Spirulina for anti-aging, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
Most of us have heard about the oxidative stress and the damages it can do to our DNA and cells.
The damages can cause chronic inflammation, which contributes to cancer and other diseases.
Spirulina is packed with is antioxidant substances that will protect our cells and DNA against oxidative damage in addition to all the other benefits coming from consuming spirulina everyday.
Spirulina can help many aliments like:
Read this very good article from Dr. Mercola to know more about all the aliments that this micro-algae improve.
One of the reasons spirulina is so beneficial to our bodies is due to the numerous pigments it contains. Pigments are not there just to color things, they are bio-chemically important to life! Without pigments, organisms could not synthesize many of the enzymes necessary for balancing metabolism.
Here are some of the pigments you can find in spirulina:
Let’s have a closer look at these pigments in spirulina and how & why they are beneficial to us.
1. Carotenoids and Beta-carotene
Carotenoids is a group of pigments, you probably know them from carrots, which actually give that gives this second group its name: the beta-carotene; they are responsible for their bright orange color.
Beta-carotene accounts for 80% of the carotenoids present in spirulina, which is convertible into Vit. A.
The carotenoids in spirulina are also highly bioavailable and have a range of effects against cancer.
The most visible pigment in Spirulina is the chlorophyll – a green molecule common to plants. It releases ions when struck by the energy of the sunlight. These free ions proceed to stimulate the biochemical reactions that form proteins, vitamins and sugars.
Chlorophyll is sometimes called `green blood” because of its similarity to the hemoglobin molecule found in human blood cells. They are differences of course; for example Hemoglobins is a protein, Chlorophyll is a small organic molecule, but they have a lot of similarities, both are derived from the same precursor, protoporphyrin IX, as shown in this pathway diagram and both have the same structures, or almost, only the center atom is different (iron -Fe- for the hemoglobin or magnesium – Mg- for the chlorophyll). Hemoglobin is a complex of the heme group.
Experiments in Japan have demonstrated that Spirulina has a positive effect on anemia, possibly due to the conversion of chlorophyll into hemoglobin. Of course, the high density of nutrients in spirulina (especially the blood-building vitamins B12 and folic acid and the amino acids) are also useful in treating cases of anemia.
Chlorophyll appears to promote the regeneration of damaged liver cells, and also increases circulation to all the organs by dilating blood vessels.
In the heart, chlorophyll aids in transmission of nerve impulses that control contraction. The heart rate is slowed, yet each contraction is increased in power, thus improving the overall efficiency of cardiac work. This is also very useful for athletes looking to improve their performances!
This similarity also help to increase your body to detox from heavy metal!
The pigment which gives spirulina its blue cast is phycocyanin, found in concentrations of about 7 percent, compared to the 1% percent chlorophyll content most commonly found. Phycocyanin is related to the human pigment bilirubin, which is important to healthy liver function and digestion of amino acids.
Phycocyanin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and anti-arthritic properties.
Phycocyanin is also used as blue colorant in food (chewing gums, dairy products, ice sorbets, jellies etc) and cosmetic such as lipstick and eyeliners in Japan, Thailand and China.
It is also a potential therapeutic agent in oxidative stress-induced diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer or Parkinson.
4. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
The superoxyde dismutase is a powerful enzyme naturally produced by the human body. It is a strong free radical eliminator becoming necessary due to increased levels of free radicals in modern life. I’m sure you’ve heard about “antioxidant” in the media. Well, these antioxidants are here to inhibit, stop, the oxidation (= a chemical reaction that produces free radicals) in our bodies, thus protecting them.
SOD plays a role in protecting cells against oxygen toxicity (= oxidative stress). SOD production levels decline with time and should be replenished by the diet to slow the aging process and ensure you age . Spirulina is one of the most richest natural source of SOD (with melon, wheat grass and broccoli), so make sure you eat plenty of it every day! How much should you take everyday? Read this post to know all about it!
And of course spirulina does all that without side effects or interaction with other drugs.
Did you know that you can grow spirulina at home? It’s not harder than keeping a fish tank at home and you’ll reap all the benefits of fresh spirulina, packed with nutrients and beneficial ingredients! Try it out today!