Spirulina Explained: What You Need To Know About This Healing Superfood


One of the oldest life forms on Earth, spirulina is a blue-green microalgae that helped produce the oxygen in our atmosphere billions of years ago so that other life forms could appear. The original ‘superfood,’ spirulina is so nutrient dense that you could survive on it and water alone.

Hundreds of studies have confirmed spirulina’s powerhouse status. It has 60-70% complete protein, meaning it has all 8 essential amino acids and 10 non-essential ones that support good health. That’s more protein than beef, chicken or soybeans.

According to Balch, it contains concentrations of nutrients “unlike any other single grain, herb, or plant.” Some of its other valuable components include: gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin B12, iron, nucleic acids RNA & DNA, chlorophyll and phycocyanin, which is found only in blue-green algae and has been shown to increase survival rates in mice with liver cancer (Balch).

Spirulina is highly digestible, protects the immune system, aids in mineral absorption and reduces cholesterol. Originally from warm alkaline lakes in Africa and Central and South America, spirulina was consumed by Aborigines of those places (including the Aztecs) for centuries, verifying its safety and healthful effects on the body.

Why take it? In his book Eat to Live, Dr. Joel Fuhrman talks about the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods to maintain healthy weight, avoid or correct chronic and degenerative disease and maximize longevity. Spirulina is perhaps the most nutritious food source known to humans and has been used all over the world for centuries for both its nutritional density and its medicinal qualities. Spirulina is a source of vitality and life energy. Consumers of spirulina usually notice an increase in energy and overall health.

It supplies nutrients needed to cleanse and heal while providing protection from all kinds of cancers as well as multiple viruses including influenza, herpes, mumps, measles and AIDS. It’s common knowledge that we should all eat fish for the omega fatty acid content. Where do fish get their high omega content? Blue-green algae like spirulina.

Omegas are essential in fighting heart disease, reducing arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and depression as well as lowering bad cholesterol. The high content of vitamin B12 makes it excellent for the development of healthy nerve tissue and the metabolism of every cell in the body. This means spirulina helps with nerve damage and diseases such as fibromyalgia. Spirulina is also known for its high content of beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, an essential nutrient needed for healthy immunity, teeth, bones, mucous membranes, skin and eyes. Spirulina also contains all the other B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin E, calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. It has various antioxidants, phytonutrients and carotenoids.

It protects the brain and detoxifies the liver and kidneys. It balances pH to reduce inflammation, the root of much disease. It balances the immune system, including calming an overactive one, which is significant because overactive (or inflamed) immune systems are responsible for autoimmune diseases. These usually have their root in poor nutrition and digestion, which spirulina also helps correct. Additional Benefits Its superfood status means spirulina has many more benefits.

It increases antioxidant protection, fights free radicals, fights the aging process, curbs appetite and promotes weight loss, supports health cardiovascular function, improves the digestion process and gastrointestinal health, creates beneficial flora in the digestive tract and makes the body produce more red and white blood cells which kill germs and viruses. Spirulina’s antimicrobial effects help control the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. The chlorophyl means it is a blood cleanser. It also oxygenates the blood. Polysaccharides improve the functionality of bone marrow, thymus, and spleen cells.

Spirulina is good for the skin too: it improves age spots, eczema, acne and rashes. It’s good for the eyes as well, helping with glaucoma, cataracts and poor vision. Studies have shown that spirulina improves allergies and respiratory function and enhances exercise performance. Balch says taking spirulina between meals is beneficial for hypoglycemics because the high protein content stabilizes blood sugar levels.

How to get it in your diet Spirulina is named for the spiraling shape it makes as it grows. It grows best in warm, fresh water lakes, but is also found in saltwater and natural springs. It is what gives bodies of water their dark green color. It is harvested and turned into a thick paste, dried, and packed into powder or flakes to be turned into tablets or capsules. It is highly digestible and does not have the tough cell wall that others algae have. Most find the taste unpleasant. You can get flakes to add to food or smoothies, but most prefer to take it as a supplement, in pill form. Other things you should know Spirulina is one of the main go-to foods for protection from harmful radiation.

