Spirulina, the superfood which can relax your arteries, lower blood pressure Suffering from hypertension? Take heart, Italian researchers have identified Spirulina, a superfood made from algae, that could help to reduce blood pressure.
The superfood, described as the “most complete food source in the world”, contains a specific protein which was found to relax arteries in the laboratory and in animals, the Daily Mail reported. Spirulina, scientifically called arthrospiraplatensis, is technically a type of bacteria. Researchers at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, isolated certain molecules from the spirulina to test its health benefits.They simulated the effects of digesting spirulina on isolated arteries and animals in the lab.
“We reproduced what happens in the human gut after ingesting the substance,” lead author Albino Carrizzo was quoted as saying.“This way we have been able to isolate the peptides that would be absorbed by our body,” he added. The study, detailed in the journal Hypertension, also discovered for the first time molecules in spirulina, called SP6, which lowered the blood pressure of animals. When put into the body SP6 is thought to stimulate a process in the body which releases nitric oxide.
The spirulina triggered relaxation of the artery, a process called vasodilatory action, which can help lower blood pressure by increasing the amount of blood pumped in one motion. This is an effect caused by nitric oxide, a chemical known for maintaining healthy blood pressure, the researchers reported.
Spirulina contains protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, and many other minerals and is widely used in supplements and smoothies for a host of conditions, including weight loss, hay fever, PMS and diabetes. Though more research is needed into the potential of spirulina, but the findings are promising for the future of “natural” treatments for high blood pressure, the researchers noted.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is among the world’s most popular supplements. It is loaded with various nutrients and antioxidants that may benefit your body and brain.
Spirulina is an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water.It is a type of cyanobacteria, which is a family of single-celled microbes that are often referred to as blue-green algae.
Just like plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis. Spirulina was consumed by the ancient Aztecs but became popular again when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space for use by astronauts . A standard daily dose of spirulina is 1–3 grams, but doses of up to 10 grams per day have been used effectively .It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient. In addition, the same amount holds only 20 calories and 1.7 grams of digestible carbs. A tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina provides a small amount of fat — around 1 gram — including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in an approximately 1.5–1.0 ratio.
The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent — comparable to eggs. It gives all the essential amino acids that you need.It is often claimed that spirulina contains vitamin B12, but this is false. It has pseudovitamin B12, which has not been shown to be effective in humans.
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage. Its main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color. Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Phycocyanin is the main active compound in spirulina. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies indicate that spirulina can lower triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol and may simultaneously raise “good” HDL cholesterol. The antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation in both humans and animals.
Some evidence suggests that spirulina has anti-cancer properties. Research in animals indicates that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size. Spirulina may have anti-cancer properties and appears especially effective against a type of precancerous lesion of the mouth called OSMF.
A higher dose of spirulina may lead to lower blood pressure levels, a major risk factor for many diseases. Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and there is evidence that it can be effective.