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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 47-54

Spirulina: A daily support to our immune system


1 Department of Medical Affairs, EID Parry (Ind) Ltd, Parry Nutraceuticals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Research and Development, EID Parry (Ind) Ltd, Parry Nutraceuticals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 US Nutraceuticals, Inc. d/b/a Valensa International, Eustis, Florida, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Subbu Kesavaraja Vasudevan
EID Parry (Ind) Ltd, Parry Nutraceuticals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2468-8827.330650

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In recent years, the various health benefits of Cyanobacteria microalgae – such as Arthrospira platensis, commonly called Spirulina, an edible blue-green algae – have attracted scientific attention including micro-level examinations of its bioactive components. As a whole food and nutritional supplement, it serves as a plant protein source, which has shown positive effects across a wide range of human health concerns, from malnutrition to metabolic syndrome. Spirulina bioactives, such as essential amino acids, phycocyanin, polysaccharides, carotenoids, and chlorophyll, and essential vitamins and trace minerals, are responsible for its holistic actions against oxidative stress and inflammation, and its antiviral, antibacterial, and immune-modulating effects. Various in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo experiments have established Spirulina's mechanism of action and its effect on immunity as a proof of concept. The phenolic compounds and extracellular metabolites released from Spirulina whole food after digestion are postulated to strengthen the epithelial lining with antibacterial effects against pathogenic bacteria, adding to its prebiotic effect on the gut microbiota (like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus) due to its fiber content. In this study, the digestibility of Spirulina was assessed by the determination of free amino acids and peptide release during the each phase of digestion in a simulated static digestive model system. The hypothesis bridging poor gut health to low-level inflammation and metabolic syndrome, and the potential to address those issues with nutritional supplementation, such as with Spirulina, could also be beneficial in the long run to reduce comorbid illnesses, such as those associated with the currently prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


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