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Spirulina platensis benefits against herpes
Spirulina platensis has been shown to have antiviral activity, particularly against herpes virus.
J Nat Prod 1996 Jan;59(1):83-7:
Calcium spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis.
Hayashi T, Hayashi K, Maeda M, Kojima I. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.
"Bioactivity-directed fractionation of a hot H2O extract from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis led to the isolation of a novel sulfated polysaccharide named calcium spirulan (Ca-SP) as an antiviral principle. This polysaccharide was composed of rhamnose, ribose, mannose, fructose, galactose, xylose, glucose, glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, sulfate, and calcium. Ca-SP was found to inhibit the replication of several enveloped viruses, including Herpes simplex virus type 1, human cytomegalovirus, measles virus, mumps virus, influenza A virus, and HIV-1. It was revealed that Ca-SP selectively inhibited the penetration of virus into host cells. Retention of molecular conformation by chelation of calcium ion with sulfate groups was suggested to be indispensable to its antiviral effect."
Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 2001 Mar-Apr;(2):114-8:
Biological activity of Spirulina.
Blinkova LP, Gorobets OB, Baturo AP; Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera, Moscow, Russia.
"In this review information of Spirulina platensis (SP), a blue-green alga (photosynthesizing cyanobacterium) having diverse biological activity is presented. Due to high content of highly valuable proteins, indispensable amino acids, vitamins, beta-carotene and other pigments, mineral substances, indispensable fatty acids and polysaccharides, PS has been found suitable for use as bioactive additive. SP produces an immunostimulating effect by enhancing the resistance of humans, mammals, chickens and fish to infections, the capacity of influencing hemopoiesis, stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines. Under the influence of SP macrophages, T and B cells are activated. SP sulfolipids have proved to be effective against HIV. Preparations obtained from SP biomass have also been found active against herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus, influenza virus, etc. SP extracts are capable in inhibiting cancerogenesis.
SP preparations are regarded as functional products contributing to the preservation of the resident intestinal microflora, especially lactic acid bacilli and bifidobacteria, and to a decrease in the level of Candida albicans. The biological activity of SP with respect to microorganisms holds good promise for using these microalgae as components of culture media."
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1998 May 1;18(1):7-12:
Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).
Ayehunie S, Belay A, Baba TW, Ruprecht RM. Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
"An aqueous extract of the blue-green filamentous algae Arthrospira platensis (previously called Spirulina platensis) inhibited HIV-1 replication in human T-cell lines, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and Langerhans cells (LC). Extract concentrations ranging between 0.3 and 1.2 microg/ml reduced viral production by approximately 50% (50% effective concentration [EC50]) in PBMCs. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of extract for PBMC growth ranged between 0.8 and 3.1 mg/ml. Depending on the cell type used, therapeutic indices ranged between 200 and 6000. The extract inactivated HIV-1 infectivity directly when preincubated with virus before addition to human T-cell lines. Fractionation of the extract revealed antiviral activity in the polysaccharide fraction and also in a fraction depleted of polysaccharides and tannins. We conclude that aqueous A platensis extracts contain antiretroviral activity that may be of potential clinical interest."
Rev Invest Clin 1996 Sep-Oct;48(5):389-99:
Pharmacology and toxicology of Spirulina alga.
Chamorro G, Salazar M, Favila L, Bourges H. Toxicologia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico, D.F.
"Spirulina, a unicellular filamentous blue-green alga has been consumed by man since ancient times in Mexico and central Africa. It is currently grown in many countries by synthetic methods. Initially the interest in Spirulina was on its nutritive value: it was found almost equal to other plant proteins. More recently, some preclinical testing suggests it has several therapeutic properties such as hypocholesterolemic, immunological, antiviral and antimutagenic. This has led to more detailed evaluations such as nucleic acid content and presence of toxic metals, biogenic toxins and organic chemicals: they have shown absence or presence at tolerable levels according to the recommendations of international regulatory agencies. In animal experiments for acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity, reproduction, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity the algae did not cause body or organ toxicity.
In all instances, the Spirulina administered to the animals were at much higher amounts than those expected for human consumption. On the other hand there is scant information of the effects of the algae in humans. This area needs more research."