Spirulina is a blue-green algae, which contains many nutrients, including B vitamins, beta-carotene and vitamin E. Spirulina also contains antioxidants, minerals, chlorophyll and phycocyanin, and is often used as a source of pure protein.
According to supporters, Spirulina is said to help solve the following health problems: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cancer, fatigue, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and viral infections.
The claimed benefits of Spirulina include weight loss, energy gain and immune system stimulation.
So far, few human studies have explored the health benefits of Spirulina. However, preliminary studies have shown that Spirulina has the following conditions:
According to a study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, Spirulina platensis has certain prospects for lipid disorders such as hyperlipidemia or hypertriglyceride. For this study, healthy older people took Spirulina or placebo. Four months later, Spirulina platensis was associated with a significant reduction in cholesterol.
according to a review published in 2009, Spirulina has certain prospects in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (rhinitis). In fact, previous published studies on patients with allergic rhinitis have found that Spirulina consumption has some benefits (including improving symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion and itching).
In a 2008 study involving 37 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, the researchers found that those designated as 12-week Spirulina supplements had significantly lower blood lipid levels. The benefits of Spirulina include reduced inflammation and, for some people, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
According to a small study of tobacco chewable tablets for oral precancerous lesions, Spirulina may provide some protection against oral cancer. For 12 months, the researchers took Spirulina or placebo daily. At the end of the study, 20 of the 44 participants who took Spirulina disappeared (compared with 3 of the 43 participants assigned to the placebo group).
Possible side effects
Although the use of Spirulina has few side effects, in some cases, taking Spirulina may cause headaches, allergic reactions, muscle pain, sweating and insomnia. People allergic to seafood, seaweed and other marine vegetables should avoid using spirulina.
If you have thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, gout, kidney stones, phenylketonuria (PKU), or pregnancy or lactation, Spirulina may not be suitable for you. You should consult your medical staff before taking it.
Spirulina grown in the wild may absorb toxins in water, such as microcystins (known to cause severe liver damage), pollutants and heavy metals. Most Spirulina sold in the United States are grown in laboratories.
As with all supplements, it is important to consult your health care provider before using Spirulina to discuss whether it is suitable for you and whether it can be taken with other drugs and/or supplements.
Dose and preparation
There is not enough scientific data to provide the recommended dose of Spirulina. Various doses of Spirulina have been used for research.
For example, in studies investigating the benefits of Spirulina platensis on high cholesterol, a daily dose of 1-10 grams was used for four weeks to six months. To understand its effect on hypertension, a dose of Spirulina cyanogreen algae was administered 4.5 grams per day for six weeks. In the study of type 2 diabetes, products were used twice a day, twice a day, for two months.
The dosage suitable for you may depend on factors such as your age, sex and medical history. Contact your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
What to look for?
Spirulina is usually sold as powder, but it also has capsules, tablets and juices. Sometimes the powder is added to the ice sand.
Although a large number of blue-green algae are commonly referred to as "spirulina", most Spirulina supplements contain Aphanizome non-flos-aquae, Spirulina maxima and/or Spirulina platensis.
As with all supplements, it's important to check the supplementary fact labels on any product you buy. The label will contain important information, including the content of active ingredients per serving and other additives that may be contained in the product.