It protects the organs and helps detoxify the radiation out of the body. It was used to treat the children of Chernobyl. Spirulina has no side effects; it is very safe. It does contain iodine, to which some may be allergic. If you haven’t detoxed in awhile, add it to your regime slowly or you may experience the ill effects of detoxing. Some of it is wild harvested and tested for safety and purity while other is farmed to control environmental contaminates. Research the brand you choose or ask a qualified supplement consultant at a health food store. It is inexpensive, easy to find and it stores well. It is a great addition to your diet (as well as your disaster kit) so stock up!

10 PROVEN BENEFITS OF SPIRULINA


Spirulina is incredibly good for you.

It is loaded with nutrients that can have powerful effects on your body and brain.

Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of spirulina.

1. Spirulina is Extremely High in Many Nutrients

Spirulina is an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water.

It is a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium, which is often referred to as blue-green algae.

Just like plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy out of sunlight, via the process called photosynthesis.

Spirulina was consumed by the Aztecs back in the day, but became popular again when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space and used by astronauts (1).

A standard daily dose of spirulina is 1-3 grams, but doses of up to 10 grams per day have been used effectively.

This is what spirulina looks like, in both tablet and powder form:

spirulina-in-tablet-and-powder-form

It is actually quite amazing how nutritious it is.

A single tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina powder contains (2):

  • 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.

This is coming with only 20 calories, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbohydrate.

Gram for gram, this means that spirulina may literally be the single most nutritious food on the planet.

A tablespoon of spirulina contains a small amount of fat (around 1 gram), including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in about a 1.5:1 ratio.

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 pseudovitamin B12, which has not been shown to be effective in humans (3, 4).

Bottom Line: Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salty and fresh water. It may be the single most nutrient-dense food on earth.

2. Spirulina Has Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties

Woman Holding a Glass With Green Liquid

Oxidative damage can harm our DNA and cells.

This damage can drive chronic inflammation, which contributes to cancer and other diseases (5).

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 (6, 7, 8).

Bottom Line: Phocyanin is the main active compound in spirulina. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Spirulina Can Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels

Spirulina Tablets

Heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer.

It is known that many measurable factors, termed risk factors, are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

As it turns out, spirulina has been shown to have beneficial effects on many of them.

For example, 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 (9).

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% (10).

Several other studies have shown favorable effects, but with higher doses of 4.5-8 grams of spirulina per day (11, 12).

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that spirulina can lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and sometimes may raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.

4. Spirulina Protects LDL Cholesterol From Becoming Oxidized

Pile of Spirulina Powder

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 (13,14).

For example, one of the key steps in the pathway towards heart disease is LDLlipoproteins in the blood becoming oxidized (15).

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 (16, 17).

In a study of 37 individuals with type 2 diabetes, 8 grams of spirulina per day significantly reduced markers of oxidative damage. It also increased levels of antioxidant enzymes in the blood (18).

Bottom Line: Fatty structures in the body can become oxidized, which drives the progression of many diseases. The antioxidants in spirulina can help prevent this from happening.

5. Spirulina Appears to Have Anti-Cancer Properties, Especially Against Oral Cancer

Some evidence suggests that spirulina can have anti-cancer properties.

For example, some research in test animals shows that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size .

Spirulina Powder With Flags

Spirulina has been particularly well studied with regard to oral cancer, which is cancer of the mouth.

One study looked at the effects of spirulina on 87 people from India with precancerous lesions called OSMF in the mouth.

After using 1 gram per day for 1 year, 45% of the spirulina group had a complete regression of lesions in the mouth, compared to only 7% in the control group (21).

When they stopped taking the spirulina, almost half of the responders developed these lesions again the following year.

