Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is linked to many health benefits spanning from heart health and blood pressure to weight loss. However, Gans notes it’s not a magic pill. “Can it possibly do all these wonderful things that are claimed? Yes. But it should only be one part of what you’re doing,” she says.
Here’s a look at some of spirulina’s potential health benefits.
Spirulina supplements can help lower levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides significantly, according to a 2018 study in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. In this study, participants consumed 1 to 19 grams of spirulina a day for two to 48 weeks before researchers concluded that spirulina has a “favorable effect” on these cardiac measures.
Another study notes blue-green algaes like spirulina can be effective natural options for improving blood lipid profiles, preventing inflammation and oxidative stress, and protecting against cardiovascular disease. Experts attribute spirulina’s cardiovascular benefits to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Though limited, research on spirulina’s impact on gut health is promising. A 2017 study on older mice showed it helped preserve gut function during aging, and it may help preserve a “healthy gastrointestinal microbial community” as well.
“Spirulina has prebiotic properties and the good bacteria in your gut feed on that,” says Gans. However, while studies show promising results, Gans adds that more research is needed.
“[Spirulina] fights cardiovascular disease by lowering harmful LDL cholesterol levels while promoting healthy HDL cholesterol levels,” says Jamie Hickey, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer based in Philadelphia.
Indeed, a study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found adults with high cholesterol who consumed spirulina for three months experienced improvements in their…