- Spirulina Protein
- Protein Keeps the Body Healthy
- What is a “Perfect” Protein?
- Spirulina: A Lean, Green, Protein Machine
- Plant-Based Proteins Are Ecologically Sound
- What is spirulina and how is it usually consumed?
- What is the nutritional profile of spirulina?
- How well researched are the benefits and risks of spirulina?
- Are there any side effects of spirulina?
- Enjoyed this? Now read…
- Health claims about Spirulina
- Does Spirulina work?
- Spirulina to stop malnutrition
- Spirulina as an antioxidant
- Ongoing studies on Spirulina
- Are Spirulina supplements safe?
- Organic Spirulina Powder & Tablets – what can they do for me?
- Spirulina Nutrition
- Dried Spirulina as a potent source of protein
- Complete Source of Amino Acids and Omega 3
- Protein without cholesterol
- High concentrations of essential minerals
- Vitamins and more vitamins
- Amount of Protein in Spirulina
- Seaweed, spirulina, dried – Nutritional Content and Chart
- Comparing protein in spirulina vs chicken breast
- Amount of protein per 100 Calories
- Content per Typical Serving Size 1 cup (or 112 g)
- Macronutrients in Seaweed, spirulina, dried
- Grams of protein in spirulina (per 100g)
- RDA for protein
- Highest protein Content per 100g
- Highest Amount of protein per Serving
- Nutritional Information Summary
- Ask the Diet Doctor: Spirulina’s Supposed Superpowers
- Weight loss with Spirulina
- The effect of spirulina
- Will Spirulina consumption work?
- More healthy reasons of Weight loss with Spirulina
- High Nutrient Content
- Low in Calories
- Reduces Blood Sugar levels
- Spirulina Boosts Energy
- Our Conclusion
- Spirulina: the miracle food
- How do I Use Spirulina for Weight Loss?
Those who took a biology class are already well aware that protein is essential for living a healthy, vital life with a body that performs all of its functions at a high level. In fact, this nutrient is a crucial component of every single cell in the human body and this is why it is vital to be included into one’s diet.
The body uses protein to build and to repair muscles and other tissues. Protein is broken down into amino acids, which are necessary components in enzymes and hormones. Protein is also an integral part of the bones, cartilage, blood, and skin.
Common sources of protein include meat, fish, beans, nuts, and lentils, but some are unaware that spirulina is also an incredible source of high-quality protein .
Protein Keeps the Body Healthy
Without an adequate amount of protein, the human body would be unable to function properly. For an example of just how essential protein is to the body, consider the symptoms of protein deficiency: lethargy, physical weakness, difficulty recovering from injury, muscle atrophy, hair loss, brittle fingernails… and the list goes on and on.
What is a “Perfect” Protein?
It’s important to note that not all proteins are created equally. Proteins are in fact comprised of amino acids, and while the body naturally produces 12 such amino acids, yet another nine must be obtained from food. These nine amino acids are referred to as the “essential” amino acids.
Proteins that do not include all of the essential amino acids are not as beneficial as those that do. Proteins that contain all of the essentials are called “perfect” proteins.
Spirulina: A Lean, Green, Protein Machine
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that comes from the sea. It’s packed with crucial nutrients, but one of its most notable qualities is found in its protein content. By weight, Spirulina is about 60% protein, making it an excellent source of the all-important nutrient that the body needs to function properly.
Further, the protein contained in Spirulina is a perfect protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids. That’s rather uncommon in plant-derived proteins, because most are lacking some of the essentials.
Spirulina’s status as a plant-based source of complete protein makes it an ideal dietary supplement choice for vegetarians, but it’s also an excellent option for those who are interested in upping their protein intake without taking on excessive calories in the process.
Plant-Based Proteins Are Ecologically Sound
What is spirulina and how is it usually consumed?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is usually consumed either in powder form or as a supplement.
What is the nutritional profile of spirulina?
Spirulina is known as a nutrient-dense food as it is packed full of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins, as well as a whole host of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
In particular, vitamin C and selenium are both antioxidants and help protect our cells and tissues from damage.
This algae is also an excellent vegan source of iron, providing 2mg per tablespoon (7g) which is about 23% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for men over 18 years and women over 50 years, and 13% of the NRV for women aged 19-49 years old.
Spirulina is also high in protein, with just 1 tbsp (7g) providing almost 4g of protein per serving.
How well researched are the benefits and risks of spirulina?
Most of the studies that have been conducted to date have been either on animals or in small human trials, so more research is needed before any health claims relating to spirulina can be confirmed.
There has been some research into the benefits of spirulina and its positive effects on blood glucose levels. In 2017 a paper was published which demonstrated that spirulina decreased blood glucose levels in diabetic mice and the researchers suggested that this may be beneficial in the future to those with type 1 diabetes. This is further supported by another study in the Journal of Medicinal Food that found spirulina supplementation of 2g a day for 2 months on 25 individuals with type 2 diabetes helped control blood sugar levels and improved their lipid profile. However, more research is needed before we can say for sure that spirulina is helpful in managing conditions such as diabetes.
A 2010 study on rabbits found that spirulina had anti-atherogenic effects (reducing the build-up of plaque within arterial walls) even when fed a high cholesterol diet.
There is also some evidence that spirulina may help reduce anaemia, although more research is required. One study on 40 older people with a history of anaemia found that supplementing with spirulina helped improve the haemoglobin levels in red blood cells.
There have also been a few trials into spirulina supplementation in sport, and early evidence that it may help improve both muscle strength and exercise performance.
Spirulina contains a phytonutrient known as c-phycocyanin, which also gives it a deep green/blue colour. Research has suggested that this phytonutrient has potential benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, oxidative stress protection and neuroprotective qualities.
However, as already stated, the research that has been conducted to date has either been on animals or in small human trials so more research is needed to know the true efficacy of this algae in the population at large.
Are there any side effects of spirulina?
Spirulina also contains salt. One 7g tablespoon contains 73mg of sodium which counts towards 3% of the Nutrient Reference Value for adults. If you know salt is an issue for you, or you have high blood pressure then always check with your GP before supplementing. Others who should check with their GP before taking spirulina include those taking prescription medication, pregnant or breastfeeding women and anyone younger than 18.
