Dr. Joseph Mercola
“Due to the many demands I obtained from concerned readers asking for guidance about strategies to help prevent radioactive fallout in the awake of the Japanese nuclear catastrophe, I lately had written an article addressing with those issues. Although the recommendations I made were all in accordance with the newest scientific research, my research will be ongoing in this area so that I can further improve those recommendations. And as I understand more, I will pass that information to you. That said, one particular super food that leaps to the top of the list is spirulina, and it’s this very unique blue-green “algae” that I want to flourish upon these days. There are great amounts of research about spirulina’s effectiveness in insulation you from the effects of radiation.
Spirulina was actually used to treat children exposed to chronic low-levels of radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which I’ll be covering in more detail below. According to a scientific review of spirulina’s benefits in the Journal of Applied Phycology: “Up to very recently, the interest in Spirulina was mainly in its nutritive value. Currently, however, numerous people are looking into the possible therapeutic effects of Spirulina. Many pre-clinical studies and a few clinical studies suggest several therapeutic effects ranging from reduction of cholesterol and cancer to enhancing the immune system, increasing intestinal lactobacilli, reducing nephrotoxicity by heavy metals and drugs and radiation protection.”
Spirulina is ranked by AARP as the #1 superfood for extending your lifespan, and the UN has identified it as a primary ingredient in the fight against malnutrition worldwide. But what exactly is spirulina? You may be surprised!
Spirulina: One of Nature’s Near-Perfect Foods: Spirulina is similar to sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, nori, kombu, arame, wakame, etc. Along with its cousin chlorella (another of my favorites) spirulina is a member of the “blue-green” family – but this family is actually not algae. Although you will often hear the term “blue-green algae,” spirulina and its kin are actually cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are classified as bacteria because their genetic material is not organized in a membrane-bound nucleus. Unlike other bacteria, they have chlorophyll and use the sun as an energy source, in the way plants and algae do.
Spirulina is primarily produced by two species: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. One of the special traits of spirulina is its rich protein content – it’s up to 70 percent protein by weight and contains all of the essential amino acids. Records of the Spanish conquistadors suggest that the Aztecs consumed spirulina as a food source, and the Kanembu people of Central Africa harvested it from what is now called Lake Chad. Wild spirulina grows in the alkaline lakes of Mexico and on the African continent, although it is commercially grown and harvested all over the world. It reproduces quickly, and because the individual organisms tend to stick together, it is easy to harvest. Commercial production of spirulina is estimated to reach 220,000 tons by the year 2020. Japan is the largest producer – and also the largest consumer – of spirulina.
Spirulina Offers Across-the-Board Health Benefits: Spirulina is high in various B vitamins (including B-12), beta-carotene and other carotenoids, and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is also a great source of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid for your heart and joints. Many of these vitamins and minerals have strong antioxidant properties, which help you eliminate toxins and fight disease. Spirulina is highly effective for heavy metal detoxification, and many studies now point to spirulina as a natural cancer-fighting agent. Research on spirulina suggests it offers potential benefits for a wide variety of health issues, including:
* Digestion, tempering appetite, stabilizing blood sugar and reducing diabetes risk
* Balancing gut flora and fighting Candida
* Killing viruses
* Improving blood
* Reducing inflammation
* Preventing eye diseases
* Normalizing cholesterol
* Protecting your liver, heart, kidneys, and brain
* Reducing allergic reactions
* Fighting cancer
* Boosting your immune system
* Preventing/treating thyroid disorders
But what is it about spirulina that explains its ability to protect you from the damaging effects of ionizing radiation? One of the explanations is cyanobacteria’s unique blue pigment, phycocyanin. Spirulina is 16 percent phycocyanin by weight. Phycocyanin attaches to spirulina’s membranes to impart the distinctive bluish color. Besides being a pigment, phycocyanin is also a nitrogen storage molecule. The nitrogen atoms bind with heavy metals, such as radioactive caesium-137, strontium-90, and potassium-40, hence “cleansing” these radioactive metals from your body.”
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