What You Need To Know About Spirulina
With the global boom of dietary supplements, lots of brands have competed to be on top, each claiming to be unique and different from the rest. These supplements provide nutrients to the consumer and offer benefits such as increased metabolism and fat burning. The good part of this is that you as the consumer do not need any prescription to buy and consume these supplements and it is also beneficial, especially if your diet is not that well-balanced.
The demands for these supplements have increased over the years and some of them are even being shipped internationally. One good example of these dietary pills is spirulina. But how exactly is spirulina different from its competitors?
Spirulina is made from natural algae which grows in freshwater lakes, rivers and even in ocean floors. It has been used for a very long time as this superfood dates back from the time of the Aztecs, when they harvested it from Central Mexico. In fact, until now it is being done and harvested in West-Central Africa and made into dry cakes.
The modern-day Spirulina is harvested from cultivated lakes such as the Kona coast in Hawaii. The reason why the area where the algaes grow needs to be cultivated is that other elements such as microcystins would not be present as these could be potentially harmful to the consumer. Other companies, such as Nutrex Hawaii, developed two types of spirulina: in powdered form and in tablet form.
Spirulina is gathered from the ocean and is then dried using the Ocean Chill Drying method. This method is unique as this uses the cold ocean water for dehumidification and, unlike the conventional drying processes, this method decreases the oxidation of carotenes and fatty acids to preserve its phytonutrients. It is then converted into powdered form as some consumers would mix it with their drinks or add them to their meals; or it could be cold-compressed into tablets for oral consumption.
Spirulina provides a variety of vitamins and minerals for the consumers such as the B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, and B3), vitamin E and many more to supply their daily needs. Spirulina has been considered as one of the most prominent superfoods due to its high concentration of protein and at the same time a good source of antioxidants. This is why it is recommended for people who would like to cut down on their meat intake but still have the protein their body needs. It also provides benefits such as its anti-inflammatory property which reduces the chance of chronic inflammation and other diseases which could ultimately lead to cancer. Other benefits include increased stamina. In addition, it could serve as a treatment for allergic rhinitis.
Various studies have been conducted if the said superfood is safe for consumption on a daily basis. One research in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that even though there are benefits such as fat burning and improved metabolism, there are other areas to look upon as some of its side effects could counteract the effects of other drugs. Spirulina increases the activity in the immune system to reduce the risk of illnesses. An overactive immune system has its disadvantages and these would apply to people who have been prescribed with immunosuppressants (usually those who are undergoing organ transplants). It was recommended by the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) that a person take less than 4 grams of spirulina per day to avoid any toxic effect from overdosage.
Lastly, when taking these supplements, those who are pregnant or with medical conditions may be required to consult with their doctors first to prevent further complications.