The benefits of Spirulina are highlighted in many subjects from cholesterol to hair and skin care by expert researchers such as Ibrahim Saraçoglu, Ahmet Maranki and Suna Dumankaya. In this article, we tried to answer the questions such as what is spirulina, what are its benefits and side effects, how to use it and what is good for it.
What is Spirulina and What are its Benefits?
Classified as cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, Spirulina has been used as a food source in other countries for centuries. Spirulina capsules are found in tablets and powder form and are included in some foods and beverages, such as energy bars and popcorn.
Spirulina consists mostly of proteins containing all the amino acids necessary for our body. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals and active compounds that have beneficial effects on our health.
Spirulina can grow in unfavorable extreme conditions compared to most other aquatic organisms. It is usually grown, harvested and frozen and dried in artificial or natural lakes.
Spirulina has a protein content of 60% and is a richer source of protein than most vegetables, and is also a good source of beta-carotene, various minerals and gamma linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid.
Benefits for Spirulina and B12 Deficiency
Spirulina is often used as a source of vegan protein and vitamin B12. Although it is rich in B12 in terms of content, it will not help much if the source of B12 deficiency is the lack of absorption. Therefore, be sure to follow the doctor's recommendations for vitamin B12 deficiency due to the problem of absorption.
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Spirulina Is Friendly to the Heart, Liver and Brain
It shows that Spirulina reduces liver fat and protects the heart while improving lipid and glucose metabolism. Animal studies are also very promising, as Spirulina has been shown to have similar potential to commonly used reference drugs when it comes to neurological disorders. These effects also contribute to the benefits of Spirulina on arthritis and immunity.
What Diseases Are The Benefits of Spirulina Good for?
Although the claims for the benefits of spirulina were high, if it was limited to its nutritional content, we would have less concern about it. However, spirulina is also encouraged to prevent, treat or cure certain conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, depression, viral hepatitis and malnutrition.
Moreover, it is said to strengthen the immune system and improve kidney and liver function. The problem is that there is little or no scientific evidence to support these claims. Several claims have been tested, but most trials have been small, poorly designed or inconclusive.
Spirulina and Energy Increase
Thanks to its high concentration of vitamins and minerals, spirulina helps to combat deficiencies that are often seen as a result of our often destabilized modern diets.
The recommended daily dose of 5g includes a good portion of the recommended daily iron intake (37%), vitamin A (74% in its precursor form) and vitamin B12 (21%). This helps to increase concentration energy and support enzymatic reactions that work our body.
Spirulina's richness in other vitamins, minerals and pigments also contributes to increasing a person's energy.
Spirulina and Immune System
The immune system is the mechanism by which our body defends against attacks from all kinds of pathogenic organisms, including bacteria, viruses and other parasites, against cancerous cells and everything else that it identifies as foreign.
One of the keys to a balanced diet is effective immune function and nutritional deficiencies, which significantly reduces the capacity to defend immunity.
The benefits of spirulina activate the immune system when a foreign attack is detected. As an antiviral agent, it prevents the reception, penetration and proliferation of viruses in body cells and fights viruses at every step.
Benefits for Spirulina and Cancer
Nutrition plays a role in more than 1/3 of cancer-related deaths. A varied, balanced diet provides many nutrients with protective properties that make traditional cancer treatments more effective, while at the same time reducing their side effects.
Insufficient antioxidants in a person's diet can cause this stress to become very large and eventually pathological, at which point there is a risk of the proliferation of cancerous cells. Spirulina's anti-cancer abilities have been proven by numerous studies thanks to antioxidants.
The effects of β-carotene, zeaxanthin, ficosiyanin and enzymes (such as superoxide dysmutase) can be used in the prevention and treatment of cancers (colon, pancreas, liver, etc.) and even as anti-melanogenic protection (against harmful effects of UV-b rays).
Spirulina and Viruses (HIV, HERPES)
As discussed above, spirulina can strengthen the immune system. Many studies have been carried out on HIV patients and spirulina offers many benefits for them. It has been shown to have an effect on increasing the amount of immune system cells and reducing the amount of viruses in circulation.
Spirulina, Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension
A soluble dose of spirulina has been shown to help lower fasting blood sugar levels, and an insoluble dose is proven to lower blood sugar levels after glucose consumption. Spirulina also helps prevent kidney damage that can be seen in diabetics and limits related diseases by limiting weight gain.
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Benefits for Spirulina and Hair
The benefits of spirulina come from the content of vitamins A, B5 and B8, β-carotene, manganese and zinc. All of these have known features that, in addition to limiting hair loss and whites, restore damaged hair and promote reglement . They also make hair smoother and brighter. Spirulina thus contributes to both the health and beauty of the hair and can even help limit the development of baldness.
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What are the Harms and Side Effects of Spirulina Capsules?
It has been reported that spirulina capsules and powder have very few side effects when used in recommended doses. But such algae could theoretically contain the amino acid phenylalanini, and therefore may be inconvenient to use by people with phenylketinide (PKU), a metabolic disorder in which the body cannot metabolize phenylalanin. If you are using Spirulina, let your health care professional know as it may interact with other medications you can take.
How much and how to use Spirulina per day?
The amount of daily intake of spirulina detected in studies investigating its effects varies greatly. It has been found that spirulina, usually between 1-8 g per day, has some effect. Specially adjusted doses depend on the disease or other situation in which it is used:
- Rates in the range of 1-8 g per day can be useful in order to reduce cholesterol levels.
- The amount of 2-7.5 g per day was used usefully to strengthen muscle.
- For blood sugar, i.e. diabetes, very mild effects were obtained in the amount of 2 g per day.
- For blood pressure disease, it can be affected at doses of 3.5-4.5 g per day.
- The effects for liver fat were seen in doses of 4.5 g per day.
More research is needed to determine whether Spirulina should be taken once a day or several times a day in smaller doses. It is not recommended to exceed the aforementioned maximum dose, since no significant benefit has been recorded beyond this level.
- What is Spirulina and What are its Benefits?
- What Diseases Are The Benefits of Spirulina Good for?
- What are the Harms and Side Effects of Spirulina Capsules?