Those with the condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid spirulina completely as it contains an amino acid called phenylalanine which they cannot metabolise, as should anyone with an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis.
Always make sure you buy spirulina from reputable brands or sources, as there has been concern in the past that it can be contaminated with toxins from bacteria known as cynobacteria.
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This article was last reviewed on 23 September 2019 by Kerry Torrens.
Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a Registered Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
Spirulina is a microalgae that has been consumed for centuries due to its high nutritional value and supposed health benefits. Today, popular lifestyle personalities endorse Spirulina as a secret, potent “superfood,” and a “miracle from the sea.”
“Spirulina” sounds so much better than “pond scum,” but that’s what the popular supplement really is — a type of blue-green algae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes in subtropical climates. The Aztecs harvested Spirulina from Lake Texcoco in central Mexico, and it is still harvested from Lake Chad in west-central Africa and turned into dry cakes.
Spirulina was once classified as a plant because of “its richness in plant pigments as well as its ability of photosynthesis,” according to a study published in the journal Cardiovascular Therapeutics. New understanding of its genetics, physiology and biochemical properties caused scientists to move it to the Bacteria kingdom and the Cyanobacteria phylum. At first it was classified in the genus Arthrospira, but later it was placed into the genus Spirulina. There are several species, but three — Spirulina platensis, Spirulina maxima and Spirulina fusiformis — are studied extensively because of their high nutritional as well as potential therapeutic values, according to the study’s authors.
Spirulina grows in microscopic spirals, which tend to stick together, making it easy to harvest. It has an intense blue-green color, but a relatively mild taste. Aside from supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to use Spirulina as a color additive in gum, candy and other packaged foods.
Health claims about Spirulina
Many people promote Spirulina as a treatment for a range of metabolism and heart health issues, including weight loss, diabetes and high cholesterol, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). People may also recommend Spirulina as an aid for various mental and emotional disorders, including anxiety, stress, depression and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Spirulina is said to help a range of eclectic health problems, including premenstrual symptoms and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), according to the NIH. A combination of zinc and Spirulina may help the body clear arsenic in people whose drinking water has unusually high levels, according to the NIH.
Does Spirulina work?
The NIH says there is not enough scientific evidence to determine if Spirulina is effective in treating any health conditions. However, Spirulina is rich in nutrients, some of which aren’t found in the average daily vitamin. According to the FDA, Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It also has essential amino acids (compounds that are the building blocks of proteins). In fact, protein makes up about 60 to 70 percent of Spirulina’s dry weight.
Nevertheless, a person would have to take Spirulina supplements all day to come close to the recommended daily amounts of the nutrients it contains, said Heather Mangieri, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of Nutrition Checkup in Pittsburgh, Pa. And that’s not the only issue with superfood supplements.
“There’s lots of foods that, yes, they have a lot of nutrients in them, but we don’t necessarily know the bioavailability so we don’t know how much of that nutrient you are actually getting,” Mangieri said.
Bioavailability describes how much of the nutrients you swallow are actually used by the body. In some cases, eating two different foods at once will help the body absorb nutrients better than if the person ate the foods separately. For example, Mangieri said, the leucine found in tomatoes is better absorbed by the body if you eat oil with tomatoes. Scientists are still studying the bioavailability of nutrients in individual foods, as well as how nutrients work to help prevent disease.
“As a registered dietitian, I highly recommend people get their nutrients from foods in a healthy diet because nutrients work synergistically, and that increases the bioavailability,” Mangieri said.
Spirulina to stop malnutrition
Given its high nutritional profile, scientists examining malnutrition have shown an interest in Spirulina. Several studies have looked at the effects of its supplementation among malnourished populations, including anemic pregnant women and children in developing countries with high poverty rates, according to a 2017 review published in the Journal of International Medical Research.
One such study, published in Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition in 2016, involved 87 malnourished and anemic children under age 5 from Gaza. Researchers gave half the children vitamin and mineral supplements and half Spirulina supplements for three months. The children who received Spirulina saw significantly more improvement in weight and height gain, ferritin and iron levels and hemoglobin volume than in children who received regular vitamin and mineral supplements. The authors noted the small size of the study and that more research is needed.
A year-long 2015 study published by Nutrition Journal that looked at the effects of Spirulina supplementation among nearly 200 malnourished HIV-positive people in Cameroon saw similarly positive results. The participants, who were primarily women, were given standard care, a balanced diet and Spirulina supplements, or standard care and a balanced diet without supplements. In the participants receiving Spirulina, immune system cells that are greatly reduced by HIV increased, as did hemoglobin levels.
In 2016, the government of the Indian state of Karnataka, in conjunction with JSW Energy, instituted a statewide program providing malnourished children with Spirulina supplements, according to India Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Network. The JSW website reports a 46 percent reduction in malnutrition cases among young children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers, and scientific studies are underway to better understand the effects of this program.
Spirulina as an antioxidant
Antioxidants are compounds that help combat cell and DNA damage that leads to cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. The body makes some antioxidants, and others are found in food. Despite the presumed benefits of taking extra antioxidants, extensive research has not shown that taking antioxidant supplements lowers cancer risk, according to the National Cancer Institute. Taking antioxidant supplements likely won’t help other diseases such as diabetes, according to a 2011 abstract published in the journal Current Diabetes Reviews.
Although antioxidant supplements have failed to stave off disease in studies, it may be “that the lack of benefit in clinical studies can be explained by differences in the effects of the tested antioxidants when they are consumed as purified chemicals as opposed to when they are consumed in foods, which contain complex mixtures of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals,” according to the National Cancer Institute.
Since Spirulina is considered a food, it remains an open question as to whether dried Spirulina in supplements has antioxidant health benefits.
One preliminary study of Spirulina’s antioxidant effects tested the supplement on 87 people in Kerala, India, who regularly chewed paan tobacco. Paan is prepared from the leaf of the betel tree and various spices, and is typically chewed after meals and ceremonies such as weddings and receptions. Paan tobacco chewers are at increased risk of an oral cancer called oral leukoplakia. Over the course of one year, 45 percent of the tobacco users who took daily Spirulina supplements saw a complete regression of lesions. Just 7 percent of people in the placebo group saw a complete regression in tumors in the same period, according to the 1995 abstract published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.
