Friday, 13 April 2012

Improving Energy with spirulina, lecithin and phyto protein

Spirulina is a blue green algae that contains antioxidants such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin (Hassler 2002). These antioxidants are thought to decrease the activity of free radicals that damage body cells, suppress immune function and may produce anticancer effects by promoting the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha which helps attack tumor cells in the body (Hassler 2002). It also is suggested to increase production of interferons and interleukins which reduce inflammation (Hassler 2002). Spirulina has been researched in recent clinical trials and shown to block the entrance of viral cells into host cells in the case of severe viruses, including HIV (Hassler 2002).

Lecithin’s function involves the breakdown of fats in the body (Rousset et. Al 2009). Lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine (PC) which is part of the l membrane that surrounds the cell (Rousset et. Al 2009). Once PC is ingested in the body through lecithin-containing foods or supplements, it is broken down by the body into choline which is vital for the proper functioning of the brain (Rousset et. Al 2009). It has an indispensable role in regulating the flow of nutrients and waste materials in and out of the cell (Rousset et. Al 2009). Lecithin is often used for treating patients with high cholesterol as it has been shown to prevent the build up of fats and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol in the walls of the heart, the arteries and the veins (Rousset et. Al 2009). Lecithin has also been suggested to prevent liver cirrhosis as it disperses and breaks down fat and to prevent accumulate in the liver (Rousset et. Al 2009). Because of this mechanism it has also been used to promote weight loss (Rousset et. Al 2009). Another health benefit of lecithin has is it’s use in preventing gallstones and promote gallbladder health (Rousset et. Al 2009). It is also often used to improve memory to those who have brain function related problems such as Alzheimer's, amnesia or dementia, as well as boost physical performance in endurance sports (Rousset et. Al 2009).

Pea protein is suggested to help prevent hypertention and kidney failure (Overland, et. al 2009). It is often the protein of choice for vegetarians as they have many important nutrients and vitamins (Overland, et. al 2009). Pea protein has arginine, which is involved in reducing blood pressure as arginine expands the blood vessels when it is converted into nitric acid in the body (Overland, et. al 2009). The wider blood vessels reduce stress from the volumes of blood coming through, and thus blood pressure is reduced (Overland, et. al 2009). Pea protein can help rebuild muscle tissue and aids in building a toned, lean body. It has also been linked to reducing or preventing chronic kidney damage in patients with high blood pressure (Overland, et. al 2009).

Hassler, C 2002, Functional Foods: Benefits, Concerns and Challenges—A Position Paper from the American Council on Science and Health, The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 132, pp. 3772–3781.

Overland, M, Sorensen, M, Storebakken, T,  Penn, M  Krogdahl, A & Skrede, A 2009, Pea protein concentrate substituting fish meal or soybean meal in diets for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)—Effect on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, carcass composition, gut health, and physical feed quality, Aquaculture, vol. 288, pp. 305-311.

Rousset, X,  Vaisman, B, Amar, M,  Sethi, A & Remaley, A 2009, Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase: From Biochemistry to Role in Cardiovascular Disease,  Current Opnions in Endocrine and Diabetes, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 163-171.