Sometimes when I mention the spirulina alga my interlocutor starts laughing ... "…thing? seaweed Sbirulina??"... nooo, spirulina! ?
Last time while I was illustrating some of the benefits of this alga to a girl, she replied by saying: "..mmh, it must be an interesting product, pity that name ...". Vaaabbè.
The name Spirulina has been attributed starting from its characteristic spiral shape.
This alga is actually NOT an alga, at least it is not a conventional alga, but it is a bacterium. Precisely a cyanobacterium.
Cyanobacteria are "simple" organisms (prokaryotes = with a primitive, unstructured nucleus).
Their peculiarity is that they can do the photosynthesis and fix the nitrogen.
In this they are much closer to the plants than the more common bacteria.
No, the biology lesson nooo, ronf ronf ... mò I am sleeping ...
But let's get to the point, what interests me most to let you know about spirulina, that is its benefits.
Can it help you in any way?
Both casual and routine users they say yes in unison.
- 1 ALGA SPIRULINA: WHAT USERS SAY
- 2 ALGA SPIRULINA: WHAT THE RESEARCHES SAY
- 3 HAWAIAN SPIRULIN ALGA AND CALIFORNIAN SPIRULINA ALGAE
ALGA SPIRULINA: WHAT USERS SAY
I rumors coming from reviews of spirulina eaters invariably report a primary benefit ...
Fights fatigue and weakness. From energy, tone and vigor.
Reading dozens and dozens of pages of spirulina reviews, as I did for research and out of curiosity, this series of benefits comes out strongly:
- Fights fatigue (both physical and mental)
- Fights stress
- Energizing effect
- Tonic effect
- Gives vitality
- From energy
All these words report a greater effect that can be translated into adaptogen. It helps to better endure fatigue, physical and mental stress, and also reduces the effects of stress.
This is the main and most common perceived benefit that is associated with the use of spirulina.
But it is not the only relevant one ...
Other recurring terms that give a structure of benefits more defined in spirulina algae are the following:
- Help the immunitary defense (this is hard to determine by itself, more than anything we talk about an impression or what the user already knows about this supplement)
- Antioxidant (idem)
- Lowers cholesterol (idem)
- Supports the memory and concentration
- Makes more beautiful and stronger hair, nails and skin
- Help the muscle recovery and muscle mass training of athletes who do intense physical training
This is what the people say and should be listened to carefully because often wisdom is just the average opinion of the people (strangely enough ...).
So, take advantage of this too wisdom of the mass, as it is called technically, to determine if spirulina algae can be useful to you.
However, when possible it is better not to limit one's point of view. Instead, it should be exploited other points of view that make sense.
One of the points of view that makes the most sense to take into consideration is what starts from scientific research. Wherever it is possible to do so, it is interesting to understand what has emerged from the serious studies carried out in a laboratory.
Not limited to those, but keeping them in due consideration.
Research on spirulina can also help us to understand which of the statements on the effects of spirulina are based on verified bases and sensible.
Let's see what some interesting research on spirulina algae says. So you can also add these on the scale plate in your final decision of use or not this supplement natural…
ALGA SPIRULINA: WHAT THE RESEARCHES SAY
BENEFIT #1 ENERGY
Is spirulina algae really useful for reducing fatigue and having more energy?
From a study1 in double blind * very interesting data on the alleged emerge 'energizing' effect alga spirulina.
Will these data coincide with what spirulina users often report?
Yes, they really coincide! Here are the results ...
1. After a week, using 3 grams per day of spirulina, the test subjects were able to increase their calorie expenditure in half an hour of physical training. This means that they burned more calories in the same time period considered. So they probably pushed more muscularly in the time frame considered.
2. Mental fatigue: a test applied on the subjects showed a reduction in the sense of mental fatigue, already 4 hours after the first intake. The same effect was also registered 8 weeks after the first intake (continuing with 3 grams per day).
3. Physical fatigue: also in this case there was a reduction in the sense of physical fatigue already 4 hours after the first intake. The same effect was also registered 8 weeks after the first intake (continuing with 3 grams per day).
Keep in mind that the experiment mentioned used boys as test subjects, but I read at least the 50% reviews of women very satisfied with the effect tonic-energizing of spirulina.
