Article at a glance:
- Spirulina is a cyanobacteria superfood found in shallow freshwater and saltwater bodies worldwide.
- Spirulina has a long list of health benefits thanks to its many nutrients.
- With this, spirulina also helps lower cholesterol and improve one’s overall cardiovascular health.
Can spirulina lower cholesterol? Dubbed a superfood, this distinctly colored blue-green algae has an impressive nutritional profile. As such, it helps achieve many health benefits, including better cardiovascular health.
Explore and discover more about spirulina as a superfood supplement. Want to find out how spirulina cholesterol reduction works? We’ll talk about that here!
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae that naturally grows in fresh and saltwater. This superfood is commonly used as a supplement thanks to its nutritional and therapeutic potential. It contains chlorophyll along with a long list of nutrients.
With this rich nutritional content, taking this cyanobacterium provides many health benefits for most organisms, not just humans. In fact, several studies have explored the benefits of spirulina for your pets, too!
In essence, it’s a kind of cyanobacteria that have been observed to contain chlorophyll and other beneficial nutrients. Thanks to this, it has been dubbed a superfood.
Spirulina supplementation’s popularity and praise worldwide are well worth it, too, as many claims connected to this superfood are backed by science.
The Nutritional Profile of Spirulina
When you start spirulina supplementation, you’re bringing in a lot of nutrients that would help your overall health. As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, here are some of the healthy nutrients a tablespoon of spirulina can provide:
- Calcium: 8.4 milligrams
- Copper: 0.427 milligrams
- Iron: 2 milligrams
- Magnesium: 13.6 milligrams
- Niacin: 6% of the recommended daily value
- Essential Fatty Acids: around 1 gram
- Phosphorus: 8.26 milligrams
- Potassium: 95.2 milligrams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Riboflavin: 20% of the recommended daily value
- Thiamin: 14% of the recommended daily value
Is Spirulina Good for Cholesterol?
Does spirulina help in lowering cholesterol?
Spirulina supplementation is a good way to maintain cardiovascular health and avoid serious cardiovascular diseases.
Is spirulina good for high triglycerides? Does spirulina lower LDL?
Spirulina helps lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and triglyceride levels in the body. In 2014, a trial was conducted, which showed spirulina’s potential to help lower cholesterol levels.
The said spirulina cholesterol study involved 52 participants aged 37 to 61. Their full lipid profiles were measured before undergoing the trial and after the study period. The participants were asked to consume a gram of spirulina daily for 12 weeks or 3 months.
But how much does spirulina lower cholesterol? According to the study, spirulina supplementation has helped reduce triglyceride levels by 16.3%. It also helped in lowering LDL cholesterol by 10.1%.
Apart from helping lower LDL cholesterol, studies have found that spirulina helps increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Other Cardiovascular Benefits of Spirulina
The cardiovascular benefits of spirulina don’t end when it lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. Here are some positive effects spirulina supplementation may have on your cardiovascular system.
1. Spirulina Helps Minimize Lipid Peroxidation
What effects does spirulina have on cholesterol?
LDL cholesterol is a fatty structure, and as it is such, it is prone to causing oxidative damage in the body. If this damage happens to blood lipids like bad cholesterol, it can cause multiple diseases and health issues. It’s a scenario called lipid peroxidation. This damage is also known as a stage connected to developing heart disease.
Studies have found that spirulina, besides its cholesterol-lowering effect, can help minimize lipid peroxidation. This is all thanks to the antioxidant content spirulina has. In fact, spirulina may even help reduce fatty structure damage incurred from exercise, along with reducing inflammation and the damage your muscles may suffer.
2. Spirulina Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Yes, apart from the fact that spirulina lowers cholesterol, another one of the many positive effects of spirulina is lowering blood pressure.
Being hypertensive or having high blood pressure is one of many risk factors for multiple health issues, especially cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.
Luckily, spirulina supplements may help with this. One research review analyzed and compared five different human clinical trials and studies looking into this. Most of the said studies observed the effects of spirulina supplementation when taken in daily doses of 1 to 8 grams.
In the said review, the researchers concluded that spirulina consumption significantly improved systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
But how does spirulina do this?
One spirulina property that aids in lowering blood pressure is that it also helps up the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric acid helps reduce arterial stiffness, contributing to reducing blood pressure.
3. Spirulina Helps Reduce Blood Glucose Levels
Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels due to diabetes, insulin resistance, and a high fructose diet may negatively affect the cardiovascular system. Such conditions may contribute to damaging the blood vessels throughout the circulatory system and the nerves that control your heart.
Luckily, microalgae spirulina supplements can help lower blood sugar levels.
Several studies on this superfood have observed that it can contribute to managing blood glucose levels. According to a 2018 review, spirulina may help lower fasting blood glucose levels significantly.
Meanwhile, another study observed 25 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study found that spirulina supplementation helped improve their symptoms.
Other Health Benefits of Spirulina
Apart from supporting and maintaining your cardiovascular system, there are still many health benefits this superfood can provide. Here are some of them:
- Spirulina has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that taking a spirulina supplement helps reduce our bodies’ inflammatory response, which also works great in easing symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Spirulina helps boost the immune system as it can help boost white blood cell and antibody production.
- Spirulina helps reduce muscle fatigue after exercise and improves overall fitness. It also helps reduce body weight.
- Spirulina has potent antioxidant properties that can help fight the damage from oxidative stress.
- Spirulina is rich in iron, which can help those with iron deficiency anemia.
How to Take Spirulina for High Cholesterol?
If you want to take this superfood as a supplement, you can usually find spirulina in two forms: pressed tablets or powders.
Pressed tablets are straightforward to use. You take the recommended dosage with water.
Meanwhile, the powder is more versatile as you can add it to dishes, baked goods, smoothies, and drinks. The typical recommended daily spirulina intake is between 3 to 3.5 grams, whether as tablets or as powder. However, spirulina is a supplement that is generally safe, and you can consume up to 19 grams of it daily without any worry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Drink Daily to Lower Cholesterol?
You may wonder, “What supplement is good for high cholesterol?” especially if you want to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Luckily, many supplements can support your cardiovascular health by helping control your cholesterol level.
For one, as we have explored, spirulina is a great supplement that may help reduce your cholesterol levels. However, another similar supplement that helps lower cholesterol is its freshwater algae cousin, chlorella.
If you want to try them, tablets with a blend of these two supplements are already easy to find in stores and online.
How Long Does It Take for Spirulina to Lower Cholesterol?
There have been studies that showed spirulina can help lower cholesterol in a fairly short amount of time. A study that observed spirulina supplementation found a significant reduction in serum total cholesterol in just 4 weeks.
Does Spirulina Raise Cholesterol?
No. While it does contain fat content, it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels. In fact, the other nutrients in spirulina help lower a person’s cholesterol levels.
Spirulina for Cardiovascular Health
Is spirulina good for lowering cholesterol? Thanks to its many nutrients, it’s easy to conclude that spirulina lowers cholesterol. This makes it a great supplement choice if you want to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
But its many health benefits don’t end here. There’s a reason why it’s well-loved worldwide. It also brings in many antioxidants and nutrients that reduce cell damage in our bodies and maintain one’s health.
Want to experience the many benefits of this microalgae supplement? Try incorporating spirulina into your diet and find out!