Spirulina and Constipation – What You Need To Know

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toilet-paper-150912__180Constipation seems to be one of the most common talked about side effects to consuming spirulina. But is there any truth to this? Are spirulina and constipation linked? To answer this question I looked into what it is about spirulina that could potentially cause constipation.

And what I found is somewhat of a mixed view. While some of the many nutrients in spirulina can cause constipation, there are also properties of spirulina that should actually reduce the chances of constipation.

But lets begin by going over some of the reasons why spirulina may be causing constipation.

Why Spirulina Might Be Causing Constipation

Iron May Be The Cause

Studies show that too high of a dietary iron intake will indeed cause constipation. And spirulina does contain a hefty amount of iron, about 2mg of iron for every tablespoon (7g) of spirulina.

Iron is absolutely an essential nutrient that is active in the production of red blood cells in the body. It should definitely not be avoided if you are experiencing constipation. Instead, you should asses the amount of iron you are actually taking.

Of course you don’t want to be constipated from taking in too much iron, but on the other hand you definitely don’t want to be deficient.

Could It Be The Protein?

The fact that too much protein can cause constipation is well known. Protein digestion uses a lot of water causing you to become dehydrated in some cases. And this in turn can cause constipation.

Spirulina just so happens to be the most protein dense food on the planet, with anywhere from 55-70% of its dry weight being protein.

Now I know that if you are taking spirulina supplements, chances are you aren’t taking very much. Most spirulina supplements have recommended daily doses of anywhere from 2-10 grams. And thats really not that much. Even if you took 10 grams per day and that was 70% protein (on the higher end) you still would only be getting 7 grams of protein from the spirulina.

But here is my theory. Its more concentrated in protein than any other food. So your body isn’t used to this. There is too much protein compared to the water, fiber, etc. that you are eating with your spirulina. And with a ratio of protein to water & fiber that is too large, constipation is a side effect.

If this is potentially the reason spirulina causes constipation, I would simply suggest that you drink more water or even eat some other foods while you are supplementing your spirulina.

There was really not that much information that I could find on why spirulina is causing constipation. But I do know that there are a lot of people that are experiencing constipation from spirulina. This is an area where there needs to be more research done.

Besides the reasons of why spirulina might cause constipation, I found reasons why spirulina should actually prevent and stop constipation.

Why Spirulina Also Prevents Constipation

One reason for constipation is inflammation. This is the cause in problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Spirulina has some very effective anti-inflammatory agents that are used to treat a wide range of problems. Two of its most powerful are Gamma-linolenic acid and phycocyanin, which I will go over.

Gamma-linolenic Acid Is A Treatment

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is commonly supplemented to treat conditions like constipation. And you guessed it, spirulina contains GLA, and is one of the most concentrated GLA food sources there is, with about 94.5mg of GLA for every tablespoon (7g) of spirulina.

GLA is converted into prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that control various processes. They are able to influence inflammation in the body, decreasing it and increasing it depending on the situation..

Phycocyanin, The Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Agent

Phycocyanin is the blue protein pigment that gives spirulina part of its blue-green color. It is a fascinating part of spirulina and has been the subject of many studies. It has a lot of benefits, anti-inflammation being one.

Phycocyanin inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, which is the enzyme responsible for much of the inflammation that goes on in the body [1]. There are many synthetic drugs that are designed to block this enzyme, but phycocyanin does it all naturally, which in my opinion is better.

The anti-inflammatory effects of phycocyanin are well documented and all seem to agree with the fact that it is a great natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Both GLA and phycocyanin are great natural sources for anti-inflammatory effects. They can both be used to treat constipation depending on the cause of constipation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease both often cause constipation and can be treated with anti-inflammatory agens like GLA and phycocyanin.

So with that in mind, spirulina is a great anti-constipation supplement.

Should You Take Spirulina?

Well it seems that spirulina would be very effective in treating constipation arising from certain problems that cause inflammation. But then again, it seems to give people constipation.

If you do have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease then I think it would be worth a try. But if you don’t and suddenly started to experience constipation after taking spirulina then I have a different suggestion.

If your constipation isn’t that bad I would continue to take the spirulina to see if the body gets used to it. Because I know that when I first started supplementing spirulina that my stomach was uneasy. It took me about a week to get over that and know I’m fine.

But if your constipation is severe I would suggest seeking medical advice and stop taking spirulina for the time being.

 

Sources

1) Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 by C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein from Spirulina platensis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Nov 2;277(3):599-603.

Should You Take Spirulina For Eczema Treatment?

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eczemaAs far as natural treatments go, taking spirulina for eczema is one of the better ones out there. You can find personal testimonials to spirulina’s eczema curing magic, but I’m more interested in HOW exactly spirulina can benefit eczema.

So I did some research and want to provide you with some of the benefits that spirulina has for eczema treatment.

Gamma-linolenic Acid from Spirulina

When doing some research online, I found that gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a common treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and acne. And you guessed it, Spirulina has GLA, and a lot of it.

