highest proportion of all natural foods. Decisive is the composition of the essential amino acids, ie those that our body can not produce itself. In this regard, spirulina is comparable to meat, which scores with good utilization. However, the high cholesterol content in the algae is eliminated.
In addition, spirulina is composed of the following ingredients: 2
- Carbohydrates about 20 percent
- Fats about four percent
- Minerals about six percent
This makes blue-green algae especially popular as a dietary supplement and in alternative medicine.
Spirulina: effects and indications
One application of Spirulina is the alternative medicine: Due to its diverse ingredients Spirulina is said to have a broad spectrum of action, among other things it should
- strengthen the immune system,
- act anti-inflammatory,
- prevent arteriosclerosis,
- help against viruses and allergies and
- reduce the risk of cancer.
However, one is still cautious about efficacy: there is a lack of clinical studies and further studies on the effects and side effects of spirulina. Previous studies refer to in vitro experiments (in test tubes) and animal experiments.
In addition to the use in alternative medicine, spirulina is also discussed elsewhere: The blue-green algae is on the one hand – due to the cholesterol-lowering effect and the high protein content – used as support in weight loss , on the other in the anti-aging area . For a long time, antioxidants were used in the aging process. The reason: Free radicals are involved in the aging process; a high level of antioxidants would protect the skin from free radicals and slow down the skin aging process.
Cultivation and processing of spirulina: from algae to compact
In salty, strongly alkaline (basic) water, the blue-green algae feel most comfortable. Above all in Central and East Africa, wild spirulina are found in so-called soda lakes , ie waters with a very high pH (alkaline) and increased salt content.
Today, the cultivation of spirulina takes place in so-called aqua culture. In these large-scale production facilities, the best possible conditions for the blue-green algae can be achieved. For optimal growth, they need a lot of sun and heat as well as mineral salt water . The algae also require a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), some of which can be obtained from the air and fed via pressurized bottles – thus accelerating the growth of algae.
For harvesting, a filter or a continuous centrifuge is usually used, through which the culture is pumped. In order to obtain the ingredients of spirulina, it is usually used during processing to a rapid drying. The dried algae are then pressed in various forms.