The Ultimate Spirulina Supplement Review Guide

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The Ultimate Spirulina Supplement Review Guide covers nutritional profile, medicinal use, dosage, side effect, precautions,  clinical studies, retailing and general usage.

In 1974, the United Nations named spirulina as one of the most promising foods for the future and scientists from the US space program at NASA have studied spirulina as a potential food source for space travel due to its beneficial nutrient profile.
 
What is spirulina, though, and why is it so popular? What are its reported benefits and what does the scientific research say? Is it really a worthwhile addition to your supplementation regimen?

Follow me on The Ultimate Spirulina Supplement Review Guide. This article on Spirulina Supplement is part of Health2Wealth supplement education in preparation for Health2Wealth Wellness campaign.

If you want to contribute to this content, suggest edit, feature as a consultant or retailer, please contact us. You can click on any of the main topics below to jump to that section.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae (a type of bacteria that uses photosynthesis to generate energy and stay alive) that grows in freshwater lakes and ponds around the world.

It was once a primary source of protein for the ancient Aztec and African populations, and chemical analysis shows why–it’s an excellent source of a number of different macro– and micronutrients, including proteinessential amino acidsvitamins, and essential fatty acids.

Spirulina contains several other compounds that scientists have isolated as beneficial to our health.

The main one is phycocyanobilin, which makes up about 1% of spirulina by weight.

This compound mimics a compound the body produces called bilirubin, which inhibits enzymes that can cause oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. In this way, phycocyanobilin has both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.

There are fifteen species of spirulina, but three (Spirulina platensisSpirulina maxima, and Spirulina fusiformis) have received the most scientific attention due to their high nutritional value and reported health benefits.

Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (more than beef, chicken, and soybeans), 9 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, as well as high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, phosphorus, nucleic acids RNA & DNA, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a pigment-protein complex that is found only in blue-green algae.

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The History of Spirulina

Spirulina has a lengthy history, with records of it being consumed in the region of the Kanem Empire which would eventually become Chad, where it was dried to form cakes that were (and still are) used as supplementary broth to meals.

Spirulina was believed to have been consumed as a food source in the 12th century by the ancient Aztecs in the region that would eventually become Mexico. The Aztecs referred to the microalgae as “the stone’s excrement.

The spirulina harvesting process was recorded by a soldier of conquistador Hernan Cortes in the 16thcentury, as was descriptions of cakes and pastries containing spirulina. (Source)

There was little record of spirulina after this period until the 1940’s, when Pierre Dangeard, a French botanist, observed an interesting phenomenon while visiting Chad.

Dangeard observed that flamingoes that drank and ate from a lake containing spirulina had far longer life spans that the average flamingo.

Dangeard’s studies on spirulina and its properties remained relatively unnoticed until other scientists began researching spirulina found in Lake Texcoco, Mexico in the mid-1960s and other sources of spirulina within Africa.

By the 1970’s, the French had established the first farm to produce and harvest spirulina and the United Nations declared the microalgae a “super-food”. (Source)

Today, spirulina is grown and harvested across the world in over 20 countries for commercial consumption in nearly 80 countries. (Source) 

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Nutritional Profile

Spirulina has often been referred to as one of the most nutrient packed untreated foods available on the planet today.

Once ounce of spirulina contains 39 grams of protein, 230 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, 351 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids, adding up to approximately 81 calories.

Spirulina is also rich in important minerals and vitamins. That same ounce of the microalgae will also provide you with 85 percent of your targeted daily value of copper, 44 percent of iron, 60 percent of riboflavin, and 44 percent of thiamin.

Spirulina also contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and niacin in daily value amounts ranging from 3-20 percent. (Source)

As spirulina is a plant-based life form, it also contains chlorophyll, which may assist with the flushing of certain toxins from the blood as well as boost the immune system.

It also contains antioxidants in the form of beta carotenoids, which can be beneficial to the body both externally and internally. (Source)

Most people know that vitamins and minerals “matter,” but they don’t realize how important they really are.

The reality is if your diet doesn’t provide you with adequate levels of the two-dozen-plus essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires, you’ll never reach peak levels of health, vitality, and general well-being.

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Health Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina provides a wide range of health benefits almost immediately upon ingestion. It provides a near-instantaneous boost to one’s energy, while helping to improve endurance and reduce fatigue. It helps improve the immune system, and provides exceptional support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, oxygenating the blood, and helping cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health complications.

Spirulina is also a natural appetite suppressant, and it helps to improve the body’s digestive system. It also has very powerful antioxidant properties and it helps to balance the body’s pH, thereby reducing inflammation throughout the body in a safe and chemical-free way.

As spirulina contains a high amount of protein for a plant as well as a variety of essential minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients, many studies have explored how spirulina can improve health and even help combat certain diseases. Here are some detail findings:

Improving Malnutrition

A study of malnourished children in Central Africa aimed to establish whether spirulina supplements would have any impact on reducing the symptoms and negative effects of malnutrition, such as vitamin deficiency, oedema, and overall nutritional status.

