Spirulina is cyanobacteria referred to as blue-green algae. It can reduce oxidation, reduce blood pressure, and lower blood sugar levels. Spirulina contains a variety of nutrients such as B vitamins, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. In addition, it is a source of vegan protein that contains antioxidants, minerals, chlorophyll, and phycocyanobilins. However, it is one of the best-known supplements in the world. In this article, we will walk you through the health benefits of spirulina, dosage, and uses.
In This Article
Spirulina is Nutritious
Spirulina grows in salty freshwater and it is cyanobacteria, a single-cell family of microbes often called blue-green algae. A standard daily dose is 3 grams, but you can use it up to 10 grams per day. The following single tablespoon of dried spirulina powder (7 grams) contains:
- 20 calories
- 4.02 grams of protein
- 1.67 grams of carbohydrate
- 0.54 grams of fat
- 8 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 2 mg of iron
- 14 mg of magnesium
- 8 mg of phosphorus
- 95 mg of potassium
- 73 mg of sodium
- 0.7 mg of vitamin C
Well, spirulina is one of the most nutritious food on the planet. Its protein is like eggs. Therefore, it provides all the amino acids. Many people claim it has vitamin B12. However, there is no concrete evidence available.
May Help People With Cancer
Some evidence shows that spirulina has anti-cancer characteristics. Animal research shows it may reduce the size of the cancerous tumors. One study examined 87 Indians with precancerous lesions in their mouth called oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF). For those who took 1 gram a day for one year, 45% of lesions were lost compared to only 7% in the control group. However, half of these people have redeveloped the lesions in the next year when they stopped taking it. In addition, another study of 40 people with OSMF lesions, 1 gram of Spirulina a day, led to more improved symptoms of OSMF than a drug called Pentoxifylline. (1)
One study looked at 87 Indians who had precancerous lesions in their mouth called oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF). Those who took 1 g of spirulina daily for a year reduced 45 percent of their lesions, compared to only 7 percent in the control group.
May Lower Blood Pressure
A major driver of many serious diseases, including heart attacks, strokes or chronic kidney disease, is high blood pressure. In one study, a dose of 4.5 grams of spirulina per day was shown to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure among people with normal BP levels, while 1 gram was ineffective. However, this decrease is supposed to be driven by increased nitric oxide production, an indicator molecule that helps relax and dilate your blood vessels. (2)
A daily intake of 4.5 grams of spirulina was proven to lower blood pressure in those with normal blood pressure levels. However, 1 gram was ineffective.
Reduces LDL Cholesterol
In your body, fatty structures are defenseless against oxidative damage. Therefore, lipid peroxidation is a major driver of several serious diseases. For instance, oxidation of LDL cholesterol is one of the main reasons for heart disease. Spirulina antioxidants seem effective in reducing human and animal lipid peroxidation. In a study conducted in 25 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, two grams, a day reduced oxidative damage marks. In addition, the level of antioxidant enzymes also increased. (3)
In one study of 25 patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, two grams of spirulina a day for two months reduced oxidative damage marks and reduced LDL cholesterol.
Oxidative damage may harm DNA and cells. This damage can cause chronic inflammation, leading to cancer and other diseases. Therefore, spirulina is an excellent source of antioxidants to protect cells from damage. Phycocyanin can prevent free radicals and inflammatory molecules, which provide impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. (4)
Phycocyanin found in spirulina is an excellent source of antioxidants, which helps protect cells from harm.
Prevents Heart Disease
Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. However, spirulina can influence many factors that cause heart disease. For example, it can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels. As previously mentioned above, the study shows that 2 grams per day improved DM (diabetes, mellitus) in 25 people. In another study, 1 gram daily decreased Triglycerides levels by 16.3%, and LDL (bad cholesterol) by 10.1%. Several other studies found positive effects–albeit with higher doses of 4.5 to 10 grams per day. (5, 6, 7, 8)
Spirulina can influence many factors that contribute to heart diseases. It can lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as help with diabetes (diabetes, mellitus).
May Control Blood Sugar Levels
Animal studies show it can lower sugar levels in the blood. However, it is also effective in humans. People took 2 grams of spirulina a day for 2 months, experienced a slight reduction in blood sugar levels. They conducted this study in 25 people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have estimated that a reduction of 1% in this marker “HbA1c” may decrease the risk of death related to diabetes by 21%. The study was, however, small and further studies are needed. (9, 10, 11)
People who consumed 2 g of spirulina per day for two months saw a small reduction in blood sugar levels. A slight reduction in HbA1c biomarker may decrease the risk of death related to diabetes.
Improves Muscle Strength
Oxidative damage caused by exercise, such as weight training, is an important part of the process. Some plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and active people reduce this damage. Spirulina appears useful, as certain studies have shown that muscle strength and endurance have improved. Studies show that it improves endurance, increases the time for muscular fatigue during exercise. (12, 13)
Spirulina can help athletes in the reduction of oxidative damage caused by exercise. According to certain research, it can improve muscle strength and endurance.
Relieves Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis represents the inflammation of your nasal passes. Allergens like pollen, animal hair, or even wheat dust cause it. Spirulina is effective in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms. (14) The study shows the consumption of spirulina can reduce symptoms of allergies, such as allergic rhinitis, such as nasal discharge, sneezing, congestion, and itching. (15)
According to one study, consuming spirulina can help reduce allergy symptoms.
Effective Against Anemia
A decrease in hemoglobin or red blood cells can lead to a life-threatening disease called anemia. In older adults, anemia can lead to prolonged feelings of fatigue and weakness. (16) In a study, spirulina supplements increased the hemoglobin content and improved the immune function of red blood cells in 40 older people with a history of anemia. (17)
According to one study, spirulina supplements increased red blood cells in 40 elderly with a history of anaemia.
Side effects of spirulina
Although spirulina is safe, it may have some side effects. It may interact with other conventional medicines, so first talk to your doctor before you use spirulina supplement. Stop taking it right away and seek medical help if you notice side effects of spirulina supplements such as an allergic reaction.
Spirulina is a kind of exceptionally healthy cyanobacteria called blue-green algae. Thus, it may improve blood lipid levels, eliminate oxidation, reduce blood pressure, and reduce blood sugar. Always ask your health care provider about the herbal supplements you are taking.