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What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on this earth and belongs to the cyanobacteria family. These are blue-green microalgae that are jointly responsible for the production of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Millions of years ago, this is how life was able to develop on this earth in the first place.

Spirulina is a simple single-celled organism that takes its name from the Latin word for “helix” or “spiral” because of its structure. The blue-green algae are considered the oldest superfood and are one of the most nutrient-dense foods.

Studies show that spirulina can improve lipid and glucose (fat and sugar) metabolism. It also lowers fat levels in the liver and protects the heart. For the treatment of neurological disorders, blue-green algae seem to be as effective as common drugs. This effect has also been observed in osteoarthritis and in the field of immunology. Spirulina also impresses with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Spirulina contains between 55 and 70 percent proteins, which are composed of eight essential and ten non-essential amino acids. Also found in a high proportion:

  • Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
  • Beta-carotene
  • Linolenic acid
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Nucleic acids RNA and DNA

Spirulina is thus a vegan source of complex dietary protein. The composition of the amino acids it contains is considered “complete”. Spirulina, therefore, provides an optimal composition of all essential amino acids. However, compared to animal proteins, it contains less cysteine, methionine, and lysine.

organic spirulina

What Effect Can Be Expected From Spirulina?

Spirulina provides a variety of health benefits almost immediately after ingestion. It provides an almost immediate increase in energy and helps improve stamina and reduce fatigue. Spirulina supports the immune system and strengthens the heart, liver, and kidneys. In addition, the blue-green algae stop the production of yeast and fungi in the body, fights bad breath, and acts as an internal body deodorant.

Spirulina is also a natural appetite suppressant and strengthens the body’s digestive system. It has antioxidant properties and helps keep the body’s pH balanced. In this way, inflammation throughout the body is safely relieved – without chemicals.

Spirulina Detoxifies Heavy Metals

From the mercury fillings in your teeth, aluminum in your deodorant, cadmium in cigarettes, or mercury deposits in fish – toxins are everywhere! And no matter what you do, you can’t avoid them; you will always be exposed to them.

Even small amounts of these toxins can cause negative side effects in the body. These include headaches, fatigue, or acne – everyone benefits when we naturally rid ourselves of these toxins.

However, heavy metals are also becoming more and more important. Arsenic poisoning is becoming more and more of a problem around the globe. Whether in the U.S. or the Far East. The number of chronic arsenic poisonings is on the rise.

In one study, 24 patients with chronic arsenic poisoning received spirulina extract (250 milligrams) plus zinc (2 milligrams) twice daily, while 17 patients took a placebo. The result: the spirulina-zinc combination was effective. Ultimately, arsenic levels in the participants’ bodies decreased by 47 percent.

How Can Spirulina Help Detoxify Heavy Metals?

Spirulina can:

  • Rebuild and replenish blood cells.
  • Give a boost of energy.
  • Help with detoxification.
  • Stop the growth of bacteria in the digestive tract.

Consumption of spirulina leads to increased production of red blood cells and increases their ability to carry oxygen. More oxygen means the body can detoxify more effectively!

Spirulina Eliminates Candida

Candida is a yeast infection that occurs mainly in moist areas of the body. This includes, for example, the area between the fingers and toes and around the nails. If you experience redness, itching, rashes, and/or discoloration between your fingers or toes and/or around your nails, this could be due to a yeast infection. Due to today’s sugar-heavy diet, which is rich in unnatural ingredients, antimicrobial resistance, and ineffective antifungal agents, yeast infections have been on the rise since the 1980s. Fortunately, spirulina seems to be able to help.

Spirulina promotes the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the gut.

This prevents candida from thriving. In addition, Spirulina’s immune-boosting properties may help the body eliminate Candida cells. Candida albicans is the most common form and is responsible for about 90 percent of all yeast infections.

In the U.S., Candida infection is the leading cause of death related to mycosis (fungal infection). Today, the hallmark of most autoimmune diseases is an overgrowth of Candida. What does this mean? Without a healthy microflora balance in our bodies, we are simply much more susceptible to disease.
spirulina pregnancy

Spirulina Stops Viruses Like HIV and Herpes

Not long ago, epidemiologists couldn’t explain why residents of Japan, Korea, and Chad had relatively low rates of HIV/AIDS. A possible explanation can be found in a 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Phycology. According to this study, it could be due to the amount of seaweed that people in these areas consume on a regular basis!

There is no cure yet for herpes infection, likewise, it has not yet been determined what factors can cause an outbreak of the virus, but it is suspected that stress may play a role.

In a study, the antiviral effects of Spirulina were tested. This concluded that spirulina can stop the spread of various enveloped viruses in the body, such as HIV-1, herpes simplex virus type-1, influenza A virus (flu-type), measles, and mumps.

The effectiveness of Spirulina on these viruses needs further study to provide certain results, but it can be assumed that improvement is possible. Especially in HIV research, there are more and more positive results.