Half of the children in the study were given daily doses of spirulina, the other half were given a placebo. After a period of 30 days, the children who had been taking spirulina displayed 15 percent decreased anemia, 60 percent decreased edema, and significant increases of hemoglobin levels (a key protein found in red blood cells).

The study also observed that the children taking spirulina showed improved nutritional status overall in a relatively short period of time (30 days), concluding that spirulina was highly beneficial to children suffering from malnutrition. (Source)

Detoxes Heavy Metals (Especially Arsenic)

Affecting people all over the globe, chronic arsenic toxicity is a problem. As Bangladeshi researchers pointed out, “there is no specific treatment” for arsenic poisoning, which is why they evaluated alternatives like blue-green algae. After giving 24 patients affected by chronic arsenic poisoning spirulina extract (250 milligrams) plus zinc (2 milligrams) twice daily, researcher compared the results with 17 patients who took a placebo and found that the spirulina-zinc combination worked. Ultimately, the participants experienced a 47 percent decrease of arsenic in their body. Spirulina against arsenic? Spirulina wins! Make it part of your heavy metal detox.

Eliminates Candida

According to researchers, “Candida species belong to the normal microbiota of an individual’s mucosal oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and vagina.” (Source) What does that mean? Well, without a healthy microflora balance in our body, we are simply much more susceptible to sickness and disease.

In fact, leaky gut syndrome and improper digestion are directly connected to microfloral imbalance. Candida overgrowth has become the hallmark sign for most autoimmune diseases today. (Source)

Because of our shift toward a diet rich in sugar and unnatural ingredients, antimicrobial resistance and ineffective antifungal drugs, we have seen a significant rise in yeast infections since the 1980s.

Thankfully, spirulina appears to be able to help. Several animal studies have shown that it’s an effective antimicrobial agent, particularly for candida. (Source 1Source 2Source 3)

Specifically, spirulina benefits have been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the intestines, which in turn inhibits candida from thriving. Additionally, the immune-strengthening properties of spirulina will help the body eliminate candida cells. (Source)

Improves HIV/AIDS

When researchers took 11 HIV patients who have never taken antiretrovirals, they split the participants into three groups: one that was assigned to eat 5 grams of brown seaweed every day, one that was to eat 5 grams of spirulina, and one that ate a combination of both. (Source) After the three-month trial period was complete, two key findings were discovered:

  1. Absolutely no adverse effects were experienced from both seaweed varieties and the combination.
  2. CD4 cells (T-helper white blood cells that fight infection and are used to stage HIV) and HIV-1 viral load (another HIV biomarker) remained stable.

The results were so promising that one participant volunteered to continue the study for an additional 10 months, and this participant actually benefited from “clinically significant improvement in CD4 and decreased HIV viral load.” Therefore, spirulina deserves a place in natural HIV treatment.

Helps Prevent Cancer

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.” (Source)

This doesn’t come as a surprise as more than 70 peer-reviewed articles have been published in the scientific literature evaluating spirulina’s ability to affect cancer cells. (Source)

In an article published this past April, Czech Republic scientists pointed out that, in addition to its ability to control blood cholesterol levels, “Spirulina is also rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds closely related to bilirubin molecule, a potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative agent.” (Source)

When tested on human pancreatic cells, these researchers discovered that, “Compared to untreated cells, experimental therapeutics significantly decreased proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.” Essentially, this proves that consuming spirulina appears to be a potential natural cancer treatment.

Lowers Blood Pressure 

Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (it lowers blood pressure). (Source) Japanese researchers claim that this is because consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome.

I find this extremely promising for Africans because metabolic syndrome has rapidly become one of the main causes of preventable disease today, as it raises one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. (Source)

Reduces Cholesterol

Along those same lines, spirulina benefits have also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.

A recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology took rabbits, fed them a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 0.5 percent cholesterol for four weeks, and then fed them a HCD with 1 percent or 5 percent spirulina for an additional eight weeks. (Source)

After the eight-week trial was complete, LDL levels decreased by 26 percent in the group eating 1 percent of spirulina and 41 percent in the group eating 5 percent spirulina, which heavily suggests that the more we eat, the more benefits we will receive! Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also significantly reduced.

Lowers Chance of Stroke

In the study above, researchers also discovered that the spirulina supplementation lowered intimal aorta surface by 33 percent to 48 percent, which suggests that it can prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent stroke. (Source)

It’s important to remember that this clinical trial was conducted on animals that were still eating a HCD, and it highlights that regular spirulina consumption may literally reverse some of the damage done by eating a poor diet.

You can only imagine the heart health benefits that would be experienced in those individuals who have a balanced diet!

Boosts Energy

When you look at the chemical composition of spirulina, it’s no wonder that people who regularly consume it have an abundance of energy. Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends combining 1 teaspoon of spirulina powder with 12 ounces of lime juice and freezing the mixture in ice cube trays for a healthy boost.

According to Dr. Oz, spirulina and lime enhance energy performance because they unlock sugar from our cells and, when frozen, the cold from the ice boosts metabolic energy while giving our bodies a “wake-up call.” (Source)

It’s important to note that this has not been studied in clinical trials, although there are many anecdotal reports that spirulina may boost energy levels.

