Spirulina Special Report: Should we give it to the children of the Fukushima accident? [Part 3]
This is the last part of a special series of posts on spirulina. See the other posts here and here. The references at the end apply to all three posts.
So let’s get back to the original question: Does it make sense to give Spirulina to the children of the Fukushima accident as a means to treat ailments caused by long term radiation exposure?
As with most important questions, things are not black and white so I’ll rephrase this into a few sub questions and discuss each in turn.
Q: If a Spirulina producer offered to donate a large bundle of Spirulina to the children of Fukushima, would that be a good idea?
A: Yes, assuming a third party verifies there are no contaminants in the spirulina being donated. I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact Spirulina has alot of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and I haven’t read about any known side effects.
Q: If someone has money and wants to donate it to the children of Fukushima, is purchasing Spirulina and sending it the best use of these funds?
A: No, based on the limited studies I have researched which only give inconclusive evidence for Spirulina’s efficacy against radiation-induced ailments, I think this would not be the best way to spend your money. While it is true spirulina has a good amount of protein by weight, you may remember the U.S. National Library of Medicine quote that stated its protein quality is no better than meat or milk, and yet can cost 30 times as much. Because of this high markup (with spirulina being a so-called “super food”), it is not a cost effective way to supply protein.
I would recommend instead focusing on things that will more likely have a positive effect for a reasonable price – food, shelter, and in some cases relocation. There are even programs which send these children on a short term field trip to northern Japan where they radiation level is much lower and they can safely play outside (see here).
Q: Isn’t there some other way Spirulina producers can help?
Rather than just donating spirulina, I recommend spirulina producers, the government, as well as unbiased third parties, work together to establish programs where groups of children are given spirulina in a controlled environment and the effects of spirulina can be observed. If the results come out positive the group size can be ramped up and many children’s lives may be improved. If the studies don’t show major improvements little is lost.
Also, some research could be done into more cost-effective ways of producing spirulina. The cheaper it can be made, the more likely it will be used as a nutritional supplement, especially for those in need.
I’m always open to new information and interpretations of existing information, so please feel free to leave any comments and we can discuss. I also welcome references to any important studies I missed.
1. I generally use only photos taken personally, but for this article I used a spirulina photograph taken from Wikimedia Commons, which was released into the public domain.
2. I am not promoting and spirulina supplier, any such ads you see on this page have been put there by WordPress (Yes, I need to upgrade my account).
3. I haven’t put many references inline in the text so if you want to quickly know where I got some information feel free to leave a comment. All the references I used are below but it may be tedious to search through them for a specific fact.
1.Loseva, L.P. and Dardynskaya, I.V. Spirulina- natural sorbent of radionucleides. Research Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk, Belarus. 6th Intl Congress of Applied Algology, Czech Republic, Sep. 9, 1993.
2. Belookaya, T. Corres. from Chairman of Byelorussian Committee “Children of Chernobyl” May 31, 1991.
3. Evets, P. et. al. Means to normalize the levels of immunoglobulin E, using the food supplement spirulina. Grodenski State Medical Univ. Russian Fed Comm Patents and Trade. Patent (19)RU (11)2005486. Jan. 15, 1994.
Posted on December 3, 2013, in ingredient science and tagged algae, スピルリナ, blue-green algae, child, cyanobacterium, 福島, donate, fukushima, fukushima disaster, Health, Japan, nutrition, nutritional supplement, protein, radio-protective, Spirulina, supplement, tsunami, 日本. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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