Spirulina Health Benefits
Another popular green supplement, it's a concentrated form of many nutrients. You can take it on its own, and it's often blended into 'super green" supplements as well.
Rich in protein, it produces 20 times as much protein as the equivalent acreage of soybeans. In fact, it's made up of more than one half amino acids.
It supplies beta carotene, and chlorophyll, and also contains a variety of vitamins including A, B1, B3, B6, as well as Vitamins C, D, E, and K.
Some of the companies that grow and market it claim its a good source of B12 for vegetarians ( I took spirulina when I was in my vegan years), but the form of B12 in spirulina is not the kind our bodies can assimilate, it's sometimes referred to as pseudo vitamin B12.
Minerals in spirulina include calcium, manganese, iron, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, iodine, chloride, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium, selenium, germanium, copper, and boron.
It is reported to increase energy, enhance immune function, has muscle building properties, and is also demonstrated to help prevent allergy attacks.
It also is reported to have positive effects in treating radiation poisoning.
Its name comes from the Latin word for helix or spiral; which describes the physical form of the organism. When it grows it forms swirling, microscopic strands in the shape of a double helix.
It's an algae which grows best in warm, alkaline waters. and represents one of the simplest of life forms. It doesn't contain many of the factors common in other plants. For instance, it doesn't have the indigestible fibrous cell wall like other plants, including chlorella, do.
Spirulina is naturally digestible, aids in mineral absorption, and even helps curb the appetite. Its high levels of protein are reputed to help stabilize blood sugar levels which can reduce the urge to snack.
It also helps protect the immune system and is used in natural treatments for lowering cholesterol.
There have been concerns about heavy metal toxicity in some spirulina products, specifically lead, arsenic and mercury, though the products which were found to be contaminated were marketed in China.
Some spirulina supplements have been found to be contaminated with low levels of microcystins, which can produce gastrointestinal disturbances and, over time, can cause liver damage.
Make sure you trust the company you buy any supplements from. Check them out, call the company, read their consumer reviews online.
Read more on spirulina in this medical reference article.