Found in our product: Back to Greens
Represents a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be safely consumed.
It is incredibly good for you and is loaded with nutrients that can have powerful effects on your body and brain. A single tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina powder contains:
Protein: 4 grams.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDA.
Copper: 21% of the RDA.
Iron: 11% of the RDA.
It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that we need.
All this with only 20 calories, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
Gram for gram, this means that spirulina may literally be the single most nutritious food on the planet.
The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent, comparable to eggs. It contains all the essential amino acids that we need.
It is often claimed that spirulina contains vitamin B12, but this is false. It contains pseudo-vitamin B12, which has not been shown to be effective in humans.
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage.
The main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color.
Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signalling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
It can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the "good") cholesterol.
In a study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams per day of spirulina significantly improved these markers.
Another study in people with high cholesterol found that 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered triglycerides by 16.3% and LDL by 10.1%.
Spirulina Protects LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Fatty structures in the body are susceptible to oxidative damage. This is known as lipid peroxidation, which is known to be a key driver of many serious diseases.
For example, one of the key steps in the pathway towards heart disease is LDL lipoproteins in the blood becoming oxidized.
Interestingly, the antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation. This has been shown numerous times, in both human and animal studies.
In a study of individuals with type 2 diabetes, doses of spirulina per day significantly reduced the markers of oxidative damage. It also increased the level of antioxidant enzymes in the blood.
For combatting oral cancer, in a study of subjects with OSMF precancerous lesions, 1 gram of spirulina per day led to greater improvement in symptoms than the drug Pentoxyfilline.
Studies show that it may reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is an important driver of many killer diseases. This includes heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. It is known as ‘the silent killer’ as most people are not aware that they have it. As a side note: Go and get it checked! Seriously! Do it!
Spirulina based supplements have been shown to be very effective against allergic rhinitis, helping to reduce various symptoms.
In a study of older people with a history of anemia, spirulina supplementation increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells. Immune function also improved.
Exercise-induced oxidative damage is a major contributor to muscle fatigue.
Certain plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and physically active individuals minimize this damage. Spirulina also appears to be beneficial for the active, with some studies showing improved muscle strength and endurance. It seems to vary with the individual.
Animal studies have shown that spirulina can significantly lower blood sugar levels.
In some cases, it has outperformed popular diabetes drugs, including Metformin. There is some evidence that spirulina can be effective in humans.
In a study of 25 patients with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina led to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
HbA1c, a marker for long-term blood sugar levels, decreased from 9% to 8%, which is substantial. Studies estimate that a 1% reduction in this marker can lower the risk of diabetes-related death by 21%.
However, this study was small and only lasted for 2 months. Research is ongoing.
Spirulina may also have other beneficial effects, such as helping to "detoxify" the heavy metal arsenic from the body.At the end of the day, spirulina is incredibly healthy. It is one of the few "superfoods" that are truly worthy of that term.