Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition

Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council Under ECOSOC Resolution 2003/212 Dated 5th of March 2003.
Designated by the United Nations Economic & Social Council Under Rule 79 of the Council’s Rules and Procedures.

IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM FOR A BETTER WORLD AND THE UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 2015 - 2030

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Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with spirulina.
by Babu, M. et al. 1995. Pub. in Nutrition and Cancer, Vol. 24, No. 2, 197-202. India.
The blue-green microalgae spirulina, used in daily diets of natives in Africa and America, has been found to be a rich natural source of proteins, carotenoids and other micronutrients. Experimental studies in animal models have demonstrated an inhibitory effect of spirulina algae on oral carcinogenesis. Studies among preschool children in India have demonstrated spirulina fusiformis to be a effective source of dietary vitamin A. We evaluated the chemoproventative activity of spirulina (1 g/day for 12 months) in reversing oral leukoplakia in pan tobacco chewers in Kerala, India. Complete regression of lesions was observed in 20 of 44 (45%) evaluable subjects supplemented with spirulina, as opposed to 3 of 43 (7%) in the placebo arm. When stratified by type of leukoplakia, the response was more pronounced in homogeneous lesions: complete regression was seen in 16 of 28 (57%) subjects with homogeneous leukoplakia, 2 of 8 with erythroplakia, 2 of 4 with verrucous leukoplakia, and 0 of 4 with ulcerated and nodular lesions. Within one year of discontinuing supplements, 9 of 20 (45%) complete responders with spirulina developed recurrent lesions. Supplementation with spirulina did not increase serum concentrations of retinal or beta carotene, nor was it associated with toxicity. This is the first human study evaluating the chemopreventive potential of spirulina. More studies in different settings and different populations are needed for further evaluations.

Bioavailability of spirulina carotenes in preschool children.
by V. Annapurna, et al. 1991. National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. J. Clin. Biochem Nutrition. 10 145-151. India.
The bioavailability of total carotenes and beta carotene from spirulina was examined in apparently healthy preschool children and found to be comparable to those values reported for other plant sources like leafy vegetables and carrots. The study also showed spirulina is a good source of Vitamin A, as there was a significant increase in serum retinol levels. Researchers concluded spirulina can be used as a source of Vitamin A in the diet, is relatively inexpensive, has higher beta carotene than any other plant source and can be cultivated throughout the year.

Large scale nutritional supplementation with spirulina alga.
by C.V. Seshadri . 1993. All India Coordinated Project on Spirulina. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Center (MCRC) Madras, India.
A one year feeding program with 5,000 pre-school children showed a symptom of Vitamin A deficiency, “Bitot’s spot”, decreased from 80% to 10%. These rural children near Madras consumed 1 gram of spirulina a day for at least 150 days. This small amount provided the daily requirement of beta carotene (Vitamin A) which can help prevent blindness and eye diseases. In another study with 400 school children, a daily dose of beta carotene from spirulina increased their Vitamin A status to the same level as those administered pure Vitamin A. Spirulina was given to children in a unique way: extruded noodles, sweetened with sugar to preserve the beta carotene. Called “Spiru-Om”, it was well accepted by the children. This project was sponsored by the Indian Government.

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Clinical experiences of administration of spirulina to patients with hupochronic anemia.
by T. Takeuchi, et al. 1978. Tokyo Medical and Dental Univ. Japan.
Eight women had been limiting their meals to stay thin and were showing hypochronic anemia – lower than normal blood hemoglobin content. They took four grams of spirulina after each meal. After 30 days blood hemoglobin content increased 21% from 10.9 to 13.2, a satisfactory level, no longer considered anemic.

Cholesterol lowering effect of spirulina.
by N. Nayaka, et al. 1988. Tokai Univ. Pub. in Nutrition Reports Int’l, Vol. 37, No. 6, 1329-1337. Japan.
Thirty healthy men with high cholesterol, mild hypertension and hyperlipidemia showed lower serum cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL (undesirable fat) levels after eating spirulina for eight weeks. These men did not change their diet, except adding spirulina. No adverse effects were noted. Group A consumed 4.2 grams daily for eight weeks. Total serum cholesterol dropped a significant 4.5% within 4 weeks from 244 to 233. Group B consumed spirulina for four weeks, then stopped. Serum cholesterol levels decreased, then returned to the initial level. Researchers concluded spirulina did lower serum cholesterol and was likely to have a favorable effect on alleviating heart disease since the arterioscelosis index improved.

Photo of hungry child helped by IIMSAM "THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD SO HUNGRY THAT GOD CANNOT APPEAR TO THEM EXCEPT IN THE FORM OF BREAD."

-Mahatma Gandhi

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