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Dunaliella Salina

Dunaliella Salina is a nutrient-dense edible soft wall marine microalgae (phytoplankton) that supports good health.  This marine plant called Dunaliella Salina, which thrives in oceans, salt lakes and marshy areas across the globe.

Dunaliella Salina is a potent source of natural mixed carotenoids and important daily nutrients. Dunaliella Salina is nature’s richest source of natural beta-carotene, containing around 10-20mg of beta-carotene, plus other carotenoids and nutrients. Scientists have known for some time now that beta-carotene possesses powerful anti-cancer properties. It works by reducing the amount of harmful free radicals in your body that can otherwise damage your genetic material (DNA) – this can cause cosmetic-related problems by promoting wrinkles and, on a more serious note, it can increase your risk of cancer. Dunaliella has more recently been found to contain hitherto unknown forms of beta-carotene that are far more powerful and active than the ordinary type that naturally occurs in fruit and vegetables.

It is now a popular remedy in many countries including Argentina, Iran, China, Spain and the US.  It has surprised scientists the most, when studying Dunaliella’s individual components, is how the plant appears to have evolved with a special mechanism that allows it to adapt to its environment and survive in a unique way. For example, it appears to produce antioxidants in response to harmful free radicals and other poisonous toxins it encounters.

In a study performed at the Department of Chemistry, El Carmen University in Huelva, Spain, scientists exposed Dunaliella algae to high-intensity light, which is known to cause damage by encouraging the production of free radicals. This type of damage is the same as that produced by exposure to the sun, which results in wrinkles. They found that, shortly after being subjected to this extreme light, the plant literally started to ooze with strong antioxidant chemicals called carotenoids, including beta-carotene (Salguero A, et al. Biomol Eng 2003, 20(4-6): 249-253).

Realizing the commercial potential of this high-strength beta-carotene source, the scientists set out to devise a method by which they could extract large amounts of carotenoids from Dunaliella. They found that the very action of transferring the plant from the sea to the laboratory caused it to produce carotenoids – probably a self-defense mechanism to protect it against oxygen starvation. These carotenoids are then easily extracted using a harmless chemical process, ready to be made commercially available in supplement form (Leon R et al. Biomol Eng 2003; 20(4-6): 177-182).

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