Does Spirulina Help Lower Cholesterol?

Does Spirulina Help Lower Cholesterol?

 

 

 

 

The evidence we have found, certainly suggests this to be the case*. The Greek study (below), in particular, presents some encouraging data to help answer, does spirulina help lower cholesterol. This blog explores the question, however, before we look at the detail of the spirulina super food and cholesterol; let us take a quick look at some other better known foods, that some suggest, help to reduce high cholesterol levels.

 

 


Which Foods Help With Raised Cholesterol Levels?

pic david Greenwood-Haigh unsplash

A wide range of foods are suggested as being effective to help reduce cholesterol. Among them; Avocados, Beans, Dark Chocolate & Cocoa, Fatty Fish, Fruits & Berries, Garlic, Nuts, Soybeans, Vegetables and Whole Grains such as Oats.

 

 


The Benefits Of Spirulina Are Less Well Known

Our research indicates and described in more detail below, that all of these can be helpful to add to your diet, to help you support your efforts to reduce high cholesterol. Spirulina is less well-known in this regard. However, once you understand that spirulina is loaded in protein and minerals, perhaps it shouldn’t be?

Source: World Foods Robert Henrikson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Astonishingly, 3 grams of spirulina is regarded as roughly the equivalent of 3kg of fruit and vegetables in terms of nutrients. Check out what this scientist has to say:

Check our Spirulina FAQs here.


 Source-Spirulina-vitamins-World-Food-Robert-Henrikson

Or put another way, 1 teaspoon of Spirulina Is The Equivalent of 5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables (11) !

 

 

 

 

 


Evidence from Greece

A 2014 study (10) from Greece demonstrated that at just 1 gram of spirulina a day, involving 52 people, over a 12-week period, spirulina significantly reduced low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL) described as “bad” cholesterol but did not impact on the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the so called “good” cholesterol.


So How Does Spirulina Compare To Other Foods & Supplements?

Avocados

Eating one a day, Avocados have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. Check out the evidence for yourself from this 2015 study (2) which demonstrated the effects of avocados on cholesterol. For those that can afford them on a regular basis, this is clearly a good option. However, as delicious as Avocados are, depending on where you live, they can be a fairly expensive option to add to your diet on a daily basis.


Beans

A 2014 study (1) demonstrated how a daily serving of dietary pulses such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas, legumes such as peas and lentils can help you to lower “bad” levels of LDL. For many people, these are more accessible foods to consume but if you eat a lot of beans there is of course the effect that we are all familiar with!


Dark Chocolate and Cocoa

This option sounds too good to be true! Providing the cocoa content is 75-85%, studies (8) have described how it can reduce cholesterol. But be careful with the sugar content, or you may end up gaining weight! All the more reason to have a regular dose of spirulina, to help control your sugar and weight levels.


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Fish

In particular “fatty” fish, such as salmon and mackerel are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, known to be very good to boost the “good” HDL cholesterol and demonstrated to lower inflammation and stroke risk. However, for many people, regularly eating salmon or even mackerel are expensive options.


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Fruits & Berries

Fruits & Berries contain a soluble fibre called pectin that is known to reduce cholesterol and is found in apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries. In common with spirulina, they are also known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (6) too. Great if you can afford to eat these regularly, and can obtain them over different seasons. They are a delicious and healthy option, but for many people, they may not always be available either for cost or supply reasons.


Garlic

For centuries, garlic has been used as an ingredient in cooking and for medicine. Studies (8) have shown that it may lower total bad “LDL” cholesterol. But eating it daily? What about the smell on your breathe?


Nuts

Nuts, (3) in particular almonds & walnuts have been found in various studies to help reduce cholesterol. Whilst nuts are typically available throughout the year, the regular consumption of nuts might also be quite an expensive option for your weekly shopping. And is it a practical option? 67 grams of nuts a day to achieve the sort of results highlighted in the study?

Whilst the evidence for nuts suggests they can help you, a daily dose of just 1 gram of spirulina is 3 times as effective and overall a much cheaper option.


Soybeans

Soybeans may also be helpful to help reduce cholesterol. A review of 35 studies (9) indicated that those who consume soybeans regularly also saw some reduced cholesterol levels. But, once again, less than spirulina.


Source: World Food -Robert Henrikson

Other Fruits and Vegetables

We are also encouraged to eat vegetables rich in antioxidants that are known to help reduce cholesterol. Among those you will find recommended, include apples, broccoli, carrots, grapes, onions, cabbage, red peppers & tomatoes. However, once again, much will depend on your budget and seasonal variations. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables but check out that vegetable comparison chart! Spirulina can be taken as supplement tablets or added as powder into smoothies or stews.

