Article at a glance:
- Healthy lungs are crucial as it’s where the blood receives oxygen while the body gets rid of carbon dioxide
- Many common lung disorders stem from inflammation and infections, which can cause long-term lung damage.
- Thanks to its antioxidant status, the phycocyanin in spirulina and other nutrients like vitamin C helps mitigate damage and supports healthy lungs.
Does spirulina help the lungs? Our lungs are an essential organ that lets us breathe and provide the cells of our body with oxygen. As such, one needs healthy lungs to ensure this function goes on without a hitch.
However, many of us take our lungs for granted, often only noticing something wrong if the symptoms of lung issues have become more severe and noticeable. Fortunately, a healthy nutritional plan that includes spirulina may help maintain healthy lungs and minimize their possible damage.
So, is spirulina is good for the lungs? Read on to discover more.
The Importance of Lung Health
When we breathe, the lungs are the organs where oxygen is transferred to the bloodstream and then delivered to every cell in our body. On top of this, it’s also where carbon dioxide is removed.
Since breathing is a bodily action that we normally don’t actively think about, we also tend to forget that our lungs are susceptible to many disorders until we feel discomfort.
Usually, the early warning signs that there’s something wrong with our lungs include the following:
- shortness of breath.
- having mucus or phlegm
- feeling of tightness in the chest
- being tired or fatigued
These symptoms mean that your lungs are facing acute or chronic issues.
Common Lung Issues
When it comes to the lungs and the rest of the respiratory systems, there are three main types that one may face:
- Airway disorders or diseases: These disorders are characterized by airways narrower than they should be or by something blocking the tubes. Some common airway diseases include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Lung tissue disorders: These disorders affect lung tissue structure by scarring or inflammation. When lung tissue is affected structurally, it makes it hard for the lungs to expand fully, restricting it. This gives the lungs trouble taking in oxygen and getting carbon dioxide out. One common lung tissue disease is pulmonary fibrosis.
- Lung circulation disorders and diseases: This type of lung function disorder affects the blood vessels in our lungs. These are usually due to scarring and inflammation of those blood vessels and possible clotting. Sometimes, such diseases also hinder the heart from working properly. Pulmonary hypertension is a common lung circulation disorder.
What Can Happen If You Have Unhealthy Lungs?
Unhealthy lungs can lead to a range of serious health issues. Reduced lung function can result in decreased oxygen intake, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, and limited physical activity.
Respiratory infections become more likely, posing risks of pneumonia and bronchitis. Chronic conditions like COPD and asthma can cause persistent breathing difficulties, while lung cancer risk increases substantially.
Ultimately, unhealthy lungs can significantly impair one’s quality of life, limit physical capabilities, and even become life-threatening due to the cumulative effects of these complications.
Spirulina Benefits for Lung Health
One part of keeping the lungs healthy is through nutrition, and spirulina is a supplement to support respiratory health. But, what is spirulina?
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria type found in bodies of fresh and saltwater. When manufactured, it usually comes in several forms: tablets, powder, and liquid extract. Many love using this superfood as a nutritional supplement thanks to its many vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds, including protein and antioxidant vitamins.
Thanks to its rich nutritional profile, it also carries many health benefits, and one of them is that spirulina helps the lungs function properly.
Here’s a list of the benefits of spirulina for the lungs:
1. Spirulina for COPD
Is spirulina good for lungs affected by COPD?
Being one of the most nutrient-dense foods, spirulina can bring many beneficial compounds that ease symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. This long-term disease is the inflammation of the lung’s bronchial tube lining, which carries air to and from the lung’s sacs called alveoli.
Most COPD cases are caused by constantly exposure to pollutants that may irritate and damage these tubes, most commonly cigarette smoke. This chronic disease immensely affects lung function, but those suffering from it can use spirulina as it may help ease symptoms.
How? It’s all thanks to spirulina’s antioxidant properties. One type of healthy substance spirulina supplementation may provide is antioxidants. These substances help fight free radicals and oxidative stress that may damage our cells.
People with COPD have high serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, which are produced more thanks to free radicals. Based on a randomized study, spirulina supplementation for at least 30 days reduced MDA levels, which may be attributed to the antioxidants, particularly C-phycocyanin, in spirulina fighting off oxidative stress.
2. Spirulina and Lung Infections
Can spirulina heal lungs? Is spirulina good for pneumonia?
Did you know that spirulina may help fight lung infections, too? Yes, this includes pneumonia. One way it does so is by boosting a person’s immune system. This superfood comprises many different nutrients, which can help increase immune function.
Several studies have found that spirulina has the potential to be a strong immunomodulator, which is a substance that may help control how many immune cells our body has.
