Spirulina is the dried extract of blue-green algae, useful for consumption by humans and aquatic animals. It is found in three species, namely, Arthrospira Platensis, A. fusiform, and A. maxima. However, the Arthrospira species is the one that is cultivated worldwide for human consumption as a dietary supplement or whole food. Spirulina is so beneficial to the human body that it is used as a dietary supplement by astronauts on space missions, as proposed by NASA and the European Space Agency.
The dried extract of Spirulina consists of 5% of water, 24% of carbohydrates, 8% of fat, and approximately 51 – 71% of protein. Hence, due to all the vital nutrients in adequate quantities, Spirulina is also termed as a ‘superfood.’ Not only does it has nutrients, but it also consists of antioxidants.
Spirulina was first discovered in Lake Texcoco in Mexico, which is to date the area with the largest concentration of edible Spirulina. Additionally, It is abundantly found in alkaline waters, in such places where the temperature ranges between 15 degrees Celsius during the night and 40 degrees Celsius during the day.
What are the Benefits of Spirulina?
Rich Nutritional Profile
As stated previously, it has a rich nutritional profile consisting of the following vital nutrients –
- 4g of ProteinVitamin B1 (consisting 11% of the RDA)
- Vitamin B2 (consisting of 15% of the RDA)
- Vitamin B3 (consisting 4% of the RDA)
- Copper (consisting 21% of the RDA)
- Iron (consisting 11% of the RDA)
- ~8mg of Calcium
- ~14mg of Phosphorus
- ~95mg of Potassium
- ~73mg of Sodium
Helps in Lowering Triglyceride and Cholesterol Levels
Having high LDL cholesterol levels is one of the worst things that can happen to people in their 30’s and above. It is the root cause of most heart–related diseases and increases heart attacks’ chances due to arteries’ blockage. It has proven to be a crucial remedy to high LDL Cholesterol levels. Also, less than 1g of Spirulina can lower Triglyceride levels by 16.3% and LDL Cholesterol levels by 10.1%, which is indeed a significant number. Its consumption has also proven to have increased HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol) levels significantly.
Has Anti – Carcinogenic Properties
It is contended that Spirulina has significant anti-carcinogenic properties. Animals with carcinogenic tumors or symptoms were made to consume Spirulina with their food, resulting in a substantial reduction in such symptoms and tumors with an effectiveness of 45%. Similarly, a study in India has shown that people with tumors and oral cancer symptoms who were made to consume it as a dietary supplement have shown a significant reduction of such cancerous symptoms. When the same people stopped consuming Spirulina, cancerous symptoms redeveloped in a year.
Helps in Reduction of Blood Pressure
High levels of blood pressure are another severe ailment of middle-aged people, and its persistence may lead to fatal complications in the body, such as strokes, heart attacks, etc. A study has shown that consuming a significantly higher dosage (approx. 5g) has reduced blood pressure levels in individuals who suffer from high blood pressure levels. It is seen that Spirulina produces Nitric Oxide in the human body, which in turn plays a significant role in the reduction of blood pressure levels.
Helps in Battling Anemia
Anemia is a disease caused due to reduced levels of hemoglobin in the blood, mainly caused due to the deficiency of Iron in the body, and results in a reduction in Red Blood Cell (RBC) count in the blood. Spirulina is known to contain significant levels of Iron which helps in curing Anemia.
Anti – Diabetic Solution
Spirulina also helped in reducing sugar levels in people with diabetic symptoms effectively. A study has proven that consumption of approx. 2g of Spirulina daily has reduced blood sugar levels in adults diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Click here to read another article on iPulse Health Drink which has great benefits.
Helps in Reduction of Allergic Symptoms
Certain people have allergic reactions to dust, pollen particles, and other suspended matter in the air, which causes inflammation of the nasal cavity. This condition is termed Allergic Rhinitis. A study has proven that regular consumption of Spirulina has reduced such allergic symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchiness, inflammation in the nasal cavity, nasal congestion, and so on.
A higher rate of metabolism makes a person feel more energetic. A study has shown that consumption of approx. 6g of Spirulina regularly considerably increases metabolism. An increased metabolic rate causes more burning of calories in those who exercise regularly, which aids in the reduction of weight and provides significant muscle strength, and reduces muscle fatigue.
Acts as an Antioxidant
Consumption of substances that consist of antioxidants is significant in reducing cells’ oxidative damage, preventing carcinogenic inflammation in the body. A study has shown that it contains a phycocyanin substance that acts as an antioxidant and reduces oxidative damage in the body. And, the presence of phycocyanin provides Spirulina with a unique blue-green color.
Boosting Mental Health
Mental health is a significant determinant of a person’s character and is an essential aspect of a person’s life, gaining more significance and recognition in the modern-day. It is found that consumption of Spirulina causes the body to produce higher levels of Tryptophan which triggers higher production of Serotonin which in turn improves a person’s mood. Therefore, mental health experts recommend the consumption of Spirulina for patients suffering from depression and anxiety.
Are There Any Side Effects of Spirulina?
Although regular consumption of it has immense health benefits, consumption beyond the necessary amount may have adverse effects on one’s body:
Triggers Auto-immune Diseases
Spirulina significantly boosts one’s immunity as it is rich and essential Vitamins and Minerals. However, over-consumption of it may lead to a significant increase of immune cells, which are also known as ‘killer cells’ that start attacking the other cells in the body, thereby causing auto-immune conditions or worsening such conditions in such persons who already have auto-immune disorders, such lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
Slows down Blood Coagulation
Coagulation is the process of blood clotting. A study shows that its consumption beyond the necessary limits or by those who suffer from blood-clot disorders causes blood to become thin and slows down the process of coagulation.
