Benefits of Spirulina
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory
Spirulina contains phytonutrients that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. These antioxidants support cellular health by protecting cells from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen radicals. (Gemma et al., 2002; Belay, 2002, Gershwin & Belay 2007)
Spirulina may prevent the loss of memory by lessening Aβ protein accumulation, reducing oxidative damage and mainly augmenting the catalase activity. (1) In contrast to simple antioxidants, which can only neutralize single free radicals before becoming inactive, catalase and glutathione peroxidase can continue neutralizing free radicals for as long as they are provided with the proper vitamins and minerals.(2) This makes these enzymes much more powerful than individual antioxidants. (3)
Scientific evidence shows that Spirulina supports a healthy cardiovascular system, and protects from oxidative stress.
Free radicals can cause damage to parts of cells such as proteins, DNA, and cell membranes by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation. Antioxidants in spirulina such as Phycocyanin can help fight free radicals in the body.
Spirulina contains 15x more Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) than carrots Vitamin A nourishes the cornea and helps produce moisture for your eyes Spirulina contains nutrients such as Essential Amino Acids, & Zinc which may help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration & cataracts. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide. (11)
Several animal and human studies have shown that spirulina supports immune function. In particular, Spirulina has been shown to promotes innate (inborn) immunity, the body’s first line of defense. In this regard it promotes macrophage function, T-cell proliferation and Natural Killer Cell activity. It is also important in the regulation of antibody production (acquired immunity). (Mao et al., 2005; Hirahashi et al., 2002; Belay, 2002, Gershwin & Belay, 2007)
Belay, A. 1997. Mass culture of Spirulina (Arthrospira) outdoors – The Earthrise Farms Experience. In: Vonshak, A. (ed.) Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira): Physiology, Cell-Biology and Biotechnology. Taylor and Francis. pp. 131-158.
Belay, A. 2002. The potential application of Spirulina (Arthrospira) as a nutritional and therapeutic supplement in health management. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. 5: 27-48.
Cohen Z. & A. Vonshak. 1991. Fatty acid composition of Spirulina and Spirulina-like cyanobacteria in relation to their chemotaxonomy. Phytochem. 30: 205-206.
Cohen Z., M.C. Margheri & l. Tomaselli. 1995. Chemotaxonomy of cyanobacteria. Phtochem. 40: 1155-1158.
Gershwin, M.E. & Belay, A. (eds.) Spirulina in Human Nutrition and Health. CRC Press, 312pp.
Hirahashi T, M. Matsumoto, K. Hazeki, Y. Saeki, M. Ui, T. Seya. 2002. Activation of the human innate immune system by Spirulina: augmentation of interferon production and NK cytotoxicity by oral administration of hot water extract of Spirulina platensis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2(4):423-34.
Gemma, C., M.H. Mesches, B. Sepesi, K. Choo, D.B. Holmes & P.C. Bickford. 2002. Diets enriched in foods with high antioxidant activity reverse age-induced decreases in cerebellar beta-adrenergic function and increases in proinflammatory cytokines. J Neurosci.15;22(14):6114-20.
Mao T.K,, J, Van de Water & M.E.Gershwin 2005. Effects of a Spirulina-based dietary supplement on cytokine production from allergic rhinitis patients. J Med Food. 8(1):27-30.
Tomaselli, L. 1997. Morphology, ultrastructure and taxonomy of Arthrospira (Spirulina) maxima and Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis. In: Vonshak, A. (ed.) Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira): Physiology, Cell-Biology and Biotechnology. Taylor and Francis. Pp. 1-15.