In another study of 40 subjects with OSMF precancerous lesions, 1 gram of spirulina per day led to greater improvement in symptoms than the drug Pentoxyfilline (22).

Bottom Line: Spirulina may have some anti-cancer properties, especially against a type of precancerous lesion called OSMF (oral submucous fibrosis).

6. Studies Show That it May Reduce Blood Pressure

Small Bowl of Spirulina Powder

High blood pressure is an important driver of many killer diseases.

This includes heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease.

While 1 gram of spirulina is ineffective, a dose of 4.5 grams per day has been shown to reduce blood pressure in individuals with normal blood pressure levels (10, 11).

This is thought to be driven by an increased production of nitric oxide, a signalling molecule that helps the blood vessels relax and dilate (23).

Bottom Line: In one study, a higher dose of spirulina has been shown to lead to lower blood pressure levels, a major risk factor for many diseases.

7. Spirulina Improves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Woman Holding a Spirulina Tablet

Allergic rhinitis is characterized by inflammation in the nasal airways.

It is triggered by environmental allergens, such as pollen, animal hair or even wheat dust.

Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for symptoms ofallergic rhinitis, and there is evidence that it can be effective (24).

In one study of 127 people with allergic rhinitis, 2 grams per day dramatically reduced symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching (25).

Bottom Line: Spirulina supplements have been shown to be very effective against allergic rhinitis, helping to reduce various symptoms.

8. Spirulina May be Effective Against Anemia

Wooden Spoon With Spirulina Powder

There are many different forms of anemia.

The most common one is characterized by a reduction in hemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood.

Anemia is fairly common in the elderly, leading to prolonged feelings of weakness and fatigue (26).

In a study of 40 older people with a history of anemia, spirulina supplementation increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells. Immune function also improved (27).

However, this is just one study, and more research is needed before any recommendations can be made.

Bottom Line: One study shows that spirulina may be effective against anemia in the elderly. More research is needed.

9. Muscle Strength and Endurance May Improve

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 appears to be beneficial, with some studies showing improved muscle strength and endurance.

Woman Pouring a Green Smoothie in a Glass

In two studies, spirulina was shown to enhance endurance, significantly increasing the time it took for people to become fatigued (28, 29).

Another study in college athletes found that spirulina supplementation increased muscle strength, but did not have any effect on endurance (30).

Bottom Line: Some studies have shown that spirulina supplementation can enhance endurance, and one study shows that it can increase muscle strength.

10. Spirulina May Help With Blood Sugar Control

Spirulina Powder and Smoothie

Animal studies have shown that spirulina can significantly lower blood sugar levels.

In some cases, it has outperformed popular diabetes drugs, including Metformin (31, 32, 33).

There is also 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 (9).

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% (34).

However, this study was small and only lasted for 2 months, so take this with a grain of salt.

11. Anything Else?

Spirulina may also have other beneficial effects, such as helping to “detoxify” the heavy metal arsenic from the body (35).

Benefits Of Spirulina: What It Is And Why You Should Incorporate It Into Your Diet


Spirulina: It’s categorized as a “superfood” because of its immense health qualities. It is a blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is said to help protect against cell damage. While much of the evidence supporting these claims are anecdotal, animal and test tube studies do suggest that spirulina can increase the production of antibodies, increase immunity, help to ward off infections and possible cancer. However, none of these tests were ever conducted on human studies, and the evidence is purely subjective to many individual experiences and a long history of use.

While there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness, early research by theNational Institutes of Health, does show that taking 1 gram of spirulina daily by mouth for 12 months reduces precancerous mouth sores in people who chew tobacco. The type of algae that spirulina is (blue-green) contains protein, iron, and other mineral content. It is also being researched for effects on the immune system.

Nevertheless, many health experts have named spirulina as a food with the most complete source of nutrients. Due to its concentrated nutrition, it is recommended by both National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of the primary foods during long-term space missions.

