Article at a glance:
- Are you looking for more ways to incorporate nutrients that may help improve eye health? Studies showed spirulina could be helpful.
- The rich carotenoid profile of spirulina has been associated with its potential benefits for eye health.
- Find out what is the one major component in spirulina with potent antioxidant properties that could help lower the risks of chronic eye diseases.
Many of our daily tasks now involve smart devices with bright screens from morning until bedtime, so we need more help to keep our eyes healthy. Luckily, dietary supplements like spirulina have shown the potential to improve aspects of eye health.
The blue-green algae has been a popular supplement among health enthusiasts because it’s rich in various vitamins and minerals. Studies have also attributed the incredible spirulina eye benefits to this superfood’s rich carotenoid and pigment contents.
What Supplement Can I Take To Improve My Eyesight?
Is spirulina good for eye health?
The eyes can significantly benefit from the nutrients from a healthy diet. Consuming foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can have a substantial positive impact on eye health. However, it’s also a common challenge to ensure that our daily diet provides the right nutrients we need. That’s where natural supplements can provide support.
When it comes to dietary supplements that could benefit the eyes, you shouldn’t sleep on spirulina eye benefits! There have been studies that investigated whether the antioxidant power of spirulina supplements could provide support for eye health.
Although the evidence is still limited, the algae superfood has already shown great promise in this regard, which suggests we may reap some spirulina benefits for the eyes as well.
Spirulina Eye Benefits: How the Algae Superfood May Help Your Vision
1. Great Source of Carotenoids
You’ll often hear about vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and fatty acids when discussing dietary supplements. But when it comes to spirulina, many of its health benefits have been associated with its carotenoid content.
Carotenoids are naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments in plants and other organisms. These nutrients have demonstrated potent antioxidant activities. Some studies have even associated carotenoids with lowering the risk of various types of cancer.
A quick search on what nutrient is best for your eyesight will reveal several carotenoids. Specifically in spirulina, the most abundant carotenoid is beta-carotene. Microalgae spirulina also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which add to the spirulina benefits for the eyes.
One study observed that the total carotenoids from Spirulina platensis and Spirulina maxima culture extracts could include beta-carotene, lutein, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. The exact value of carotenoid content in spirulina varies due to different experiment models. However, most findings indicate that beta-carotene is the most abundant carotenoid in spirulina.
This is important in discussing spirulina and eye health because beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. The benefits of vitamin A for the eyes range from reducing the risks of myopia to helping maintain a well-functioning ocular surface.
Can spirulina also help increase the available carotenoids in the body? At least one study suggests it could — 14 healthy male subjects consumed spirulina and had increased serum zeaxanthin levels after 45 days.
2. Powerful Antioxidants
Spirulina’s most abundant pigment, phycocyanin, is known for its excellent antioxidant benefits. The blue pigment has been found to scavenge free radicals and potentially reduce oxidative stress damage that could cause chronic eye diseases.
Carotenoids will inevitably make a comeback here because they’ve also been found to be powerful antioxidants in various studies. Natural pigments in the xanthophylls carotenoid family, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin, are extremely important in keeping the eyes healthy.
They may reduce oxidative damage, thus, lowering the risks of eye diseases. Lutein and zeaxanthin may also diminish eye damage by filtering blue light.
With the blue-green algae’s antioxidant agents, is spirulina good for eyesight? One animal study suggests it is.
Mice exposed to photo stress had less damage to their retinas and loss of vision due to spirulina supplementation. The research attributed these results to the antioxidant carotenoids in spirulina, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.
3. May Help Improve Visual Acuity
Does spirulina help with eyesight? Can spirulina improve vision?
Thanks to its vitamin A and beta-carotene content, spirulina may help maintain good eyesight or enhance one’s vision.
A small clinical trial showed that supplementing with spirulina could help increase vitamin A availability in healthy adults.
Another study administered different doses of spirulina beta-carotene supplements to over 200 children ages 6 to 11 for 10 weeks.