So, even from the experimental side, spirulina appears really useful for those who must face intense days of work or study.
Very useful also to better support a intense physical training.
*Double blind it is a study method often used also in pharmacology in which neither the experimenter nor the subject undergoing the experiment know which is the placebo and the drug that contains the active ingredient. This way of proceeding eliminates the possibility of the placebo effect.
#2 ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT2
Spirulina is rich in a wide range of antioxidant pigments, some of which like phycocyanin are specific of algae.
The list of antioxidants in spirulina (Hawaiian) is this ...
- C-phycocyanin (240mg / 3g)
- Chlorophyll A (30mg / 3g)
- Carotenoids (15mg / 3g)
- Zeaxanthin (9mg / 3g)
- SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) (2500 unit / 3g)
- Beta carotene (6,75mg / 3g)
- Vitamin A (11,250 UI / 3g)
The antioxidant benefit of spirulina algae has been amply demonstrated. An antioxidant like this gives an important protection against free radicals by reducing the cell damage and aging.
Some studies indicate strong signs of effect neuroprotective that spirulina exerts on the brain.
Some damage from brain aging they can slow down and regress with the simple use of low doses of spirulina (more on this topic in the next article).
BENEFIT #3 HYPOLIPIDEMIC2,3
Spirulina also helps to balance the major blood lipids (triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol) in the healthiest way.
The graphs of the study2,3 which I have consulted report these interesting results. As you can see they reveal a capacity of spirulina to restore balance in the system of the blood lipids.
The following changes in values refer to a period of 12 months in which patient tests were conducted.
Triglycerides: Lowers triglycerides by about 100 mg / dl
Total cholesterol: Lowers total cholesterol by about 100 mg / dl
"Good" cholesterol: Raises HDL cholesterol (good) by about 50mg / dl
"Bad" cholesterol: Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol by about 100 mg / dl
Atherogenic index (represented by the ratio between total cholesterol and HDL): It generally lowers the atherogenic index of about 8 points.
If you consider that in the ranking of deaths from diseases in the world, those with cardio circulatory character are at the top of the classifications of course, which makes a lot of sense to add spirulina to one's daily habits.
Integrating spirulina into a balanced diet therefore represents a fantastic aid in the prevention and natural cure of the factors of cardio circulatory risk.
But not only for circulatory problems, the effect antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antiviral of spirulina can certainly have a positive effect also against the diseases of the bars at the bottom of the graph (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.).
An effect was also detected antidiabetic of this alga. In fact, it has also been shown to be effective in lowering fasting serum glucose levels4.
Similar results were obtained thanks to a normal dosage of 2 grams per day of spirulina algae.
#4 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFIT2
Also a benefit antiinflammatory is recognized in spirulina studies.
BENEFIT #5 DETOX (DETOXICATOR)
Like other species of algae (especially chlorella), spirulina also acts as a natural ingredient chelating agent for several harmful heavy metals.
Various studies5 detect this ability of the spirulina alga to bind to toxic metals like the lead, chromium and cadmium.
This link with the toxic metal makes it possible and easy elimination through urine and feces.
In this degenerate environment in which a large number of toxins they are produced and released into the environment, spirulina is welcome!
BENEFIT #6 COMPLETE FOOD SUPPLEMENT
The table below is the reference one for Hawaiian spirulina algae (brand: Spirulina PacificaTM).
Immediately catch the eye wealth of nutritional elements (also excellent) which determine the effects this algae has on energy and general health.
So much so that spirulina is also used to compensate for food shortages malnourished children of poor countries.
Note the wide range of amino acids that include i 9 essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be taken in sufficient quantity through the diet.
These in fact are little or not at all produced by our organism and a deficiency of them could determine the lack of production of proteins that have an important function (enzymes, transport of cell membrane, etc.).
The completeness of the amino acid profile (essential amino acids) of spirulina is a great benefit especially for vegetarian and vegan.
Even athletes can take advantage of the amino acid pool of this super food, useful for building lean mass and al recovery from muscular effort intense.
Moreover the presence of the B vitamins they ensure that the body's fuel always burns well, providing energy for the work of the brain and muscles.
In fact, I remind you that all users of spirulina algae often report great benefits perceived in their renewed physical and mental resistance.
