10 Health Benefits of Spirulina
Can you imagine eating POND SCUM and getting healthy in the bargain? Bizarre, right! No one in their right minds will want to eat anything that resembles moss.
But the irony is that the health world is drooling over this very green looking scruff that grows in fresh water lakes, ponds and rivers. Yes, Spirulina, the blue green algae has become the most sought after nutritional supplement that has won rave reviews for its multitude of health benefits.
Of course, there’s no smoke without fire and indeed when we analyze Spirulina, it surely lives up to the hype.
So, Let’s Jump Right Into What is Spirulina all About?
Spirulina is a spiral-shaped, multi-celled cynaobacteria with no true nucleus. It is also referred to as blue-green algae and the main active component is called phycocyanin that among other things imparts spirulina its characteristic blue green color.
Just like plants, spirulina uses photosynthesis to produce energy out of sunlight and grows up to 100 times the size of chlorella in moderate climates and abundance of sunshine.
How Healthy is Spirulina?
When spirulina undergoes proper processing and extraction, it is one of the most potent nutritional supplements that you will find in the world. In fact, the UN has advocated that Spirulina powder or tablets should be incorporated as food to fight malnutrion. 1
The reasons Spirulina is considered a nutritional beacon are:
- Protein Superhero: Spirulina has the highest amount of bio-available protein (65 – 71 percent protein by weight) of any known food and is between 85- 95% digestible, making it one of the most powerful and potent forms of protein available. Moreover, it’s a complete protein, which means that it contains all 8 essential amino acids including the essential fatty acid-gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA & DHA.
Proteins as you know are the main building block of life and are critical for healthy muscles and bones. Amino acids are also essential for several functions in the body ranging from cell metabolism, detoxification, tissue regeneration, repair, etc. They are also vital for the proper functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular system as well as for optimum hormone production making spirulina an ideal health candidate.
- Vitamin and Mineral Powerhouse: Spirulina is an abundant resource of vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin E, and vitamin K1 and K2.It is also a rich source of iron, potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. All these micronutrients are essential for the smooth functioning of the body.
- Antioxidant Superpower: Spirulina is believed to clock in a terrific amount of antioxidants rarely found in any other natural source. Basically, the antioxidant component is attributed to phycocyanin, the pigment that imparts colour and free radical fighting capacity to spirulina. Moreover, researchers have suggested that phycocyanin may also help rejuvenate and repair the damaged cells of your body.
Potential Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is considered a living organism since it contains chlorophyll and owing to the fact that it is loaded with nutritional components, it has been recommended as the number one natural source to fortify one’s health. Let’s look at the top 10 health benefits that spirulina is believed to offer:
- Spirulina Helps Bolster Immunity
As mentioned above, spirulina is chock full of antioxidants -Phycocyanin and allophycocanin along with anthocyanins. These antioxidants are traditionally believed to protect the body against free radical proliferation and damage. Clinical investigation on Spirulina indicated that the extract could influence the immune system by increasing phagocytic activity of macrophages, stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines, increasing accumulation of Natural Killer cells into tissue, and activating and mobilizing the T and B cells. Thus, with these potent properties, researchers suggest that spirulina may protect the organs from damage, fortify one’s immune system and help ward off infection like colds, flus and diseases such as cancer. A study indicated that spirulina had anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells meaning the cells did not multiply or spread. [2, 3]
- Spirulina Supports Eye Health
Spirulina is also rich in carotenoids, which is almost 10 times the amount present in carrots. It is also loaded with other essential eye supporting nutrients like zeaxanthin and lutein. Both In vitro and In vivo studies have suggested that the polysaccharide extract from Spirulina may benefit in the therapy of corneal inflammation and diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and poor vision. 4
- Spirulina Boosts Cognitive Power
Spirulina is an excellent supplement for those looking to improve their memory and cognitive abilities. This cynobacterium is a rich source of vitamin B1, and this vitamin is exceptionally important for metabolizing fats, protein, and sugar and boosting energy and brain function. Moreover, an In vivo study result indicated that spirulina may prevent the loss of memory possibly by lessening Aβ protein accumulation, reducing oxidative damage and mainly increasing enzyme activity that destroys harmful substances inside your body. 5
- Spirulina displays Cardio-protective Properties
Spirulina with its rich nutritional profile is believed to normalize blood flow and reduce plasma lipid concentrations, especially triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Several clinical studies have reported that spirulina’s bioactive constituents have the potential to reduce the levels of harmful lipids including cholesterol, phospholipids, triglycerides, very low density lipoproteins, low density lipoproteins and high density lipoproteins in a dose dependant manner. Thus, this indicates that spirulina possesses cardioprotective properties and may prove valuable in reducing cardiovascular diseases. 6
