Health Benefits of Spirulina

Health Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is a small type of blue-green algae that is also called cyanobacteria. It typically grows in the warm tropical waters of America, Mexico, Asia, and Central Africa. There are also many species of spirulina including Spirulina platensis, Spirulina maxima, and Spirulina fusiformis, which are the three most commonly researched forms. Accordingly, spirulina is described as a superfood due to its bountiful nutrition profile and health benefits.1

Why Spirulina?

Spirulina is a rich source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K as well as vital minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. 2,3 Its high protein content makes it particularly appealing for people who follow a plant based diet, but us carnivores are becoming increasingly consistent users of spirulina for obvious reasons.

In addition, spirulina contains chlorophyll, a green pigment that supports red blood cell growth and development. Furthermore, there is 28 times more iron in spirulina than spinach and raw beef liver as well as 25 times more beta-carotene than carrots.4 It is also beneficial due to its low caloric content. Given the vast number of powerful nutrients in spirulina, it is no surprise that consuming it regularly can dramatically enhance health.

Therapeutic Benefits of Spirulina

According to research, spirulina has potent antioxidant, immune-boosting, mental performance-enhancing, and blood sugar balancing properties. 5-9 It also supports healthier inflammatory responses.1

These benefits are attributed to its active components which include phycocyanin, an antioxidant pigment that targets free radical (toxins) and others pollutants such as mercury, arsenic, and lead that can damage cells throughout the body.6-8 This reinforces healthy inflammatory processes and helps lessen the immune system’s workload.7

I don't want to make any assumptions, but if you're this far into our blog, there is a strong chance you 

Spirulina is also an excellent source of amino acids that promote brain health such as tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, and valine.9 Tryptophan, in particular, is associated with enhanced mental performance as the brain uses this amino acid to make a neurotransmitter (chemical in the brain) called serotonin. Maintaining adequate levels of serotonin is important because this neurotransmitter influences mental health. More specifically, low serotonin levels increase the risk of hyperactivity, feelings of hopelessness, and worry.9 This means that spirulina supplies the body with essential amino acids for long-term brain health support.

Enhanced heart health is another key benefit of spirulina supplementation. This is because spirulina helps improve the metabolism of sugar and fats.5, 10 For instance, some people who consume this beneficial form of algae regularly experience more balanced blood sugar levels, even if they are fasting.11 Furthermore, eating spirulina influences the way the body responds to insulin, a hormone that regulates how the body uses and stores glucose (blood sugar). Research also indicates that taking about 1 gram or more of spirulina for at least 12 weeks is associated with healthier LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with better insulin responses.5,10 Overall, these health benefits promote organ function (e.g., heart, liver, kidneys) and better overall health.

Spirulina has a slightly bitter taste, but it can easily be added soups, smoothies, salads, etc., in its fresh or powdered form. Remember, it is more important to focus on the health-enhancing potential of spirulina than its taste. This is why we made Degen Daily Boost taste amazing with beets, and natural flavoring from stevia leaf. Are you ready to try #DDB for 20% off and free shipping? Click here!

  1. Deng, R., & Chow, T. J. (2010). Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics28(4), e33-e45.
  2. Ravi, M., De, S. L., Azharuddin, S., & Paul, S. F. (2010). The beneficial effects of Spirulina focusing on its immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties. Nutrition and Dietary Supplements2, 73-83.
  3. Kumari, D. J., Babitha, B., Jaffar, S., Prasad, M. G., Ibrahim, M. D., & Khan, M. S. (2011). Potential health benefits of Spirulina platensis.  J. Adv. Pharm. Sci2, 417-422.
  4. Kamenidou, I., Aggelopoulos, S., & Batzios, A. C. (2011). Natural medical attributes and benefits of Spirulina: Segmentation based on consumers knowledge. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research5(14), 3192-3199.
  5. Huang H, Liao D, et al. Quantifying the effects of spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2018;11:729-742.
  6. Farooq SM, Boppana NB, Devarajan A, Sekaran SD, Shankar EM, Li C, Gopal K, Bakar SA, Karthik HS, Ebrahim AS. C-phycocyanin confers protection against oxalate-mediated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in MDCK cells. PLoS One. 2014;9(4):e93056.
  7. Romay Ch, González R, Ledón N, Remirez D, Rimbau V. C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003;4(3):207-16.
  8. Martinez-Galero E, et al. Preclinical antitoxic properties of Spirulina (Arthrospira). Pharm Biol. 2016;54(8):1345-1353.
  9. Demelash S. Spirulina as a main source of tryptophan for mental illness: Improving level of serotonin through tryptophan supplementation. GJMEDPH. 2018;7(2):1-5.
  10. Szulinska M, Gibas-Dorna M, Miller-Kasprzak E, et al. Spirulina maxima improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and total antioxidant status in obese patients with well-treated hypertension: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017;21(10):2473-2481.
  11. Parikh P, Mani U, Iyer U. Role of Spirulina in the Control of Glycemia and Lipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Med Food. 2001;4(4):193-199.
Back to blog