Spirulina (from its latin name Arthrospira platensis) is a micro-seaweed of fresh water named so because of its spiral shape is. It brings to the body the essential elements for its functioning and its immunity. Indeed, it contains vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other elements… The spirulina is completely cultivated by soft and not aggressive methods in a carefully controlled environment, which accelerates the production of a blue natural phyto-pigment of the spiruline, the phycocyanin. The preservation of the liquid form of the extract of spirulina by opposition to the powder dry form allows not to alter the phycocyanin. To be effective, the phycocyanin must be extracted and concentrated. According to a patented filtration method of the liquid extract of spirulina, this extract is from 6000 to 7000 times more concentrated in phycocyanin than in the natural state and allows especially to preserve all the biochemical properties of the phycocyanin. Thus, it allows to guarantee a greater efficiency of the phycocyanin from the first doses.

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The phycocyanin considered as blue gold

This photopigment, used as whole food, was formerly cultivated by the Aztecs and the Incas. We also find its presence on Lake Chad, in Africa. The phycocyanin possesses beneficial properties for the health of the consumers, demonstrated during numerous experiments realized in-vitro and in-vivo on various animal models. These studies reveal the undeniable therapeutic properties of the phycocyanin:

A powerful antiradical and antioxidant activities

The defence system against free radicals of animals and of human is complex but very well organized. It includes vitamins and antioxidizing enzymes. A failure of this system is translated by an oxidative stress being characterized by an overproduction of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) which overtake the capacities of neutralization of antioxidizing enzymes or vitamins of the host’s immune system. These ROS are involved in diverse diseases including the inflammations, neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, cancers, hepatic and renal diseases. The interest generated by the phycocyanin is due to the fact that it does not enter the reaction chain between antioxidant and free radical: it acts independently from this system in supplement to the natural defences of the body. The main advantage of phycocyanin remains in its wide spectrum of action against different free radicals compared to antioxidizing enzymes which, in general, are involved in one particular free radical only[1].

A protection and detoxification of the hepatic-renal system

A study published in 200[2] shows a protective effect of phycocyanin on kidneys.

They have administrated sodium oxalate into rats which induce a hyperoxaluria: formation of insoluble crystals in kidneys engendering wounds. In consequence, there is an overproduction of ROS, confirmed by the decrease of the antioxidizing enzymes and the vitamins C and E, both having antioxidizing activities.

In another group of test rats, the phycocyanin was administered 1 hour before the oxalate of sodium. The index of peroxydation is then controlled because the rate of antioxidizing enzymes reaches a sufficient level.

Besides, in the group of rats with phycocyanin but without oxalate of sodium, the proportion of antioxidizing enzymes is superior to the witness case, what suggests that the phycocyanin acts as dominant antioxidant, thus protecting the activity of the other antioxidants by preventing their degradation.

Une protection cellulaire du système sanguin

The phycocyanin has a very wide sphere of action. Indeed, studies show its role in the regulation of cholesterol[3] and the platelet aggregation in order to prevent from thrombosis[4]. Moreover, phycocyanin associated to polysaccharides of the spirulina allow the increase of the synthesis of red blood cells[5].

A support of immune system and a anti-inflammatory

The phycobiliproteins like phycocyanin can also act as regulators of the immune system’s expression. Indeed, phycocyanin is involved in various mechanisms of the immune system like inflammations. Various studies show its anti-inflammatory capacity[6].

Nothing is wasted after extraction

After the process of filtration and extraction, we obtain a retentate. The latter possesses an interesting nutritional quality. Indeed, the interest of the retentate lies essentially in its provision in lipids, carotenoids, chlorophylls and essential fatty acids compared with a classic spirulina.

<[1] Farooq et al., Salubrious effect of C-phycocyanin against oxalate-mediated renal cell injury, Clinica Chimica Acta (2004), vol. 348, pp.199-205.
[2] Farooq et al., Prophylactic role of phycocyanin: a study of oxalate mediated renal cell injury, Chemico-biological interactions (2004), vol. 149, pp. 1-7.
[3] Nagaoka et al., A novel protein C-phycocyanin plays a crucial role in the hypocholesterolemic action of Spirulina platensis concentrate in rats, The Journal of Nutrition (2005), vol. 135(10), pp. 2425-2430.
[4] Hsiao et al., C-phycocyanin, a very potent and novel platelet aggregation inhibitor from Spirulina platensis, Journal of agriculture and food chemistry (2005) vol. 53(20), pp. 7734-7740.
[5] Zhang et al., Effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from spirulina on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice, Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Alga Biotechnology, 25-27 April 1994.
[6] Gonzalez et al., Anti-inflammatory activity of phycocyanin extract in acetic acid-induced colitis in rats, Pharmacological Research (1999), vol. 39, pp.55-59.

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