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Spirulina Boosts Immune Systems

Spirulina boosts immunity and clears bacterial infections
By The 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference - 03/05/95

Sacramento, CA, - Scientists announced the natural food Spirulina dramatically strengthens the immune system. Immunologist and Professor M.A. Qureshi, PhD, released a study sponsored by Earthrise Company of California. "Immunomodulary Effects of Spirulina Supplementation in Chickens"1,2 shows small daily doses of Spirulina in a poultry diet (less than 1%) greatly improve T-cell and thymus function. Spirulina especially boosts cells called macrophages, the first line of body defense. These cells communicate with T-cells to coordinate the fight against infections.

Spirulina caused the cells to increase in number, be more active and display more effective microbial killing. The whole immune system array of killer cells, helper cells and antibody production is supercharged. This means Spirulina fed birds are much more resistant to infection, with no undesirable side effects.

Researchers are testing the theory that Spirulina acts like a broad spectrum vaccine against bacteria. It may also protect against other disease causing microbes and cancer. Because it is a safe natural food, it has created a sensation among animal scientists. They are scrambling to replace ineffective antibiotics with probiotics like Spirulina that strengthen immune systems and prevent disease.

Scientists in China and Japan independently reported Spirulina and its extracts fed to mice increase macrophage function, antibody production and infection-fighting T-cells. 3,4,5 One study found Spirulina extracts inhibited cancer by boosting the immune system.6 The active phytonutrients are a polysaccharide (a complex sugar molecule) unique to Spirulina and phycocyanin (the blue pigment found only in blue-green algae). In 1979, Russian scientists published initial research on the immune stimulating effects on rabbits from lipopolysaccharides in spirulina.7

These discoveries are significant for human health. Overused antibiotics have created highly resistant bacteria. Most antibiotics are no longer effective. Now scientists want to identify probiotics that strengthen the immune system to prevent disease and cancer. Based on this animal research, as little as 3 grams per day of Spirulina may be effective for humans. It seems to turbo charge the immune system to seek out and destroy disease causing microorganisms and cancer cells.

Spirulina, blue-green algae, is 60% all-vegetable protein, easy-to-digest, with the highest food concentration of the antioxidant beta carotene, iron, vitamin B-12, and the rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Its dark green color comes from the combination of the phytonutrients carotene, chlorophyll and phycocyanin. It is also a source of polysaccharides and sulfoglycolipids. In the past 15 years, this nutritious microscopic aquatic plant has gained worldwide acceptance.

Spirulina is a safe whole food consumed by traditional people for centuries. It has been enjoyed by millions of people as a natural food in the USA, Japan and Europe. Earthrise Farms, the world's largest Spirulina farm located in the sunny California desert, produces over 300 tons per year. The immune enhancement study with chickens used Spirulina ecologically grown at Earthrise Farms free of pesticides.


  1. Immunomodulary effects of spirulina supplementation in chickens. by M. Qureshi, et al. May 1995. North Carolina State. Pub. in Proc. of 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference, pp 117-120. USA.

  2. Immune enhancement potential of spirulina in chickens. by M. Quereshi, et al. August 1994. Poultry Science Assoc. Dept. of Poultry Science, North Carolina State, NC. Pub. in Journal of Poultry Science Vol 73, S.1. p. 46. USA.

  3. Study on effect and mechanism of polysaccharides of spirulina on body immune function improvement. by G. Baojiang, et al. April 1994. South China Normal Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. pp 33-38. China.

  4. Effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from spirulina on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice. by Zhang Cheng-Wu, et al.. April 1994. Nanjing Univ. China. Pub. in Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia. p.58. China.

  5. Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary spirulina. by Hayashi, et al. June 1994. Kagawa Nutrition Univ. Japan. Pub. in Journal of Nutr. Science and Vitaminology. Japan.

  6. Inhibitive effect and mechanism of polysaccharide of spirulina on transplanted tumor cells in mice. by Lisheng, et al. 1991.Pub. in Marine Sciences, Qingdao, N.5. pp 33-38. China.

  7. Immunostimulating activity of lipopolysaccharides from blue-green algae. by L. Besednova, et al. 1979. Pub. in Zhurnal Mikrobiologii, Epidemiologii, Immunobiologii, 56(12) pp 75-79.