Antioxidants may help athletes recover from exercise-induced oxidative stress that contributes to muscle fatigue – and Spirulina happens to contain several compounds shown to have antioxidant properties, including phenolic compounds, phycocyanins, tocopherols and beta-carotene, according to a 2010 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Researchers in the study investigated Spirulina’s possible exercise benefits among nine male recreational runners over four weeks. They found the runners showed a greater increase in exercise performance and levels of antioxidants after taking Spirulina than they did when taking no supplements or taking a placebo. Although these preliminary findings are promising, they are too small to draw a conclusion about Spirulina’s effect on exercise fatigue, according to the study’s authors.
Several research studies looking into Spirulina’s effects on cholesterol and triglycerides (or hypolipidemic effects) have found Spirulina to be beneficial. However, most human trials investigating these effects have been limited to studies of fewer than 100 people, and many did not have a control group of people taking a placebo.
One 2008 study tested Spirulina’s lipid-lowering effects on 78 adults, ages 60 and 87. The volunteers took 8 grams of Spirulina supplements, or a placebo, a day for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, there were significant reductions in cholesterol among those who were treated, according to the abstract published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Another study of 52 adults, ages 37 to 61, examined Spirulina’s effects on people recently found to have high cholesterol. Study participants took 1 gram of Spirulina supplements a day for 12 weeks, and gave fasting blood samples at the beginning and end of the study. By the end of the experiment, average levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and the potentially harmful LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol decreased. However, blood pressure, weight and body mass index readings did not change, according to the July 2013 paper published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Doctors now recognize that heart disease is not just a disorder of high cholesterol and triglycerides, but also a chronic inflammatory disease, according to a July 2010 review of Spirulina’s hypolipidemic effects published in the journal Cardiovascular Therapeutics. Spirulina may then help manage and prevent heart disease through antioxidant properties, however more study is needed.
Ongoing studies on Spirulina
Medical studies are currently under way to determine Spirulina’s effect on viral infections, swelling, wound healing and the immune system in general, according to the NIH. Preliminary studies have not shown Spirulina to be effective at treating blepharospasm, a chronic twitching of the eyelids.
There is not enough evidence to determine if Spirulina supplements can help digestion or weight loss, nor is there enough evidence to determine whether Spirulina treats memory problems, anxiety or depression, according to the NIH. Studies have yet to prove that Spirulina has any effect on energy levels and chronic fatigue. Research has not shown whether Spirulina has a meaningful effect on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or premenstrual syndrome (PMS), according to the NIH.
Are Spirulina supplements safe?
Doctors consider Spirulina to be safe in general, especially in light of its long history as a food. But Spirulina may become contaminated with toxic metals, harmful bacteria and microcystins — toxins produced from some algae —if it is grown in unsafe conditions. Contaminated Spirulina can cause liver damage, nausea, vomiting, thirst, weakness, rapid heartbeat, shock and even death. Contaminated Spirulina may be especially dangerous for children. The NIH recommends researching the source of Spirulina in supplements to ensure they are grown in safe conditions and tested for toxins.
People with certain autoimmune conditions should avoid Spirulina supplements, according to the NIH. Since Spirulina enhances the immune system, Spirulina supplements may worsen symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions linked to overactive immune systems. For the same reason, Spirulina may weaken the effect of immunosuppressants, which are often prescribed to treat autoimmune conditions and prevent the body from rejecting organ transplants. Spirulina may also interfere with drugs that slow blood clotting, including blood thinners such as warfarin as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) pain medications. Combining Spirulina with herbal supplements that slow blood clotting may increase a person’s risk of bleeding. Such herbs include cloves, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng and turmeric, according to the NIH.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid Spirulina since there is a lack of safety studies in this group. People who have the genetic condition phenylketonuria should also avoid Spirulina, as it may aggravate their condition, according to the NIH. Since there are not enough studies to establish a safe dose range of Spirulina, it is best to consult a doctor and follow instructions on all supplements to avoid unsafe doses.
Additional reporting by Jessie Szalay, Live Science contributor.
- The National Institutes of Health discusses Spirulina, or “blue-green algae,” noting that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not products made from the organisms are effective.
- The Spirulina finds it to be high in protein.
- A 2010 study published in the journal Cardiovascular Therapeutics: Hypolipidemic, Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Microalgae Spirulina
Organic Spirulina Powder & Tablets – what can they do for me?
Spirulina is crammed full of goodness and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Gram for gram, it is likely to be one of the best superfoods available. There is no shortage of health benefits of spirulina which can be taken either in powder form or in tablets if you’re not overly keen on the taste. Unlike other terrestrial plants, spirulina has no hard cellulose cell wall so it is easily digested in the body. It has an incredibly high protein content (around 65%), and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce so must acquire through diet.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a microscopic multi-cellular cyanobacterium, which is found naturally in lakes and rivers across Africa, Asia and South America. It is a very simple and ancient life form, having first evolved around 3.6 billion years ago! So it’s probably fair to so that Spirulina has a good amount of experience in the superfood game. Spirulina produces its own energy from sunlight through photosynthesis using the blue pigment phycocyanin and it is therefore sometimes referred to as ‘blue green algae’.
Our spirulina is grown on a peninsula in the South China Sea. The location is ideal for spirulina cultivation as it offers consistently warm temperatures and long hours of sunshine. The area is surrounded by pristine natural forests and is completely isolated from urban areas and sources of agricultural pollution. Our spirulina is routinely tested for the presence of contaminants to ensure that the finished product you receive is always completely pure and organic.
How Can I Take Spirulina?