Gamma-linolenic-acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. And according to Dr. Weil, MD, GLA has “specific nourishing effects on skin, hair, and nails that are not duplicated by omega-3 fatty acids”. For skin conditions like eczema he recommends GLA over the omega-3 fatty acids.

The science behind it

People with eczma have been found to have very low linoleic acid metabolites. Their concentration of linoleic acid tends to be high in the  blood, milk, and adipose tissue according to an article published at the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.

What does this mean?

It means that their body does not convert linoleic acid to gamma-linoleic acid properly. And thus, they don’t have enough gamma-linoleic acid.

So supplementing GLA is a must in order to have normal levels.

But besides nourishing the skin, GLA plays an important role in many functions of the body. It is a precursor for prostaglandins, which are “master” hormones and control various things going on in the body. Because of their importance, GLA deficiency is found to be a factor in many diseases.

An effective dosage for treatment is recommended by Dr. Weil to be 500mg twice per day.

GLA treats eczema and spirulina contains GLA

Having a fatty acid is kind of the last thing you would expect from an algae like spirulina. But its true.

Spirulina is actually a very good source of GLA and contains about 135mg per 10 grams of spirulina. This amount differs depending on the species of spirulina and its growing conditions, but thats a general number value for you to go by.

spirulina GLA content
Source – Algae Industry Magazine

Although the 135mg of GLA in 10g spirulina does not come close to the 500mg GLA twice per day that Dr. Weil recommends, its still a good bit to add to your diet.

Besides the looking only skin deep, lets take a deeper look, because the root cause of eczema might be from something else.

Your Immune Health Is Important

The health of your immune system might be the last thing that you think of when it comes to a skin condition like eczema. But the fact of the matter is that it plays a huge role in the health of everything, including your skin.

Eczema cases have tripled in the past 30 years, yes tripled! And its no coincidence. Its likely due to the immune systems of newer generations gradually getting weaker due to antibiotics and medicines. The weaker the immune system, the more susceptible you are to illnesses such as eczema.

  • Spirulina for immune system health is a great way to go. It has unbelievable capabilities and has even been shown to prevent and reduce cancer and HIV! I have already written articles on both of these benefits here:
  • Article: Spirulina for Cancer 
  • Article: Spirulina for HIV

One of the main reasons why spirulina is such a powerful immune system booster is due to a pigment protein complex called Phycocyanin. Phycocyanin is a very powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective agent which is proven to help your immune system fight all kinds of problems.

Other Benefits For Eczema

I’m not going to go over all of them, but I’ll go over 2 other nutrients that you can get from spirulina and are proven help, zinc and iron.

Zinc

First off, lets take a look at zinc, which is essential for 100’s of biological functions in the body. Some of the major functions include cell growth, cell division, and wound healing.

Unfortunately for those with eczema, zinc deficiency is a common side effect. For that reason eczema patients should look to obtain more zinc through their diets. And Spirulina is a great way to do that.

One tablespoon of spirulina powder (7g) will provide you with about 0.14mg of zinc. This really isn’t very much at all, but when used to supplement your diet it helps.

Iron

The next important nutrient that spirulina has for eczema treatment is iron. Iron is extremely important for many reasons as well. It is needed for your body to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are oxygen carrying proteins.

There are 2 reasons why iron is very important for eczema patients.

First, it can limit nickel absorption, which has been found to cause skin conditions such as eczema. Nickel negatively impacts your immune system and decreases blood lymphocyte circulation. But with sufficient iron in your body, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Second, eczema can actually cause iron deficiency. And iron deficiency in turn can lead to high amounts of nickel being absorbed, which then could increase skin problems like eczema. Its a viscous cycle.

For every tablespoon of spirulina (7g) you can expect to get about 2mg of iron. Thats a pretty good dose.

Should you try taking spirulina to treat eczema?

I think it would be a good idea and is worth a try. It has many nutrients which can directly and indirectly help with skin conditions such as eczema.

Spirulina also contains a lot of vitamins that are marketed for eczema treatment. I’m not going to go over them but they include Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and 9 of the B Vitamins. All of which are beneficial to the skin.

Where to Buy Spirulina

There are a lot of spirulina products on the market, some good and some bad. Spirulina’s nutritional content varies a lot due to the quality of the environment its grown in. It also can absorb toxins from its environment.

To avoid poor quality products that are grown in poor quality environments I have reviewed some of the top spirulina products available. The products I have reviewed are grown by credible companies and assure the best quality. You can find my product reviews Here.

 

Sources –

1) Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczemaAm J Clin Nutr January 2000
vol. 71 no. 1 367s-372s

Taking Spirulina for Autism – Is this a good treatment or just a fluke?

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spirulina for autismThere are testimonials one the internet that claim taking spirulina for autism is a cure, or at least beneficial. But does this hold any truth? Or is it maybe just a coincidence that some children’s autism cleared up after supplementing spirulina?

Although there are no clinical studies published at this moment on the effects that spirulina has on autism, I still think its safe to conclude that spirulina, at the very least, would be beneficial to those with autism.