Mexico and many countries in Africa grow spirulina wildly, but it is also commercially cultivated in France, China, India, Thailand, and the United States. Spirulina grows in alkaline salt water, and since it absorbs nutrients so well, if the water it grows in is contaminated, the spirulina will be contaminated as well.

The University of Maryland and New York University have both recognized the anecdotal evidence of the “superfood”, but being as expensive as it is, it’s important to get spirulina from a reputable store. This way, you’re sure to avoid a processed and dried substance.

shutterstock_139172630

How Does It Help The Body?

1.       Protein Supplement: According to the University of Maryland, amino acids make up 62 percent of spirulina. Amino acids are used by the body to make proteins, helping to break down food, grow, and repair body tissue.

2.       Lipid Lowering: The hypolipidemic effects were first noticed in albino rats. The study found that HDL cholesterol was increased, while high hepatic lipids caused by a high fat diet was reduced by the consumption of spirulina.

3.       Immune Boost: Having such a high concentration of beta carotene, which the human body can make into vitamin A, helps kick start your immune system.

How Should You Eat It?

It’s a versatile product and can be added to various dishes. Here are a few ideas:

1.       Green Smoothie: A spoonful of this powder can boost the nutrients in your daily green drink or smoothie.

2.       Spirulina Pudding: Mix this into your favorite fruit pudding and enjoy.

3.       Salad Dressing: Mix this into some olive oil, lemon, a little bit of pepper, and dress your salad.

As always, please be sure to check with your physician before starting any supplement like spirulina, as it may interact with certain medications.

Spirulina – the ultimate ocean protein


Is spirulina the best protein on Earth? Honestly, if a health ‘expert’ tells you that one protein source is better for you than another – be careful. In reality, we all absorb nutrients in a variety of ways due to personal health history, age, food combining, heavy metal toxicity, genetics – the list goes on and on.

spirulina

Are you protein deficient? On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, Jonathan Landsman and Dr. Gerald Cyweski, a top expert on large-scale microalgae production talk about one of the most popular superfoods on the planet – spirulina. We’ll discuss the safety concerns surrounding spriulina – especially since the Fukushima nuclear accident; why all brands are not created equal plus much more.

Visit: http://www.naturalhealth365.com and enter your email address for show details + FREE gifts!

Should everyone be consuming spirulina?

First of all, as a long-time vegetarian, I must admit it’s easy to become protein (or nutrient) deficient on any diet, including the widely-celebrated vegan way of life. Too many vegetarians opt for ‘fake meat’ products – loaded with genetically engineered or heavily processed soy ingredients. These synthetic proteins create hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders plus a host of immune system problems.

Generally speaking, chronic fatigue, emotional stress or any other chronic health condition can be linked to a poor diet. When considering which protein is best for you – always consider the quality first. If you prefer an animal-based protein diet – be sure to eat 100% grass-fed beef or raw (grass-fed) dairy products to avoid the genetically engineered toxins fed to conventionally-raised animals.

Keep in mind, conventionally-raised animal food producers don’t want you to know how their animals are fed. In truth, most of these animals are eating GMOs, getting pumped with antibiotics and fed the lowest-cost (unnatural) animal feed.

Conversely, many vegetarians eat too many processed carbohydrates, synthetic vitamins and minerals and foreign proteins – which leave the body nutrient deprived. Low-quality protein intake can lead to cellular stress; low sex drive; poor brain function, eye health and cardiovascular disease.

If you’re looking for a good source of protein – just 3 grams of high-quality spirulina provides 60% protein, lots of vitamins and minerals plus many phytonutrients for optimal health. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, we’ll talk about the best source of spirulina on the market today.

Visit: http://www.naturalhealth365.com and enter your email address for show details + FREE gifts!

How does spirulina reverse disease conditions?

