Spirulina Lowers Cancer Risk and Prevents Tumors in Humans
Independent studies reveal that Spirulina reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer and squamous cell carcinoma. It can prevent tumor formation, prevent oxidative damage of DNA often responsible for cancer, and enhance the repair of DNA damaged by radiation.
This 2021 review explores spirulina's anti-oxidative, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti-tumor, anti-obesity, immuno-modulatory and probiotic health benefits, and how these bioactive properties might be incorporated into new functional foods to improve public health.
Spirulina is used widely as a source of protein and vitamins, and represents a chief staple human dietary supplement without any adverse effects.
It serves as major sources of fatty acids like γ-linolenic acid, essential amino acids, vitamins, specifically vitamin B 12, R-tocopherol and β-carotenes, minerals - in particular iron, and phenolic acids.
Carotene and phycocyanin are among the major anti-cancer spirulina components.
Several studies have demonstrated that carotenoid content in Spirulina extracts exhibits pronounced anti-oxidative properties.
As a result of oxygen metabolism, free radicals are formed and they scavenge electrons from other molecules, resulting in cell and DNA damage and leading to cancer.
Antioxidants found in Spirulina incorporated foods are capable of neutralizing these free radicals and hence prevent the cell damage caused by them.
Studies have revealed that food supplemented with Spirulina (carotenoids) lowers the risk of developing various cancers in humans.
Spirulina contains up to 2000 IU/g dry weight of β-carotene.
β-carotene has the ability to deactivate the free radicals that are responsible for cell damage.
A study by National Cancer Institute, USA, found that a daily intake of 6 mg β-carotene reduced the incidence of cancer, which can be met by 4 g daily intake of Spirulina.
Another major antioxidant found in Spirulina is phycocyanin, which is a water soluble natural pigment that protects kidneys and liver at the time of detoxification, as well as activating the immune responses.
Phycocyanin prevents neuronal cell death by scavenging free radicals from damaged neurons, which can thus prevent the oxidative damage of DNA resulting from the free radicals.
A recent study revealed the remarkable antioxidant property of food-grade phycocyanin extracted from Spirulina, suggesting that it has a potential impact on human health upon consumption.
The adverse effects that arise from cancer therapies may be more dangerous than cancer.
Naturally available products, including Spirulina, are observed to reduce the after effects from chemotherapy and existing treatments.
Various studies have validated the effectiveness of Spirulina in inhibiting various cancers by acting on the human immune system and DNA repair mechanism.
Hot water extract of spirulina induces antitumor activity in rats by activating the natural killer (NK) cells and thereby limiting the spread of tumour cyst and subsequent damage of tissue.
Spirulina contain phycobiliproteins - C-phycocyanin, allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin - which have bioactive properties against cancer.
The phycocyanin isolated from spirulina exhibited anticancer activity against squamous cell carcinoma.
In another study, water soluble polysaccharides from Spirulina enhanced repair activity of radiation damaged DNA.
Studies performed on commercial Spirulina products showed a significant reduction in the viability and effects of carcinoma, which was accompanied by arrest of the G1 phase of the cell cycle.
Spirulina was used to synthesise FeR 3ROR 4R/Ag nanocomposite, found effective in the inhibition of breast cancer.
In human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines MDA-MB-231, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway was inhibited by C-phycocyanin purified from spirulina, revealing its anti-cancer effect.
In experimental mice, Spirulina inhibited the growth and proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells.
Spirulina is reviewed as a superfood that can reduce the detrimental impacts of malnutrition. It is an excellent source of proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals especially calcium and potassium.
Spirulina carotenoids, chlorophyll and phycocyanin provide pronounced biological functional properties including lipid lowering, suppression of fat deposition, prevention of tumor formation, and enhancement of the immune system.
The protective role makes Spirulina effective as a nutrient source as well as an effective therapeutic.
Spirulina - a review on its pronounced bioactive properties and future applications in food technology and pharmaceutics
Spiruliving Institute is a non-profit dedicated to building awareness of the benefits of fresh and fresh-frozen (never dried) spirulina for cancer prevention, as an alternative and/or complementary treatment, and as a functional treatment for cancer survivors to boost health and prevent cancer recurrence.
We curate independent research and make it available to the public.