Heavy metals accelerate and increase the chances of autism, and spirulina has the ability to absorb and remove heavy metals from the body.

To understand this first you need to know how heavy metals effect autism.

Heavy Metals Effects on Autism

A study conducted by Dr. William Walsh, Ph.D, and Dr. Anjum Usman, MD, shows that autistic patients’ bodies do not filter out heavy metals as efficiently as healthy individuals.

This study was performed on 503 autistic patients. Blood tests results showed that the patients had levels of zinc and copper that were above normal. And the reason for this is that their body’s MT proteins are not functioning properly [1].

The MT proteins are responsible for regulating heavy metal concentrations among other things. So the fact that the autistic patients had abnormally high levels of heavy metals shows that these MT proteins are not working right.

If someone is genetically susceptible to autism and lives in an environment that has toxic levels of heavy metals, this increases the likelihood of developing autism.

If you or someone you know has or is susceptible to autism then you may want to consider supplementing spirulina. Its an all natural and very healthy food that in theory should work.

In Theory, Spirulina Should Help With Autism

Like I mentioned above, spirulina has the ability to remove absorb toxins from the body. Once absorbed, your body is able to easily excrete this toxins.

The spirulina is very effective at removing heavy metals from the body. Its has proven effective in scientific studies at removing all sorts of heavy metals from the body. I already have written an article on taking spirulina to detox.

It is proven to detox from copper, which is one of the heavy metals shown to be abnormally high in autistic people. As for zinc, I can’t find a human study that proves spirulina to be effective, but I have found a study that shows spirulina can absorb zinc very effeciently.

Wheres the proof?

There was a study published in 2009 in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology that shows spirulina consumption will decrease copper levels in the body. The results of supplementing spirulina showed that copper concentration in feces increased [2]. This increased copper defecation is due to the spirulina absorbing the copper, which is then easily excreted.

And as for the study of zinc. There is a study I came across that shows spirulina absorbs zinc very well from water [3]. It was a study done to figure out the best methods of cleaning up heavy metal contamination left from industries. But anyway, spirulina is considered VERY effective. So I would assume that it can absorb excess zinc from the body like it can other heavy metals.

But zinc is an essential nutrient….

Its true that zinc is an extremely important nutrient and is involved in 100’s of functions in the human body, but still, having too much is harmful. And the fact that autistic patients showed abnormally high levels of zinc is a problem.

Spirulina would help regulate your body’s zinc levels by absorbing the excess that is floating around in your blood.

  • Note – Spirulina contains zinc too. I know it sounds counterproductive, giving your body zinc and removing zinc? But its not, it will give your body zinc if it needs it and remove excess zinc if your body has too much.

Should You Give Spirulina a Try?

There is scientific evidence that suggests spirulina would benefit those with autism or those who are susceptible to getting autism and there are personal testimonials (just google it) that claim spirulina greatly benefited children with autism, lessening autistic indicators.

So with that in mind I think it would be a great idea to give spirulina a try.

But one word of advice: You shouldn’t go out and buy just any spirulina. Spirulina’s contents varies depending on how it was grown and the environment. This means the nutrient values vary.

And just like spirulina can absorb heavy metals and other toxins from your body it can also absorb these toxins from the environment. So you have to avoid spirulina products that have undisclosed growing locations or that do not have good quality assurance standards in place.

How do you know what spirulina products to buy?

I have reviewed some of what I consider the best spirulina products you can buy. They all assure high quality and are from credible sources. You can Click Here to read my reviews.

Studies

1) Disordered Metal Metabolism in Autism Spectrum Disorders. New Developments: Volume 7, Number 1 – Fall, 2001.

2) Effect of Dietary Spirulina on Reduction of Copper Toxicity and Improvement of Growth, Blood Parameters and Phosphatases in Carp, Cirrhinus mrigala. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. Vol 47, Sep 2009, pp. 754-759.

3) Spirulina platensis AS BIOSORBENT OF ZINC IN WATER. Engineering and Management Journal. 12 (2013), 5, 1079-1084.

Does Spirulina Stain Teeth? You Better Believe It Does

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teethIf you are wondering “does spirulina stain your teeth?” The answer is YES it does. I have a little personal story to tell you about this, as it happened to me.

But first of all, not all spirulina forms will stain your teeth. If you are taking spirulina tablets or spirulina capsules you will not have this problem. Why? Well because it doesn’t even get on your teeth! Spirulina powder is what will stain them.

Spirulina Powder Stains Teeth

Spirulina has such a rich dark blue-green pigment that it is no wonder that it can stain things. It seems like whatever it gets on it will just stick to with its dense color.

If you have ever took spirulina powder, whether it be in a smoothie, in water, baked in something, or whatever else, you probably have noticed that it is stuck all over your teeth and very noticeable.

How do you stop spirulina from staining your teeth?

You brush them of course. But I’m talking about brushing them like crazy. you are going to have to step it up a notch. The normal brushing technique you use here is not going to cut it. And I know this personally.

