Spirulina is a blue-green alga popular for its medicinal properties ever since the 1600s.
It’s abundant in nutrients, including amino acids like gamma linoleic acid, phycocyanins, chlorophyll, vitamins A, B1, B12, B3, B2, B6 and E, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
Thanks to its rich content, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, spirulina offers the following health benefits.
In this article, we are focusing on spirulina’s ability to treat type 2 diabetes, its effect on blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and diabetes-related complications.
A 12-week Korean study involving 37 people with type 2 diabetes investigated the effects of spirulina on their health. Researchers gave 8g of spirulina a day to some participants, making sure they don’t make any other change in their regular diet.
The results showed a reduction in blood pressure and serum triglyceride levels and no change in their body mass index.
What’s more, spirulina subjects had reduced levels of plasma malondialdehyde – biomarkers for oxidative stress. They noted an increase in plasma adiponectin levels which are linked to improved insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of heart attack.
Furthermore, spirulina proved to be more effective in the participants with lipid digestion (dyslipidemia). This condition leads to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are common amount people with type 2 diabetes.
Overall, the study shows spirulina supplementation can help the treatment of diabetes, and prevent further complications.
Another human study showed that taking 2g of spirulina a day for 2 months can reduce blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, it also reduced HbA1c by 1 percent which means lower risk of diabetes-related death by 21 percent. Still, researchers need more studies to prove these results.
Consult a healthcare provider to determine the possible drug interactions, side effects, and optimal dosage of spirulina supplements.
Also, make sure you use high-quality brand since some products could contain high levels of heavy metals. Last but not least, do not replace your prescribed diabetes medication with spirulina.