Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that help lower risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce occurrence of various cancers, battle infections, fight against free radical damage, and stimulate immune function.
Spirulina may in fact be the nutraceutical that is most deserving of the colloquial health title, SUPERFOOD! This Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has been laboratory tested to have 4x the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of blueberries! The ORAC score measures antioxidant capability and concentration in food. We of course know that blueberries have powerful antioxidant properties, but what about the antioxidants in EGCG?
Nutraceutical is the combination of nutritional and pharmaceutical. The term has become the nomenclature for functional food, whole food, and food actives. These are any foods or parts of food that have drug like interactions in your body. In this case spirulina would be the whole food or functional food, and the phytonutrients; polyphenols, flavonoids, and plant enzymes found within are the food actives. Nutraceutic describes these concentrated molecular extracts.
Need to know more about Nootropics? Check out our Momental Nootropic User Guide. It's full of valuable information and frequently asked questions in an easily digestible format.
- Brain Health
- Increase Immune System Function
- Daily Recovery From Training
- Balance Blood Glucose Levels
- Powerful Antioxidants & Anti-inflammatories
- Fight Free Radical Damage
- Decrease Inflammation
Click here to learn more about our herbal nootropics for complete brain and body health, performance, and recovery.
There have been many studies on the health efficacy of spirulina. So many in fact that there simply isn’t enough time to cover all of the amazing health benefits spirulina has to offer. The studies mentioned below are reason enough to supplement your diet with spirulina.
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits Of Spirulina
Phycocyanin is the active ingredient in spirulina with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also responsible for the blue-green color. Wheatgrass is another incredible nutrient containing antioxidants. The combination of spirulina and wheatgrass can lead to even greater health benefits.
Spirulina reduces allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation that leads to nasal congestion, itching and sneezing . The high Chlorophyll content helps to remove toxins from your blood and increases your immune system response. Faster immune system response could be the difference between getting sick and actually feeling sick. Your body can fight off infectious attackers while you stay on the go.
Alpha lipoic acid combined with spirulina is an excellent stack as both contribute to reducing inflammation through detoxification pathways. Alpha lipoic acid further contributes to spirulina's weight loss attributes by optimizing your nutrient profile and metabolism to burn fat.
Exercise Tolerance Improves With Spirulina
Oxidative effects occur as a result of strenuous physical activity and exercise causing muscle fatigue and inability to gain muscle mass. Oxidation harms our DNA and damages our cells resulting in chronic inflammation which contributes to cancer and disease .
The time it took to reach fatigue during a long distance run was significantly greater in a study group that supplemented with spirulina. Significant results in exercise performance and fat oxidation were also noted .
Blood Glucose Levels Decreased By Spirulina Supplementation
If you have diabetes or high cholesterol, spirulina is exactly what you need. Two grams per day of spirulina taken for 2 months by 25 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus showed significant improvement across several markers. Pre and post administration blood-glucose levels were measured as well as HbA1c. Hemoglobin is a protein within RBCs that carries oxygen throughout your body. When it binds with glucose in your blood it becomes glycated. HbA1c is a marker to test blood sugar levels over a period of weeks/months.
After 2 months of supplementation fasting blood glucose levels were appreciably lower. Spikes in blood sugar (blood glucose levels) are most likely to occur postprandial (period after a meal). Even these levels were lowered. Lipid profile was improved across the board as triglyceride levels were significantly lower. Total cholesterol including LDL-C (bad) fell, while an increase in HDL-C (good) was exhibited .
Antioxidant: Fat Optimization Achieved With Spirulina
Another study found that 1 gram per day lowered triglycerides by 16% and LDL-C (bad) specifically by 10% . Essentially, spirulina helps to control blood glucose levels and improves the entire lipid profile. The likelihood of fatty plaque formation in the arteries is significantly reduced as a result of an improved lipid profile.
Neurodegenerative disease and inflammation-causing cancers are also linked to oxidative damage. This damage to our DNA leads not only to apoptosis (cellular death), but can also inhibit cell dividing, an essential part of cellular health . LDL (bad) fat that becomes oxidized in your blood is a key contributor to heart disease .
Fortunately there are studies on humans and animals that have shown spirulina to be uniquely effective at decreasing lipid peroxidation. Specifically the powerful antioxidants contained within , .
SPIRULINA NUTRIENT PROFILE
Spirulina is a stack in and of itself. The healthy ingredient profile contained within is abundant. All essential amino acids are present. One tablespoon contains 1g of omega 6 and omega 3 in a 1.5:1 ratio, near optimal levels.
Protein Sourced From Spirulina
A complete source of high quality protein comparable to eggs! The NPU (net protein utilization rate) 50-61% is the ratio of amino acids converted to proteins to the ratio of amino acids supplied. This is very high and closes in on beef and chicken with NPU of 68%.
Omega Fatty Acids Sourced From Spirulina
Three primary forms of omega 3 exist as DHA, EPA, ALA. ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) is found in grass fed beef, seeds and some nuts. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is a main component in our skin, retinas, brain and cerebral cortex. It’s found in breast milk, fish oil, and algal DHA oil. Our brain functions well with higher levels of DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). EPA is important for reducing cellular inflammation.
DHA Benefits Of Spirulina Supplements
The Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of DHA on community volunteers aged 35-54 years old with no neuropsychiatric disorders. The authors found that a higher percentage of DHA lead to improved performance across 5 dimensions of cognitive functioning.
Participants’ working memory, non verbal reasoning, mental flexibility and vocabulary all improved. Even more telling is the strong correlation between DHA, working memory and vocabulary as these parameters continued to show linear gain even after prior education and vocabulary were accounted for. The implication for DHA is that it’s a major component of brain health throughout our lifespans .
DHA has been a hot topic as of late in infant formulas. So what’s the deal here? Is it good or bad? The reason DHA and ARA for that matter are catching a bad wrap is that large companies are genetically modifying and synthetically producing these substances for organic product lines.
The USDA approved these measures only if these companies ensured hexane would not be used in the process. Hexane is a hazardous air pollutant. So expecting mothers are a bit outraged as they should be. If you’re expecting a product to be of a high standard and then you find out the board (National Organic Standards) responsible for ensuring such quality control is being influenced by big business, it’s reasonable to be upset and discouraged.
Omega 3 Benefits Of Spirulina Supplements
Fatty acids can help reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure diminishing the risk of heart disease. Further research is needed to determine the overall effectiveness of specific omega 3 fatty acids at slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s but current studies do show promising results, however not definitive.
For those with age related cognitive decline (ARCD), DHA supplementation over 24 weeks improved their memory function and learning. Lending support for cognitive health associated with aging .
OMEGA 6 Benefits Of Spirulina Supplements
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid): Very few foods contain a natural source of GLA and spirulina is one of them. GLA is a potent anti-inflammatory and its effectiveness improves when used in conjunction with other Omega 3s. Human health depends on these substances but our bodies cannot make them. Omega 3,6 together play a major role in brain function as well as normal development and growth.
ARA Benefits Of Spirulina Supplements
Arachidonic Acid is responsible for the growth and repair of skeletal muscle during exercise and is therefore an important recovery component of physical training . This is not only for bodybuilders but truly anyone who has some degree of physicality throughout their day. It is also found in abundance in the brain along with DHA, making up 20% of the fatty acid content. It also protects the brain from oxidative stress by activating a protein involved with growth and repair of neurons .
OMEGA 9 Benefits Of Spirulina Supplements
Oleic Acid Not strictly essential, meaning omega 9 can be made by our bodies. They are the most abundant fat in the majority of our cells. Often found in canola, safflower, olive, nut and mustard oils. They are thought to help your mood by potentially decreasing anger and increasing energy levels.
MINERALS IN SPIRULINA
Benefits of Calcium From Spirulina Supplements
26x as much calcium as milk. We know Calcium is good for strong bones and teeth but it also plays a major role in blood clotting after an injury, cell signaling, muscle contraction and nerve function.
Benefits of Chromium From Spirulina Supplements
We require very little of this metallic element. When it comes to blood sugar, Chromium helps to regulate metabolism by aiding insulin in the transport of glucose into cells, where it can then be used as energy . Also helps metabolize carbohydrates, fat and protein.
Benefits of Copper From Spirulina Supplements
Found throughout your body in small traces. Copper keeps your immune system and nerve cells healthy while increasing red blood cell production. As an antioxidant it has the potential to reduce free radicals which damage cells and DNA. It’s also an electrolyte along with sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is critical for heart function. Specifically smooth and skeletal muscle contraction throughout the body.
Benefits of Iron From Spirulina Supplements
A fantastic source of iron for vegetarians and vegans with a highly absorbable form that is easy on your digestive system! Approximately 70% of iron in your body is found in RBCs.
Benefits of Magnesium From Spirulina Supplements
Responsible for thousands of biochemical reactions daily with 300 plus enzyme reactions in the body. Critical for transmitting nerve signals, metabolizing nutrients, contracting muscles, coagulating blood, producing energy, forming bones and cells.
Benefits of Manganese From Spirulina Supplements
Necessary for normal brain and nerve function. Helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. Additionally plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation and calcium absorption.
Benefits of Phosphorus From Spirulina Supplements
The second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. In conjunction the two work together to generate strong bones and teeth. 85% found in bones and teeth.
Benefits of Selenium From Spirulina Supplements
Not produced in the body but typically found in brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, seafood and whole grains. It’s necessary for proper immune system and thyroid function. An overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism) thyroid can lead to several health problems and complications. When combined with Vitamin E the antioxidant effects are greater. Antioxidants help fight free radicals which cause damage to particles in the body. Free radical damage is thought to contribute to aging, risk of heart disease and cancer.
Benefits of Sodium From Spirulina Supplements
A mineral and electrolyte. Sodium regulates the amount of water (fluid) on the inside and outside of our cells. It helps keep electrolyte balance and is important in transmitting nerve signals and contracting muscles.
Benefits of Zinc From Spirulina Supplements
Located in cells throughout your body. Zinc contributes to wound repair via cell growth, cell division, and breaks down carbohydrates.
VITAMINS IN SPIRULINA
Vitamin A Benefits From Spirulina
A fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in spirulina. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body. Also works as an antioxidant, fighting cell damage.
B Vitamin Benefits From Spirulina
All of the B vitamins are water soluble, inferring that the body does not store any of them.
Vitamin B1 Helps Digest Fats & Protein
Thiamin is essential for the digestion of fats and proteins. Taken for energy, eye health, and for promoting nerve and brain function.
Vitamin B2 Improves Usability of Oxygen
Riboflavin helps your body break down carbohydrates, protein and fats for energy production. Riboflavin makes oxygen usable.
Vitamin B3 Improves Digestive Health
Niacin exhibits a wide range of uses in your body by protecting your skin, digestive and nervous systems.
Vitamin B6 Beneficial For Brain Function
Pyridoxine assists in making several neurotransmitters (chemicals that transfer brain signals from one nerve cell to another). Thus needed for proper brain development and function.
Serotonin (well-being) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) influence your daily mood, while melatonin is involved in circadian rhythm (sleep-wake timing, BP regulation, reproduction). VB6 is therefore pivotal for your everyday happiness, alertness, energy levels, and stamina. As an antioxidant, it protects our nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (converting food into chemical energy that cells use).
Vitamin B9 Improves Positivity, Mood, & Mental Health
Folate occurs naturally in the body and folic acid is the synthetic form used in supplements and fortified foods. Folic acid is crucial for positivity, mood, mental and emotional health. Health benefits of VB9 include proper brain function, reducing heart disorders, birth defects during pregnancy, stroke and cancer. By benefiting cells and forming hemoglobin, which helps to build strong muscles and block deleterious effects of emotional and mental disorders.
Vitamin C Increases Tissue Repair & Makes Collagen
Like B Vitamins, Vitamin C is water soluble. Essential for the growth and repair of all tissues in your body, It helps make Collagen. This is the composition of bone, teeth, ligaments, tendons, skin, cartilage and blood vessels and is largely responsible for helping wounds, repairing and maintaining teeth and bones.
Vitamin D Helps Protect Against Disease & Cancer
Adequate Vitamin D is necessary to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintain healthy bones and teeth, and has been suggested to protect against multiple diseases and conditions including cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (great website to get involved to help those with MS).
Vitamin E Antioxidant Benefits Achieved With Supplementation
A fat soluble (processed in your body at a much slower rate than water soluble) antioxidant, that needs to be obtained via supplementation. It’s responsible for the proper function of many organs in the body. In everyday life Vitamin E helps protect us from air pollution, cataracts (eye disorders), premenstrual syndrome, and neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
SPIRULINA PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
A standard dose of spirulina is 1-3g per day, and up to 10g per day has been used effectively.
For every comment about the bad, pond water taste, there are many remarks from individuals who really enjoy and even love the taste of spirulina. It has been described as earthy, and beet like. You should always be brave and try something for yourself. Take the guesswork out of the equation.
For premium sourced spirulina and wheatgrass check out Momental Mind, a nootropic blend of healthy fats from MCTs, algal DHA, and phosphatidylserine, organic greens, herbal nootropics, and grass-fed beef collagen protein.
SIDE EFFECTS OF SPIRULINA
Contains pseudovitamin (false vitamin) B12, that is unable to be used by our bodies .
Those with PKU should be cautious and potentially avoid supplements containing spirulina as it contains Phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that we need but do not produce within the body. Those with PKU have excessive amounts of this amino acid and therefore must avoid additional doses.
Those with autoimmune disorders should consult their physician before beginning a supplement of spirulina. If you are on any anticoagulation blood thinners like (warfarin) you should consult your physician prior to initiating and or ceasing supplementation of spirulina.
RECAP OF SPIRULINA
Spirulina health benefits are abundant. Improve your…
- mental flexibility
Spirulina helps to...
- balance blood sugar and control blood glucose levels
- enhance immune system and overall brain health
- promote recovery after training or just from an active day
Spirulina's Powerful Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatories Help to...
- fight off free radical damage
- repair cells
- slow the aging process
Spirulina also has a spectacular nutrient profile that contains…
- many key vitamins
- omega 3 & 6 fatty acids
Where can I buy spirulina supplements?
You can buy spirulina in the supplement aisle of your favorite local health food store, otherwise you can purchase from online retailers like Amazon.
Looking for more than just another nootropic stack? Try Momental MIND, a daily blend of nootropics containing; spirulina, grass-fed beef collagen protein, organic greens, and healthy fats that are perfect for on-the-go, lean lifestyles.