- Spirulina Promotes Healthy and Glowing skin
One of the reasons that lead to accelerated aging and tissue degeneration is the production of the superoxide substance within the body. Spirulina is also the best source of the antioxidant-superoxide dismutase (SOD). This antioxidant is a biological entity that specifically targets thes uperoxide radical and protects the body from any subsequent tissue damage. In fact an In vivo test showed that spirulina positively affected the connective tissue cells that produce collagen and other fibres. The results indicating that spirulina might be valuable in improving aging spots, rashes and other skin issues. 7
- Spirulina Improves Intestinal Flora
Spirulina is also hailed as anefficient probiotic and is often recommended to optimize digestive functions and improve gut health. Clinical examination revealed that spirulina promoted growth of 3 friendly lactobacilli and displayed potent antibacterial activity against human pathogenic bacteria. 8
- Spirulina Helps Eliminate Toxins and Protects Against Radiation
Spirulina’s active constituents are believed to bind to toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead, and aluminium within the blood and get them eliminated from the cellular systems of the body. Moreover, an In vivo examination indicated that spirulina also exerted a radioprotective effect on the cells owing to its high contents of beta-carotene, a singlet oxygen quencher and vitamin E that protected the cell membrane from peroxidative damage. 9
- Spirulina Augments Muscle Endurance
Spirulina’s powerpacked nutrients potentially protect the muscle from exercise induced oxidation and improve performance. A double-blind, crossover study on male subjects showed spirulina supplementation inducing a significant increase in exercise performance and fat oxidation. The results also reported that spirulina helped the body utilize fat for energy and protected the muscle from getting damaged. 10
- Spirulina Protects Against Allergies
Spirulina is said to possess antihistaminic properties, which may help reduce allergic reactions. It is believed that spirulina’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve respiratory inflammation and protect the body against foreign invaders. Results of a randomized double-blinded crossover study showed spirulina supplementation inhibit allergic rhinitis symptoms. 11
- Spirulina Induces Restful Sleep
Spirulina is one of the richest sources of protein in nature. It also contains L-tryptophan, the amino acid utilized by the body to produce the hormone-melatonin that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Insomnia sufferers take melatonin supplements to artificially induce sleep. However this may retard the body’s production of natural melatonin aggravating sleep problems. On the other hand, spirulina is believed to support your body’s natural melatonin production, which helps induce restful and quality sleep.
Where Should you Buy Spirulina From?
So, it has been confirmed that Spirulina is one of the best nutrient supplements that you can lay your hands on and the market is flooded with variants of spirulina. However, the next significant question is, whichis the best variety and the most effective of all?
Of course, you will find many brands in for a quick buck and may sell spurious spirulina that is contaminated (it is pond scum at the end of the day) and could end up doing you more harm than good.
On the other hand, processing spirulina is a costly affair, and some varieties of sprulina are contraindicated in patients on anti-coagulation meds, having auto immune disorders and pregnant/ nursing mothers.
So, many companies sell pure spirulina and others combine them with other effective ingredients. Therefore, your best option is to do a thorough market survey and not just choose Spirulina that is available cheap and from obscure companies.
Biogetica sells SpiruLiva, which is a combination of pure organic Spirulina with Astaxantin. Our market research has highlighted that most of the commercially available spirulina contains about 5 to 10% of Phycocyanin. Whereas, Biogetica over the years, has used enhanced natural processes to develop a Spirulina that consistently has over 20% Phycocyanin with all the necessary certificates from various health bodies. Moreover, Our SpiruLiva also contains Astaxanthin. This reddish pigment also sourced from micro-algae is another antioxidant superpower. It is believed to be up to 100 times more potent than carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene and almost 500 times better than Vitamin E. Moreover, the focal point of its efficiency is that it is known to cross the blood-brain and blood-retina barriers, thus rendering more health benefits than any other spirulina formulation in the market.
Biogetica prides in offering solutions that have been chosen from the best resources in nature and vows to help each being in their jouney from dis-ease to ease. To know more, purchase our groundbreaking precedent setting SpiruLiva, or get any health related advice, please consult our round the clock available Health Experts at www. biogetica.com now.
Dr Khyati Dave is a licensed Homeopathy Physician and Nutritional Consultant. With Biogetica, she has witnessed many patients, who had otherwise given up hope, heal faster supplemented by our natural methods. She considers consulting Biogetica patients her primary responsibility and honour. She often writes about nutrition, natural treatment methods and diet. Her mission is to apply her medical talents to help each patient heal faster and do her best to give the immunity of patients with so called ‘incurable’ diseases a fighting chance.