Spirulina powder is a dried cell mass of algae Spirulina platensis. It is a vegetable with very high protein content!!!. Around 60% by weight of Spirulina is protein and is used as a food in some parts of Africa and Mexico. Around 1% of spirulina by weight is phycocyanobilin which gives spirulina anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina is also a good source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA) and the antioxidant beta carotene.
Spirulina may be effective as a supportive in
- Non alcoholic fatty liver treatment
- Rhinitis management
- Removal of chronically assimilated Arsenic
- Blood lipid management
It may also support
- Blood pressure management
- Diabetes management
- Isometric exercise training
- There are a several human studies reported on spirulina
Human studies on spirulina
- In patients with metabolic syndrome (bad lipid, raised blood glucose, high BP, obesity) spirulina consumption reduced triglycerides by up to 10 to 15%. Suggested dose: 2-2-2 cap after food 4 week.
- Spirulina was very effective in providing symptomatic relief in allergic rhinitis (nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching) Suggested dose: 2-2 cap after food 6 month.
- Spirulina was also shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people. Suggested dose: 2-2-2 after food 4 week.
- Spirulina consumption has also favourable effects on blood glucose regulation in type II diabetics.
- Spirulina together with zinc at low doses may prevent and treat chronic Arsenic poisoning.
Suggested dose: 1 cap per day after food
- A few case studies show spirulina supplement at high doses to reduce liver fat deposition in non-alcoholic fatty acid patients
- High doses of spirulina powder are also shown to increase muscular endurance.
- Low dose are shown to be effective in increasing the isometric muscle strength and isometric muscle endurance. Suggested dose: 2-2 cap 2 months.
A note on Arsenic poisoning:-
A news report in 2017 suggested that around 19% Indians drank water contaminated with above permissible levels of heavy metal Arsenic. This problem is likely has intensified in the past couple of years, possibly due to secondary source of Arsenic such as food prepared from the contaminated water, farms irrigated with contaminated water. The source of Arsenic is likely the deep underground as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Continuous high consumption of Arsenic can lead to cancers of skin, bladder, kidney, lungs, etc. with some other not so serious effects such as skin discolouration. There is also some link between onset of diabetes, hypertension and reproductive disorders with continuous consumption of Arsenic contaminated water and food. Spirulina, when added to every diet along with zinc, may effectively reduce the Arsenic load on the body.
- Misbahuddin, M. et al. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2006;44, 135-41.
- Ferreira-Hermosillo, A. et al. J. Med. Case Rep. 2010 Apr 7;4:103. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-4-103.
- Accessed 24-9-20 -https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/food/arsenic-lurking-in-the-shadows-across-ganga-brahmaputra-basins-69004
- Accessed 24-9-20 -http://origin.searo.who.int/india/topics/arsenic/en/
People with any auto-immune disorder, phenyl ketone urea must consult doctor before adding spirulina as part of diet Also pregnant women, lactating mothers, people known to have food allergies and children should consult doctor before starting spirulina supplementation.