Phycocyanin isolated from marine organisms has the characteristics of high efficiency and low toxicity, and it can be used as a functional food. It has been reported that phycocyanin has anti-oxidative function, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-cancer function, immune enhancement function, liver and kidney protection pharmacological effects. Thus, phycocyanin has an important development and utilization as a potential drug, and phycocyanin has become a new hot spot in the field of drug research.
So far, there are more and more studies have shown that phycocyanin has the anti-cancer effect, which can block the proliferation of cancer cells and kill cancer cells. Phycocyanin exerts anti-cancer activity by blocking tumor cell cell cycle, inducing tumor cell apoptosis and autophagy, thereby phycocyanin can serve as a promising anti-cancer agent. This review discusses the therapeutic use of phycocyanin and focuses on the latest advances of phycocyanin as a promising anti-cancer drug.
Phycocyanin's effects are comparable to those of the best known anti-inflammatory molecules. Phycocyanin has been recognized as one of the most promising natural molecules in terms of inhibiting the pro-inflammatory COX-2 enzymes – which are linked to the phenomenon of inflammation and the associated pain, as they deteriorate cartilage and joints.
2. Anti-allergic (asthma, hay fever) , immunomodulation
Phycocyanin is the only natural compound that is effective against asthma. It also inhibits the production of molecules responsible for inflammation – limiting the amount of these molecules released, and thus limiting their effects during allergic events.
Phycocyanin's anti-radical properties help protect cells against damage from free radicals. It has also been shown to be neuroprotective through its effects on oxidative stress.
4. Stimulating the release of EPO
Thanks to its structure, similar to that of erythropoietin (EPO), phycocyanin contributes to the production of red blood cells and thus promotes the transport of oxygen to the muscular and immune systems.
Phycocyanin is especially recommended for athletes who want to improve their performance as well as their recovery after intense efforts or injury. It can also be used to prevent degenerative illnesses, allergies, and hay fever, as well as to help treat any viral illness (including mononucleosis, which is common among athletes).
C-phycocyanin health benefits
When in combination with He-Ne light, C-phycocyanin can serve as a photosensitize agent in the photodynamic therapy, which could provide a possible tumor therapy. C-phycocyanin shows specific affinity to the scavenger receptor-A (SR-A) of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which is highly expressed on TAM. Thus, C-phycocyanin can act as a new class of TAM-targeted photosensitiser, which exhibits an efficient in vitro photodynamic activity, and selectively accumulates in tumour sites probably due to the affinity to TAM, which provides a novel strategy to enhance the efficacy for cancer therapy. Moreover, C-phycocyanin displays an anti-inflammatory potential, so C-phycocyanin is a potential natural anti-inflammatory agent. Phycocyanin can promote animal blood cell regeneration, improve lymphocyte activity and lymphatic system to improve immune function, and comprehensively enhance the disease resistance of the body 73. In addition, C-phycocyanin could inhibit TGF-β1-induced EMT and C-PC might be a potential anti-fibrosis drug.
What is phycocyanin good for?
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage. Its main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color. Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Phycocyanin is the main active compound in spirulina. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Phycocyanin side effects
When taken by mouth: Blue-green algae products that are free of contaminants, such as liver-damaging substances called microcystins, toxic metals, and harmful bacteria, are POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used short-term. Doses up to 19 grams per day have been used safely for up to 2 months. Lower doses of 10 grams per day have been used safely for up to 6 months. Side effects are typically mild and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, headache, and dizziness.
But blue-green algae products that are contaminated are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Contaminated blue-green algae can cause liver damage, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, thirst, rapid heartbeat, shock, and death. Don't use any blue-green algae product that hasn't been tested and found to be free of microcystins and other contamination.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough information available to know if it is safe to use blue-green algae when pregnant or breast-feeding. Contaminated blue-green algae products contain harmful toxins that might be transferred to an infant during pregnancy or through breast milk. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Blue-green algae are POSSIBLY UNSAFE for children. Children are more sensitive to contaminated blue-green algae products than adults.
Auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pemphigus vulgaris (a skin condition), and others: Blue-green algae might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using blue-green algae.
Bleeding disorders: Blue-green algae might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Diabetes: Blue-green algae might affect blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use blue-green algae.
Phenylketonuria: The spirulina species of blue-green algae contains the chemical phenylalanine. This might make phenylketonuria worse. Avoid Spirulina species blue-green algae products if you have phenylketonuria.
Surgery: Blue-green algae might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using blue-green algae at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
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