Spirulina Has A Supportive Effect In The Prevention Of Cancer

Prevention of cancer is always better than treatment or cure. So Spirulina could literally save your life.

Today, most of the toxins present in the environment can cause carcinogenic mutations. We ingest them through our skin or through chemicals in our food. Supplementing spirulina as part of a balanced diet is an effective way to combat the harmful effects of toxins in the body. One of these effects in the fight against cancer is related to its ability to stimulate the immune system and enhance the immune response. In this way, Spirulina protects against abnormal and invasive cell growth, and therefore against cancer.

Spirulina Lowers Blood Pressure

Spirulina leads to increased production of nitric oxides (NO), which reduce blood pressure.

Nitric oxides are gas molecules that are synthesized in the body. The gas acts as a blood pressure regulator: the diameter of the blood vessels increases (expands). This increases blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach the organs. Increased NO production is used in a number of different disorders, such as heart problems, erectile dysfunction, etc.

One study involved 36 people, men, and women, to measure blood lipid and glucose levels and blood pressure before and during six weeks of taking 4.5 grams of spirulina a day.

If you are already taking blood thinners, we recommend that you consult your doctor before taking spirulina preparations.

Spirulina Naturally Normalizes Cholesterol Levels

Millions and millions of people swallow cholesterol-lowering drugs every day. According to certain “experts”, millions more should be taking them, including children! Statin-containing drugs are responsible for a host of undesirable and dangerous side effects.

Fortunately, we have natural options available to us that can lower cholesterol levels. At the top of the list are avoiding fructose and grain products, and getting enough exercise. But spirulina can also help. Spirulina can prevent atherosclerosis and lower blood cholesterol levels. A study of elderly subjects (men and women) between the ages of 60 and 87 showed that patients who received eight grams of spirulina per day for 16 consecutive weeks had lower cholesterol levels than those given a placebo.

Spirulina Helps With Iron Deficiency

Iron is abundant in spirulina and essential for good health. Iron promotes the formation of hemoglobin, oxygenated blood pigment found in healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is especially common among women of reproductive age. With Spirulina you can at least partially cover your iron requirements. Spirulina preparations are also suitable for treating iron deficiency.

7 grams of the blue-green spirulina, i.e. one tablespoonful, contain two milligrams of iron.

You probably now want to know how spirulina compares to other foods in terms of iron content. Spirulina has a very concentrated iron content compared to some other foods.

Per pound, it contains 2.19 times the iron content of chicken liver and generally, six to twelve times that of beans (depending on the type of bean).

Spirulina Helps to Increase Energy

Considering its chemical composition, it’s no wonder that anyone who consumes spirulina regularly is bursting with energy.

Do you also often feel tired and listless in the afternoon? No matter what you try, at such a moment you just can’t get going. Forget “energy for five hours”. Spirulina gives you a real energy boost and is so much healthier than energy drinks.

Why does spirulina give you an extra dose of energy? First, let’s look at some of the amino acids it contains.

The contained amino acids leucine, tryptophan, aspartic acid, as well as glycine, have many benefits for the body:

  • help to improve energy balance (energy reserves and production rate);
  • increases the ability to use B vitamins;
  • convert carbohydrates into cellular energy;
  • help regulate blood glucose levels (conversion of glucose into energy).

spirulina chlorella

Have You Ever Been Recommended B Vitamins to Increase Your Energy Levels?

Spirulina contains a whole range of B vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, and B6. All of the B vitamins give you an energy boost by helping the body convert carbohydrates into glucose. Biotin and vitamin E are also useful in this context.

Caution. Spirulina does NOT contain vitamin B12 in the form “usable” by the body. In fact, it contains a large amount of pseudo vitamin B12. DO NOT buy spirulina hoping to meet your B12 needs with it.

Last but not least, don’t forget about energy from carbohydrates!

Now you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, let’s not have carbohydrates.” Don’t worry, Spirulina contains very few carbohydrates, but the amount available is very useful and provides clean energy.

Only 1/5 of Spirulina’s weight is carbohydrates and is present as glycogen.

Surprisingly, NO other fruit or vegetable is known to contain glycogen that can be used immediately. Other foods contain carbohydrates that the body must first convert to glycogen. And why is glycogen important? It is stored in the muscles and is available as energy as soon as the body needs it.

Spirulina Accelerates Weight Loss

First of all, you should be aware that there is no easy way to lose weight. Spirulina is not a miracle cure that will take over your weight loss efforts from one day to the next. The blue-green algae can only support you in the process. The hard work of exercising regularly and watching a healthy diet is yours to do.

How can spirulina help? The effect of spirulina is related to the cause of the problem. It curbs your appetite and gives you a boost of energy. However, this connection is rather indirect. A decreased appetite does not necessarily mean that we eat less. Likewise, more energy doesn’t lead us to exercise more.

