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What Is Spirulina Pacifica?

by
author image Molly McAdams
Molly McAdams is a writer who lives in New York City. She has covered health and lifestyle for various print and online publishers since 1989. She holds a Master of Science degree in nutrition.
What Is Spirulina Pacifica?
Spirulina in tablet form. Photo Credit ttatty/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Spirulina Pacifica is the trademarked name of a Hawaiian strain of edible blue-green microalgae developed by the Cyanotech Corporation from the spirulina platensis species. The algae is farmed in shallow ponds located near the Pacific Ocean that combine fresh water with deep ocean water that enriches the spirulina with minerals. Spirulina is considered a rich, natural source of nutrients, especially for vegetarians.

Nutrition Source

Spirulina Pacifica contains a highly absorbable form of vegetable protein with a high amino acid content. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and an especially good source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, vitamin B-12 and iron.

The chlorophyll in spirulina that gives the algae its deep green color also contains mixed carotenoids and other antioxidants. These antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect the skin, eyes and immune system.

Potential Medicine

Spirulina Pacifica produces polysaccarides that destroy bacteria. It also contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid recognized for both anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Chronic inflammation plays a role in the development of arthritis, heart disease and tissue damage throughout the body.

The University of South Florida’s Center for Aging and Brain Repair reports that antioxidants from spirulina reverse normal age-related brain cell loss and memory decline. Their study, published in the May 2010 issue of "PLoS One," was performed on laboratory animals. In similar animal studies, diets supplemented with spirulina appeared to reduce the severity of strokes and stroke-related injuries.

Supplement

Under the brand name Nutrex Hawaii, Spirulina Pacifica is available as a supplement in powder and tablet form. It is also an ingredient in powdered drink mixes such as EnerFood. The powders can be mixed into fruit juices and smoothies or sprinkled over cereals and other foods.

Green Product

Cyanotech Corporation positions itself as an environmentally conscious company, committed to recycling and minimizing water waste in the production of Spirulina Pacifica. In 2009, they redesigned their packaging to use tree-free paper labels developed by FiberStone. FiberStone tree-free papers are made from crushed limestone and the paper-making process uses no water and no chemicals.

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