Spirulina, known as a cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, are found in pristine freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. This truly ‘super’ food offers health benefits to almost every organ and bodily function. If you’re looking for cellular regeneration, accelerated wound repair or faster healing time – spirulina can help. By enriching the immune system, you’re less likely to experience colds, flus or other infectious diseases.

In this computer age, many people are looking to improve their eye health. Rich in antioxidants, spirulina is 10 times richer than carrots (per gram) in vitamin A – especially good for nourishing the eyes. Today, we view inflammation as an underlying stress in every disease – spirulina happens to be one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents found in nature. And, finally, a strong digestive system will help to detoxify the body. Find out how spirulina helps to heal leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases.

This week’s guest: Dr. Gerald Cyweski, the world’s leading authority on microalgae production

Learn how high-quality protein diets can improve your energy and immunity – Sun. Mar. 2

Dr. Gerald Cysewski received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. As co-founder of Nutrex-Hawaii, Dr. Cysewski has served as a director of the company since 1983 and, until 1996, also served as the Scientific Director. From early 1990 to May 2008, Dr. Cysewski served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and – in October 1990 – was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Board.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Cysewski was a group leader of Microalgae Research and Development at Battelle Northwest, a major contract research and development firm and, before that, was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara – where he received a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a culture system for blue-green algae.

Spirulina supplementation improves academic performance in schoolchildren.


Did you know that, among its many benefits, spirulina has also been shown to improve academic performance in schoolchildren?

spirulina

Spirulina is the name given to more than 40,000 varieties of spiral-shaped, blue-green algae that are consumed as nutritional supplements, typically in powdered or tablet form. It grows naturally in warm freshwater lakes between 85 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because spirulina is an abundant, naturally occurring food that is high in nutrients but contains only 3.9 calories per gram, it has attracted attention as a nutritional supplement that might be able to help alleviate malnutrition worldwide without leading to the opposite problem of obesity. Adding to spirulina’s appeal, it retains its nutritional value well during processing and has an extraordinarily long shelf life.

A nutritional powerhouse

The academic performance study was conducted by Senegalese researchers and
published in the French journal Sante Publique in 2009. The researchers were evaluating the effectiveness of a government program designed to improve the nutritional status of schoolchildren with spirulina supplements. The children consumed 2g of spirulina (mixed with 10g of honey for flavor) once per day for 60 days.

The researchers compared the academic performance of 549 Senegalese elementary school students right before the beginning of spirulina supplementation with their performance two months later. The children’s average age was seven years, seven months.

After two months of spirulina supplementation, the children’s average school performance had increased by 10 percent. The results were statistically significant.

Because so little research on this effect has been done, it is impossible to be certain what is responsible for this improvement in academic scores. However, studies have shown that spirulina improves both cognitive ability and mental health, in part because it contains high levels of L-tryptophan – the amino acid needed for the body to synthesize the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.

Another possible explanation is that spirulina improves the overall nutritional health of school children, which has been strongly correlated with academic performance. Spirulina is not just a complete protein but 60-70 percent protein by weight, a higher proportion than either soy or red meat. It is high in vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as in B vitamins, including B-12, which is not typically found in vegetable sources. It also contains a wide variety of minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids that have been shown to contribute to healthier skin and hair, and to fight cell damage.

Benefits for all ages

The clinically proven properties of spirulina exceed even these remarkable benefits. It has been shown to help the body fight infection, lose weight, lower cholesterol and even prevent the inflammation linked with heart disease. It fights anemia (it is especially high in iron), purifies the blood and removes heavy metals and other toxic substances from the body.

Spirulina has also been shown to increase energy, help control food cravings and relieve anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress and premenstrual syndrome. It is one of the most effective natural ways to relieve the symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Spirulina has also shown promise in fighting arthritis, alcoholism, herpes and even cancer.

All of these benefits can come from taking as little as 2-3 grams of spirulina per day.