More trials have also shown that spirulina may help increase the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which is the body’s way of fighting infections, including those that may affect our lungs.
Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods or supplements you can find. It carries a wide array of vitamins and minerals, many of which help boost the immune system. While it can’t 100% fight off infections, it may help minimize symptoms and the damage they do to our lungs.
Yes, spirulina supplements have also been touted to help ease the severity of COVID-19.
A recent study by scientists from both Israel and Iceland found that the extract of spirulina that has been enhanced photosynthetically may help lower a type of protein from the immune system that can trigger a cytokine storm.
That storm is believed to be what causes COVID-19 cases to be severe, which may damage our respiratory system and other organs. Using the supplement, the study found that the spirulina extract reduced that specific protein by 70%.
3. Spirulina for Asthma
Is spirulina good for asthma?
Asthma is one of the most common lung-related disorders worldwide, and asthma symptoms usually include difficulty breathing due to the inflammation of the airways. Irritants may trigger the inflammation from asthma. Besides causing an attack, these irritants may accumulate and cause more oxidative stress.
People suffering from bronchial asthma may benefit from this blue-green algae supplement because of its anti-inflammatory effect.
A study in 2018 has found the potential of spirulina supplements to help asthma patients. The placebo study involved 39 patients, with 20 taking spirulina and 19 taking a placebo pill. The said study noted that the spirulina group showed significant improvement in controlling asthma symptoms better than the placebo group.
Another study has suggested that spirulina’s antioxidant effects may help reduce the inflammatory response for asthma as it helps lower the synthesis of inflammatory agents.
Of course, asthma patients aren’t the only people who can benefit from this superfood’s well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help those suffering from allergic rhinitis.
4. Spirulina and Lung Cancer
Did you know that spirulina can also help with lung cancer?
One of the most well-documented benefits of this cyanobacteria supplement is its potential anti-cancer benefits. As previously mentioned, spirulina has a lot of phycocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that can also fight long-term inflammation.
In many cases, the appearance of cancer, including lung cancer cells, stems from chronic inflammation. They may also be caused by free radicals and oxidative stress damage, which may alter cells, including DNA, causing them to become cancerous.
This is where phycocyanin comes in. Its powerful antioxidant capacity helps neutralize free radicals and ease inflammation, making the possibility of getting cancer less likely.
Other Ways to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to health issues, including the ones lungs may suffer from. Along with spirulina intervention and support for our health, you should also be proactive in keeping your lungs healthy.
Here are some tips that you can follow:
- Quit Smoking or Vaping: Smoking or vaping introduces fumes full of irritants that may damage and cause lung inflammation. To avoid long-term repercussions like an increased risk of lung cancer, you should avoid this bad habit.
- Avoid Exposure to Pollutants: Pollutants may irritate the lungs when you breathe the air in. From secondhand smoke to poor air quality, exposure to these harmful substances may greatly damage our delicate lungs. As such, it’s best to avoid breathing in air pollutants. You may wear face masks that filter the air from these harmful particles if you can.
- Go to Regular Check-Ups: Symptoms of lung disorders sometimes show up too late, that is, when damage to your lungs is too much and irreparable. As such, if you want to ensure your lungs stay healthy, always go to your healthcare provider for a regular check-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Spirulina Help Reduce Mucus Production?
Is spirulina good for mucus? Yes, spirulina can help reduce mucus production as a result of it helping reduce inflammation.
When our airways are inflamed, be it because of bronchial asthma or allergies, part of the inflammatory response is the production of mucus, which helps protect the lining of these tubes from further damage.
When spirulina eases inflammation, this helps reduce the effects of an inflammatory response, including the production of mucus or phlegm.
How Much Spirulina Should I Take Daily for Healthy Lungs?
Spirulina supplements are safe, and their side effects are extremely rare. As such, the daily recommended dose of spirulina is between 3 and 3.5 grams, but it can safely be taken in daily doses of up to 19 grams.
Does Spirulina Increase Oxygen Level?
Yes. Many fitness buffs love using spirulina as one of the benefits of taking spirulina as a dietary supplement is an increase in oxygen uptake. Studies have documented that this superfood may help increase oxygen uptake during exercises.
Taking Spirulina for Healthy Lung Function
Don’t take your lungs for granted, as there are many ways you can help them thrive – one of them is taking spirulina.
While spirulina may significantly help with lung health, its benefits are not limited to that system in our body. From helping with heart health to keeping the skin clear, this superfood is one powerhouse from which most people can benefit.
Ready to have healthier lungs? Try out spirulina and reap its benefits today!
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