Did you know that algae can offer a wealth of health benefits? Algae is a type of plant found in fresh and saltwater. It's been used for centuries as a source of food and medicine, and recent research has shown that it may offer some fantastic health benefits.
In this article, we'll discuss the seven best benefits of algae and how you can pick the best ones for you.
What is Algae?
Algae is a type of plant that can live in both fresh and saltwater. Most people think of algae as simple, green plants that grow in ponds and streams. However, algae come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some algae are single-celled, while others are large and complex.
Algae is an important part of the food chain, producing oxygen and providing food for fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Algae are also found in various habitats, from the deep sea to high mountain tops.
In addition to providing food for many aquatic creatures, algae play an essential role in the global carbon cycle. Some types of algae even produce oil that can be used as fuel. With so much to offer, it is no wonder that algae have been attracting increasing attention from scientists in recent years.
7 Health Benefits of Algae
Algae are often thought of as pesky plants that can quickly take over a pond or swimming pool. However, algae also have several positive qualities that benefit our health.
1. Weight Loss
Algae is beneficial for your health because it aids in weight reduction, as it has been shown to assist weight loss efforts, especially the brown type that contains fucoxanthin.
In recent years, researchers published a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study that was the first to use fucoxanthin in people. This research looked at the effects of a supplement containing brown marine algae fucoxathin and pomegranate seed oil on 151 non-diabetic, obese premenopausal women.
Not only did the women taking the brown algae supplement reduce an average of 14.5 pounds in just 16 weeks, but they also experienced elevations in resting energy expenditure, which encourages fat burning and weight loss. Meanwhile, they had beneficial reductions in a variety of health indicators, including liver fat, blood pressure, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein.
2. Potential Cancer Fighter
Many types of algae have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth in both animal and laboratory studies, making them potential natural cancer therapies. Hopefully, there will be additional human research to confirm this anti-cancer capability.
The anti-cancer effect of algae has been shown in experimental animal studies, while a human study has demonstrated the ability of spirulina to treat oral leukoplakia or precancerous mouth sores. The results from this research, published in Nutrition and Cancer, revealed that taking one gram of spirulina (Spirulina fusiformis) daily by mouth for 12 months reduced oral leukoplakia in people who chewed tobacco.
According to Memorial Sloan Kettering, animal studies indicate that spirulina has chemo-protective and radioprotective effects. In 2001, a study was published in which the polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis acted as a chemo-protective agent in animals, suggesting that it has the potential to protect the body. It appears to have therapeutic potential as well since it also can shield against radiation treatment's health-threatening side effects. Its usage as a cancer therapy supplement is recommended by the research.
3. Heart Health
According to a 2013 scientific inquiry, blue-green algae can protect against cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which are two of the most common threats to public health in wealthy nations. Overall, animal, cell, and human studies have shown that blue-green algae consumption can "improve blood lipid profiles, inflammation, and oxidative stress," all of which are recognized risk factors for heart disease.
It's been shown in animal research to lower the formation of atherosclerotic plaques or lesions, which is another indication that it might be cardio-protective.
4. Inflammation and Pain Reducer
Algae may help with everything from inflammation and pain management to joint health. Algae contain anti-inflammatory chemicals such as omega-3 fatty acids and chlorophyll. A more specific analysis of the red variety, which is recognized to be "a rich natural source of compounds with interesting biological and pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and gastroprotective effects," was conducted in a 2016 study.
The anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties of crude extracts from the Mediterranean red algae Laurencia obtusa were verified in an in vitro study published in Pharmaceutical Biology. It was also discovered to have a gastroprotective effect, with gastric ulcer prevention rates ranging from 81.3 percent to 81.5 percent at 50 milligrams per kilogram.
Pyropia yezoensis, a species of marine algae previously discovered to contain high amounts of protein, has been found in another study to have a significant protein content, making it an excellent source of biologically active peptides. Furthermore, it's shown the potential to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Fucosterol, a sterol found in algae, was discovered in a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2016. Fucosterol has exhibited several health-promoting characteristics, including its capacity to reduce cholesterol naturally. Algae are a good source of phytosterols, which can lower blood cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol when consumed in pill form. How so? Phytosterols aid in the reduction of intestinal cholesterol absorption.
Spirulina has a lot of fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants in addition to being high in GLA. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food revealed that spirulina can help decrease blood lipids (fats) levels in persons with hyperlipidemia nephrotic syndrome.
6. Heavy Metal Detox
Chlorella is a form of algae that acts as a natural chelator to remove heavy metals from the body. High levels of contact with 23 environmental elements labeled “heavy metals,” including lead, mercury, aluminum, and arsenic, can cause acute or chronic toxicity. This may result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous system function, along with damage to vital organs. Long-term use may result in more severe physical, muscular, and neurological deterioration.
If you have mercury fillings in your teeth, have been vaccinated, eat fish on a daily basis, or have been exposed to radiation, you may be contaminated with heavy metals. It's critical that you take action to excrete hazardous metals and poisons proactively.
Chlorella can wrap itself around heavy toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and uranium and prevent them from being reabsorbed. Chlorella has been shown to prevent heavy metals from accumulating in our bodies' soft tissues and organs by routinely eating it.
A study published in 2009 investigated the effects of chlorella intake on cadmium metabolism in animal test subjects. Researchers discovered that when the participants were exposed to heavy metal cadmium, chlorella could mitigate heavy metal poisoning and minimize tissue damage by lowering cadmium absorption.
7. Stem Cell Proliferation Promoter
Stem cells may be found in different tissues in adults. They divide to replenish dying cells and mend damaged ones as we grow older. Stem cells age as we get older, and their regenerative capacity decreases.
Based on previous research that demonstrated that blue-green algae may influence immune function in animals, the Department of Neurosurgery at USF examined the effects of blue-green algae extracts on human stem cells in cultures. The preliminary findings show that an ethanol extract of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae helps to promote human stem cell proliferation.
Numerous algae supplements are accessible online or in your local health food store. The dosage of each item is unique. The dose for a specific person is determined by age and health issues. Read labels carefully and get advice from a professional if you're unsure about the appropriate daily dosage.
Choosing a greens product that includes algae allows you to get the full green spectrum from land and sea and really provides a unique array of minerals. Our Green Power has a combination of fermented cereal grasses, fermented herbs, and chlorella algae to give you a green boost plus gut support.
This beautifully crafted blend gives you the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to maintain the natural alkalinity and pH of your body. This formula is even scientifically backed. It has the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri which supplements the intestinal microbiome, encouraging an overall healthy digestive tract and full-body well-being.