Although the side effects are notable, consumption of Spirulina within limits has no such adverse side effects.
Is It Safe to Take Spirulina Every Day?
While regular consumption of it has many health benefits, on the other hand, increased consumption of Spirulina every day can generate toxic elements in one’s body. It is known to produce slight neurotoxins levels. Therefore, when you consume it in high quantities, it creates high neurotoxin levels, mainly a specific neurotoxin called BMAA, which may be fatal.
Additionally, it may cause Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. However, this is caused mainly in poorly processed Spirulina products, where the blue-green algae are not entirely detoxified. Well-processed Spirulina is safe and is recommended for consumption by many health experts.
How Long Does it Take for it to Work?
The amount of time it takes to affect one’s body differs from one person to another. Different persons have different requirements of Spirulina suited to their body’s metabolism and mechanics. Of course, it would be absurd to expect Spirulina to affect right from the moment it enters the body. Still, regular consumption has shown to have a constant, lasting effect that may start as early as a week from the day of commencement of consumption. This also depends upon the quantity consumed. Consumption of higher amounts of it will cause it to affect sooner, whereas if you consume it in lesser quantities, it will take more time to affect one’s body.
When Should You Take It, In Morning or Night?
There is no specified rule about whether you shall take it during the day or night, but it is ideal if you take it in the morning. Most importantly, it differs from person to person according to the dietician’s prescription. Many dieticians recommend taking Spirulina tablets before every meal, that is, thrice a day.
However, this is not a general dosage. It also has a cleansing effect on the liver; therefore, if one has a regular habit of drinking, they should take a tablet of it with a glass of water before going to bed at night; however, intake of it shall be strictly according to the dietician’s direction. Also, check here how it can help serious covid-19.
Dosage of Spirulina
The dosage differs from person to person, but ideally, it ranges between 1g to 10g per day regularly. If one prefers to consume Spirulina tablets, in such case, the dosage shall be 6-10 tablets for adults and 1-3 tablets for children. However, if one prefers to consume its powder, in such case, the dosage shall be 1-3g (half to 1 teaspoonful) of Spirulina powder mixed with water or fruit or vegetable juice. Then, gradually increase the dosage, but it shall not exceed 10g. Its dosages vary for persons suffering from the following ailments:
- For persons suffering from diabetic conditions – 2g per day
- Persons suffering from high blood pressure – 3.5 to 4.5g per day
- For persons willing to improve metabolism – 2 to 7.5g per day
- For persons suffering from high LDL cholesterol – 1 to 8g per day
It is best to consult a dietician for the exact required dosage of Spirulina.
Various Brands of Spirulina
The following are some brands that provide the best Spirulina products. They can either be purchased online or are also available in pharmaceutical stores:
Keeping your overall health is always a priority. And these capsules help you attain a strong body physically and internally. Himalayan Organics uses only plant-based ingredients and fertilizers throughout its entire farming process. There are No Additives, No Preservatives, No Artificial Colors, No Flavors, No Fillers. Himalayan Organics Spirulina is Gluten-Free.
The consists of tablets loaded with proteins that work as an energy booster & an excellent source of antioxidants that help build your immunity. Each Serving of the tablet gives you 1264mg of Protein. It helps in reduces fatigue and strengthens your muscles.
This is a Spirulina powder that is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It contains some of the highest levels of protein of any plant or animal source. You can consume it daily with or between meals by adding it to a Shake or Smoothie, and observe yourself what the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet are all about.
EID manufactures this brand of Spirulina tablets. Parry (India) Ltd. It consists of organic Spirulina tablets which is a powerhouse of antioxidants that help strengthen immunity and metabolism. Also, it contains plant-based nutrients to reduce stress levels, fight allergies, reduces fatigue, boost stamina, and aid in body detox.
Boldfit Super Spirulina
This brand of Spirulina comprises Spirulina tablets mixed with Moringa Oleifera and Chlorella for Immunity and Antioxidant support. This is one of the purest spirulina in the market. Only 2 servings a day of these pills equals 7+ servings of fruits and vegetables in terms of antioxidant content.
Urban Platter Pure Spirulina Powder
This brand of Spirulina is in powder form and is a mineral-rich detoxifying supplement. It is a High Nutrition daily supplement that has Low Calories, Low Fat, and No Cholesterol. It helps in reduces fatigue and boosts your stamina. Plus, it is rich in Iron and improves your Haemoglobin levels.
Sunova Organic Spirulina
This brand of Spirulina is in the form of tablets. It has power Of 10 Essential Minerals, 10 Essential Vitamins, and 60% Veg Plant-Based Protein. It also helps reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels. Moreover, it helps in strengthening the muscles and boost your stamina.
Patanjali Spirulina Capsules with Amla
This brand of Spirulina consists of Amla extracts. It is the purest form of 100% natural spirulina powder with a rich source of Vegetarian Protein, Vitamins, and Minerals. Also, it is rich in vegan bio-available Iron, which improves hemoglobin levels.
How Can You Buy It Online?
In the form of either tablets, capsules, or powder, Spirulina products are available online on various websites, such as Amazon, Flipkart, 1mg, Netmeds.com, etc. It is very convenient and easy to purchase its products online. One can navigate to the websites mentioned above and type “Spirulina,” and click on the desired product from the list and follow the on-screen instructions for purchase.