Spirulina is blue-green algae found in tropical saltwater bodies or some species may be found in freshwater bodies It is rich in Vitamins B, iron, minerals, and protein. Suitable for vegetarians. In addition, spirulina is also used as a supplement for the health of the elderly. Spirulina also contains many other bioactive substances such as phycocyanin, carotenoids, gamma-linolenic acid. Gamma-Linolenic Acid, Plant Sterols, and dietary fiber.
Many people believe that eating spirulina may provide health benefits, such as treating allergies, diabetes, ADHD, anemia, and fatigue relief. Which of these claims will be true or not? And how much clinical evidence is there to confirm the properties, benefits, and safety of spirulina as a therapeutic role or aid in the treatment of these diseases?
The benefits of spirulina may be good for your health:
- Increases hemoglobin levels and may help treat anemia.
Anemia can occur for many reasons, such as blood loss, production problems, or the destruction of red blood cells. This causes the body to lack hemoglobin, which is an important part of red blood cells. In the function of delivering oxygen to various parts of the body. This results in fatigue and the organs in the body do not work properly.
Many people may believe that taking spirulina may help increase hemoglobin and relieve symptoms of anemia. One experimental study provided volunteers aged 50 and over with no health problems. After consuming spirulina for 12 weeks, the mean amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells increased. Where female volunteers may respond and see results more quickly. The volume of red blood cells and mean hemoglobin concentrations of male volunteers also increased. It can be said that eating spirulina may benefit the elderly with anemia and a weakened immune system.
Although the above studies show the benefits of spirulina, more studies are needed, with an emphasis on safety. How long to follow up And the number of participants in the trial.
- It is beneficial for type 2 diabetics and reduces blood lipid levels.
Diabetes is a health problem that is caused by abnormally high blood sugar levels. Which type 2 diabetes is the most common type. The pancreas does not produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels or known as insulin resistance. Scientific evidence has shown that spirulina may help regulate blood sugar levels and have beneficial effects on blood lipids.
In a trial that diabetic patients who took 2 grams of spirulina per day for 2 months, it was found that the blood glucose test results after 8 hours of fasting included total cholesterol (TG) and bad cholesterol ( LDL) decreases and the good cholesterol (HDL) levels are also rising.
In addition, recent research has shown the benefit of taking spirulina on blood lipid levels in ischemic heart patients and diabetics. Rather, it is only the result of a small experiment and a short time trial. Further studies are needed to confirm the clearer benefits of spirulina in the elderly.
- Benefits for treating people who have been poisoned by arsenic.
Arsenic is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless heavy metal. It is found naturally or in the smelting industry. It is absorbed into the body through the digestive tract, through venous respiration. And mucous membranes Especially about 90% of the digestive. The World Health Organization states that high and prolonged exposure to arsenic, either through drinking water or eating contaminated food. Often there are disorders in the skin system, such as darkening of the skin. Thick skin May cause skin cancer Risk of heart disease, diabetes, and neurotoxicity.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for people suffering from severe arsenic poisoning. Therefore, experiments have been conducted to determine the efficacy of spirulina. It was found that taking 250 mg of spirulina and 2 mg of zinc twice a day for 16 weeks may be helpful in the treatment of arsenic poisoned people with skin conditions and for clear results, further studies are needed.
- Helps relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis occurs when the body’s immune system reacts excessively to airborne particles. Causes allergic reactions and results in a stuffy nose, runny nose, sinusitis, or an ear infection. These symptoms can be treated with modern medicine, but continued use of the drug may lead to side effects.
Eating spirulina is an interesting option, as it may help boost your immune system. The results of clinical trials in patients with allergic rhinitis showed that Spirulina may help relieve a runny, sneezing, stuffy, or itchy nose. However, current studies may not be able to fully determine the mechanism of action of spirulina. Therefore the further study is still needed.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above It is also believed that eating spirulina may also contribute to the treatment of ADHD, Malnutrition, Relieve fatigue, menopausal symptoms, premenstrual syndrome. Help you lose weight Including helping to reduce blood fat levels. But in medicine, there is not enough research. Further studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of spirulina for this disease or condition.
How to eat spirulina safely?
Eating spirulina is relatively safe. Without microcystins compounds Including metal toxins and harmful bacteria. Otherwise, it may adversely affect liver function. This can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, thirst, rapid heartbeat, shock, or death. Especially, children who eat spirulina are relatively unsafe and may be more susceptible to infection than adults.
Precautions for eating algae Especially people in the following groups.
- Patients with phenylketonuria Because phenylalanine compounds found in spirulina may worsen the symptoms.
- Those who are pregnant or those who are breastfeeding, Should not eat spirulina. As it is not clear whether it is safe or effective for the mother or the baby.
- People who are taking immunosuppressants, such as azathioprine, basiliximab, cyclosporins, mycophenolate, tacrolimus prednisone, corticosteroids, etc., because eating spirulina together with the said drug may stimulate the immune system and affect the performance of the drug.
- Patients with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, SLE disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., because taking spirulina may stimulate the immune system to work more.