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Culture of Spirulina
Culture of Spirulina

For several reasons, cultured Spirulina can grow without contamination. Spirulina has unique growth conditions because it is cultured and reproduced in very alkaline conditions. Competitors'algae and other pollutants simply cannot compete and grow under these harsh conditions. Monitoring and analysis of ponds every day and careful control to maintain a balanced chemical nature. Examine samples carefully every day through microscopic tests to ensure purity and cleanliness. Runoff from the outside cannot enter the protruding waterway where Spirulina is cultured. Therefore, agricultural wastes such as pesticides and herbicides cannot contaminate cultures. Finally, as a preventive measure, batches of cyanotoxins were screened regularly and were not detected in Spirulina Hawaii culture.

Algal toxins

Cyanide toxins have long been regarded as water-based diseases that cause disease and death in animals. Biotoxins, microcystins and arthromycins have caused irreversible hepatotoxicity and tumor-promoting response in experimental rats. Evidence from China suggests that there is a correlation between microcystins in drinking water and primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom are working to determine the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of microcystins in drinking water, of which several billionths. In Australia, a limit of 1 ppb (1 ug/liter) has been proposed. In June 1994, the standard document on microcystin-LR in drinking water in Canada recommended that the MAC of microcystin-LR was 0.5 ppb (0.5 ug/L) and that of total microcystin was 1 ppb (1.0 ug/L). Based on the research and level of microcystins in drinking water, China has proposed a lower 0.01 ppb (0.01 microgram/liter) level. Because of the risk of cancer and liver damage, further studies are needed to elucidate the dose-dependent effects of microcystins. Excellent reviews on cyanotoxins, microcystins and arthrococcus toxins have been published (Carmichael; 1992, 1994, 1997).

Studies on Microcystins and Nodularin

Although Spirulina has controllable conditions, preventive measures, quality control and proven safety, consumers often confuse or associate Spirulina with the wild drug flos-aqua because it is vulnerable to toxic microcystins and arthritis contamination. As a result of these concerns, Cyanotech Corporation, Earthrise Farms (Calipatria, CA) and other international manufacturers of Spirulina and Chlorella formed a joint fund in 1995 to co-fund a phytotoxin research project. The study was carried out at Dr. Wayne Carmichael's Laboratory in Wright State University, and was sensitive to the analysis of microcystins and arthromycin toxins in algae products. The project produced a technical manual for the microalgae industry entitled "Detection of microcystins and tuberculin using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and protein phosphatase inhibitory assay (PPIA)". PP2A inhibition test was 1000 times more sensitive than HPLC or mouse bioassay (0.05ng/ml), and ELISA was 0.002ng/ml for detection of microcystins and arthroglobulins.

On September 27, 1999, the Canadian Ministry of Health released the results of the extensive testing program for cyanobacterial products. It was found that only Spirulina did not contain microcystins. However, tests showed that the daily intake of microcystins in many non-spirulina products harvested from natural lakes was higher than that of microcystins considered acceptable by the Canadian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. Spirulina again received health checklists from government agencies, but warned other cyanobacterial products.


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