In addition, vitamins, mineral salts (in particular the iron) and antioxidants make spirulina algae a natural supplement of the most interesting to use.
BENEFIT #7 IMMUNE SYSTEM
Some studies6,7 reveal how a simple oral administration of spirulina enhances the activity of Natural Killer cells (making these immunocompetent cells more efficient in their activity of eliminating viruses and bacteria).
In the same experiments6,7 have been evaluated also other values associated with the proper functioning of the immune system, such as the increased production of interleukins (signal molecules that control the immune response).
Moreover, in one of these two experiments7 also an important marker of immune system function (theIDO enzyme - Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase) has increased its activity together with an increase in the number of White blood cells.
Conclusion ... spirulina alga really has a function of support of the immune system. This is where the probable correlation with its capacity comes from antiviral (example against herpes) recognized in other studies8.
BENEFIT #8 ANEMIA
An experiment6 checked noted as the daily use of the alga spirulina is of great benefit in improving different values associated withanemia and functional conditions of the immune system.
What does it mean?
Spirulina can raise the values of thehemoglobin in a few weeks.
In the case of anemia, instead of referring only to drastic pharmacological treatments, why not also consider a harmless and beneficial supplementation based on spirulina algae?
Your doctor may be surprised at the new positive blood test results after only one 6 12-weeks from the beginning of the use of spirulina.
ALGA SPIRULINA: TRADITIONAL USE
There is also another point of view to take into consideration, that of thetraditional use.
Spirulina was consumed for centuries in Central Africa, has therefore gone through the test of time. Only benefits and no problems (if we talk about a quality raw material, without contaminants).
To avoid the possible risk of shortage of the Vitamin B12* spirulina appears as the perfect food source for vegans.
Although it is normally very difficult to run out of this vitamin, following a strait for more than a year vegan regime this risk occurs.
An occasional supplementation of spirulina algae cancel this risk while being able to maintain a stringent vegan regime.
* Note: I have to write an additional note about the vitamin B12 content of spirulina. Some analysis9,10 more in-depth analyzes of the specific quantitative and qualitative content of B12 vitamin reveal some additional information.
Of the total vitamin B12 content of the spirulina alga, 83% would be made up of pseudovitamine B12, a human-unusable analogue. While the rest 17% would be "true" vitamin B12 useful for human use.
We recognize that this is so ... however it is not a problem, for two reasons.
1) Given the low metabolic need for this vitamin e 2) given the long duration (years) of its accumulated deposits in the body, even a low intake of vitamin B12 would be sufficient to carry out its normal functions in the body.
I would say that therefore spirulina remains a valid vitamin B12 supplement for vegetarians and above all for vegans (virtually the only ones at risk of deficit).
For vegan sportsmen
If you put the features together adaptogenic described above with the richness in amino acids, antioxidants and B group vitamins, spirulina becomes the perfect supplement for the vegan athlete.
Vegan sportsman, never miss the spirulina algae from your pantry.
How to use spirulina for sports
For training use and muscle recovery I recommend 4-6 tablets half an hour before training (for energy) and other 4-6 immediately after (for recovery and building lean mass).
HAWAIAN SPIRULIN ALGA AND CALIFORNIAN SPIRULINA ALGAE
Some online corridor rumors say that the Californian spirulina it would have a higher protein content for the same weight (concentration) of proteins higher than Hawaiian spirulina.
It's simply not true... how many bullshit can be found on the web.
And the bad thing is that they tend to perpetuate themselves!
This happens because of word of mouth based on trust, sometimes unfounded, which one confers on what he has just read on comments, reviews, etc.
The example that Umberto Eco illustrated about the situation on the web in general and on social networks in particular by saying more or less like this ...
"The social media allow people to keep in touch with each other, but they also give the right to speak to legions of imbeciles who first spoke at the bar after a glass of wine and now have the same right to speak as Nobel Prize winners"
This quote is more appropriate with more serious examples than that of Californian spirulina, but still explains well where the problem arises.
As often happens on the internet, even in this case it must have happened that someone (perhaps a producer of Californian spirulina) has hinted that Californian spirulina has more protein.
Then, probably, one after another, users of free samples of Californian spirulina on Amazon will have done by sounding board for this inaccuracy.
