Chemical Composition Of Spirulina

Spirulina adds to the list of the most enriched nutrient foods currently known. The alga is rich in all the three broad categories of essential nutrients including mac-ronutrients (proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates), minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, managanese, selenium, micronutrients, provitamin A (j-carotene), riboflavin, cyanocobalamin, «-tocopherol, a-linoleic acid, the most potent antioxidant enzyme, SOD, phytopigments including chlorophyll and the characteristic phycobilin pigments88,89 in an greater bioavailable state. The typical phycobilin pigments of Spirulina include C-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin. The pigments,

C-phycocyanin and chlorophyll, give Spirulina their bluish tinge, and hence the species are classified under blue-green algae. Phycobilins, in structure, are similar to the bile pigments such as bilirubin. In Spirulina, phycobilins are intracellularly attached to proteins and the phycobilin-protein complex is called phycobiliprotein. Spirulina contains high amounts of bioavailable iron, which has been shown to be easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.90

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