Like other superfood green powders, spirulina can be taken in a variety of ways. Organic spirulina powder can be mixed in a smoothie with other organic greens such as kale, spinach, cucumber and lime to make a refreshing juice drink (if you like the taste!). For some people, the knowledge that they are drinking something really good is enough to fit it into their daily routine; for others, the taste can be quite unusual and difficult to stomach. If this is the case, taking spirulina tablets as opposed to powder may be a better option. Just because the spirulina is taken in tablet form, it does not mean that it is not equally as beneficial to your health. Both the powder and tablets are 100% organic and the compressing process is always done without the use of chemicals. Spirulina powder can also be taken on its own, mixed into a glass with water or sprinkled over salads and soups to add a powerful dose of protein, vitamins and minerals to your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Organic Spirulina Powder and Organic Spirulina Tablets
In addition to being packed full of amino acids, spirulina has many other health benefits. It is high in protein, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium and iron and a is great source of B-Vitamins including vitamin B12.
Protein – contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
Iron – an important component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells which carries oxygen throughout your body. Also helps reduce feelings of fatigue.
Chlorophyll – is a super food which is packed with a range of powerful nutrients and aids with wound healing, hormonal balance, deodorising and detoxification of the body and promotes digestive health.
Vitamin B12 – boosts energy, maintains proper function of critical bodily processes and helps to keep nerves and red blood cells healthy.
Calcium – helps build and maintain strong and healthy bones.
Magnesium – regulates blood sugar levels, maintains normal muscle and nerve function and promotes normal blood pressure.
Spirulina is also said to help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and boost energy!
Spirulina Vs. Chlorella – What is the Difference?
Spirulina and chlorella are both unicellular freshwater algae and offer a wide range of health benefits when added to your diet. So, what are the differences?
Both spirulina and chlorella are super foods and exceptionally potent superfoods at that. We know that they are both powerhouses in the vitamin and nutrient department. The taste similar, they look similar but, really, what is the difference between the two?
The honest answer as far as nutrition goes is not really too much as they share a lot of similar properties. However, these properties are not identical so we’ll outline some of the differences:
- Spirulina contains more essential amino acids
- Spirulina contains more protein
- Spirulina is a better source of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), a ‘good’ fat that is essential for healthy brain and heart function
- Chlorella contains more vitamin B12
- Chlorella contains more iron than spirulina
- Chlorella is a green algae, which means that it has considerably more chlorophyll than spirulina – great if you want a detox!
As you can see, the benefits for each superfood are significant and it is for this reason that people often take them together. Tablets are a great way to supplement both, alternating the intake of tablets throughout the day, i.e. 1-2 spirulina tablets in the morning, 1-2 chlorella tablets mid-morning, 1-2 spirulina tablets in the afternoon and 1-2 chlorella tablets in the evening.
Digestion and Preparation
Spirulina and chlorella differ in the way they are broken down by the body. Our milling process produces the broken cell wall variant of chlorella, which makes the nutrients found inside the chlorella cell more accessible for digestion while locking in all of the nutritional benefits. This process is slightly more laborious than that of spirulina which is one of the reasons why chlorella is slightly more expensive. That being said, we think it’s well worth it for the fantastic benefits that chlorella provides.
Spirulina and chlorella are similar in the fact that they are both types of micro-algae. However, spirulina is a spiral-shaped, multi-celled plant and has no true nucleus. Conversely, chlorella is a spherical-shaped single-celled micro-organism with a nucleus. Although chlorella algae can grow faster than spirulina, spirulina algae is much bigger and can sometimes be up to 100-times the size of chlorella.
Furthermore, while spirulina is a blue-green form of algae, chlorella is solid green.
How They’re Grown
Another way in which these super foods are different is due to the conditions in which they are grown. Spirulina is best cultivated in low-alkaline water and requires long hours of sunshine.
Chlorella prefers to grow best in fresh water conditions and grows much faster than spirulina.
Where Can I Buy Spirulina Online?
Organic Spirulina Powder and Organic Spirulina Tablets are available to buy from our superfood store. You can also buy these and other health food powders from our UK Amazon storefront. Just enter ‘TheHealthyTree Company’ into the Amazon search bar.
Dried Spirulina as a potent source of protein
Dried Spirulina is 59% – 65% percent protein which is especially impressive when compared with dried soybean at 40 percent, lentils at 26 percent and peanuts at 25 percent. Perhaps more surprising is that raw beef only contains 23 percent protein. With only 36 kcal calories per 10 grams of dried powder, Spirulina is an excellent source of protein without empty calories. Additionally, the protein is far more accessible by the human digestive system than most other plant and animal proteins. This means the body can absorb and utilize much more of the available protein with far less energy and stress on the digestive system.
(source: USDA, FAO p. 10)
Complete Source of Amino Acids and Omega 3
In addition to containing omega-3 fatty acid, and being highly concentrated with protein, Spirulina is dense with all 8 essential amino acids that the body does not naturally synthesize. Here is a list of the different amino acids and how your body utilizes them:
- Isoleucine – required for optimal growth
- Leucine – stimulates brain function
- Lysine – needed for producing antibodies, enzymes and hormones
- Methionine – antioxidant properties
- Phenylalanine – required for thyroid function
- Threonine – improves intestinal and digestive function
- Tryptophane – regulates serotonin
- Valine – stimulates mental and physical capacity
Protein without cholesterol
An undesirable by-product of many sources of animal protein is cholesterol. Doctors recommend healthy adults consume less than 300 mg or 200 mg if you have diabetes or suffer from heart disease. Consider this, 10 grams of dried spirulina (approximately a large spoonful) carries 5.75 gram protein and 1.3 mg of cholesterol, compared to an equivalent quantity of egg protein containing 300 mg of cholesterol.
(sources: FAO p6 and MAYO Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/reduce-cholesterol/CL00012)
High concentrations of essential minerals
Remember the expression that eating green is good, well you had no idea just how good it can be. Below is list of some of the essential minerals you receive in 10 gram of dried Spirulina compared with more traditional sources:
- Iron: 2.9 mg – more iron than beef (recommended daily iron consumption) – M 8mg F 18mg
- Potassium: 114 mg – more potassium than bananas (recommended potassium intake) 4700 mg
- Calcium: 10 mg – more calcium than whole milk (recommended calcium intake) 1100 mg
- Magnesium: 20 mg – more magnesium than walnuts (recommended magnesium) M 400 mg W 350 mg
- Zinc: 0.2 mg – more zinc than spinach (zinc) M 11 mg W 8 mg
Spirulina does not replace a healthy diet, but helps to balance out deficiencies and gives a great boost of energy. As an example, to achieve a recommended daily allowance of many minerals, an adult would need to consume a very large quantity of Spirulina.