Spirulina stained my teeth!

So, I take spirulina powder, and a lot of it. I mix in about 10 grams of spirulina powder into a smoothie each morning and blend it up. Its a great way to get the day started.

But anyway, after about 3 months I began to notice small dark-green-like stains in between my teeth and in grooves that are hard to brush. And spirulina was the only major change in my diet so it had to be the culprit.

I was drinking my spirulina smoothies for breakfast and brushing my teeth immediately after and this was still happening.

After realizing that my teeth were becoming stained I began to worry that it would continually get worse. I thought I might have to switch to taking spirulina tablets instead of the powder. But the problem was that I really liked, and still like, the powder that I mix into good smoothies.

So what did I do?

I did exactly what I said you have to do in this situation. I stepped up my teeth brushing game a notch. I brushed more thorough and for longer.

And what were the results??

Clean teeth!

Just Brush Your Teeth Better

Look its really not that complicated nor is it a big deal. If spirulina is staining your teeth you probably just have to brush a little better after consuming it. Don’t stop taking spirulina. The benefits that you get from eating spirulina outweigh the temporary stains that you may get if you aren’t brushing very well.

I’m just glad that I decided to try brushing better, rather than giving up my delicious morning spirulina smoothie.

Have you had any experience with spirulina staining your teeth? Comment below so that you can help others out as well.

 

Taking Spirulina for Arthritis | Is This Best Natural Arthritis Remedy

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arthritisArthritis is a pain that can affect nearly everything you do throughout your day if its bad enough. But there are ways to fix this. Have you ever heard of taking spirulina for arthritis? If you have arthritis and are interested in a natural, all around healthy remedy that actually works then I suggest you listen up.

Before I get into things I think its important that you know what spirulina is if you don’t already. So just to give you a very brief summary, Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is becoming increasingly popular for human consumption. It is considered the most nutrient dense natural food on earth and has a TON of health benefits because of this.

But anyway.., now I’ll get to the point of the article.

Spirulina can help with your arthritis and its proven!

There is a theory going around that spirulina can actually make arthritis worse. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, because spirulina stimulates the immune system it could make rheumatoid arthritis worse in theory because it is an autoimmune disease.

But I have not been able to find any evidence to support this theory. And after all it is just a theory. The only evidence I have found supports the claim that spirulina helps decrease arthritis.

The studies tell the truth

The most recent study I could find on was conducted in 2009 and is published in the journal Inflammopharmacology. In this study Winstar rats with arthritis were supplemented with 0.4g of spirulina per kg of bodyweight. The results were significant. Indicators of arthritis such as joint thickness in the paws were significantly decreased and returned to near normal levels [1].

Then another study I came across.was published in the Mediators of Inflammation journal in 2002. Like the one above, this study also tested out the arthritic decreasing powers of spirulina on rat test subjects. But this study used spirulina doses as as low as 0.1 g/kg of body weight and still found significant results. In as little as 8 days, the arthritis in the knee joints had decrease by a lot [2].

Wow, only 8 days and there were significant results. But how the heck does spirulina work so well?

How does Spirulina Decreases Arthritis, is it magic?

Spirulina inhibits the inflammatory reactions that occur when you have arthritis, thus decreasing your arthritis and pain.

This is thought to be due mostly to the inflammation properties of phycocyanin, which spirulina contains a lot of. Phycocyanin is very beneficial and helps in a lot of other ways besides just inflammation. For example it improves the immune system and increases the body’s ability to remove toxins (detox).

But its ability to decrease inflammation is largely due to its ability to fight off free-radicals. This comes from its powerful antioxidant abilities.

You see, oxidative stress causes your body to produce free-radicals, which are damaging and cause inflammation among many other problems. Its a chain reaction, but it can be stopped by decreasing oxidation with antioxidants. And phycocyanin is a great antioxidant that can do exactly that.

The anti-inflammatory properties of phycocyanin are well documented and pretty concrete. Is conclusive.

Spirulina Actually Works

The bottom line is that spirulina is not some hippie food thats benefits are a myth and have nothing to support them. Its a well studied superfood that is proven by science to be very beneficial healthwise. And on of its many benefits is its ability to reduce inflammation significantly, which means it reduces your arthritis.

Remember what the results of the one study I mentioned was? Spirulina reduced arthritis indicators to near normal levels!

So if you are interested in purchasing spirulina there is one important thing that you need to know before you do so.

Be Careful!

You have to be careful when selecting what spirulina to buy. Why? The main reason is because spirulina can be toxic. What I mean is that it has a natural ability to absorb things from its environment. And if its grown in polluted or contaminated waters, it will absorb those toxins. Its a good thing if you are taking spirulina to detox your body, but obviously a bad thing if you were to purchase it grown in poor quality standards.

So how do you know what spirulina to get?

I have reviewed some of the highest quality products that I have come across below. These products are all grown without the use of chemicals and are grown in an environment with quality assurance.

