Affecting over half a million people worldwide, the most common type of dietary deficiency is iron deficiency. This problem especially affects women and children. A growing child needs additional iron as they are increasing their red blood cell mass. Women of reproductive age who are menstruating require double the amount of iron that men do, but normally the efficiency of iron absorbtion from the gastrointestinal tract can increase to meet this demand. If this does not occur, the end result of decreased dietary iron, decreased iron absorbtion, or blood loss is iron deficiency anemia.
The algae in BAC contain a great mix of non-toxic iron as it occurs as a whole food, unlike that of isolated iron supplements that can be toxic. Iron is essential for healthy red blood cells and a strong immune system, but typical iron supplements are not well absorbed by the human body.
The spirulina contained in BAC is known to have a very high iron content and for this reason, it was tested in a study against a typical iron supplement. Spirulina-fed rats absorbed 60% more iron than rats fed the iron supplement, suggesting that there is a highly available form of iron in spirulina.1 In an earlier study, spirulina was shown to correct anemia in rats. 2
In a study conducted in Japan, eight young women had been limiting their meals to stay thin, and showed hypochronic anemia Ð lower than normal blood hemoglobin content. After the women consumed four grams of spirulina after each meal for 30 days, blood hemoglobin content increased 21% from 10.9 to 13.2 – a satisfactory level, no longer considered anemic. 3
Athletes in intensive training often suffer from non-anemic iron deficiency, with clinical symptoms such as exhaustion and muscle fatigue. A 1998 study with Macedonian male and female athletes taking spirulina for two months showed a distinct rise in iron reserves. This simple dietary modification can eliminate iron deficiency symptoms and optimize athletic health and physical capacity.
- Johnson, P., Shubert, E. Availability of iron to rats from spirulina, a blue-green alga. Nutrition Research, 1986, Vol. 6, 85-94.
- Takemoto, K. Iron transfer from spirulina to blood in rats. Saitama Medical College, Japan, 1982.
- Takeuchi, T. Clinical experiences of administration of spirulina to patients with hypochronic anemia. Tokyo Medical and Dental Univ., Japan, 1978.
- Trojacanec, Z. et al. Influence of extensive training on the number of erythrocytes and hemoglobin level and its correction. Inst. for Physiology, Skopje, Macedonia. XXIV FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine, June 1998.