- Iron: Men need 2.8 tbsp Women need 6.2 tbsp (Spirulina) ~ comparable to approximately 450 grams for men and 1000 grams for women of grass fed beef
- Potassium: 33 tbsp ~ comparable to 1300 grams of bananas
- Calcium: 110 tbsp ~ comparable to (1000 grams of whole milk)
- Magnesium: 18 tbsp ~ comparable to 250 grams of walnuts
- zinc M 55 tbsp 40 tbsp ~ comparable to 2000 grams for men and 1,500 grams for women of spinach
*note: an average tablespoon of dried Spirulina approximately 10 grams
Vitamins and more vitamins
Here is a short list of the alphabet of vitamins in Spirulina: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, C, D, E and K. It would take too long to list all the benefits from this list of vitamins so we decided to highlight just one:
- β-carotene (beta-carotene) is best known for its red-orange pigment found in carrots. And did you know that the National Cancer Institute of the United States of America has recommended consumption of 6 mg of beta-carotene daily to reduce the risk of cancer. In 4 grams, half a tablespoon of dried Spirulina, you will consume 6 mg, or your daily recommended amount of beta-carotene. (source FAO p. 7)
Amount of Protein in Spirulina
Welcome to the nutritional protein content in 1 different types of spirulina, ranging from 57.47 g to 57.47 g per 100g. The basic type of spirulina is Seaweed, spirulina, dried, where the amount of protein in 100g is 57.47 g.
57.47 g of protein per 100g, from Seaweed, spirulina, dried corresponds to 103% of the protein RDA. For a typical serving size of 1 cup (or 112 g) the amount of Protein is 64.37 g. This corresponds to an RDA percentage of 115%.
The percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is based on a 50 g RDA level for a mature adult.
Seaweed, spirulina, dried – Nutritional Content and Chart
The full nutrition content, RDA percentages and levels for Seaweed, spirulina, dried should be considered along with the protein content. This food profile is part of our list of food and drinks under the general group Vegetables and Vegetable Products.Other important and protein related nutrients are Calories, Fat and Carbohydrate. For this 100g serving in your diet, the amount of Calories is 290 kcal (15% RDA), the amount of Fat is 7.72 g (12% RDA) and the amount of Carbohydrate is 23.9 g (18% RDA). The nutritional content and facts for 100g, which includes Calories, Fat and Carbohydrate is shown in the RDA chart below as percentages of the recommended daily allowance along with the protein levels in spirulina.
Our proprietary nutritional density score gives a nutritional value out of 100 based on 9 different vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients. Seaweed, spirulina, dried has a nutritional value score of 20 out of 100.Comparing the protein content and the nutritional density in 100g for Seaweed, spirulina, dried; We class this as a high protein content item.In terms of overall nutritional value we class this as an item with a medium nutritional density value.
Comparing protein in spirulina vs chicken breast
The amount of protein in chicken breast is 31 g per 100g.As protein percentage of the RDA this is 62 %. Comparing with Seaweed, spirulina, dried, in 100g contains 57.47 g of protein. As a percentage of the RDA this is 103 %. Therefore, Seaweed, spirulina, dried has 26.47 g more protein than chicken breast. In terms of protein percentage this is 85 % more protein. Chicken breast has an overall nutritional value score of 15 out of 100, whereas Seaweed, spirulina, dried has a nutritional value score of 20 out of 100.Seaweed, spirulina, dried also has the highest amount of protein for the 1 different spirulina items.
Amount of protein per 100 Calories
100 calories of seaweed, spirulina, dried is a serving size of 0.34 g, and the amount of Protein is 19.82 g (35.52% RDA). Other important and related nutrients and macronutrients such as Carbohydrate, in 100 Calories are as follows; Fat 2.66 g (4.14% RDA), Carbohydrate 8.24 g (6.21% RDA). This is shown in the protein RDA percentage chart below, based on 100 Calories, along with the other important nutrients and macro nutrients.
Content per Typical Serving Size 1 cup (or 112 g)
For the food Seaweed, spirulina, dried the typical serving size is 1 cup (or 112 g) which contains 64.37 g of Protein. The protein percentage of the recommended daily value for this serving is 115 %.
To give 100% of the RDA, 0.9 servings of the typical serving size 1 cup (or 112 g) give the complete RDA. In terms of the gram weight and total content for this serving the Calories content is 324.8 kcal, the Fat content is 8.65 g and the Carbohydrate content is 26.77 g. The percentages are shown below in the protein chart, for the typical serving of protein and the related and important nutritional values.
Macronutrients in Seaweed, spirulina, dried
The amount of protein, fat and carbs from this food described above is measured in grams per 100g and grams in a typical serving size (in this case 1 cup or 112 g), although it is also useful to give the number of calories from protein, fat and carbohydrate which are the most important macronutrients. For this serving in your diet here are the macronutrient calories. From protein the number of calories is 157.1 (kcal).The number of calories from Fat is 72.4 (kcal).The total calories from carbohydrate is 95.6 (kcal).
Grams of protein in spirulina (per 100g)
This list of 1 types of spirulina, is brought to you by www.dietandfitnesstoday.com and ranges from Seaweed, spirulina, dried through to Seaweed, spirulina, dried where all food items are ranked by the content or amount per 100g. The nutritional protein content can be scaled by the amount in grams, oz or typical serving sizes. Simply click on a food item or beverage from the list at the bottom of the page to give a full dietary nutritional breakdown to answer the question how much protein in spirulina.
The list below gives the total protein content in the 1 items from the general description ‘spirulina’ each of which show the protein amount as well as Calories, Fat and Carbohydrate.
The corresponding Calories for spirulina ranked by the amount of protein per 100g is shown below in the spirulina calories chart.
RDA for protein
The recommended daily allowance for protein is 56g for an average male. This is the RDA used for all nutrition in the listed data. For a typical woman it is 46g. These values are based on 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. It is also recommended that at least 10% of your calories should be from protein with an upper limit of 35% of your calories from protein.