Why not add a gram a day to your diet?


Whole Grains

A summary of 45 studies (4) have found that people eating three daily servings of whole grains each day had a “20%” lower risk of heart disease and stroke and “seemed to be better with more servings consumed”. This is arguably one of the most accessible option in terms of price.


So What Other Evidence Is There For Spirulina And Cholesterol?

It’s not just the Greek study. Various other studies have highlighted the benefits of Spirulina to help reduce cholesterol. In the first ever human study (12) in 1988, involving spirulina, 15 male volunteers were given 4.2 grams of Spirulina a day. Whilst there was no significant increase in HDL levels, (the good cholesterol) a significant reduction of high-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was noticed after 8 weeks of taking the spirulina.


Indian Studies

And In 1995 there was an Indian study (3) that confirmed the 1988 study. In the 1995 study, heart patients were given Spirulina supplements finding a “significant reduction in blood cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL “bad” cholesterol. However, this time, they noticed an increase in HDL “good” cholesterol. So just like Avocados!


Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

A 2015 study, again from India (14) that focused on how spirulina might help reduce blood sugar levels (it does*) further confirmed the 1995 study regarding cholesterol. Not only did they record a reduction in blood sugar levels, they noticed, “a significant reduction” in “bad “cholesterol after 2 months of taking 2 grams of spirulina supplements a day.


Big Pharma

These studies invariably end with a call for more “research”. But the competition for research funds is fierce. Ask yourself; where is the incentive to encourage people to consume more of a super food when big Pharma make a fortune out of cholesterol drugs? In 2016 that market was worth US$19.3 billion. This compares to the global avocado processing market of only US2.7 billion.


Please Carefully Note

We are not encouraging you to stop taking Doctor prescribed cholesterol medication. However, you may wish to check with your Doctor or health care professional whether it is appropriate for you to add spirulina to your food diet?

Depending on your personal medical circumstances, it might help you.


US Standards & Spirulina

Spirulina is listed by the US Food & Drug Administration under the category of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), as “many toxicological studies have proven Spirulinas safety”. You can check this for yourself via this click through at paragraph 1.


Check With Your Doctor Or Medical Professional

We always recommend that you check with your Doctor or medical professional before taking the spirulina super food, in particular if you have any pre-existing conditions. Most people have no difficulty with spirulina but there are a few exceptions which are described on our “what is spirulina about page”.


Build Up Taking Spirulina Slowly

We also recommend you slowly build up using spirulina as you may experience a detox. You can check our page on how much spirulina to take, for a suggested approach.


Energy Boost

After any detox you may experience, which is why you see a few people online complaining “it made me sick”, or more likely, they bought cheap contaminated spirulina, you are likely to be astounded at your increased energy levels. And you may also experience other benefits that we describe in our FAQs.


Signs of High Cholesterol

Not sure about your own cholesterol levels? This click through might be helpful to you. Oh, and please check with your doctor or medical professional.


If you would like to try the spirulina super food, you can find specific Spirulina reviews on this page.

==>Click Here If You Are Interested In Buying Quality Spirulina Or Chlorella<==


 

So, does Spirulina Help Lower Cholesterol?

We believe the evidence presented in the studies suggests this. Why not try some for yourself, after of course, you have checked with your doctor or medical professional that it is right for you with any pre-existing conditions that you may have*.

Remember, Spirulina is a super food, not a medication.


The Origin of Spirulina

You can learn about the origin and the history of spirulina, on our page, “What is spirulina about?” We also emphasise the importance of choosing a carefully produced spirulina.

Spirulina FAQs can be found here


Sources

(1). “Effect of Dietary Pulse Intake on Established Therapeutic Lipid Targets for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction”

(2) “Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With & Without Avocados in Overweight and Obese Adults”

(3) “Nut Consumption & Blood Lipid Levels: An analysis of 25 Trials”

(4) “Whole Grain Consumption & Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, &…”

(5) “Cholesterol-lowering Properties of Different Pectin Types….”

(6) “Berries and Related Fruits”

(7) “Effects of Cocoa Products/Dark Chocolate on Serum Lipids”

(8) “An umbrella review of garlic intake…”

(9) “Soya Products and Serum Lipids”…

(10) “The Hypolipidaemic Effects of Spirulina (A…. P….) Supplementation in a Cretan Population”

(11) Gerald Cysewski, PhD, co-author of The Hawaiian Spirulina Equation.

