Our planet’s resources have been declining, as you know. The life qualities of humans have also changed a little because of their economy, nutrition, sports, and family life. Therefore, more alternative resources are being sought after by humans. Also, in the food supply for animals, scientists have been researching different and alternative supplements for growth performance, immunity, reproduction, and metabolism. Spirulina platensis and its contents have been linked to a nutritional component in both human and animal health and welfare. Growth and immunomodulation properties of this supplement have been widely studied in animals and humans, recently. Nowadays, nutritional specifics of S. platensis are a main focus for researchers. S. platensis is a single-cell protein due to its rich components, such as protein, essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidant pigments, carotenoids, beta-carotene, and phycocyanin. Today, researchers study the nutritional quality and investigate the effects of S. platensis on growth, immunity, antioxidant, antitoxicologic, anticancerogenic, cholesterol and glucose metabolism, and fertility. For these reasons, S. platensis may be acceptable as an alternative and/or superfood for the next generation. So, we review this information regarding S. platensis using historical background, literature reviews, qualitative studies, and microscopic appearances in this chapter.
Part of the book: Superfood and Functional Food
Stress can exist by a variety of daily challenges related to obesity, other eating disorders, long-term health issues and immune system suppression. Free radicals derived from oxygen, called reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species and similarly antioxidants are part of the body’s natural functioning. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals and antioxidants are out of balance. The prooxidant-antioxidant balance is assessed by determination of both oxidant and antioxidant status, which can be measured simultaneously in blood and tissue. Dietary or natural antioxidants play an important role in helping the endogenous antioxidants in scavenging the excess of free radicals. Antioxidant supplements include several important substances such as beta carotene, lutein, phycocyanin and zeaxanthin, which are rich in vegetables, fruits and natural foods. All these contents have a key role in growth, immunity and lifetime quality. Still, high dose of the natural foods can cause the organism, not to assimilate the wastes by the mechanism. In this chapter, we’ll inquire to explain the oxidative and antioxidative mechanisms and balance via importance of the natural antioxidants to life quality. For this purpose, oxidative stress, related diseases, antioxidants and their importance will be reviewed, and the correlation between natural antioxidants and health will be presented.
Part of the book: The Health Benefits of Foods - Current Knowledge and Further Development