For this serving the amount of Calories is 290 kcal, the amount of Fat is 7.72 g and the amount of Carbohydrate is 23.9 g.
Highest protein Content per 100g
Using the list below for the 1 different spirulina nutrition entries in our database, the highest amount of protein is found in Seaweed, spirulina, dried which contains 57.47 g of protein per 100g. The associated percentage of RDA is 103 %. For this 100g serving the Calories content is 290 kcal, the Fat content is 7.72 g, the Carbohydrate content is 23.9 g.
The lowest amount of protein in 100g is in Seaweed, spirulina, dried which contains 57.47 g. This gives as percentage of the recommended daily allowance 103 % of the RDA. For this 100g serving the amount of Calories is 290 kcal, the amount of Fat is 7.72 g, the amount of Carbohydrate is 23.9 g.
The difference between the highest and lowest values gives a protein range of 0 g per 100g. The range for the other nutrients are as follows; 0 kcal for Calories, 0 g for Fat, 0 g for Carbohydrate.
Highest Amount of protein per Serving
Please remember that the above gives an accurate value in 100g for high protein foods in your diet. For example 100g of Seaweed, spirulina, dried contains 57.47 g of protein. However, there are other factors to consider when you are assessing your nutritional requirements. You should also take into account portion sizes when you are considering the protein nutritional content.
The food with the highest protein content per typical serving is Seaweed, spirulina, dried which contains 64.37 g in 1 cup (or 112 g). The percentage of the recommended daily value for this serving is 115 %. For this serving the Calories content is 324.8 kcal, the Fat content is 8.65 g and the Carbohydrate content is 26.77 g.
Nutritional Information Summary
From the list below you can find a full nutrition facts breakdown for all foods containing protein which can be scaled for different servings and quantities. We have also sorted our complete nutritional information and vitamin database of over 7000 foods, to give a list of protein in foods
Ask the Diet Doctor: Spirulina’s Supposed Superpowers
Q: Is spirulina really the amazing superfood it’s touted to be?
A: Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be taken as a supplement in either pill or powder form. It was also recently approved for use as a natural alternative to brilliant blue food dye-a nice choice for those with aversions to artificial food colorings. Naturally blue popsicles aside, four claims tend to be made about spirulina, but not all are accurate.
1. Claim: Spirulina is great source of protein.
It’s true that spirulina contains 60 percent protein by weight and all the essential amino acids. (It’s not as good a source as eggs or milk, but it’s better than beans.) It also provides twice as much protein as carbohydrates, but the amount of both nutrients is negligible since only 2 grams is a relatively standard dose of spirulina, and that serving contains 1.2g protein-as much protein as in 0.03 ounces chicken breast.
2. Claim: Spirulina will help you lose fat.
It wouldn’t be a superfood if it didn’t help you lose weight, right? Despite being co-signed by Dr. Oz as “a miracle from the sea for your metabolism,” there is no evidence at any level that would suggest spirulina will help you lose weight. This seems to be a claim purely created by marketers to push sales.
RELATED: 20 Genius Ways to Use Matcha
3. Claim: Spirulina is an ideal source of vitamin B12 for people who eat a plant-based diet.
One nutritional concern for vegetarians and vegans is getting adequate levels of vitamin B12, a nutrient present primarily in animal products and some fortified foods such as cereal. Some plants, including spirulina, contain compounds similar vitamin B12 called pseudovitamin B12. But due to the complicated absorption process of vitamin B12, the effectiveness of these plant-based pseudovitamin B12 compounds has been questioned. Furthermore the ability of algae-derived B12, as in spirulina, to improve B12 status in humans has not been convincingly shown clinically. If you eat a diet devoid of animal products, it is important to find vitamin B12 from other fortified sources and not to rely only on spirulina.
4. Claim: Spirulina will help with allergies.
Finally, here’s an area where the health claims may prove correct. Potentially due to its anti-inflammatory properties, spirulina appears to be an effective treatment for allergies. One study found that 2g daily decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 in people who suffered from nasal allergies. Other researchers looked at the long-term clinical effects and found that taking 2g a day led to significant reductions in symptoms of nasal allergies for the six-month duration of the study, with the effect growing stronger over time. So, assuming you commit to taking it every day, spirulina can help.
- By Dr. Mike Roussell
Weight loss with Spirulina
New Age NutritionFollow Oct 2, 2016 · 5 min read Weight loss with Spirulina
First thing you should know that there is no simple way to lose weight. Indeed, you should not expect that you can just eat something, and then result is weight loss. If it was as easy as buying pills, there would be no obesity. Think of it, why no pharmacies sell pill for weight loss? Is Weight loss with Spirulina real or a myth?
All you need is to eat less and do the cardio-vascular exercises, and that’s the only way it works. We are not going to explain why exercising is a must but we will surely explain how weight loss with Spirulina is possible.
The effect of spirulina
Now what is the effect of spirulina? Spirulina actually reduces the appetite and elevates your energy level. However this relationship is still indirect, because the reduced appetite does not necessary mean reduced consumption of food. Nor does it mean,that elevated energy level necessarily leads you to actually start doing more exercises.
Many people just like to eat food because it tastes good, not because they’re hungry. So even a reduced appetite will not have an effect on them. Some people would even vomit as they eat and eat, but that would not stop them from eating more. Or just as another example, lets suppose you are a factory worker, and you’re being provided with a regular size meal. If you have a reduced appetite would you actually start throwing away a portion of that meal?
Unless you are in control of your eating habits, the weight loss would be almost impossible, no matter how costly your gadgets and supplements are. However, if you are serious and ready to change things, the spirulina can help and actually contribute to weight loss.
Will Spirulina consumption work?
Nowadays, it’s not so easy to keep up the right diet — the nutritional value of consumed food is often imbalanced, and as a result our body keeps craving for more. This is especially true for the fast foods as they provide almost nothing but fat and preservatives — and what a nice combination of misery it is!