(12) “Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications”

(13) Effect of Supplementation of Spirulina on Hypercholesterolemic Patients.

(14) Studies on the Long-Term Effect of Spirulina Supplementation on Serum Lipid Profile


* Please visit our About page. Nothing on this website should be interpreted as personal medical advice. Always consult a qualified Doctor or health care professional before changing anything related to your healthcare.

8 thoughts on “Does Spirulina Help Lower Cholesterol?”

  1. Your article was a true value-add for anyone interested in achieving healthy balances in cholesterols.  It was well researched and documented with footnotes which leant credibility to your points.  You didn’t bog down your readers with more content than they wanted, yet, if they do want more they can click on your footnotes and get more in depth information.  I believe you ‘teach more by teaching less’.  Each of your sections were pithy but not too short.  

    Good, relevant pictures. Overall, though, I think the quality and layout of your article was really good!

    Reply
  2. I find your article compelling because of the number of scientific studies you cited to buttress your point that a gram of Spirulina a day reduces bad cholesterol. It reminds me of the saying, ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That’s what we were taught when we were growing up.

    Another method you used was comparing and contrasting Spirulina against the other cholesterol relieving ingredients. You pitted Spirulina against individual fruits and vegetables and showed why Spirulina should be preferred. I find this style highly effective and convincing.

    At my last yearly physical exam, my doctor noted that my bad cholesterol needed to be lowered. He prescribed fruits, vegetables, and cholesterol-lowering medication. Now that I know of Spirulina and its ability to lower cholesterol based on scientific evidence, guess what I am about to do.

    I would rather take one gram of Spirulina tablet a day than eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables, some of which I do not like.

    Thanks for this article. It is truly an eye-opener for me.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed comment.  It is much appreciated.  I would recommend four things for you to consider now you are planning to buy some. 1. Check our FAQs to see all the conditions spirulina can help mitigate. 2. Read our page on “what is spirulina about” page carefully as there a couple of conditions that it is not helpful for, just to be sure they do not apply to you, and a double check with your Doctor might be wise too. 3. Read the page on how much to take, as you may initially experience a detox as I did and many people do.  In summary, start slowly and build up.  

      And fourthly, which is probably the most important, make sure you buy from a good source.  I cannot emphasise the importance of this enough.  Many who complain “it made me sick”, buy or bought contaminated supplies. The ones we suggest are good suppliers.  We also no longer recommend Amazon as they are not a specialist vitamin or food supplier and sometimes, particularly outside of the USA their stock can be dated.  In the UK, Whole Foods are a little known but good supplier. 

      Reply
  3. I really think this is a great topic as many people suffer from high cholesterol. Just like many others, I am constantly looking for natural ways to reduce or balance my cholesterol. Your research appears to be thorough. However, I would like to read more about the cons or side effects that may be associated with the product even if the answer is there are no known side effects. This is great information.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment.  You can read about potential side effects via this click through which primarily relates to the possibility of your body detoxing when you first take it.  See through the detox though and you can anticipate some remarkable results. Spirulina can mitigate and support many of the conditions described in our FAQs which also mentions some conditions where spirulina is not recommended which you can read about on our “what is spirulina about page“.Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply
  4. Hi,

    Spirulina is known as Aztec cheese and has been consumed in Mexico for centuries. It was the Aztecs’ superfood, although it’s not that well-known today.

    Spirulina is rich in protein and has a lot of nutrients. Some experts go as far as saying that it will be the food of the future. We are growing at gigantic steps, and there will be a time where we will have have to look for more sustainable options as the world population starts to grow.

    Thanks for sharing with us. I look forward to reading your next post.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Enrique.  Although your comment does not specifically relate to cholesterol and how spirulina (& chlorella btw) have cholesterol lowering properties.  I was interested in the  “Aztec cheese comment”  we would be interested to learn where that came from, particularly if you can quote a source – can you drop me an email or note on this page?.  You are absolutely right, spirulina has the potential to be the “food of the future“, there are UN documents specifically describing this and how it can help malnutrition.  In Mexico, it is now being added to tortillas.  It also has the potential to help woth global warming if it is sowed in lakes or rivers that have become polluted, helping to soak up the poison in its environment.  Its potential for mankind is huge.  But obviously in that context, not for human consumption.  If you would like to try some, these are the brands we recommend. We are currently researching Chlorella, its similar to spirulina but different and has great properties too.  Have a great day. 

      Reply

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