Spirulina offers 6 positive health effects, researchers feature an amazing blood pressure result
(NaturalHealth365) Spirulina is often referred to as a “superfood” – which is a popular buzz word in the natural health and wellness world. But, you might be wondering: of all the supplements out there being touted as a superfood, which ones are actually legitimate?
Turns out spirulina – a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salt and fresh water – is one of them. And a remarkable study published in the peer-reviewed journal Hypertension just revealed how spirulina offers a specific natural benefit to people living with hypertension.
Researchers discover what spirulina can do to high blood pressure readings
Around one third of American adults are living with high blood pressure (a reading of more than 140/90 mmHg). This condition is a main risk factor for two of the leading causes of death (heart disease and stroke) – so, understandably, a lot of research has been done to find the best ways to control it.
Recently, a team of researchers published the results of their study which investigated the impact of spirulina on high blood pressure.
A blue-green algae, spirulina is considered a cyanobacteria; it contains nutraceutical and bioactive compounds which have been an important part of alternative and holistic medicine for centuries, dating to as early as ancient Africa and the Aztecs (clearly, our ancestors were on to something).
In this study, the researchers used peptides to create a spirulina in its digested form (a simulation of what naturally happens in the human body once the substance is ingested). Then they tested this digested supplement on arteries from mice.
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Can you guess what happened to the arteries?
The spirulina was able to relax the arterial walls by stimulating a process mediated by nitric oxide.
The medical community already knows that nitric oxide plays an important role in managing blood pressure, since the more easily blood vessel walls can relax, the less likely blood pressure is to spike.
Importantly, people with high blood pressure often have a disruption in the metabolic processes mediated by nitric oxide which normally help relax arterial walls.
The researchers were even able to extract and identify the specific bioactive compound of spirulina which contributed to this arterial relaxation: a peptide called SP6. As the authors put it: “SP6 interacts with an important signaling pathway known as PI3K/AKT. This interaction leads to the release of [nitric oxide] and, consequently, a drop in blood pressure.”
Their findings support previous research, including a 2007 study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.
But, wait, there’s more: Here are 5 other amazing benefits of spirulina
Whether you do or don’t have high blood pressure, adding spirulina – to your diet – can boost your health in a wide number of ways.
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels, including “lousy” LDL and triglycerides.
- Reduces high blood sugar.
- Has a powerful antioxidant effect to fight damaging free radicals and protect against diseases.
- Has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
- Offers a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including amino acids, vitamin B, copper, iron, and omega 3. Gram for gram it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
Spirulina is usually taken in pill or powdered form. For a typical dose, aim for 1 to 3 grams daily and you’ll be amazed at what this little superfood can do for your health.
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