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The efficacy of Spirulina as a treatment for HIV in adult - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: The Efficacy of Spirulina as a Treatment in HIV in Adults The Efficacy of Spirulina as a Treatment in HIV in Adults Bowie Chau HSC2200 16th February, 2013 The Efficacy of Spirulina as a Treatment in HIV in Adults Spirulina is a cyanobacterium plant that is rich in protein and has curative properties such as preventing sniffling, sneezing, allergies, and it also improves the immune system…
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Download file to see previous pages It is also rich in carotenoids like yellow xanthophylls and beta, which are antioxidants in nature. Its protein content is high, ranging from 60% to 70 % and comprises most essential amino acids in conjunction with its nutritional properties; it is also therapeutic and has antiviral and immune-stimulatory properties. Therefore, Spirulina has numerous uses as a supplement and as a means for maintaining good health and improving the immune system, hence preventing diseases. Due to its antiviral properties and the fact it is locally available, Spirulina can be used in the treatment and management of HIV positive patients as it is rich in sulfolipids, which have protective activity against viral infections (Azabji-Kenfack et al. 201). Need some information on prevalence of spirulina use. Can it really be called treating HIV or should it be viewed as more of a nutritional aid/supplement? Prevalence of Spirulina Use Consumption of Spirulina dates back to ancient times when ancient Mexicans of Aztec and Mesoamerican origin used it as a staple food to alleviate malnutrition. Commonly referred to as “tecuitlatl” in Mexico, they would be extracted from Lake Texcoco using a fine mesh, with the resultant biomass being sun-dried and used as a staple food or a nutritional supplement. In Chad, people of Kanembu descent used to partake it as a “dihe” cake, which is deposited by wind along the shores of Lake Chad in Central Africa (Maart 14). It was consumed together with millet. In the United States, it is consumed in form of tablets or powders sold in food stores. Asians process them into cuisines, whereas Russians have used it extensively to alleviate symptoms of Chernobyl radiation sickness in people. In East Africa, there is a bountiful growth within the Great Rift Valley Region (Ravi, De and Azharuddin 73). In China, production stood at 19, 080 metric tons in 2003, and doubled to about 40,000 metric tons by end of that year (Habib, Parvin and Huntington iii). There is a dearth of production figures across the rest of the world, however. Even though Spirulina has remarkable therapeutic properties, its nutritional properties seem to favor its use as a nutritional supplement rather than a treatment for HIV (Maart 14). Spirulina has carbohydrates (15 to 25 %) and polysaccharides such as calcium Spirulina (CA-SP) and sodium Spirulina (Na-SP). These polysaccharides contain anticoagulant and possess immunostimulatory and antiviral characteristics. It also has minerals and elements that are essential in case of malnutrition, and this is crucial in HIV positive patients. Naturally, it has iron up to 500 mg/kg, which is important is controlling anemia, a common condition in HIV positive patients. Zinc is also found in Spirulina. Magnesium, another important element, is also found in it. A gene of Spirulina has been wholly sequenced and recognized by Antenna Technologies and two other private companies (Biorigin AS and Fasteris and the Haulte Ecole Specialisee of Geneva). By doing this, they have chosen to make it available to the public domain and make it easily available to all willing users, and thus they prevented it from being patented. This enables anyone seeking it to do so freely. NGOs and health institutions are already using it as a remedy to treat a number of children (Hugand Weid 11). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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