What form of spirulina are you looking for? Click below to find products that I have reviewed

Sources –

1) Evaluation of protective efficacy of Spirulina platensis against collagen-induced arthritis in rats. Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Jun;17(3):181-90. doi: 10.1007/s10787-009-0004-1. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

2) Inhibitory effects of Spirulina in zymosan-induced arthritis in mice. Mediators Inflamm. 2002 Apr;11(2):75-9.

Spirulina for Yeast Infection | Yes it works

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Yeast infections are no fun for anybody. Itchiness, rashes, burning sensation, nobody wants to feel like this. And if this is you then listen up. Spirulina is a natural remedy that can help you out and get rid of your yeast infection.

Candida albicans is the most common form of yeast infection accounting for about 90% of all yeast infections. And YES, spirulina is proven to be an effective remedy. But I’ll get into this a little later.

First you need to know that I’m not just talking about women here. Sure vaginal yeast infections are the most known and this is rightly so. But did you know that yeast infections can affect much more? Both men and women. You can get yeast infections almost anywhere on your body, and many people are not aware of this.

Yeast infections mostly occur in areas of the body that are moist. One of the more common spots for such infections is in between the fingers and toes, as well as around the nails. So if you have redness, itching, rashes, and/or discoloration in between your fingers or toes and/or around the nails, this might be due to having a yeast infection.

And if you do have a yeast infection, what better way to get rid of it then with a natural remedy. And I’m talking about spirulina.

Got a yeast infection? Spirulina can help

There are two studies that I have come across that show spirulina as being an effective solution to combating candida albicans infections. I know only two studies is not that much, and there is no doubt there needs to be more testing in this particular area, but there are also personal testimonials that claim it is very effective in getting rid of yeast infections to back the science up.

Anyway, let me briefly inform you on these two studies.

The first can be found in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science if you are interested. This study was conducted in 2013 and was performed to test the antibacterial and antiviral effects of spirulina. Candida albicans was one of many that was tested and one of many that was effected by the spirulina. Spirulina proved to lead to the inhibition of candida albicans growth [1].

The other study I found is very similar to the previous. It was a study to find antibacterial and antifungal effects of spirulina, and this was performed on a wide number of bacterias and fungi. The results here were the same. Spirulina proved to be effective at inhibiting candida albicans. You can find more about this in the International Journal of Ecology and Development [2].

One thing that you should note about these studies is that they both were performed in vitro, which means they were done in a test tube or something of that nature. But again, there are personal testimonials to back up these scientific claims.

Should you try taking spirulina to get rid of your yeast infection?

This is just going to be one of those things that you have to try out for yourself to see if it works. Like I mentioned earlier, candida albicans accounts for rougly 90% of all yeast infections. And spirulina is proven to inhibit candida albicans, which would get rid of your yeast infection.

So yes I do think you should try taking spirulina. Spirulina is an all around healthy food that will benefit you in a lot of other ways, besides just curing your yeast infection. You could consider it a holistic health supplement.

However, you must be careful when buying spirulina. This is something I tell everybody because it is so important.

caution-spirulinaWhere to buy spirulina

You have to be careful when selecting what spirulina to buy. Why? The main reason is because spirulina has a natural ability to absorb things from its environment. And if its grown in polluted or contaminated waters, it will absorb those toxins. Its a good thing if you are taking spirulina to detox your body, but obviously a bad thing if you were to purchase it grown in poor quality standards.

So how do you know what spirulina to get?

I have reviewed some of the highest quality products that I have come across below. These products are all grown without the use of chemicals and are grown in an environment with quality assurance.

What form of spirulina are you looking for? Click below to find products that I have reviewed

Studies Mentioned:

1) In vitro antiviral and antimicrobial activities of Spirulina platensis extract. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 3 (12); 2013: 052-056

2) In Vitro Study of Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Spirulina Platensis. International Journal of Ecology and Development. 2010, Volume (Special), 16 Number 2 (S10)

Spirulina Helps With Acne! – It did for me

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spirulina-for-acneOk, so there are a lot of people claiming that spirulina works for acne, but they haven’t tested it out for themselves. Well I have, and I’m telling you that it works! and its such a relief to have finally found something that clears up my skin.

I already wrote an article on why spirulina can cure your acne problem, but in this article I’m going to provide you with my very own testimonial to the acne beating powers of spirulina.

A little background on my acne problem

I have had acne since I was probably 16 years old. Luckily I have never had a problem with face acne, which is obviously the most visible. The acne that I have always had is on my upper back/shoulder area and the back of my neck. You may have heard this as being referred to as “backne” because its on the back.

But anyway, its been so annoying. Its particularly annoying on the back of my neck because whenever I would have some bad breakouts  it would hurt when I would turn my head. Its like the skin, being sensitive, would hurt and feel like its stretching too much.

I tried everything to get rid of it

I had tried, I would say at least 50 different acne products over the years to help get rid of this annoyance. But nothing seemed to work.

Scrubs, body washes, lotions, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur soap, you name it, I tried a lot. I even bought some bulk salicylic acid powder and mixed that in with body washes that I had.

