What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a natural “algae” powder that is incredibly high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended to vegetarians for its high natural iron content.
What are the health benefits?
Strength and Endurance
Spirulina appears to be beneficial for bodybuilders, with some studies showing improved muscle strength and endurance. In two studies, spirulina was shown to enhance endurance, significantly increasing the time it took for people to become fatigued. Another study in college athletes found that spirulina supplementation increased muscle strength. (Studies 1, 2 and 3).
Really High in Nutrients
Apart from being really low in calories, this is very high in Protein, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, Copper and Iron. Not to mention it also contains traces of magnesium, potassium and manganese. In other words, this means that spirulina may literally be the single most nutritious food on the planet.
The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent, comparable to eggs. It contains all the essential amino acids that we need.
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage. The main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color. Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signalling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels
Heart Disease is the biggest cause of natural death in the world today. There are many factors that can cause heart problems, but ass it turns out, spirulina has been shown to have beneficial effects on many of them. For example, it can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
Interestingly, the antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation. This is one of the key steps in the pathway towards heart disease is LDL lipoproteins in the blood becoming oxidized.
There have been various research in test animals that shows that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size. Spirulina has been particularly well studied with regard to oral cancer, which is cancer of the mouth. One study looked at the effects of spirulina on 87 people from India with precancerous lesions called OSMF in the mouth. After using 1 gram per day for 1 year, 45% of the spirulina group had a complete regression of lesions in the mouth, compared to only 7% in the control group (Reference here).
- Reduces Blood Pressure
- Improves Symptoms of Rhinitis
- Helps against Anemia
- Reduces Blood Sugar Levels