Many people eat because they like it, not because they are hungry. A decreased appetite has no bearing on that. If you are serious and ready for change, spirulina can help you and support you in losing weight.

Spirulina Relieves Sinus Problems (Allergic Reactions)

In allergic rhinitis, spirulina supports the body by relieving the inflammation that causes sinus problems in numerous people. This has been shown in numerous studies. Compared to placebo studies, spirulina reduces itching, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Even hay fever allergy sufferers can reduce their allergic reactions with spirulina.

Spirulina vs Chlorella: These are the differences

Both algae are valuable foods. Where exactly they differ and which one might be better suited for your needs we explain here.

  • The first difference can already be seen in the color: If you compare the powder forms, you can quickly see that Chlorella is significantly darker than Spirulina. This can be attributed to the high chlorophyll content of Chlorella. In fact, this blue-green algae contains the highest measured concentration of chlorophyll in the plant world! It is believed that chlorophyll builds the human immune system. However, there are not yet enough studies to support this.
  • Chlorella also contains the so-called chlorella growth factor. This guarantees the extraordinarily fast cell reproduction rate of the alga and can support the healing of damaged nerves in humans.
  • Spirulina, in comparison, is higher in protein.
  • Additionally, it contains significantly more essential fatty acids, which promote brain function and contribute to heart health.
  • Spirulina is also rich in phytonutrients, which have been shown in studies to protect the human body from cancer.
  • Ultimately, both spirulina and chlorella are true superfoods and contain such different nutrient profiles that it is precisely the intake of both algae that is recommended. This way, the optimal effect of both foods can fully unfold in your body.

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Spirulina?

The dosage of spirulina used in studies varies widely. In general, as little as one to eight grams of spirulina daily showed some effect. The specific dose depends on the intended use:

  • As a cholesterol reducer, a dose between one and eight grams per day is effective.
  • For muscle performance, doses between two and 7.5 grams daily have been tested.
  • For blood glucose control, mild effects were noted at a dose of two grams daily.
  • Blood pressure could be influenced by doses between 3.5 and 4.5 grams per day.
  • An effect on fatty liver could be obtained with a dose of 4.5 grams per day.

As with any other protein supplement, no authoritative dosage recommendations exist. For some, one gram daily is enough. Others take up to 20 grams of crude mass – equivalent to ten grams of quality protein – daily. You can also combine Spirulina with other proteins.

Beginners should start with a very low dose of one gram per day for the first week. This way you allow your body to get used to it.

Also, make sure to drink enough water. Spirulina makes you thirsty!
spirulina benefits skin

Are There Side Effects Of Spirulina?

Doctors generally consider spirulina safe, especially given its long history as a food. However, spirulina can become contaminated with toxic metals, harmful bacteria, and microcystins – toxins produced from some algae – if grown under unsafe conditions.

  • Contaminated spirulina can cause liver damage, nausea, vomiting, thirst, weakness, rapid heartbeat, shock, and even death. Contaminated spirulina can be especially dangerous to children. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends closely examining the source of spirulina in supplements to ensure they are grown under safe conditions and tested for toxins.
  • People with certain autoimmune diseases should avoid spirulina products, according to NIH. Because spirulina boosts the immune system, spirulina supplements may worsen symptoms of multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions related to an overactive immune system. For the same reason, spirulina may weaken the effects of immunosuppressants, which are often prescribed to treat autoimmune diseases and prevent the body from rejecting organ transplants.
  • Spirulina may also affect drugs that slow blood clotting, including blood thinners such as warfarin, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) pain relievers. Combining spirulina with herbal supplements that slow blood clotting may increase a person’s risk of bleeding. According to the NIH, these include cloves, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, and turmeric.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid spirulina, as there are no safety studies for this group. People suffering from phenylketonuria should also avoid spirulina, according to the NIH, as taking it could worsen the effects of the genetic disorder.

Unfortunately, there are not enough studies available to make safe statements regarding the dosage of spirulina. Therefore, it is best to ask your doctor and follow the instructions on the label.

Spirulina - Start Eating Smart - Video

Is Spirulina Good for You? - FAQ

❓ What is Spirulina good for?

Spirulina slows down aging processes, strengthens the immune system and thus protects against viral infections and cancer. In addition, the algae preparations could mitigate allergic reactions, improve blood lipid levels, lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

❓ When not to consume spirulina?

The clearest contraindication to spirulina is phenylketonuria. Like other foods, it contains phenylalanine, so it is not recommended for people with phenylketonuria. It is also recommended to be avoided by those with autoimmune diseases, as it may cause outbreaks.

❓ What effects does spirulina have on the body?

Spirulina is also a good source of vitamins such as E and B, although it is not vitamin B12, it has antioxidant properties and helps lower cholesterol. It is also easy to digest, so even people with intestinal absorption problems can take it.

Jessica Clavits

Jessica Clavits

Hi! I'm Jessica! I keep this blog about personal care.