Spirulina has been around since before dinosaurs walked the earth and is regarded as one of the earliest life-forms on Earth. More recently, it's been garnering huge amounts of interest for its nutritional profile and health-promoting properties.
Spirulina may be the single most nutrient-dense food on Earth. High in protein, and a source of antioxidants and other important nutrients, new research supports the notion that spirulina has benefits that range from enhancing the immune system to reducing cholesterol, and even assisting with overall health and fitness.
What is it?
Spirulina is a natural blue-green algae that grows in both salty and fresh water. The main active component of spirulina is a compound called phycocyanin and is what's responsible for spirulina's characteristic blue/green colour. It's also an impressive antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and could inhibit the production of inflammatory signalling molecules.
Spirulina has evidence that links it to improving lipid and glucose metabolism, while also reducing liver fat and protecting the heart. Research also suggests that spirulina can help people with diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension by reducing triglycerides by up to 10-15%, and that it could also play a role in helping to prevent muscle damage that can happen when you're training.
Spirulina is purported to have a huge range of health benefits offering, amongst other things, cholesterol reducing, immune system support, anti-inhibitory and neuro-protective effects. It is one of the ingredients in The Detox Booster, which is recommended for those looking to cleanse, detox and improve their overall health.
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- Lu, Hsueh-Kuan, et al. "Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress." European journal of applied physiology 98.2 (2006): 220-226.
- P. D. Karkos, S. C. Leong, C. D. Karkos, N. Sivaji, and D. A. Assimakopoulos, “Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2011, Article ID 531053, 4 pages, 2011. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen058
- The Medical Research of Spirulina – Cyanotech Corporation Park, Hee Jung;Lee, Yun Jung;Ryu, Han Kyoung;Kim, Mi Hyun;Chung, Hye Won;Kim, Wha Young, “A randomized double blind, placebo controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans,” Annals of nutrition & metabolism. 2008.
- Deng R, Chow TJ. Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovasc Ther. 2010 Aug;28(4):e33-45. Review
- A Spirulina-Enhanced Diet Provides Neuroprotection in an α-Synuclein Model of Parkinson's Disease