When I thought that maybe it was because my skin was just extra dry, I started sleeping with a humidifier running every night and would wake up to condensation all over my windows.

The point I’m making is that I tried a lot of different methods. I didn’t just try out one acne treatment.

But nothing worked.

Then I decided to buy spirulina

And when I originally started taking spirulina it had nothing to do with me trying to get rid of my acne. In fact, I didn’t even know that it would help.

I got it for other health reasons and the clear skin was just an added bonus.

Spirulina Cured My Acne

If you are like me you will seriously start seeing a difference in less than a week. I think I began to notice changes within a few days. The hard, bad acne that feels like its about to burst started to decrease in pressure and just slowly started to heal up.

When I started to notice that my skin was getting better I began to do a little research online, and it didn’t take long to find that spirulina has numerous skin benefits that might be the reason for my acne going away.

I was getting excited at this point because I had pretty much given up on the hope of my acne ever going away. And now its going away! When I wasn’t even trying to get rid of it!

Its a great feeling not having backne like I did. I remember I couldn’t wear some shirts due to the material they were made up irritating my acne, on my neck in particular. But now I’m better and I don’t have to worry about it.

But its not a 100% fix

There are still times where I will get a few pimples here and there. But it is NOTHING like it used to be. I don’t have to hide my neck every day or have the annoyance day in and day out of acne pain and discomfort.

How much spirulina do I take?

I take a lot, probably more than most people. Normally I will take about 10 grams per day, which is about a heaping tablespoon.

All I do is blend the 10 grams of spirulina in with almond milk, a little oatmeal, and frozen fruit (berries, banana, etc) and I’m good to go in the mornings.

I have always taken doses of spirulina this size, so I don’t know how a smaller dose would effect the acne. But I have read reviews of people taking smaller doses like 2-3 grams per day and seeing their acne clear up.

If you want to buy spirulina here is some advice

If you are looking to buy spirulina you should know that not all spirulina is created equal. The environment in which it is grown in plays a huge role in its nutritional content and the overall quality of spirulina.

Spirulina has the ability to absorb toxins very easily if its grown in a toxic environment or under poor standards it is not a good idea to buy it.

If you want high quality spirulina that is grown in a quality assured environment, then I suggest you take a look at some of the top products that I have reviewed below.

What form of spirulina are you looking for? Just click on one

 

Spirulina for Bad Breath – Does it work?

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spirulina-for-bad-breathSpirulina for bad breath?? What? Spirulina might be the last thing you think of when it comes to taking care of bad breath. I mean, it smells awful and has such a strong taste. But the thing is…. It “might” actually work.

How does spirulina cure bad breath?

The reason spirulina may be able to cure your bad breath is because it has chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the main pigment in spirulina and is what gives it its deep green color. It has a much higher content than that of green leafy vegetables. Spirulina is one of the richest chlorophyll foods on the plant. How much does it have? I’ll go over that below.

Chlorophyll is proven to cure bad breath and is even marketed in breath freshening products all over.

However, its effectiveness is still the topic of a lot of controversy.

Does chlorophyll actually eliminate bad breath?

It all started in the 1950’s when an internist named Dr. Westcott began studying the effects of chlorophyll. He found that anemia patient’s urine had a less strong odor after the supplementation of chlorophyll.

He was exited by these findings and decided to test these “odor eliminating” properties elsewhere. Two more studies were performed, one on underarm odor and another on breath odor.

The study of breath odor was performed on 12 college kids after drinking onion juice. After the supplementation of chlorophyll the odor was significantly less. And besides this study, Dr. Westcott performed a number of others on the odor eliminating powers of chlorophyll.

With all of his findings, Dr. Westcott then concluded that chlorophyll could cure breath odor, body odor, menstrual odor, and urine/fecal matter.

You may have heard that this isn’t true

There is a lot of controversy when it comes to the benefits of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll has been said to NOT HAVE ANY deodorizing properties, whether it be breath, underarms, fecal matter, urine, etc.

According to William T. Jarvis, Ph.D from the National Council Against Health Fraud, it doesn’t! And the reason for this is that chlorophyll cannot be absorbed into the body.

But Chlorophyll is now PROVEN to benefit your body

I don’t know what William T. Jarvis, Ph.D was thinking when he said chlorophyll cannot be absorbed into the body, thus giving no health benefits.

Because its been proven that it can be absorbed now. In 2001 there was a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that shows that chlorophyll is absorbed during digestion in the by the intestinal cell [1]. This chlorophyll can be beneficial to us humans.

So does chlorophyll work or doesn’t it work?

Even after the study in 2001 came out there still are a lot of stubborn people that refuse to believe that chlorophyll is beneficial to people.

But I’m going to side with the proof that it does work here. Why? Because there is more evidence supporting this side.

