Spirulina (Arthrospira Platensis)

Spirulina Benefits

Spirulina is a simple one-celled microscopic blue-green algae with the scientific name Arthrospira platensis. Under a microscope, spirulina appears as long, thin, blue-green spiral threads. The odor and taste of spirulina is similar to seaweed.

Spirulina can be found in many freshwater environments, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. It thrives best under pesticide-free conditions with plenty of sunlight and moderate temperature levels, but it is also highly adaptable, surviving even in extreme conditions. More than 25,000 species of algae live everywhere - in water, in soils, on rocks, on plants. They range in size from a single cell to giant kelp over 150 feet long. Macroalgae are large like seaweeds. Microalgae are microscopic. Ocean microalgae, called phytoplankton, are the base of the ocean food web. Spirulina is often deemed the most nutritionally complete of all food supplements, containing a rich supply of many important nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B complex. It also has a high supply of carotenoids such as beta carotene and yellow xanthophylls which have antioxidant properties. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids, and lipids. Thus, spirulina has countless uses as a supplement for maintaining good health and for preventing diseases.

Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of ten mixed carotenoids. About half are orange carotenes: alpha, beta and gamma and half are yellow xanthophylls. They work synergistically at different sites in our body to enhance antioxidant protection. Twenty years of research proves eating beta carotene rich fruits and vegetables gives us real anti-cancer protection. Synthetic beta carotene has not always shown these benefits. Research in Israel showed natural beta carotene from algae was far more effective. Natural is better assimilated and contains the key 9-cis isomer, lacking in synthetic. As suspected, natural carotenoids in algae and vegetables have the most antioxidant and anti-cancer power.

Spirulina is an ideal anti-aging food; concentrated nutrient value, easily digested and loaded with antioxidants. Beta carotene is good for healthy eyes and vision. Spirulina beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots.

Iron is essential to build a strong system, yet is the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.

Spirulina is the highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians. Having said that, there does seem to be lots of evidence that the Vit B12 is in a slightly different form than that which can easily be absorbed by Humans, so it is debatable how much good this B12 will do you. It seems to be only the B12 there is this absorption issue with though, and the rest of the nutrients do seem to be bio-actively available to the body.

Healthy Dieting with Spirulina

About 60% of spirulina’s dry weight is protein, which is essential for growth and cell regeneration. It is a good replacement for fatty and cholesterol-rich meat and dairy products in one’s diet. Every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.

Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Moreover, with its high digestibility, spirulina has been proven to fight malnutrition in impoverished communities by helping the body absorb nutrients when it has lost its ability to absorb normal forms of food.

Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body.

Spirulina also increases stamina and immunity levels in athletes, and its high protein content helps build muscle mass. At the same time, it can curb hunger that may develop during the most demanding training routines. Thus, it indirectly acts as an effective way to maintain an athlete’s ideal body weight.

The Disease Fighter

As well as beta carotene, Spirulina contains other nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium. These nutrients help fight free radicals, cell-damaging molecules absorbed by the body through pollution, poor diet, injury, or stress. By removing free radicals, the nutrients help the immune system fight cancer and cellular degeneration. In some findings, spirulina has helped reduce oral cancer tumors in laboratory rats, and may thus provide a big medical breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Spirulina’s ability to reduce the bad cholesterol LDL in the body helps prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, such as hardening of the arteries and strokes. It also helps lower blood pressure. While not clinically proven, spirulina may also protect against allergic reactions and liver infection.

Research confirms Spirulina promotes digestion and bowel function. It suppresses bad bacteria like e-coli and Candida yeast and stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Healthy flora is the foundation of good health and it increases absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, and helps protect against infection. Spirulina builds healthy lactobacillus, aiding assimilation and elimination and relieving constipation.

Removing Toxins

In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days (donated by Earthrise Farms), lowered radionucleides by 50%, and normalized allergic sensitivities. Today we are subject to an onslaught of toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and drugs. Our bodies need to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina has a completely unique combination of phytonutrients - including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides, that can help cleanse our bodies.