Now if we take Spirulina, the body can get the additional nutrients it requires, for not only the spirulina is rich in vitamins and essential pigments, but has also a very high protein content. Protein is capable to satisfy hunger better than either carbs of fat. So a protein diet also appears effective for weight management. However, unlike the hard tissues of any other protein, the simple cells of Spirulina can dissolve in water. And thereby all its protein can be easily digested just within several minutes. This is how the consumption of spirulina immediately results in a reduced appetite or food craving and can help you to manage your weight.
Keep in mind that the best way of consumption would be on empty stomach, about 15–30 minutes before the lunch. If you take it right before the lunch, you will hardly notice any appetite reduction. Taking it post lunch will not render any great effects on weight loss.
Also Spriulina elevates your energy levels, it may bring you an additional boost during your cardio workouts. And this extra punch of workout can help you to burn fat more effectively. And in the end it brags to have a great advantage over coffee, tea and other tonics, because it does not cause the side effect inherent to them. Indeed unlike other tonics, that give only temporary boost, and then eventually make you feel weak, the energizing effect of spirulina is consistent and yet, has no known drawbacks.
More healthy reasons of Weight loss with Spirulina
The above mentioned reasons are not the only ones that you should start taking “Prodiet” Spirulina. Our research also led us to believe that Spirulina being super dense in nutrient concentration can not only help with weight loss but also increase immunity and boost your energy.
High Nutrient Content
Often, when one feels hungry, body is causing the effect as it is looking to fill its own need for nutrients. When you take poor-quality foods, your brain will trigger your appetite in an effort to find what it needs. Taking Spirulina will increase the concentration of nutrients in your body and may reduce hunger and cravings in the process.
Low in Calories
Spirulina supplies only 3.5 calories for each gram of protein according to NaturalWays.com. This is one of the least calories you can gain for any gram of protein, even marginally better than famous protein powders like whey. A standard 500 mg tablet of Spirulina only has less than two calories. Regular consumption of spirulina will provide you with a good portion of your daily nutritional needs, without any caloric consequences.
Reduces Blood Sugar levels
A diet high in processed foods and sugary snacks causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly. The pancreas releases the hormone insulin which helps cells absorb the glucose and store the excess as fat. If your blood glucose levels are elevated, you cannot lose weight. Balancing your blood sugar levels is essential for healthy weight loss.
Spirulina is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and GLA. GLA helps regulate your blood sugar and control insulin levels, which will in turn minimize carbohydrate binging and help you lose weight. A study published in Journal of Medicinal Food found that regular supplementation of Spirulina (2g a day for 2 months) reduced blood glucose levels even in Type 2 diabetics.
Spirulina Boosts Energy
Spirulina is a great supplement for workouts. It contains vitamins b1, b2, b3 and b5 which are essential for transforming food into energy. It also contains high levels of B6, which helps insulin to work effectively.
A study published in European Journal of Applied physiology found that supplementing Spirulina (2.5g three times per day for 3 weeks) in healthy individual increased endurance performance. More energy, more exercise, more weight loss.
So is weight loss with Spirulina a myth? Well just as anything else that promotes a fast weight loss is probably a myth, because the accumulation and burning of fat simply doesn’t work that way. However, if you are really concerned about your weight, do take a step further to actually care about your diet. Start doing cardiovascular exercises — then Prodiet Spirulina will definitely help. Why don’t you go ahead, buy our Supplement (at reduced prices) and come back after two months to tell success stories.
Spirulina: the miracle food
June 22, 2018
Spirulina is generating quite a buzz around, no wonder many people around the web are looking to find out more about this superfood.
Now, this is why we have compiled some answers to some of the frequently asked questions about spirulina from what’s the heck is spirulina to where you can buy spirulina and much more!
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is spirulina?
For starters, what is spirulina?
Well, Spirulina is blue – green algae that nutritionists are calling the super food of the future.
It is responsible for producing oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere that billions of years ago allowed the planet’s originating life forms to develop. Put simply, Spirulina is arguably the world’s first super food and one of the most nutrient-rich foods on earth.
Spirulina Benefits: What are the health benefits of spirulina?
Now, the next question we should answer has got to be, what is spirulina good for or rather, what does spiriluna do to your body?
To answer this, here are some spirulina benefits that you ought to know:
1. It eliminates heavy metals (especially arsenic)
– Spirulina is a heavy metal detox. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), chronic arsenic toxicity is a worldwide problem. As researchers pointed out, there is no specific treatment for arsenic poisoning and that’s why they evaluated alternatives like blue-green algae. And it works pretty well!
2. Eradicates Candida
– According to researchers, “Candida species belong to the normal microbiota of an individual’s mucosal oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina” and causes candidiasis. On the other hand, immune-strengthening properties of spirulina help the body eliminate the candida cells.
3. It can Help Fight HIV/AIDs
– A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that people who regularly consume algae, have relatively low HIV/AIDs rates. No wonder people in Japan, Korea, and Chad have relatively low HIV/AIDS rates a feat that has been attributed to the abundance of this fresh water plant in the region.
4. Could be a natural Cancer treatment
– Spirulina is rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds closely related to bilirubin molecule, a potential anti-oxidant, and anti-prollyferative agent. It has been found that compared to untreated cells, experimental therapeutics significantly decreased proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitri in a dose-dependent manner. This means that spirulina is a potential natural cancer treatment.
5. It Reduces Blood Pressure
– Japanese researchers claim that consuming this blue-green algae reverses the endothelial dysfunction in the metabolic syndrome thus helping in reducing chances of heart disease.
6. It Cuts Down Cholesterol
– Spirulina prevents atherosclerosis and reduces elevated blood cholesterol levels.
7. Lowers chance of Stroke
– Spirulina supplementation has also been known to lower intimal aorta surface which helps to prevent arteriosclerosis and subsequent stroke. Also, Spirulina can literally reverse the damage done by eating a poor diet, and this comes at a great advantage to the heart.
8. Boosts energy
– people who regularly consume spirulina have an abundance of energy because spirulina has a chemical composition that boosts energy. This energy performance is enhanced as spirulina unlocks sugar from cells-when frozen the cold from the ice boosts metabolic energy while giving our bodies a ”wake-up call.”
9. Speeds up weight loss
– dense protein-rich foods like spirulina promote weight loss and low-fat stores through a variety of mechanisms. Eating proteins help maintain lean tissue and contribute to fat burning because it takes more energy to metabolize.