Other benefits of chlorophyll

If chlorophyll is actually absorbed by the body, as the study above suggests along with others, then it has many benefits. Besides freshening your breath and helping to eliminate other bodily odors, chlorophyll can also

  • Help you heal – liquid chlorophyll has been shown to accelerate healing when applied to wounds
  • Cleanse your body – chlorophyll has the ability to bind with toxic metals in your body, which will inhibit absorption
  • Protect you from cancer – one study shows that men with low chlorophyll levels have a greater chance of getting colon cancer
  • Can stop Candida albicans – Candida infection can lead to weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, and many other problems. Chlorophyll is shown to stop Candida albicans growth

And these are just a few of the many benefits of chlorophyll.

So how much chlorophyll does spirulina have??

Of course you need to know the answer to this.

Well according to a study published in the International Journal of ChemTech Research in 2014, dried spirulina’s weight is comprised of anywhere from 1 to 3.5% chlorophyll [2].

So that means that for every 10 grams of spirulina you are getting anywhere from 100 to 250mg of chlorophyll!!! And thats a ton. Thats for just 10 grams, which is a about a heaping tablespoon. If you look at chlorophyll products for bad breath they are usually dosed around 100 – 200mg per serving.

The reason that the chlorophyll content of spirulina varies so much is due to conditions in which it was grown. The biggest factor is the amount of sunlight it gets because of chlorophyll being a photosynthetic pigment.

So get spirulina for your bad breath, or just body odor in general

Spirulina has a VERY high chlorophyll content and chlorophyll is proven to help eliminate body odors, such as bad breath. So if you have bad breath and you have always thought it was just an unfortunate part of life, TRY SPIRULINA before you give up finding a cure.

Besides just the ability to cure bad breath, spirulina has a considerable amount of other health benefits (check out the menu at the top of the page). Its an all around good and natural health food.

But if you are going to buy spirulina you have to be careful. Spirulina has an innate ability to absorb toxins from its surroundings. This can be good if you are taking spirulina to detox, but bad if the spirulina is grown in a polluted and/or toxic environment.

To avoid getting “bad” spirulina check out the spirulina products I have reviewed and recommend below. I only recommend high quality spirulina that comes from credible sources with many quality assurance safeguards in place.

Click on what type of spirulina product you want to buy:

 

Sources:

1) Assessment of degradation and intestinal cell uptake of carotenoids and chlorophyll derivatives from spinach puree using an in vitro digestion and Caco-2 human cell model. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Apr;49(4):2082-9

2) Assessment of growth, production and nutritional composition of Spirulina platensis under induced conditions of Light regime, Urobilin Addition and H2O2 stress. Int.J. ChemTech Res.2014,6(5),pp 2971-2978.

Spirulina for Eye Health – Improving Your Vision Naturally

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eyesHave you ever heard of taking spirulina for the eyes? If you haven’t then listen up. Spirulina can benefit your eye health in many ways, one of the most significant ways comes from its vitamin A content.

Spirulina has a TON of Beta Carotene, which converts to vitamin A

Spirulina contains around 10 times the beta carotene content than that of carrots, which beta carotene was actually named after.

According to the National Institutes of Health, men should have a vitamin A intake of about 3,000 IU daily, and women about 2,300 IU daily. Take a look at what spirulina will provide you with. Per 100 grams of spirulina you will get about 352,000 IU of vitamin A. So I don’t think you will need to worry about vitamin A deficiency here.

spirulina-beta-carotene-content
Source: Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences

If you are confused by what Beta carotene has to do with vitamin A, here is what you need to know. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the form of Retinol in the body. So its not actually vitamin A, but its “soon to be” vitamin A.

The good thing about consuming Beta carotene instead of ready Vitamin A, is that you cannot overdose. When your body converts Beta carotene into Vitamin A, it only converts the amount that it needs. So it is impossible have excess Vitamin A from this source. And it is toxic to have too much.

How vitamin A improves eye health

Vitamin A helps protect the cornea, which is the outer surface of the eye. This is essential for having good vision. If it is not protected it can be easily damaged which could leave you with blurry vision, eye pain (feeling that something is in your eye), eye redness, etc.

It is also essential for the retina of the eye to work. It is involved in the conversion of light energy into nerve impulses which happens at the retina. Besides being necessary for retina function, it also helps protect the retina from clump deposits that are known as “vitamin A dimers”. These clumps can lead to complete vision loss in some cases, so protection form them is very important.

Spirulina works better than synthetic vitamin A

One of the main problems with synthetic vitamins is that they DON’T work. There are plenty of studies out there that show this. The reason is that many of them are not easily absorbed by the body. Just because some thing “has” nutrients doesn’t mean that those nutrients are absorbed.

Spirulina’s beta carotene on the other hand, is easily absorbed by the body, making it a very effective vitamin A supplement.

One study that proves, which is published in the Plant Foods for Human Nutrition journal, tested the effects of synthetic vitamin A vs the vitamin A that is able to be produced from the consumption of spirulina.

In this study one group of rats was fed synthetic vitamin A, while the other group supplemented spirulina. The results showed that the liver vitamin A concentration in the group that supplemented spirulina was significantly higher than that of the other group [1].

Besides this study others also stand by the conclusion that spirulina is a valuable source of vitamin A.

