Spirulina is a tiny blue-green organism, a  cyano-bacterium that grows in fresh and Saltwater. It is classified into two categories, Microalgae and Macroalgae. (this is based on their size)

The Cyanobacteria – whose cell having both types of properties like plant and bacterial cells. They are able to produce energy from light through photosynthesis and are considered the very first photosynthetic organisms to appear on Earth. It is blue-green in color because they contain both the dye - phycocyanin and chlorophyll.

Spirulina was so named for its spiral shape. In commercial use, Spirulina platensis. It is commercially available mainly as a pills, powder, capsules, and syrup. It was consumed by the ancient people but became popular again when NASA (of the USA) proposed to develop it in the space for use by astronauts (because spirulina = superfood). A typical dosage is 1-3 grams, but it can be given up to 10 grams per day for the better effectiveness.

Spirulina algae is cultivated in many countries of the world, including  Greece  (Nigrita, Serres). It is usually grown in clean tanks, without fertilizers, insecticides, and preservatives with modern technological methods. Some companies produce it directly in natural as well as artificial lakes.

Nutrients and properties

It is one of the most-nutritious foods on the planet. It is the wealthiest “green food” in protein with a content of 60-70%. One full tablespoon (7 g) of dried powder provides 20 calories and the following Nutrients :

  • Carbohydrates: 1.7 grams

  • Protein: 4 gram

  • Copper: 21% of GDP

  • Iron: 11% of GDP

  • Vitamin B3: 4% of BPH

  • Vitamin B2: 15% of BPH

  • Vitamin B1: 10% of BPH

Spirulina is a good source of vitamin-E. It also provides high amounts of β-carotene in various molecular forms and its unique because the β-carotene of spirulina is more easily absorbed than the β-carotene of carrot or broccoli. It is 20 to 25 times richer than raw carrots – beta carotene is non-toxic, even consumed in large quantities.

Sometimes said that Spirulina contains vitamin-B12, but this form is ineffective in humans.

The primary contents of Spirulina are β-carotene, some polyphenols, and phycocyanin.

While more scientific research is needed on health claims and properties, Spirulina is one of the best-known Superfoods. In addition to its many Nutrients, it can improve blood lipid levels (LDL, HDL, etc), lower blood sugar and suppress oxidation. The following information is the main findings of scientific research.

Where does Spirulina help?

  • It can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Spirulina can lower "bad" cholesterol, i.e., LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing “good” cholesterol like HDL.

In a study of 25 people with type-2  Diabetes, 2-3 grams of Spirulina reduced triglycerides by 15% per day and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 10% after three months. Other studies have Seen favorable results with a higher dosage (4-8 g per day).

  • It has solid antioxidant properties.

Spirulina algae is the best source of antioxidants. Phycocyanin can inhibit the inflammatory signaling molecules and fight against the free radicals.

The body’s fatty structures, known as lipid peroxidation, are susceptible to oxidative damage and are considered disease agents. For example, one of the critical steps in the development of atherosclerosis is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Interestingly, the Antioxidant enzymes, available in the blood are also increased.

  • Improves the Symptoms of allergic rhinitis

The main symptom of Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal passages. Environmental allergens cause it, such as, e.g., the pollen of plants—symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching.

Anemia is more common in the elder, leading to fatigue and weakness. It is characterized by a decrease hemoglobin or red blood cells. Organic iron is 58 times richer than raw spinach and 28 times richer than raw beef liver.

In a study on 40  anemic Seniors, Supplements increased hemoglobin in red blood cells and improved immune function.

  • It can improve muscle strength and endurance.

The oxidative damage caused by Spirulina increased endurance, significantly increasing the time it took for people to feel tired.

  • It can help control blood sugar.

How can spirulina help weight loss? 

  • Body Detox 

Spirulina is very rich in chlorophyll, a natural antioxidant that acts against freeradicals and facilitates body and heavy metals. It is an ideal supplement for those who are about to start a weight loss program and must prepare their body for a low-calorie diet. Also, methionine, an amino acid prevalent in spirulina, helps natural liver detoxification. 

  • Appetite reduction 

Spirulina contains the amino acid named phenylalanine, which, if taken between meals, can cause appetite reduction and satiety. Thus spirulina helps weight loss through calorie reduction, and it also reduces cravings for sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods and binge eating. Spirulina has a high protein content and high consuption of spirulina may not increase blood glucose level. 

  • Metabolism 

Spirulina’s natural nutrients, especially b complex vitamins and GLA fatty acid,  energize metabolism, and this action is maximized during a low-calorie diet. Also, amino acids of spirulina help mass not only muscle maintenance but also weight loss results maintenance. 

  • Toning and energy 

Spirulina contains a high amount of vitamin-B12 and iron, offering better oxygen transfer in the body and helping better absorption of nutrients. It is a natural toner, an ideal supplement for those that follow a low-calorie diet. Spirulina can prevent possible nutrient deficiencies and frequent fatigue in people trying to lose weight and follow a restricted low-calorie diet plan. 

Who can benefit from spirulina intake? 

  • Those that want a daily nutrient boost.

  • People that do not consume all needed nutrients from their diet

  • People that have increased nutrient needs, such as athletes 

  • Those that follow a low-calorie diet.

  • Those who suffer from fatigue or lack of energy.

  • Vegetarians.

  • Those who demand for happy life.

Dosage 

2.000 – 3.000 mg (miligrams) daily in 3 doses for 3-4 months. In our e-Pharmacy, many spirulina supplements, such as tablets, capsules, and powder, are available. 

Possible side-effects

There are chances that Spirulina may be contaminated. Algae have toxins if they grow in water contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead, etc.

They may also contain metabolites (like microcystins) produced by Cyanobacteria that act as hepatotoxins in animals, This is a defense mechanism of spirulina against predators.

Spirulina grown in controlled environments having low content of microcystins, as scientists have developed methods to remove them. But it is essential to buy Spirulina from a guinune and well-known companies.

Cautions 

  • Do not take spirulina during pregnancy and lactation or if you suffer from thyroid disease.

  • Consult the healthcare provider or nutrition specialist before start any type of diet plan.

At www.remedyathome.com, you will find a wide variety of other supplements!