10. Offers neuroprotection for brain disorders and memory boosting
– research has found that Spirulina platensis may “prevent the loss of memory possibly by lessening AB protein accumulation, reducing oxidative damage and mainly augmenting the catalase activity.
Spirulina-dosage and usage
The two most common forms of commercially available spirulina are spirulina powder and spirulina tablets. It is also an ingredient in some proteins and energy-boosting powder mixes.
How To Take Spirulina
You can stir a small spoonful of spirulina powder into a glass of water or juice and drink it straight. As a dietary supplement, the recommended amount is 3 grams daily- one tea spoon of spirulina powder or 500 mg spirulina tablets.
Since it is a pure and natural food, you may safely take more, to suit your personal health goals.
If you are just starting to take spirulina, build up the doze gradually.
For the first two days, take 1 tablet daily. Then, for the next two days take 2 tablets daily. For the following two days, take 3 tablets daily, etc., until you reach the required dosage.
You can take spirulina whenever you like- with, before, or between meals; before or after working out; or whenever your energy is low.
Because high –protein foods have been found to increase alertness – and spirulina is one of the richest whole food sources of protein.
It is best to take spirulina at least four hours before going to bed but altogether, it does not seem to matter whether one should take six tablets at once or two tablets three times a day-most people report feeling benefits whenever and however they take spirulina and it often does not present any problems.
If you think of it as eating a snack or part of a meal, then ten or twenty grams is not excessive. Body builders and other athletes often eat as much as 50 grams a day. Spirulina is a natural cleanser and helps to eliminate toxins in the body especially when first taken. A few people, (approximately 1-2%) may experience light changes in their digestive system for the first few days when taking spirulina. These changes are always short lived, and after a few days, these people are back to normal and usually report feeling better than ever.
When slimming, take spirulina tablets with a large glass of water better half an hour before meals. Again, you are advised not to take any spirulina in the evening otherwise you will be too active when you want to sleep.
Otherwise, it is certainly a solution if you have to work late into the night.
It takes about 1-3 weeks for you to notice a change in energy levels. The results differ from person to person and obviously depend on your condition.
Tip; drink plenty of water every day.
Where to purchase spirulina
Most people around normally ask, where can spirulina be found? Well, Spirulina is sold in varied health shops all over the world. Of course you can also order online from specialized shops like 21bites.
That’s it, now you know a thing or two about Spirulina! It’s time to try this magical food and see how things pan out for you.
How do I Use Spirulina for Weight Loss?
To make spirulina easier to consume, manufacturers put it into several forms, including the pill form that is common with many other vitamins and supplements. The flake version is good for sprinkling onto foods, such as salads, and some individuals prefer the powder type because it is easily mixed into juices and other drinks such as smoothies. These latter kinds also are good options for people who have trouble swallowing tablets, but they don’t provide the convenience of being premeasured. A person can pick whichever one works best given his dietary habits.
The dose most companies promote for an adult is 500 milligrams per day, which works out to about four to six tablets, but some sources bump the dose up to as much as eight pills. The amount to take isn’t standardized, however, in part because research is still ongoing regarding the benefits and drawbacks the algae has. In some regions, its status as a supplement means that major food regulatory agencies don’t monitor or control it, such as is the case with in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most medical professionals recommend getting consultation first before adding it to the diet of anyone under age 18.
When to Take It
The ideal time to take a spirulina for weight loss generally is before a meal, with most recommendations hitting a window of 15 minutes to an hour before eating. The idea is that consuming the supplement during this period will suppress appetite, making it a little physically easier to keep portions under control. Many people take it during a meal however, adding it to their main dishes or drinks. In some cases, such as if a person is simply trying to get a nutrient boost rather than to limit how much he ingests, it’s typically better to take the algae after eating. Some people have reported some nausea if they try to use it following regular eating.
Why It Might Work
This supplement is a rich source of multiple nutrients, including riboflavin, thiamine folic acid, Vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and amino acids such as gama linolenic acid. All these substances play a part in maintaining good physical function and carrying out metabolic processes, so they are critical to being able to perform exercise and burn a maximum amount of calories. The real claim to fame for spirulina for weight loss, however, is that it is around 60% protein, which can make the number on the scale go down for multiple reasons.
Protein slows down how fast food moves through the digestive system and stabilizes blood sugar levels, which, for most people, means feeling full longer, as well as not reaching for additional snacks or eating huge amounts at subsequent meals. It also requires more energy to break down and use compared to fats and carbohydrates. Additionally, the body uses protein to build muscle tissue, which ends up using more calories to sustain over time and revving up metabolism — put another way, the leaner someone is, the more energy they usually burn. Spirulina is one option people have to get some of the dietary protein necessary to get these benefits.
No research studies have shown that using spirulina for weight loss is effective. It isn’t clear whether it is the algae or other lifestyle choices that frequently accompany supplement use, such as eating low-calorie foods and exercising, that result in slimming down. The University of Maryland Medical Center asserts that a person would need to consume quite a bit of the algae for it to do much good, and that someone can get similar amounts of protein in smaller servings of other foods, such as meat or nuts. The general consensus from medical professionals is that, although adding it to a diet probably won’t hurt, it’s an expensive route to go, as it’s about 30 times pricier per gram than the majority of other protein options.
This substance has the potential to stimulate the immune system. For many people, this is an excellent benefit, but individuals who have particular autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis, generally should not take spirulina for weight loss, because it can aggravate these diseases. It also can interact with a number of medications prescribed for immune system suppression, such as mycophenolate, mexotrexate and cyclosporine. People with phenylketonuria, a condition that makes it hard for someone to handle phenylalanine, an amino acid the algae and other foods contain, also should avoid this product. The supplement contains high levels of Vitamin K, so it isn’t good for people who are on anticoagulant medication.
Sometimes, spirulina contains contaminants called microcystins, which, if consumed, can cause digestive issues and, potentially, cancer. Another worry is that metals occasionally find their way into the algae cultures, with mercury being of particularly high concern. Choosing a reputable manufacturer or vendor can improve the quality of the supplement and reduce the risk of these issues.