Spirulina is a great antioxidant, improves fatigue, and boosts immunity. Not only is it a good food supplement, but it can be used to help treat disorders as well.

Introduction to Spirulina

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae and is a cyanobacterium that belongs to the Oscillatoraceae family (R).

It has long been used as a food supplement for humans, but it was only recently that more scientists have been looking it as a potential pharmaceutical (RR2).

It had been found to activate macrophages, natural killer cells, T cells, B cells, and to stimulate the production of Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and other cytokines (R).

Some studies have revealed its potential properties: anti-carcinogenic, immunostimulants, antigenotoxic, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antihypertensive (R).

Spirulina contains high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules such as c-phycocyanin, one of the richest sources of plant proteins, vitamin B12 and vitamin A (R).

Several studies have shown that the algae exert protective effects in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease (R).

Also, there is evidence that shows its role in controlling chronic diseases such as diabetes, bronchial asthma, and cancer (R).

In general, it can protect cells from death via its anti-oxidative properties.

Spirulina Snapshot

Spirulina Snapshot

  • Longevity8.5/10
  • Inflammation8.5/10
  • Mood9/10
  • Cognition8/10
  • Energy8/10

Pros

  • Boosts the immune system by exerting antioxidant effects
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps treat diabetes
  • Protects the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver

Cons

  • Can negate some effects of exercise
  • Might cause allergic reactions in some people

Health Benefits of Spirulina

5
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7517455_Nutritional_and_Therapeutic_Potential_of_Spirulina

1) Spirulina Consumption Protects the Heart

shutterstock_319981523

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can both increase risk for heart disease.

Researchers examined the effect of spirulina intervention in patients with type-2 diabetes. After twelve weeks of supplement, there was a noticeable reduction in blood pressure (R).

In mice, when supplementation was used in a high fat and cholesterol diet, it was shown that there was a significant reduction in total blood cholesterol (R).

For human studies, the usage of this supplement reduces the cholesterol and LDL in females (R).

shutterstock_203186917

Total cholesterol and LDL increase with aging, which may be a cause of heart disease (R).

Spirulina intake reduces blood cholesterol and LDL significantly in elderly populations (R).

In rats, the supplement also protects heart cells against oxidation and cell damage (R).

2) Spirulina Is Protective In Diabetes

Spirulina reduces the blood glucose level (R).

A study conducted with type II diabetic people showed that 2g daily for 2 months decreases blood glucose (R).

Also, the supplement has a greater chance of improving insulin sensitivity  (R).

3) Spirulina Exerts Anti-inflammatory Effects

Several active ingredients that spirulina contains have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (R).

The algae inhibit the proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF, suppresses cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and decreases PGE2 production (R).

It also reverses the age-related increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain of aged male rats   (R).

In one study with elderly women, weeks of supplementation decreased the blood cytokine level (IL-6) and its production, which demonstrates its anti-inflammatory activity (R).

Using spirulina also increases the natural killer cell activity as assessed by tumor killing ability  (R).

4) Spirulina Works As an Antioxidant

Spirulina treatment protects the activity of cellular antioxidant enzymes that have a role in oxidative damage of cells (R).

NADPH oxidase plays a role in vascular disorders, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, various autoimmune conditions, allergies,  skin damage, and osteoarthritis (R).

The algae contain PCB, which has an ability to inhibit this enzyme. PCB leads to potent inhibition of NADPH via antioxidant activity (R).

5) Spirulina Fights Against Cancer

It was shown that when spirulina is given to mice that had been injected with liver tumor cells, their survival rate increased. Also, lymphocyte activity of those mice significantly become higher than normal, which corresponds to its immune system effects (R).

Daily ingestion of this supplement maintains or accelerates normal cell function to prevent cancer or to inhibit cancer growth (R).

6) Spirulina Intake Can Relieve Fatigue

shutterstock_283407008

After one week of spirulina intake, the participants had an increase in exercise output. A survey for a sense of physical and mental fatigue showed improvement within 4 hours of the first supplementation (R).

7) Spirulina Protects the Brain

Spirulina appears to be neuroprotective against excitotoxicity, which is when neurons are damaged or killed by overactivation of receptors. Certain dosages significantly reduce dopaminergic losses in response to toxins (R).

Also, it non-significantly increases neuronal density, which indicates neurogenesis, or the formation of new neurons. It protects stem cells in the brain from having their growth being reduced by inflammation (R).

It has mechanisms to prevent accumulation of proteins and toxins that appear in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, and it can prevent inflammatory and toxic effects (R).

8) Spirulina Reduces Allergies

shutterstock_164433818

Allergic rhinitis can cause stuffy noses, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and other similar symptoms. Spirulina is shown to be effective in treating all of these symptoms (R).

The supplement was also shown to suppress secretion of inflammatory cytokines that contributed to allergies (R).

9) Spirulina Improves Kidney Function

Blood urea nitrogen and blood creatinine levels are indicators of kidney disease. The addition of spirulina in the diet significantly decreases the blood urea nitrogen and blood creatinine levels (R).

10) Spirulina Protects the Liver

The vitamins and phenolic compounds found in spirulina can act together and help protect the liver (R).

In rats, administration of the supplement lowered the oxidation of lipids, decreased oxidative stress, and normalized enzyme levels (R).

People with fatty liver who took 4.5g daily for six months had improved liver function (R).

11) Spirulina Rids the Body of Arsenic

In rats, the hexane extract can help remove 90% of arsenic found in the liver (R).

In humans, spirulina extract combined with zinc helped treat symptoms of arsenic poisoning and reduce the amount of arsenic found in the body (R).

Technical

  • Treatment protects the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPX-Se) and oxidized glutathione reductase (GR) (R).
  • Extract dramatically inhibits the production of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), such as malondialdehyde (MDA) (R).
  • Extract significantly reduces the levels of MDA and 4-HNE and increases the reduced content of glutathione (R).
  • It increases the synthesis and release of nitric oxide but inhibits the synthesis and release of a cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstrictor metabolite of arachidonic acid (R).
  • Reverses age-related increase in proinflammatory cytokines in the cerebellum, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and TNFβ.
  • Inhibits the NADPH complex and reduces the production of the NADPH complex by the reduction of p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase (R).
  • It also may increase the activity of the CX3CR1 receptor (R).
  • Mechanisms of immune potentiation are mediated through TLR2 receptors (R).
  • Decreases the blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, and activation of urinary excretion of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and glutamic oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) which are indicators of acute nephritis and renal function  (R).
  • Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid and it is a precursor for the body’s prostaglandins (R).
  • Sulfolipid is one of the components that are remarkably effective against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) (R).
  • Iron is the most common mineral deficiency in the world and these algae contain a high amount of iron (R).

Caution

There might be some algae products that contain contaminants that can cause allergic reactions or digestive problems.

This particular species of algae also contains phenylalanine, which can cause problems for people who have phenylketonuria.

Dosage

Many studies examined the effects of spirulina in a variety of dosages. 1-8 g per day has some effect on patients. The specific dose depends on the condition.

Buy Spirulina

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ARTICLE?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 3 Total Votes Loading...
TWEET
0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *