Nutritional Value And Health Benefits of Spirulina

Nutritional Value And Health Benefits of Spirulina

Nutritional Value of Spirulina

According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the nutrients found in spirulina per 100 grams include 290 kcal of energy, 57 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of sugar. Minerals and trace elements found in it include 120 mg of calcium, 28 mg of iron, 195 mg of magnesium, 118 mg of phosphorus, 1363 mg of potassium, 1048 mg of sodium, and 2 mg of zinc.

The vitamins found within spirulina include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, C, A, E, and vitamin K.

It is widely regarded as one of the highest sources of protein. It contains around 18 out of the 22 amino acids that the human body needs. It is also a good source of vital micronutrients, such as beta-carotene in vitamin A, and minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.

Health Benefits of Spirulina

1.Easily Digestible
Closer examination of spirulina revealed that this spiral-shaped blue green algae had thinner cell walls or cellulose compared to its plant cousins. Also, the cell wall is composed of mucopolysaccharides, which are complex sugars. Thus, even the cell wall in spirulina can be digested, unlike the cellulose in plants. It is also beneficial for probiotic bacteria, such as lactobacillus, which live inside our digestive system.

2.Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Spirulina is helpful in reducing serum cholesterol levels and elevates HDL (high density lipoprotein), or “good”, cholesterol levels. The presence of gamma-linolenic acid in spirulina accelerates serum cholesterol reduction.

3.Protection Against Mercury Poisoning
Mercury poisoning is a concern for most animals, including man. Inorganic mercury concentrations are found mostly in kidneys and they are the worst affected organs. Studies have shown that spirulina significantly reduces the levels of mercury chloride-associated toxicity and renal damages caused by toxicity in mice.

4.Immunomodulatory Properties
Various studies on spirulina have revealed its immunomodulatory properties. These immunomodulatory properties include bone marrow reproduction, thymus, and spleen growth, increased white blood cell production, and an increase in the number of lymphocytes.

5.Increase in Red Blood Cell Count
Apart from improving the immune system, spirulina can also be effective in improving the red blood cell count. A study conducted on senior citizens revealed that after 12 weeks of taking spirulina, their red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels increased significantly.

6.Antimicrobial Properties
Spirulina extracts have antimicrobial properties. The extracts from spirulina have been successfully tested against viruses that affect both humans and monkeys. Viruses such as the herpes simplex virus, influenza virus, measles virus, mumps virus, human cytomegalovirus, and finally HIV-1 viruses were controlled to a major extent. Now, spirulina extracts are being considered as medicine for HIV positive patients so that they can live a longer life.

7.Control of Cancer
Spirulina is the richest plant source for beta-carotene and phycocyanin. These biochemicals possess anti-cancerous properties. Researchers believe that phycocyanin can scavenge the DNA-damaging toxins like peroxynitrite and can help in controlling cancer cells. It also has a role to play in significantly controlling liver cancer.

8.Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Having spirulina on a regular basis reduces inflammation. Recent scientific studies indicate this fact. When arthritic lab rats were given spirulina, arthritis-associated inflammation was reduced to a significant level in comparison to other controlled animals.

9.Protection of Liver
The biliprotein phycocyanin present in spirulina possesses liver protection properties. Research showed that the effects on the liver, when pre-treated with hepatotoxic chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, were reduced to a significant extent. This study showed that spirulina helps in protecting liver cells from toxin damage.

10.Reduces Kidney Toxicity in Chemotherapy
While undergoing treatment for cancer, physicians may suggest chemotherapy. Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent used in chemotherapy that can cause toxins to pile up in kidneys. The intake of spirulina reduces the side effects caused by cisplatin.

11.Reduces Ischemia
Research shows that spirulina helps in reducing ischemia, a condition wherein the blood supply to the tissues gets restricted.

12.Controls Bronchial Asthma
Spirulina is also beneficial for the control of bronchial asthma. Studies have shown that administering spirulina extracts at 1 gram per day can have almost an equal effect on bronchial asthma as medication does. This is true in the case of mild and moderate asthma.

13.Supply of Antioxidants
Spirulina is a good source of antioxidants such as phycocyanin, which helps in the inhibition of COX2, hydroxyl, peroxyl, and free radicals.

Nutrient supplements like spirulina may interact with medications, so they should be taken only after discussing it with your doctor.

It can sometimes be contaminated with heavy metals that can be toxic. Hence, buying it from a licensed and reputed manufacturer is advised.

Phenylketonuria is a metabolic condition where the amino acid phenylalanine cannot be metabolized. Such people must avoid taking spirulina, as it is rich in this amino acid.

Avoid giving it to children without medical advice. Consult your doctor to determine whether or not it is safe to give spirulina to your children, or to have it yourself.
Nutritional Value And Health Benefits of Spirulina Nutritional Value And Health Benefits of Spirulina Reviewed by Jemes Woxten on 08:16:00 Rating: 5

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