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Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is a simple, one-celled form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water bodies. The name "spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiral"; denoting the physical configuration of the organism when it forms swirling, microscopic strands.
Spirulina is being developed as the "food of the future" because of its amazing ability to synthesize high-quality concentrated food more efficiently than any other algae. Most notably, Spirulina is 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein.
Spirulina has a photosynthetic conversion rate of 8 to 10 percent, compared to only 3 percent in such land-growing plants as soybeans.
In addition, Spirulina is one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, usually found only in animal tissues. A teaspoon of Spirulina supplies 21/2 times the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin B12 and contains over twice the amount of this vitamin found in an equivalent serving of liver.
Spirulina also provides high concentrations of many other nutrients - amino acids, chelated minerals, pigmentations, rhamnose sugars (complex natural plant sugars) , trace elements, enzymes - that are in an easily assimilable form.