Spirulina should not be taken, however, by anyone with phenylketonuria or autoimmune disorders, due to its high phenylalanine content and its immune-boosting properties, respectively. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should only take it under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

10 reasons to take spirulina every day.


We talk a lot about “superfoods” here at NaturalNews because there are literally thousands of nutrient-dense superfood options from which to choose, all of which contain a unique array of disease-fighting vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other healing components. But the one superfood that stands out among the rest — and the one that you should be taking every single day for your health — is spirulina, a special type of blue-green algae that is loaded with chlorophyll and a host of other life-giving nutrients.\

spirulina

Spirulina is particularly rich in 1) infection-fighting proteins that have been scientifically shown to increase the production of disease-combating antibodies within the body. Since spirulina is composed of nearly 70 percent protein, the highest among all other foods, it is particularly effective at boosting the production of macrophages, a type of white blood cell that fights and prevents infection.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that spirulina helps 2) inhibit allergic reactions as well, particularly among those suffering from allergic rhinitis. It turns out that regularly taking high doses of spirulina can help allergy sufferers experience dramatic improvements in their allergy symptoms.
As far as blood health is concerned, spirulina has been shown to be an effective 3) treatment for anemia. In his book Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, author Paul Pitchford explains how spirulina and numerous other forms of micro-algae effectively boost production of red blood cells, particularly when taken in combination with vitamin B12.

Rich in both phycocyanin and chlorophyll, spirulina is also a powerful 4) blood purifier. Not only do these two important nutrients promote blood cell growth, but they also rejuvenate the existing blood supply. Chlorophyll in particular is nearly identical to hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for cleansing the blood and transporting oxygen to cells.

Because it contains all eight essential amino acids and 10 other non-essential amino acids, the antioxidants beta carotene and zeaxanthin, B complex vitamins; dozens of trace minerals, the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid, pathogen-targeting proteins, and beneficial probiotic bacteria, spirulina is also unmatched in its ability to 5) boost the immune system

These same nutrients also help to

 6) detoxify the cells and body of heavy metals and other toxins. A powerful chelating agent, spirulina tends to reach deep into bodily tissues and root out toxins like mercury, radiation, arsenic, cadmium, pesticides, synthetic food chemicals, and environmental carcinogens. Spirulina also assists in the transport of essential nutrients across the blood-brain barrier to replace the voids left by these toxins.)

A 1988 study out of Japan and several others have found that spirulina helps to 7) lower cholesterol levels and mitigate the underlying inflammation problems that cause cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream. Supplementing with spirulina daily effectively reduces blood serum levels of cholesterol, which means cholesterol is being deposited throughout the body where it needs to be rather than in arterial walls where it can cause cardiovascular problems.

Overweight or obese individuals trying to lose weight may also derive benefit from spirulina’s ability to 8) promote weight loss. Not only can supplementing with spirulina help you shed the extra pounds, but it may also assist in the growth and development of lean muscle mass, particularly because of its extremely high ratio of bioavailable protein.

Many people who supplement with spirulina tend to notice dramatic improvements in mental health and cognitive acuity. Because it contains exceptionally high levels of the L-tryptophan, an amino acid that produces the brain neurotransmitters melatonin and serotonin, spirulina is an unprecedented 9) brain chemistry balancer that can help improve mood, boost memory, and promote feelings of calm and happiness.)

Spirulina’s diverse array of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and cleansing nutrients also helps to 10) nurture healthy skin and hair. By targeting the detrimental factors that contribute to hair loss, saggy skin, and other side-effects of aging, spirulina can help rejuvenate your body’s largest organ from the inside out. Topical spirulina creams can also help tone and improve skin health.

To experience the maximum benefits of spirulina, it may be necessary for some people to consume as many as several grams or more per day of this nutrient-dense superfood. Just be sure to purchase only reputable brands of spirulina such as Cyanotech’s Nutrex-Hawaii Spirulina Pacifica, which is cultivated and harvested in such a way as to avoid contamination with toxic microcystins.

