Together with chlorella, spirulina is one of the most widely studied foods nowadays. Several studies during the last ten years have shown that regular consumption of spirulina improves brain function, increases the production of white blood cells, enhances liver function, and stimulates antibodies. Spirulina can also help you deal with almost any nutrient deficiency as a result of its high amount of minerals and vitamins.
In addition to this, a study published by Annals of Hepatology in March 2014 has even found that spirulina contains many bioactive compounds that can help treat pancreatic cancer.
Czech researchers became interested in examining the potential effects of spirulina when they discovered in contained high levels of nutrients similar to the cancer-fighting antioxidant bilirubin, known as tetrapyrrholic compounds. They decided to test the compounds, specifically chlorophyllin and phycocyanabilin, on both human pancreatic cancer cells and mice suffering from pancreatic cancer. All of the test subjects were either treated with one of the isolated compounds or whole spirulina. The researchers also monitored a control group which was made up of a group of completely untreated cells.
The results of the study were incredibly impressive. All of the cells treated with spirulina — or one of its isolated compounds — fared far better than the untreated control group and showcased substantial inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Of the three treatments, those with phyocyanabilin seemed to provide the greatest benefit. The researchers wrote in their concluding statements, “In conclusion, [spirulina] and its tetrapyrrolic components substantially decreased the proliferation of experimental pancreatic cancer.” They also recommended spirulina as a dietary supplement for its cancer-preventing potential.
How to pick the best spirulina?
If you want to treat a serious health problem with spirulina, it’s important to know that algae are foods that need to be sourced extremely carefully. Spirulina is basically a freshwater sponge that absorbs everything good and bad in its nearby environment. Hence, it is crucial for you to get your spirulina from a clean source (you should know that “certified organic” doesn’t mean that it’s clean). Most experts agree that spirulina from Europe and the United States (especially Hawaii) is cleaner when compared to spirulina that comes from Asia, while spirulina from China is the most contaminated.