Alleviates Sinus Issues

Known as allergic rhinitis, spirulina benefits the body by reducing the inflammation that causes people to experience sinus problems, according to numerous studies. (Source) Compared to placebo trials, spirulina is effective at reducing itching, nasal discharge, nasal congestion and sneezing.

Offers Neuroprotection for Brain Disorders & Memory Boosting

In a 2012 study, a spirulina-enhanced diet given to rats provided neuroprotection in an α-synuclein model of Parkinson’s disease. This did not occur with the control diet. (Source) In a 2015 study, the effects of spirulina on memory dysfunction, oxidative stress damage and antioxidant enzyme activity were examined with mice.

It was found that Spirulina platensis may “prevent the loss of memory possibly by lessening Aβ protein accumulation, reducing oxidative damage and mainly augmenting the catalase activity.” (Source)

While both studies are preliminary and involving animals, they hold promise for humans afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, other neurodegenerative diseases and those with memory problems.

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Side Effects of Spirulina

There are some published case reports of individuals who had autoimmune reactions after using spirulina. (Source) There is a theory that this may be caused by the activation of an inflammatory agent, TNF-alpha, which could be more significant in people predisposed to autoimmune disease. However, other lab and research studies suggest that spirulina might suppress this inflammatory protein, so more research needs to be completed to determine who this may impact. (Source)

If you have an autoimmune condition, it’s a good idea to take this supplement under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

It’s absolutely critical to make sure that the quality and purity of the spirulina that you consume is of the highest standards. Particularly, like anything that comes from the sea, be certain to only purchase blue-green algae that is free from contamination.

According to WebMD, contaminated spirulina can cause the following: (Source)

  • Liver damage
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shock and even death
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Precaution & Safety Taking Spirulina

Precautions
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Spirulina if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Safety 
One other thing of note is spirulina contains iodine, which some people are allergic or sensitive to. This is why those taking prescription medications should check with their doctor before supplementing with spirulina.

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Dosage of Spirulina

The doses used in studies of spirulina vary considerably, ranging from 1 to 8 grams per day.

Here’s how it shakes out:

  • For improving muscle performance, you want to take 2 to 7.5 grams per day.
  • For improving blood glucose control, mild effects have been observed with 2 grams per day.
  • For reducing cholesterol levels, doses should be in the range of 1 to 8 grams per day.
  • For lowering blood pressure, doses of 3.5 to 4.5 grams per day have shown benefit.
  • For fatty liver, benefits have been seen at doses of 4.5 grams per day.
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Conclusion

Spirulina is one of the few supplements that may actually deserve the title of “superfood.”

It’s highly nutritious and has numerous health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving the functioning of the immune system, improving glucose metabolism, helping to fight infections, and reducing allergy symptoms.

It has also been shown to improve muscle strength, fat oxidation, and exercise performance.

That’s why I think it’s an ideal supplement for people looking to improve both their health and fitness and a worthwhile addition to your supplementation regimen.

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Call For Contribution

The Health2Wealth Team seeks contributions that tell stories about the use and benefit of Spirulina. Be inspiring. Be inclusive. In keeping with the theme, we will embrace creative proposals that demonstrate how research and theory directly impact and influence practice at all levels. Contact us for details.

Please we will need the support of the general public to carry out exclusive research and work on Spirulina supplement. Precisely, we will need the following:

1.  #MYHEALTHCHAT PARTNERS: If you are a medical or health professional and would like to provide guidance on the supplement above, please indicate or contact us.

2. RETAILER: If you have a store where you sell any Spirulina product, please contact us on how to be a Retailer partner to promote best Spirulina products. Retailers can include supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacy store or Wellness Company distributors.

3. VENDOR: If you are an importer or dealer or wholesaler of Spirulina products, please contact us on how to be a Vendor partner on Health2Wealth platform to be a major supplier.

4. HEALTH PROMOTERS: We are looking for pleasant and competitive Health Promoters that thrives in attracting new customers.Your role as a health promoter is to help people to improve their health and increase their control over it. You could also be known as a health promotion specialist, health education specialist or health improvement practitioner.

5. PRODUCT TESTERS: We are also looking for consumers who will like to test the efficacy of some of the products we will like to add to list of approved products. Volunteer consumers may get up to 100% discount.

6. SOCIAL SPARKERS: We will need social media volunteers to help spread the message about the benefits, uses and important updates regarding Spirulina.

7. ADVERTISERS: If you will like to take advantage of our advertisement opportunity for your products please contact us.

8. SPONSOR: We need sponsors for the Health2Wealth #Write2Wellness contest for Spirulina. For more information, contact us.

CONTACT DETAILS
Contact Person: Jetro Olowole

WhatsApp: +2348073102012

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Jetro Olowole (A.K.A. The Business Quadrants Guy) is a Wellness Coach, Business Development Manager, Trainer, Author and Consultant in Digital Marketing and Social Selling for organizations. My Business Coaching program will challenge your thinking, goals and willingness to grow and build passive income business.

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  1. Such an amazing article you got here. I would recommend this article to my friends to help them with their activities.

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