Nutritional interventions for reducing morbidity and mortality in people with HIV.


HIV/AIDS has long been synonymous with wasting and weight loss. For example, in South Africa, it was known as “slims” disease. Coupled with this, it’s known that adequate nutrition is important for optimal immune and metabolic function and, so, one might expect that dietary support would improve clinical outcomes in HIV-infected individuals by reducing HIV-related complications and attenuating progression of HIV disease. This should lead to better quality of life and, ultimately, less disease-related mortality. Therefore, this Cochrane Review from February 2013 examines the experimental evidence for the effects of nutritional interventions given orally on important clinical outcomes for adults and children with HIV infection and finds that there is relatively little research to help decision makers.

The authors searched many databases, trawled through references and contacted people working in the area. However, only 14 relatively small, randomized trials came to light, which met their inclusion criteria. Just three of these reported on mortality, two that had recruited adults and the other, from South Africa, had recruited children.

A wide range of macronutrient supplements were studied with just two of the trials (one in adults and one in children) studying the same one, a food supplement called Spirulina. There was also wide variation in other aspects of the trials, including the outcomes that were measured and reported and the types of people who took part, in relation to stage of HIV, HIV treatment status and general nutrient status. When the authors assessed the quality of the trials, none of the trials were graded as providing strong evidence. This was mostly because the trials were small and had a high risk of bias due to a lack of blinding and the large proportion of people who left the trials early.

The latest version of the review is an update of the earlier review from 2007, which had included 8 trials from high-income countries, with fewer than 500 HIV+ adults in total. Patients with confirmed secondary infections or other signs and symptoms of infection, such as fever, chills, or persistent diarrhea, were not eligible for any of those trials. This made it difficult to determine the applicability of the findings to the types of people who are most likely to need effective macronutrient supplementation. Six new studies have been added in the update, bringing the number of participants to more than 1700 adults and nearly 300 children. Four of the new trials are from Africa, and there is one from Brazil and one from India. The new trials also include two trials that had recruited participants with opportunistic infections (tuberculosis and persistent diarrhea).

Bringing the evidence together and, where possible, combining the findings of similar trials in meta-analyses identified no significant benefits for supplementary food, daily supplement of Spirulina or a nutritional supplement enhanced with protein with respect to death in HIV+ adults and children. In HIV+ adults with weight loss, nutritionally balanced macronutrient supplements aimed at improving energy intake by 600-960 kcal/day increased intakes of energy and protein compared with no supplement or nutrition counselling alone, but had no effect on other anthropometric or immunologic parameters. From the meta-analyses, supplementation with macronutrient formulas given to provide protein, energy or both and fortified with micronutrients, in conjunction with nutrition counselling, significantly improved energy intake (3 trials; n=131; MD 394 kcal/day; 95% CI: 225 to 562; p<0.00001) and protein intake (2 trials; n=81; MD 23.5 g/day; 95% CI: 12.7 to 34.0; p<0.00001) compared with no nutritional supplementation or nutrition counselling alone.

The authors conclude that supplementation with specific macronutrients such as amino acids, whey protein concentrate or Spirulina did not significantly alter clinical, anthropometric or immunological outcomes in HIV-infected adults and children. They call for future research that takes better account of the needs and resources of the HIV+ individual, the clinician treating them and the people caring for them. They highlight areas of ongoing uncertainty, including the choice between using resources for antiretroviral treatment for HIV+ people or nutritional interventions, the populations that might benefit most (e.g. malnourished HIV+ people, HIV+ people with uncontrolled weight loss, HIV+ people with opportunistic infections or HIV+ lactating mothers), the role of nutritional counseling compared to nutritional interventions in well-resourced settings, and how the use of anti-retroviral therapy might make it difficult to detect the effects of nutritional interventions.

Soure: Cochrane Library