In all the noise surrounding dietary supplements, it can be hard to separate the facts from the hype. Sometimes a particular thing will be hugely popular for a couple of months and then just fade away from the public consciousness. Other times, supplements that we thought were safe turn out to be anything but. Supplements can make it easier to get enough nutrition in your daily diet. One great choice, positively brimming with nutrients and antioxidants, is spirulina. It has time-tested popularity and users have found consistently that spirulina does wonders for the body.
1. Protection From Disease.
Antioxidants protect your cells and your DNA from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Oxidative damage, in turn, causes chronic inflammation and creates an environment ripe for the spread of disease. Spirulina has plenty of antioxidants to bind with free radicals and neutralize them before they can cause this chronic inflammation. The main active antioxidant in spirulina is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant is also what lends spirulina its unique blue-green color.
2. Lower “Bad” LDL And Triglyceride Levels.
High cholesterol is one of the largest factors in heart disease, and heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is important to bring your level of LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol down. You must also pay attention to your level of triglycerides, which are a dangerous type of fat found in the blood. Multiple studies on the effects of spirulina have shown that it can actually lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, while simultaneously raising the good, or HDL, cholesterol.
3. Lower Cancer Risk, Especially Oral Cancer.
A diet high in antioxidants, regardless of their source, will always impart some protection against cancer. But spirulina in particular may go further. Research shows that spirulina is especially effective against oral cancer. In a study of people with precancerous lesions in their mouths, just 1 gram of spirulina per day caused the lesions to disappear in 45% of the active group. By comparison, only 7% of the control group saw their lesions resolve. Interestingly, when the people whose lesions disappeared stopped taking spirulina, almost half of them had a recurrence within the next year. Spirulina may actually better at knocking out precancerous lesions than medication.
4. No More Environmental Allergies.
Environmental or seasonal allergies, technically known as allergic rhinitis, can really make a person uncomfortable. Inflammation in your nasal passageways can cause congestion, impact your breathing, and make your nose and throat feel itchy. Common triggers are pollen, animal hair, and dust – all of which can be difficult to avoid. OTC allergy medications work to relieve the symptoms, but they come with side effects of their own, including jitters, dry mouth, and headache. If you are an allergy sufferer, try spirulina instead!
5. Controlled Blood Sugar Levels.
Unregulated blood sugar is the culprit type 2 diabetes. Consuming too much sugar on a daily basis sets up the chain of events that eventually leads to that diagnosis, but many of us exist in a pre-diabetic state without even knowing it. Adding spirulina to your daily regimen can help tip the balance back to a safer place. In studies of people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina each day not only reduced blood sugar levels, it also lowered a marker for damage caused by consistently high blood sugar, called HbA1c, by a whole percentage point.
6. Improved Muscle Strength And Endurance.
Beyond all the other health benefits, spirulina can also help to keep you going strong by reducing muscle fatigue associated with exercise. If you’re one of those people who wants to work out more but hates how uncomfortable and exhausting exercise can be, you’ll definitely want to try adding spirulina to your daily routine. It works because exercise-induced muscle fatigue is due to oxidative damage. Certain plant foods, including spirulina, have antioxidant properties that work to minimize this damage.
7. Potential Poisoning & Birth Defects.
For all the good that spirulina can do in the body, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. Studies show that taking spirulina while pregnant can lead to excessively high calcium levels in the fetus, which can cause the baby to have seizures after birth. It is best to avoid any algae supplements while pregnant or nursing. It is also important to verify the safety of your spirulina supplement. Some less reputable labs don’t subject their product to independent testing, and their spirulina supplements have been found to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic.