Spirulina's Miracle Nutrient: Polysaccharides

Spirulina's Miracle Nutrient: Polysaccharides

Hawaiian Spirulina is the world’s most nutrient-rich Superfood, with over a hundred different nutrients in a synergistic whole food. Spirulina is documented as having numerous health benefits in hundreds of medical research studies. But what component in Spirulina makes it so healthful? Many studies focus on the key nutrients in Spirulina such as carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes like S.O.D., and the unique blue pigment found only in Spirulina and other blue-green algae called “phycocyanin.” However, there is a seldom-talked-about nutrient found in Spirulina that is most likely the principal health-giving component: Polysaccharides.

Among the most researched health benefits of Spirulina are 1) its ability to improve immunity and 2) its anti-viral activity. A research team from the University of Mississippi’s “National Center for Natural Products Research” led by David Pasco, PhD performed a series of experiments on polysaccharide extracts from various different microalgae species. Dr. Pasco was awarded a patent for finding an extremely potent immune-stimulating polysaccharide in Spirulina (Pasco & Pugh 2006, US Patent #0024328). In fact, the research on which this patent was based showed that polysaccharides from Spirulina were between 100X and 1000X more potent than polysaccharide preparations currently used for cancer immunotherapy (Pugh, et al, 2001). This finding is further validated by several studies, including an extremely important human clinical trial done at University of California Davis showing excellent immune building properties of Hawaiian Spirulina in older adults (Selmi, et al, 2011).

Other researchers have found that these same polysaccharides from Spirulina show broad-spectrum anti-viral activity. In two separate published studies, Japanese researchers found Spirulina polysaccharides effective against herpes, measles, mumps, influenza, human cytomegalovirus and HIV-1 (Hayashi, et al [1] and [2], 1996). Plus, separate research at the prestigious Harvard Medical School verified their activity against HIV-1 (Ayehunie, et al, 1998).

A very noteworthy study documented that Spirulina polysaccharides help with removal of radiation from the body. The researchers concluded that they have a “chemo-protective and radio-protective capability, and may be a potential adjunct to cancer therapy” (Zhang, et al, 2001). Spirulina polysaccharides also help with removal of heavy metals from the body (Hernandez, et al, 2002). A recent study cites other health benefits including anti-microbial activity, antioxidant protection and prevention of heavy metal poisoning (Hosseini, et al, 2013).

Dr. Pasco’s group found that Spirulina had much more potent polysaccharides than Chlorella or Klamath Blue-Green Algae. And within different brands of Spirulina, they found that Hawaiian Spirulina has the highest level of polysaccharides. Independent lab analyses verified that Hawaiian Spirulina has 4X the levels of the USA’s next leading brand, Earthrise Spirulina. In fact, Hawaiian Spirulina had almost double the levels of all other brands tested.

At Nutrex Hawaii, we believe that the whole food complex of Hawaiian Spirulina is the way nature intended it—a synergistic blend of many nutrients that together, are more health-giving than any single nutrient individually. Yet it’s refreshing to know that within Hawaiian Spirulina are the highest levels of this wonderful nutrient called “polysaccharides” that has demonstrated such varied health benefits.