What are the health benefits of spirulina, and are there different types of this supplement?


Quick Answer

Spirulina is used to treat precancerous growths in the mouth, for weight loss, to improve memory and to increase energy, and it is available in tablet, powder or flake form, according to WebMD. There is not enough confirmed evidence to support definite health benefits from spirulina, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Spirulina is often used as a nutritional supplement due to its richness in vitamins, minerals and carotenoids, according to WebMD. It is sold with the intention of treating hay fever, obesity, high cholesterol, infections and other health problems, though these claims are unsubstantiated as of 2015.

Some people use spirulina to cope with anxiety, depression, ADHD, fatigue, memory issues, twitching eyelids, diabetes and digestion issues, claims WebMD. Although spirulina is an excellent source of protein and B12, the human body requires a tremendous amount of it to benefit, so alternative sources like nuts and grains are recommended.

Blue-green algae products such as spirulina often vary in quality, depending on where and how they were manufactured, reports WebMD. When they are grown naturally, there is a higher chance of them being exposed to bacteria and heavy metals. People should only take spirulina that has been grown in a controlled environment and tested for safety. Because very little is known or confirmed on the risks or benefits of spirulina, it is important to speak to a health care professional before taking it.

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