Spirulina is a microalgae and is considered a particularly good source of organic nutrients. The vitamins and minerals, proteins and antioxidants it contains can help improve many aspects of health, with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects and protection against damage caused by oxidative stress being highlighted.
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), often referred to as blue-green algae, is a genus of cyanobacteria that form thread-like protein structures and whose cells are arranged one behind the other. There are around 35 species of spirulina, with the species Arthrospira platensis and Arthospira Maxima in particular being used as dietary supplements.
Full of healthy ingredients
The microalgae is particularly rich in minerals, vitamins and amino acids and 100 grams of dried spirulina contains around 60 grams of protein, 19.8 milligrams of iron and 3.6 milligrams of beta-carotene (provitamin A).
According to a recent study, spirulina not only offers exceptional nutrient content and special nutritional benefits, but the algae also displays a variety of pharmacological properties that benefit health.
Inhibits inflammation, has antiviral and antibacterial effects
The researchers report that spirulina has, among other things, antiviral and antibacterial effects and at the same time inhibits inflammation. The microalgae can also help against hypercholesterolemia.
According to a new review, phycocyanin, carotene, tocopherols, linolenic acid and phenolic compounds in spirulina have been proven to have strong antioxidant properties and act as so-called free radical scavengers.
Health Benefits of Phycocyanin
According to the researchers, the phycocyanin present in spirulina not only gives the algae its color, it also has special biological properties. For example, it has an antimicrobial, antioxidant effect and can also inhibit inflammation, which confirms the results of the aforementioned study.
In addition, phycocyanin has, among other things, anti-neurodegenerative, hepatoprotective and nephroprotective effects, inhibits obesity and diabetes and supports wound healing and cardiovascular health.
Improved aerobic fitness
In another study this year, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of spirulina are confirmed and the researchers also report that the microalgae can improve aerobic fitness, especially in untrained and moderately trained people.
Furthermore, spirulina appears to increase strength and energy performance, although, according to the researchers, these effects are only minor in highly trained people. The experts add that spirulina improves antioxidant status and prevents and accelerates recovery from exercise-induced lipid peroxidation, muscle damage and inflammation.
Taken together, the results make it clear that spirulina is a superfood that, when taken in the form of dietary supplements, can bring extensive health benefits, particularly its protection against bacteria and viruses, as well as against damage caused by oxidative stress and its anti-inflammatory effects. (as)