Active Ingredient: Blue Pigment Phycocyanin
Botanical Source: Blue-Green Algae Spirulina
Assay: NLT Phycocyanin content 30%
Status: Fine Powder Form.
Blue Pigment Phycocyanin can be used in many practices, it is particularly used medicine and foods applications. It can also be used in genetics, where it acts a tracer due to its natural fluorescence.
Anti-oxidation and Anti-inflammation
It has both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammation properties. Peroxyl, hydroxyl, and alkoxyl radicals are all oxidants scavenged by C-PC. C-PC, however, has a greater effect on peroxyl radicals. C-PC is a metal binding antioxidant as it prevents lipid peroxidation from occurring. The peroxyl radicals are stabilized by the chromophore (a subunit of C-PC).
For hydroxyl radicals to be scavenged, it must be done in low light and with high C-PC levels. Hydroxyl radicals are found at inflamed parts of the body.C-PC, being an anti-oxidant, scavenges these damage-inducing radicals, hence being an anti-inflammation agent.
Excess oxygen in the brain generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS causes damages to brain neurons, leading to strokes. Blue pigment Phycocyanin 30% scavenges hydrogen peroxide, a type of ROS species, from the inside of astrocyte, reducing oxidative stress. Astrocytes also increase the production of growth factors like BDNF and NDF, therefore, enhance nerve regeneration. C-PC also prevents astrogliosis and glial inflammation.
It is found to have hepatotoxicity protection. Vadiraja et al. (1998) found an increase in the serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) when C-PC is treated against heptatoxins such as Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) or R-(+)-pulegone. C-PC protects the liver by the means of the Cytochrome-P450 system. It can either disturb the production of menthofuran or disturb formation of α, β-unsaturated- γ-ketoaldehyde. Both of which are key components of the cytochrome P-450 system that produced a reactive metabolite that produce toxins when it binds to liver tissues. Another possible protection mechanism by C-PC can be the scavenging of reactive metabolites (or free radicals if the cause is CCl4).
It has anti-cancer effects. Cancer happens when cells continue to grow uncontrollably. C-PC has been found to prevent cell growth. C-PC stops the formation of tumour before the S phase. DNA synthesis is not performed due to the tumour cell entering G0, resulting in no tumour proliferation. Furthermore, C-PC induces apoptosis. When cells are treated with C-PC, ROS (Radical Oxygen Species) are made. These molecules decrease BCl-2 (regulator of apoptosis) production. Here, BCl-2 inhibits proteins called caspases. Caspases are part of the apoptosis pathway. When BCl-2 decreases, the expression of caspases increases. As a result, apoptosis occurs. C-PC alone is not enough to treat cancer, it needs to work other drugs to overcome the persistence nature of tumour cells.
It can be used as a natural blue food colouring. This food colourant can only be used for low temperature prepared goods because of its inability to maintaining its blue colouring in high heats unless there is an addition of preservatives or sugars. The type of sugar is irrelevant, C-PC is stable when there is high sugar content. Knowing so, C-PC can be used for numerous types of foods, one of which being syrups. C-PC can be used for syrups ranging from green to blue colours. It can have different green tints by adding yellow food colourings.