9 Health Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is an algea found in fresh or salt water. It has been used by ancient civilizations for its health benefits. NASA has famously used spirulina as a supplement for their astronauts. Spirulina can be used as a dietary/nutritional supplement for people of all ages.

Nutritional benefits of spirulina:

  • High protein content (70% proteinm, similar to meat and soybeans)
  • High in vitamin A
  • High in vitamin B12
  • Good source of iron
  • Good source of vitamin K
  • Good source of calcium
  • Good source of magnesium
  • Good source of potassium

Potential health benefits of spirulina

  1. Anti-inflammation
  2. Natural antihistamine, protects us against allergic rhinitis.
  3. Improve our immune system
  4. May lower our cholesterol levels
  5. Improve our gut health
  6. May help with weight loss
  7. Prevent muscle damage and assist in muscle recovery post-workout
  8. Improve our energy levels
  9. Improve our bone health
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Side effects and toxicity

Spirulina is a relatively safe natural substance. However, some side effects have been observed, including headaches, muscle pain, sweating, etc.

If the spirulina was sourced from polluted waters, it could contain pollutants as spirulina absorbs substances from the water.

People with allergy to seafood or has phenylketonuria should avoid consuming spirulina.

How to use spirulina

How does it taste? It taste somewhat like sea kelp/seaweed, with a hint of salt.

How much do I take? There has not been enough studies to conclude the recommended dosage for spirulina. It is always a good idea to take them in moderation and never excessively. 1 teaspoon per day should be safe for most people.

Here are some trusted products we recommend:

Honest to Goodness Organic Spirulina Powder, 1 Kilograms

Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Organic Spirulina 1000Mg 200 Tablets

 

References:

Karkos, P.D. & Leong, S.C. & Karkos, C.D. & Sivaji, Nagaraj & Assimakopoulos, D.A.P.. (2008). Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2011. 531053. 10.1093/ecam/nen058.

Finamore A, Palmery M, Bensehaila S, Peluso I. Antioxidant, Immunomodulating, and Microbial-Modulating Activities of the Sustainable and Ecofriendly SpirulinaOxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:3247528. doi:10.1155/2017/3247528

Gómez-Zorita S, Trepiana J, González-Arceo M, et al. Anti-Obesity Effects of Microalgae. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;21(1):41. Published 2019 Dec 19. doi:10.3390/ijms21010041

Lupatini AL, Colla LM, Canan C, Colla E. Potential application of microalga Spirulina platensis as a protein source. J Sci Food Agric. 2017;97(3):724-732. doi:10.1002/jsfa.7987

Wu Q, Liu L, Miron A, Klímová B, Wan D, Kuča K. The antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities of Spirulina: an overview. Arch Toxicol. 2016;90(8):1817-1840. doi:10.1007/s00204-016-1744-5

Gutiérrez-Salmeán G, Fabila-Castillo L, Chamorro-Cevallos G. NUTRITIONAL AND TOXICOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SPIRULINA (ARTHROSPIRA). Nutr Hosp. 2015;32(1):34-40. Published 2015 Jul 1. doi:10.3305/nh.2015.32.1.9001

Published by EZ Dietitian

Elena Zhang​ is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) based in North Brisbane, Queensland.

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