The Superfood Spirulina -
Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, maybe you take it everyday but you’re not really quite sure why.
What is spirulina exactly? Well to put it simply it’s a blue green algae – composed of cyanobacteria. This particular type of algae holds an incredible amount of powerful nutrition. Pubmed features hundreds and hundreds of peer reviewed scientific articles studying and documenting the benefits of taking spirulina on a daily basis and this is why. Some of the main reasons are due to it’s immense ability to:
1: Help prevent cancer
2: Reduce cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and therefore
3: Decrease risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Numerous studies have shown that daily intake of spirulina leads to increased production of cancer fighting proteins and decreases the number of carcinogens in the body. One particular study (A) focused on the administration of spirulina every day for 60 consecutive days to a group of subjects suffering from COPD and a control group. Various levels were taken of certain oxidative stress markers, antioxidants, and cardiovascular markers at day zero before any administration of spirulina, these markers included:
Malondialdehyde: A potentially carcinogenic oxidative stress marker. It causes toxic stress to cells.
Lipid hydroperoxide: The result of free radical damage done to cell membranes, also known as LOOH, once formed it may further cause cytotoxic effects to the cell.
Catalase and Superoxide Dismutase: Both are protective enzymes used by the cell to help break down and prevent oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species.
Glutathione S Transferase and Glutathione: An enzyme and it’s antioxidant that serves as a cofactor to scavenging free radicals and detoxifying toxins and wastes in most of the tissue including the liver.
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant
Cholesterol/Triglyceride/HDL : Markers of cardiovascular health
After consecutive administration of spirulina every day for 60 days, levels of these markers were taken again. After administration, every single stress marker was reduced at both 30 days and further so at 60 days. In addition, the protective enzyme levels all increased. Antioxidant level - Vitamin C, was found to be higher and cholesterol and triglyceride levels significantly decreased. These results indicate that spirulina may not only be able to help boost your body’s ability to fight off free radical damage and cancer causing toxins but it may also help decrease cardiovascular risk factors and thus the chances of cardiovascular disease.
Spirulina is extremely nutrient dense and offers a multitude of benefits. Just one serving of one ounce of it can contain over 35 grams of protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and a full profile of vitamins and minerals. It’s definitely got an earthy taste so it’s best not to take alone, from my experience I’ve had the best luck incorporating it into my morning smoothies. Usually a little bit of lemon or citrus works best to mask the taste.
Lastly but not least, It’s extremely important to use a high quality source of spirulina as it does come from the ocean. It’s crucial to ensure you’re using a source free of contamination including heavy metals and pollution.
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