But it is not correct, in fact if you take two labels of the nutritional values of two products based on Hawaiian and Californian spirulina you will find that the Protein content percentage is the same: 2g of proteins on 3g total = 0,6% = 67%.
Although it is true that the protein content can fluctuate in different cultures of the same alga, it is an unstable variable.
Each batch of seaweed should be analyzed each time to determine the precise percentage content of proteins to be safe.
But the most important thing to note in this context is that a possible oscillation of the percentage protein content in 3 grams of spirulina algae (in suggested daily dosage) is not significant.
What does it take to take 2,1 grams of protein (on 3 total grams) or 1,9 grams of protein (on 3 total grams)?
It is insignificant for nutritional purposes, nothing changes.
If anything, it is the range of "accessory" nutrients that this alga has to give the greatest benefits.
These nutrient accessories like antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, etc. they are available in spirulina.
In both cases (Californian spirulina and Hawaiian spirulina) it is the same alga named with the botanical name of Arthrospira platensis.
The major differences between spirulina and spirulina are to be found in products that use spirulina grown in artificial environments (both from biologics cultivation that, so much worse, from cultivation with use of fertilizers and chemical products).
Attention in particular to products coming from China. From experience I would not trust ... the problem is that hardly an end user is able to know if the origin is China.
The only simple possibility is to refer to products based on Spirulina PacificaTM, like Californian Spirulina or Hawaiian Spirulina (whose nutritional characteristics appear more documented than the first).
As you may have guessed rightly from the premises made so far, we are faced with one of those superfoods which cannot be missing in your pantry.
If we wanted to make an extract of the major benefits of spirulina algae we could say that ...
1. It fights fatigue and gives vitality, energy and endurance.
2. Helps restore the healthy balance of blood lipids, contributing to the protection of the heart and of the whole cardiovascular system.
3. Supports a better functioning of the immune system.
4. It is a natural means of internal detoxification (helps the excretion of toxic metals from the environment).
5. It is an excellent natural nutritional supplement (rich in amino acids, fatty acids vitamins, minerals and antioxidants), which also helps strength and muscle recovery in athletes. Moreover, thanks to its amino acid content it helps the healthy growth and nourishment of hair, nails and skin.
How do you know all the (validated) benefits of this beneficial algae and do not act? go immediately to take a pack of native spirulina (Californian or Hawaiian ...) from your trusted herbalist or online and start integrating it into your diet.
This advice applies especially if your diet is not the best in terms of health and nutritional completeness.
But even if yours were the best possible nutrition, you would like to lose the opportunity to take advantage of your health further thanks to one internal cleansing of toxins which spirulina can do?
I leave the choice to you.
The important thing is that now you have discovered (or deepened) a valid option to improve vitality, energy and health in a super natural way.
Have you ever experienced spirulina algae? what do you think about it? reply by writing your comment at the bottom of the article in the appropriate form.
See you soon,
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Sources and resources:
2. 'Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina"By Deng R. and Chow TJ.
3. 'Effects of Spirulina platensis supplementation on lipid profile in HIV-infected antiretroviral naïve patients in Yaounde - Cameroon: a randomized trial study"By Marthe-Elise Ngo-Matip and coll.
4. 'Role of Spirulina in the Control of Glycemia and Lipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus"By Parikh P. et al.
5. 'Arthrospira (Spirulina) Species as Bioadsorbents for Lead, Chromium, and Cadmium - a Comparative Study”By Sundaramoorthy Balaji et al.
6. 'The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens”By Selmi C. and coll.
7. '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"By Hirahashi T. et al.
8. 'Antiviral activity of Spirulina maxima against herpes simplex virus type 2”By Hernández-Corona A. and coll.
9. 'Pseudovitamin B12 Is the Predominant Cobamide of an Algal Health Food, Spirulina Tablets”By Fumio Watanabe et al.
10. 'Vitamin B12 Sources and Bioavailability”By Fumio Watanabe
For the analytical table of spirulina nutrients: https://www.cyanotech.com/spirulina/analysis.html
Regarding the amino acid content: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)
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The information provided by the manuelcasadei.com website is not intended to diagnose, treat and prevent any discomfort or disease. The user of this website is always responsible for his health and Manuel Casadei encourages you to follow these advice with the approval and supervision of a trusted doctor and disclaims any responsibility for actions taken following what is written in these pages.
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