Spirulina – A Superfood to Help Decrease Radiation Levels

While there is no doubt that the loss of life and immense destruction from last week’s (March 11, 2011) so-called “great”, magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and subsequent tsunami which hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan is utterly tragic, the ongoing nuclear radiation threat makes the situation even more devastating.  I’m certainly not qualified to comment of the safety or otherwise of nuclear power plants, anyway, many others are having that discussion, so I will talk about something I do know. How superfoods can help out the people living in the contaminated areas.

To look at some history, on 26 April, 1986 a nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and it is the only one classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Even now, 25 years after the Chernobyl disaster, four million people in Ukraine and Belarus still live in dangerously
radioactive areas. The water, soil and food over an 11,000 square mile area remains contaminated. Over 160,000 children are victims of radiation poisoning, with birth defects, leukemia, cancer, thyroid disease, anemia, loss of vision and appetite and depressed immune system, now called “Chernobyl AIDS.”

Doctors reported spirulina’s health benefits for child victims of Chernobyl radiation. Spirulina reduced urine radioactivity levels by 50% in only 20 days. This result was achieved by giving 5 grams a day to children at the Minsk, Belarus Institute of Radiation Medicine. The Institute program treated 100 children every 20 days.

An unpublished 1993 report confirmed 1990-91 research, concluding “spirulina decreases radiation dose load received from food contaminated with radionucleides, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90. It is favorable for normalizing the adaptive potential of children’s bodies in conditions of long-lived low dose radiation.”71

Based on testing in 1990, the Belarus Ministry of Health concluded spirulina promotes the evacuation of radionucleides from the human body. No side effects were registered. The Ministry considered this food was advisable for the treatment of people subject to radiation effects, and requested additional donations from the Earthrise Company of California and Dainippon Ink & Chemicals of Japan.72 Previous research in China in 1989 demonstrated a natural polysaccharide extract of spirulina had a protective effect against gamma radiation in mice.74 Subsequent research showed phycocyanin and polysaccharides enhanced the reproduction of bone marrow and cellular immunity.26

In a 1991 study of 49 kindergarten children aged 3 to 7 years old in Beryozova, spirulina was given to 49 children for 45 days. Doctors found T-cell suppressors and beneficial hormones rose, and in 83% of the children, radioactivity of the urine decreased.73

A Russian patent was awarded in 1994 for the use of spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. The patent was based on a study of 270 children living in highly radioactive areas. They had chronic radiation sickness and elevated levels of Immunoglobulin (IgE), a marker for high allergy sensitivity. Thirty five were prescribed 20 tablets per day (about 5 grams) for 45 days. Consuming spirulina lowered the levels of IgE in the blood, which in turn, normalized allergic sensitivities in the body.75
Research continuing through 1999 in Belarus showed immune building, normalization of peroxide lipid oxidation and detoxifying effects of spirulina supplements in children and teenagers. Scientists theorized spirulina may form non-absorbable complexes of radionucleides through analogues such as calcium or potassium and promotes their excretion.

71. Loseva, L.P. and Dardynskaya, I.V. Spirulina- natural sorbent of radionucleides. Research Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk,
Belarus. 6th Intl Congress of Applied Algology, Czech Republic, Sep. 9, 1993.
72. Sokolovskiy, V. Corres. from the First Secretary BSSR Mission to the United Nations, May 20, 1991.
73. Belookaya, T. Corres. from Chairman of Byelorussian Committee “Children of Chernobyl” May 31, 1991.
74. Qishen, P. et. al. Radioprotective effect of extract from spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus
test. Toxicology letters. 1989. 48:165-169.
75. Evets, P. et. al. Means to normalize the levels of immunoglobulin E, using the food supplement spirulina. Grodenski State Medical
Univ. Russian Fed Comm Patents and Trade. Patent (19)RU (11)2005486. Jan. 15, 1994.
76. Loseva, L.P. Spirulina platensis and specialties to support detoxifying pollutants and to strengthen the immune system. Research
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk, Belarus. Presented at 8th Int’l Congress of Applied Algology, Italy Sep. 1999.

