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Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green alga which exists as a single-celled organism able of turning sunlight into life energy. It is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima and can be consumed by humans with no side effects.
Spirulina is incredibly nutritionally rich containing a balance of a great variety of nutrients that make it virtually a perfect and exceptionally healthy food able of sustaining life and health without the need for other foods. It provides vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, carbohydrates and enzymes. Spirulina is higher in protein than any other food. It contains 60 to 70% best quality protein which is already pre-digested, making it more digestible than any other source. Since spirulina contains all 8 essential amino acids it should be regarded as a complete protein food.
Spirulina has 5 times more chlorophyll than green leafy vegetables. Chlorophyll helps to build red blood cells in the body and provides an easily absorbable form of magnesium. This combination helps to oxygenate the blood and removes toxins. Due to high chlorophyll content, spirulina is regarded as one of the best energy boosters and detoxifiers.
Spirulina’s outstanding nutritional profile also includes the essential fatty acids, lipids, folate, vitamin D, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. It is 45 times higher in iron than spinach and contains a variety of powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants. The amount of beta-carotene found in spirulina is approximately 10 times higher per volume than in carrots.
Spirulina is rich in nucleic acids (RNA/DNA) - the building blocks of our cells. It is also one of the best sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which assists in cellular renewal and benefits immune system, nervous system and hormonal balance. Because the amount of GLA in our organism directly affects the rate of cell-regenerating, it is believed that spirulina can slow down the ageing process. According to studies conducted at the University of Wales GLA stimulates brown fat tissue in our body to burn calories rather than store them as fat. In addition, spirulina contains amino acid phenylalanine which helps to suppress appetite. Also, a 1986 study conducted in Germany showed that spirulina is helpful in reducing body weight.
Spirulina is also regarded as the world’s highest source of one of the strongest antioxidants – superoxide dismutase (SOD). In addition, the combination of SOD and carotenoids present in spirulina and abilities to detoxify the body make it an excellent remedy for various skin problems.
Since spirulina is very high in chlorophyll, beta carotene and various antioxidants which can help regenerate the delicate lining of the gastrointestinal tract it can be also successfully used by individuals who suffer from various gastrointestinal problems. The fibre in spirulina promotes proper bowel movements.
Since spirulina contains such powerful natural antioxidants, chlorophyll and other potent ingredients it helps increases mental alertness, strengthens the nervous and the immune system, helps to detoxify the liver and the whole body, enhances our body’s ability to generate new blood cells, and helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Spirulina was successfully used by Russian scientists to improve the health of child victims of Chernobyl radiation. The researchers from Belarus reported that spirulina was able to reduce urine radioactivity levels by 50% in only three weeks. It improved body’s detoxification and functioning of the immune system, normalized the peroxide lipid oxidation and increased the number of beneficial hormones while causing no side effects.
The same beneficial properties of spirulina were already demonstrated in China in 1989 where it was shown that the natural polysaccharide present in spirulina had a protective effect against gamma radiation. A 2001 study conducted by scientists from the Medical and Pharmaceutical Academe of Yangzhou University in China discovered that Spirulina extract effectively protects against both the damage caused by chemotherapy radiotherapy.
Spirulina is also an excellent prebiotic as it is effective in controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and Candida albicans in our digestive system which is critical for optimal digestion of food and nutritional absorption. Fact that spirulina supports the growth of healthy bacterial flora in our colon and boosts our immune system is important with regards to the colon health, GABA, serotonin and B vitamins production, prevention of depression, IBD, and reduction of Candida albicans.
Toxicological fertility or peri- and post-natal studies of the effects of spirulina consumption didn’t show any harmful effects even after very large doses of spirulina were taken for a long period of time. In 2009, over 500 malnourished children were treated with a daily dose of 10g of spirulina powder (the equivalent of 20 tablets containing 500 mg of spirulina) and again the treatment didn’t result in any adverse effects.
Since spirulina is a powerful detoxifier and energy booster it is better if you start with a smaller dose such as half of a teaspoon or 2 tablets a day and gradually increase the intake every day until reaching the maximum dose of 2 tablespoons or 20 tablets a day. Take spirulina about 30 minutes before breakfast.
Although no known side effects associated with spirulina intake were discovered by now, yet due to the detoxification and colon cleansing process or your present state of health you may experience some temporary side effects such as bloating, gas, itchy skin, problems with getting asleep.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.