Reducing vitamin A deficiency

Just to show you how effective spirulina can be for vitamin A supplementation, take a look at this study.

It was performed on 5,000 pre-school aged children in Chennai, India. Yes, 5,000. The area it was performed was and still is malnourished and lacking in vitamin A.

Over a 5 month period these children were given a very low dose of only 1 gram of spirulina per day. Not much at all, but it worked.

The results were very surprising for such a small dose. The vitamin A deficiency was measured by the presense of Bitot’s spots (commonly used to measure this). On average the children’s prevelence of Bitot’s spots decreased from 80% all the way down to only 10% [2]. Thats a huge difference.

Spirulina works!

Its conclusive. Spirulina is a great source of vitamin A. And this is what you need if you want to help out your eyes.

You always hear people saying to eat more carrots because they are good for your eyes, but you never hear of anyone saying that about spirulina. This needs to change. Spirulina has a much higher Beta carotene content than carrots, sweet potatoes, you name it.

And the Beta carotene is easily absorbed and converted to vitamin A, but not too much. Remember, you cannot overdose on vitamin A through the consumption of Beta carotene. Its impossible.

So go out there and improve your corneas and retinas with spirulina. It might be the small fix you need as you are aging and your eyesight is decreasing.

Where to buy spirulina?

I have reviewed top quality spirulina products below, just click on what type you are looking for. Finding high quality and trusted spirulina is essential, due to the effect a bad growing environment can have on it. All of my reviewed products come from trustworthy and credible sources.

Click on what you are looking to buy:

Sources:

1) Spirulina as a source of vitamin A. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1991 Apr;41(2):125-34.

2) Spirulina can increase total-body vitamin A stores of Chinese school-age children as determined by a paired isotope dilution technique. J Nutr Sci. 2012; 1: e19.

 

Spirulina for HIV – Best natural treatment for HIV?

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HIVSpirulina may be one of the best natural supplements that one can take to combat the HIV virus. It is clinically proven help stop it and this needs to become more known around the world.

HIV is widespread virus that effects people from every region on earth. But there is one strange thing about the regions of people that are effected the most. Japan, Korea, and Chad all have relatively low HIV/AIDS rates compared to other regions of the world.

And what else do these countries have in common? The people of these countries supplement spirulina commonly and have been doing so for ages.

So are low HIV/AIDS rates correlated with the consumption of spirulina? This is a great question and it inspired a number of scientific studies. One of the most notable is a study that was published in the Nutrition Journal in 2015.

Spirulina is PROVEN to work in the fight against HIV/AIDS

While spirulina may not get rid of HIV or AIDS, it will help slow it progression.

A massive study of 169 HIV subjects was conducted Cameroon, Africa, which has a high HIV rate. Of the 169 test subjects 87 of them were part of a control group that did not supplement spirulina. And the other 82 were the intervention group, which did supplement spirulina.

The intervention group supplemented 10 grams per day (common dose for spirulina powder) for an entire year!. And the results were significant.

CD4 count cells were significantly higher and viral load levels significantly lower in the group that supplemented spirulina. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, CD4 count tells how well the body’s immune system is working and viral load levels are a measure of the amount of HIV virus in the body.

So in this large study spirulina proved to increase immune system function as well as decrease the amount of HIV in the blood, which was probably a side-effect of the strengthened immune system.

Spirulina strengthens your immune system!

The fact that spirulina strengthens your immune system has been studied in a number of different areas. It has been proven to prevent and even reduce existing cancer, as well as stop or decrease allergies, both of which can be partially attributed to the immune system functioning better than normal.

One of the main nutrients in spirulina that contributes to immune health is Phycocyanin. Phycocyanin is a very powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective agent.

Another notable group of immune system boosters that spirulina contains are polysaccharides. These nutrients are well known for improving the immune system and help to prevent all kinds of illnesses.

You should probably supplement spirulina for a long time to see positive effects on HIV/AIDS

As I mentioned above, the study that was conducted on 169 subjects that saw significant improvement in their condition was 12 months long.

Other shorter studies have not seen as notable of improvement. In fact there is one study that was published in the Journal of Applied Phycology in 2012 that tested subjects with different lengths of testing.

In this study, 1 of the test subjects continued for extended testing for 13 months. All other test subjects left the study at 3 months. The people that left after 3 months did not see much in terms of prevention of HIV/AIDS. But the 1 subject that continued on for 13 months total saw a significant improvement in CD4 and decrease in HIV viral load.

So based on these studies it seems that the effects don’t become very noticeable early on. You have to supplement for quite a long period to see improvement in your HIV/AIDS condition.

If you are interested in buying spirulina be careful

Spirulina has many great properties. One of which is that it is able to absorb toxins from your body fairly easily. Unfortunately, it can also absorb toxins from the environment very easily. For this reason it is VERY important that you buy your spirulina from a credible and reliable source.

I have review some very good spirulina products below. All of the products here are grown in healthy conditions and tested for quality assurance regularly. These are the best spirulina products I have come across. Click what you are looking for below to see my reviews

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