Tea – Secrets of The Orient

Green Tea
Tea Plantation

Oriental and Indian cultures have known about the benefits of tea for thousands of years. The rest of the world is slowing catching up and being educated on the immense variety of healthy teas available.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ikhlasul Amal

The color of tea is usually dependent on the amount of post-harvesting processing.

White Teas – are the least processed and are not fermented. White tea is gaining in popularity as its significant health benefits become more widely recognized. White tea, as recent research has demonstrated, has the highest cancer fighting antioxidant polyphenols and has significantly lower caffeine content than black tea or green tea.

White tea can be considered a specialty tea due to its higher price, with some connoisseur blends of hand-picked limited-harvest white tea, grown in China, costing hundreds of dollars a pound.

Care needs to be taken when brewing white tea. Its delicate nature dictates for the best results, purified water at below boiling point should be used. Water which is too hot can result in a bitter tea, something you certainly want to avoid when you have paid for an expensive tea. White tea can be steeped for up to ten minutes, depending on your individual preference.

Green Teas – produced in China, Japan and Taiwan, are not fermented, low in caffeine and are well-known for health benefits, like boosting your immune system, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Like white tea, green tea contains antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins vitamins C and E, and natural fluoride which protects against tooth decay.

For best results, green tea should be brewed with purified water, which is below boiling point. To avoid bitterness, do not infuse for longer than 1-2 minutes for fine leaf varieties, or 2-3 minutes for larger leaf varieties.

Black teas – are fully fermented teas and are the most commonly consumed. Hundreds of named varieties are available. Black tea is produced in large quantities in China, India, Sri Lanka, with smaller amounts coming from Australia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal and New Guinea. Specialty black teas are vastly different to the average tea bag, each having its own distinct color and taste.
Black teas also provide health benefits similar to green tea.

Oolong tea – combines the best qualities of both green and black teas. Semi-fermented, producing a refreshing, fragrant result. Adding milk is not recommended.

Wu-Yi Tea is a special Oolong tea well known for its weight loss properties.The raw leaves are sun-wilted and then bruised, which exposes their juices to the air, this causes the leaves to oxidize and start to turn brown like a cut fruit. They are only partially oxidized, giving them a rich, floral flavor. The tea is then fully dried which locks in the rich flavors that oolong tea is known to offer. The unique drying process that takes place in the creation of a tea that has many metabolic stimulating attributes. Find out more about Wu-Yi Tea HERE.

Jasmine tea – a non-fermented Chinese tea well known for its affinity with Asian food. Do not add milk.

Specialty flavored teas – a huge range of tea varieties blended with natural ingredients to add flavor. Additional ingredients can include:-
Spices – like anise, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel and black peppercorns.
Fruits – like apricot, cherry, apple, orange, blackcurrant, strawberry, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, raspberry and passionfruit.
Flowers – like hibiscus, lavender, rose, cornflower, calendula, and jasmine.
Nuts – like almond.
Other exotic ingredients like ginger, chocolate, mint, caramel, coconut, vanilla beans, bergamot and ginseng.
Specialty teas are consumed without milk.

Herbal teas – also known as herbal infusions – do not usually contain white, green or black teas, they consist of a variety of blends of herbs, spices and fruits chosen for particular health benefits. Herbal teas are usually named after the benefit they are promoting, e.g., “Recovery” blend for hangovers.

Ayurvedic teas – similar to herbal teas, but, based on ancient Indian healing principles, Ayurvedic teas aim to improve your life and extend your longevity.

Teas are a low calorie beverage choice (especially when no milk, sugar or honey is used), adding to your daily intake of water. Teas should be purchased as loose leaf teas, never teabags. Lemon juice can be added as a taste preference. Most teas can also be iced for a summer treat.

Find more about tea here.