How to Take Spirulina

Spirulina is now commercially available in tablet or powder form. Some health tonics contain spirulina as part of their ingredients. A simple daily regimen for spirulina involves taking a 500 mg tablet four to six times daily.

Sources for these forms of spirulina are normally laboratory-grown. Harvesting spirulina from more natural settings has posed a challenge because of possible contamination from toxic substances that cannot be removed from the product. Hopefully, more eco-friendly and safer ways to cultivate the algae can eventually be developed and perfected.



Used This Herb? How Would You Rate It?

Current User Rating 6.3/10 Based On 724 Votes


Spirulina Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Names

Arthrospira platensis

Common Names

Macroalgae, Phytoplankton, Spirulina

Uses

AIDS/HIV, arthritis, athletic nutrition, enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, supporting cardiovascular function and healthy cholesterol, strengthening the immune system, improving gastrointestinal and digestive health, reducing cancer risks with antioxidant protection, general and long term health.

Precautions and Contraindications

While it has a very high nutritional value, spirulina may also cause some side effects. Some individuals may suffer from allergic reactions to this algae, including rashes, hives, and difficulty breathing. Some commercial versions of spirulina supplements may have also been contaminated with toxic substances during production. It is therefore absolutely critical to buy spirulina only from reputable sources.

People with the rare metabolic condition phenylketonuria (PKU) are not able to metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, and therefore should avoid taking spirulina. Likewise, people with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or lupus should not take spirulina, as it could stimulate the immune system and worsen the condition. Spirulina may also counteract the effectiveness of certain medicines, such as prednisone, which are commonly used for treating asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

While spirulina may appear safe at large doses, healthy adults should seek a doctor’s advice for the right dosage.

Important: Click Here to Read Our Disclaimer


Has Spirulina Worked For You?

This page is not a wiki so it is not editable like Wikipedia, however we would like to hear your information and comments and sometimes incorporate these into the articles.

Click Here To Post a Comment
Kitty 's avatar  Kitty 01/09/2014 16:52

But where to buy one that is real???? I don't want to go to any website and not know if it's the real thing. Pls. Help!!

John 's avatar  John 27/12/2010 18:53

I enjoy the Spirulina, it gives me intense energy and use it to provide my B12 nutrients. The only downside is my shit comes out green,.

10 people liked this.
Frenchy A Philip 's avatar  Frenchy A Philip 20/01/2011 10:35

Spirulina is very use full to me:

My changes in life:

# sleeping tendency wipe away in day time.
# Improves Energy and stamina.
# My Eye Sight power increased.
# All toxins removed from my body
# and lot......Etc

7 people liked this.
CM 's avatar  CM 10/10/2010 22:51

I have been using spirulina for over a year now and it is fantastic. I used to have an eating disorder and so i am always conscious of my weight. Spirulina helps to maintain my weight. I also get servere PMS and spirulina has helped my mood swings.

7 people liked this.
Carlostorace 's avatar  Carlostorace 16/02/2011 09:18

I am 77 years old and has been taking spirulina for almost 2 years. I find that now I can drive my community bus for 600klms without getting tired. Also I have a very big garden and find that I get the energy to cut all the lawns and edgings without getting tired. I certainly recommend Spirulina to everybody that needs that extra serge of energy. CARLO TASMANIA

6 people liked this.
Sandmacker 's avatar  Sandmacker 01/02/2011 10:10

I'm a greens junkie and the powered greens as spirulina mixed with OJ or veggie/fruit smoothies seem to be my main food source over cooked food ,of which I now only buy at cafes etc. No sickness , oodles of energy ,stable moods(not easily stressed), and that clean fresh feeling you get is only some of the benefits. I find that my craving for junk food diminished because the body is nutritionally satisfied . I recomend it to anyone and I consider it one of my main food sources

6 people liked this.
View All Spirulina Reviews and Comments