What Is Spirulina Made From?

Reviewed on 12/4/2020
Spirulina is a dietary supplement made from blue-green algae or cyanobacteria
Spirulina is a dietary supplement made from blue-green algae or cyanobacteria

Spirulina is a dietary supplement made from blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, known as Arthrospira platensis. Spirulina is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The cyanobacteria, through the process of photosynthesis, converts sunlight into nearly all essential nutrients. Spirulina usually grows in warm, open lakes with high alkalinity.

What are the health benefits of spirulina?

Spirulina provides many health benefits, which include:

  • Improves chronic fatigue: Spirulina has polysaccharides and essential fats that can be easily absorbed by the body to release energy instantly. Spirulina also promotes healthy lactobacillus in the intestine leading to the production of vitamin B6 and subsequent release of energy.
  • Treats allergy and rhinitis: Spirulina has anti-inflammatory properties because it inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells. It also boosts the immune system by covering nutritional deficiencies.
  • Acts as antiviral agents: Spirulina destroys specific viruses by modifying the immune system. It can be helpful even after establishing the infection. Spirulina may help to treat the following:
  • Reduces cholesterol and diabetes: Spirulina reduces diabetes, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and bad or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increases good or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Cancer prevention: Immune modification and antioxidant effects of spirulina may have a greater role in cancer prevention. Spirulina reduces precancerous lesions in people who chew tobacco.
  • Removes toxins from the body: Because spirulina has antioxidant properties, it helps remove toxins from the body.
  • Protects against liver disorder: Spirulina may help to protect against liver damage and cirrhosis. However, more research is required to establish the same.
  • Reduces the risk of eye diseases: The zeaxanthin component of spirulina may be a useful nutrient associated with eye health. Studies have suggested that spirulinamay reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related eye diseases.
  • Good source of nutrients for vegans and vegetarians: Because spirulina has nearly all the essential nutrients, vegans and vegetarians should consume it.
  • Maintains healthy blood pressure
  • Effective against anemia

What are the side effects of spirulina?

Spirulina is not free from contaminants or toxins. They might have toxins, such as microcystins, toxic metals, or harmful bacteria. It is necessary to select spirulina products that are free of contaminants.

Spirulina consists of an amino acid called phenylalanine that may make phenylketonuria (a disorder of amino acid metabolism) worse. Avoid spirulina products in patients with phenylketonuria.

Spirulina can also have the following side effects:

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References
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-923/blue-green-algae

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136577/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfq/2019/3707219/

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