Spirulina: Is It Worth It?

While the color of this blue-green algae is not very appetizing, it is sold as a supplement and does offer benefits for your body but buyer beware. You need to know what you’re buying.

It’s rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants.

It’s also packed with nutrients like Beta-carotene , Vitamin E, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, and an essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic.

While it is great, buyers need to be aware of the brand they are purchasing since it can contain toxic substances called microcystins or heavy metals absorbed in the water.  Always use a trusted brand!

According to University of Maryland Medical Center, spirulina has shown to boost the immune system,  protect against allergic reactions, and have anticancer and antiviral properties.

Animal and test tube studies have suggested it does help boost production of antibodies and infection fighting proteins which may help prevent chronic illnesses and infections.  Test tube studies have suggested that spirulina has activity against HIV, influenza and herpes but it’s still not know if it works on humans.

It is also a rich source of protein. According to the center, 62% of spirulina is made up of amino acids.While it is rich in protein, you would have to ingest large amounts of it to see any effects. You’re better grabbing a  handful of nuts or having a tastier serving of meat.

Spirulina may also help protect against liver failure and damage in those with chronic hepatitis. There is preliminary evidence but more research is needed o fully prove or disprove this.

While it does offer benefits, studies on humans are lacking but it is very popular. Word of mouth and good reviews have also helped this supplement become popular at many vitamin shops and supplement stores.