Produced by the non-toxic species of Arthropsira bacteriaspirulina is a popular health food supplement used by vegans due to its high protein content.

Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and is an excellent source of antioxidants. It became an instant favorite when NASA scientists proposed that it could be grown in space and used by astronauts as a power food.[1]

Phycocyanin, a plant antioxidant that gives spirulina its unique blue-green color, can fight free radicals and stop the production of molecules that cause inflammation.[2,3,4] A study found that when one gram of spirulina was given to people with high cholesterol every day, it lowered their triglyceride levels by 16.3 percent and LDL (low-density lipoporiteins) by 10.1 percent.[5]

Another study showed that taking 4.5 grams of spirulina every day reduced blood pressure by increasing production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes and dilates the blood vessels.[5,6,7]

Spirulina can also relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sneezing and itching and is beneficial in managing anemia.[8,9] A study done in people with a history of anemia shows that supplementation with spirulina increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and also improved immunity.[10]

Spirulina For Oral Cancer
A clinical study done in people with oral cancer with a history of chewing tobacco found that when they took 1gm of spirulina for a year, 20 of the 44 evaluable subjects reported a regression of the oral lesions.[11]

Another study found that when 1 gram of spirulina was taken every day, it caused better improvement in oral cancer symptoms than the popularly used drug Pentoxyfilline.[12]

How To Take It

  • Take a 500mg supplement of spirulina three times daily to decrease your risk of oral cancer. Buy it online here.

Advisory: The content made available at Z Living has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by any other governmental agency. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

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References:
1. Site: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890016190.pdf (Accessed on 19 August 2015)

2. Shih CM, Cheng SN, Wong CS, Kuo YL, Chou TC. Antiinflammatory and antihyperalgesic activity of C-phycocyanin. Anesth Analg. 2009
Apr;108(4):1303-10. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318193e919. PubMed PMID: 19299804.

3. Farooq SM, Boppana NB, Devarajan A, Sekaran SD, Shankar EM, Li C, Gopal K, Bakar SA, Karthik HS, Ebrahim AS. C-phycocyanin confers protection against oxalate-mediated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in MDCK cells. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 1;9(4):e93056. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093056. eCollection 2014. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e103361. Asokan, Devarajan [corrected to Devarajan, Asokan]. PubMed PMID: 24691130; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3972226.

4. Romay Ch, González R, Ledón N, Remirez D, Rimbau V. C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003 Jun;4(3):207-16. Review. PubMed PMID: 12769719.

5. Mazokopakis EE, Starakis IK, Papadomanolaki MG, Mavroeidi NG, Ganotakis ES. The hypolipidaemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population: a prospective study. J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Feb;94(3):432-7. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6261. Epub 2013 Jul 10. PubMed PMID: 23754631.

6. Torres-Duran PV, Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Juarez-Oropeza MA. Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of mexican population: a preliminary report. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2007;6:33. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-6-33.

7. Juárez-Oropeza MA, Mascher D, Torres-Durán PV, Farias JM, Paredes-Carbajal MC. Effects of dietary Spirulina on vascular reactivity. J Med Food. 2009 Feb;12(1):15-20. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.0713. PubMed PMID: 19298191.

8. Sayin I, Cingi C, Oghan F, Baykal B, Ulusoy S. Complementary therapies in allergic rhinitis. ISRN Allergy. 2013 Nov 13;2013:938751. doi:
10.1155/2013/938751. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24324897; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3845706.

9. Cingi C, Conk-Dalay M, Cakli H, Bal C. The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;265(10):1219-23. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0642-8. Epub 2008 Mar 15. PubMed PMID: 18343939.

10. Selmi C, Leung PS, Fischer L, et al. The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 2011;8(3):248-254. doi:10.1038/cmi.2010.76.

11. Mathew B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair PP, Varghese C, Somanathan T, Amma BP, Amma NS, Nair MK. Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiformis. Nutr Cancer. 1995;24(2):197-202. PubMed PMID: 8584455.

12. Mulk BS, Deshpande P, Velpula N, Chappidi V, Chintamaneni RL, Goyal S. Spirulina and Pentoxyfilline – A Novel Approach for Treatment of Oral Submucous Fibrosis. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR. 2013;7(12):3048-3050. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/7085.3849.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.