The trial found that supplementing spirulina at 2 g and 4 g helped increase serum beta-carotene concentrations in the children. Higher total-body vitamin A stores were also observed in groups supplemented with spirulina.
Can Spirulina Cure Eye Problems?
While there’s no evidence yet of spirulina being able to cure any eye illness, research suggests it may improve the risk factors of chronic eye diseases.
Can Spirulina Cure Glaucoma?
High blood pressure is listed as one of the risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Hypertension and diabetes are also associated with an increased risk of getting glaucoma.
So, what are the spirulina eye benefits you may enjoy in this case? For one, multiple clinical trials found spirulina supplementation has led to significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Several studies also found that spirulina supplementation helped patients manage diabetes mellitus type 2.
Adding spirulina supplements to patients’ diabetes treatment led to improved insulin sensitivity in one study. Another trial also reported better results in participants who consumed spirulina supplements at 800 mg daily with their prescribed dose of Metformin.
Can Spirulina Help Fight Off Cataracts and Macular Degeneration?
One research noted that phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis helped increase glutathione levels in Wistar rats. The study added that its antioxidant activity may have contributed to spirulina’s positive effect against cataracts in animal models.
Spirulina may provide eye health protection by slowing down the progression from dry to wet age-related macular degeneration, according to a 2022 study.
It revealed that Spirulina maxima inhibited reactive oxygen species production in vitro. Spirulina also fought off retinal degeneration caused by blue light in vivo in mice models.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Spirulina Good for Dry Eyes?
There’s no study yet indicating that taking spirulina could address dry eyes. However, it’s worth noting that spirulina is notably rich in the omega 6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which reportedly helps people with chronic dry eyes.
How Much Spirulina Can You Take a Day?
Most commercially available spirulina (tablet and powder products) are often labeled with recommended 3 g to 5 g doses daily. It’s best to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended serving size for daily use. But consult your doctor first if you’re also taking maintenance medicines.
Can You Take Spirulina Long Term?
While spirulina is recognized as a generally safe dietary supplement, scientific data on the effects of long-term spirulina supplementation is scarce.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says blue-green algae supplements like spirulina are “possibly safe” to take short-term. Up to 19 g spirulina daily may be safe if taken for only 2 months. A lower dose of 10 g daily may also be safe for up to 6 months.
What Happens to Your Body When You Start Taking Spirulina?
The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (like vitamin E), fatty acids, and essential amino acids present in spirulina could lead to numerous health benefits.
Evidence-based human applications of spirulina supplementation found that it may lower blood pressure and blood sugar, boost energy levels, help build a healthy immune system, improve protein levels, and provide anti-inflammatory effects.
Does Spirulina Have Side Effects?
Although spirulina supplements have been declared safe for human consumption, it’s not free of mild side effects.
Stomach upset, diarrhea, headaches, and vomiting are some of the commonly reported mild side effects of taking spirulina. They may go away after a few days or weeks once your body gets more used to the supplement.
For people taking spirulina for the first time, starting with lower doses daily is often recommended. More importantly, buy spirulina from trusted brands and health food stores to ensure you get a good quality product. Look for certifications and labels indicating it was produced in safe and hygienic facilities to reduce contamination risks.
Spirulina Eye Benefits Bring You Closer to Better Eye Health
Is spirulina good for the eyes? While more research is still necessary, available literature has shown a promising link between spirulina and eye health improvement. The available research we have indicates that one of the most promising spirulina benefits for the eyes is its rich carotenoid and phycocyanin content.
Spirulina may provide you with a much-needed beta-carotene boost, which could, in turn, improve vitamin A levels in the body. Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are also essential nutrients with direct benefits to eye health, and they also happen to be present in spirulina.
As we look forward to future studies and more extensive clinical trials with spirulina, you shouldn’t miss out on its numerous health benefits for the eyes. With the long list of nutrients in spirulina supplements, you may also reap its amazing benefits for overall health.
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