Main Health Benefits of Spirulina*
- Builds strong muscle, tendons and bones
- Repairs damaged skin
- Fights oxidative stress and free radicals
- Boosts immune activity
- Aids in weight-loss
- Improves arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
- Improves heart function and protects blood vessels
- Enhances exercise and workouts
- Regulates blood sugars in diabetics
- Beneficial for healthy eyes and vision
- Treats anaemia and improves iron storage
- Eases period pain
What is The History of Spirulina?
Spirulina is a tiny and unique blue-green alga and it has had the title of ‘super food’ for more than 3 decades. It is a multi-cellular organism called a cyanobacteria and is shaped in a perfect spiral.
It is amazing to find out that spirulina is considered to be one of the oldest inhabitants of our planet, appearing about 3.6 billion years ago. Evolutionary biologists believe that spirulina was the developmental bridge between bacteria and green plants and has been used to nutritionally sustain many cultures for tens of thousands of years.
Spirulina can be found in mineral-rich alkaline lakes and rivers all around the world with some of the most nutrient dense algae being found in lakes located close to volcanos. It thrives in any alkaline environment of about pH 8.5 or above and temperatures of around 30 degrees. Most of the cultivated and harvested spirulina today is grown in Africa, Asia and Central America in lakes and ponds with these specific growing conditions in place.
While spirulina has been a major food sustaining populations for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the botanist Jean Leonard began to study this wonderful algae and find out how it was able to give life to so many people over the ages.
In fact, spirulina is such a nutrient dense plant that it is being investigated to address worldwide malnutrition, provide biosecurity to agriculture and as a possible inclusion to the food programme for the long-haul space mission to Mars.
Recognised Targets and Mechanisms of Action
Spirulina has extremely high nutritional values due to its content of proteins, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids.
It is also a great source of vitamin B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), and vitamin K1 and K2. It also contains high levels of the following minerals - potassium, zinc, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium.
- Decreases both systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure
- Positive effects on haemoglobin (Hb) and anaemia have been shown in children, runners, senior citizens, patients with pathologies such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), type II diabetes (T2D), and HIV-infected people
- Reduced plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and elevated HDL cholesterol
- Reduces atherosclerosis and heart disease via bilirubin mimetic effects
Immune System Modulation
- Significantly promotes the growth of the lactic acid bacteria (Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus)
- Increases macrophage activation via phagocytic activity and nitrite production
- Inhibits the growth of some Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus vulgaris) and Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus pumulis)
- Has antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Candida albicans
- Increases markers of immune function - cytokines, ex vivo cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), lymphocytes populations, lymphocytes proliferation, and natural killer cell (NK) cytotoxic activity
- Increases T helper lymphocytes (CD4+ counts) in HIV-infected patients along with a decrease in viral load
- Decreases malondialdehyde (MDA) and increases serum total antioxidant capacity
- Plays a protective role against the toxicity induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), by metals (arsenic, mercuric chloride, chromium, cadmium, and fluoride), and some insecticides and drugs
- Increases nitric oxide (NO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH), modulation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nfr2)/antioxidant responsive elements (ARE) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX)] in hepatic, renal, and brain tissues
- Shows noticeable improvements and increases in markers of redox status included total antioxidant status (TAS), vitamin C, GSH , antioxidant enzymes (e.g., SOD, CAT, and GPX), and markers of lipid peroxidation [e.g., MDA, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and peroxides (ROOH)]
- High levels of zeaxanthin protect the retina and optic nerve from damage
- Decreases the proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in serum
- Modulates nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB)
- Inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression
- Shown to repress proinflammatory cytokine (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) expression and secretion via inhibition of NF-kB pathway
Anti-Diabetic and Metabolic Activity
- Increases lipoprotein lipase activity and the pancreatic secretion of insulin
- C-phycocyanin is able to inhibit NF-kB and induced Nrf2 activation in pancreatic β-cell INS-1
- Decreases levels of glucose and HOMA-IR
- Protects against diabetic nephropathy
* These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
Oxidative Medicine & Cell Longevity 15th Jan 2017: Antioxidant, Immunomodulating, and Microbial-Modulating Activities of the Sustainable and Ecofriendly Spirulina. Authored- Alberto Finamore, Maura Palmery, Sarra Bensehaila, and Ilaria Peluso
"Ready for dinner on Mars?". European Space Agency. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
Auroville – The City of Dawn: Spirulina - Nutrition of the future for the city of the future. Last updated: Aug 9, 2014
Vocal Longevity - Spirulina: Major Beneficial Ancient Superfood for Longevity. By Divine Dynasty 2018