Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has a high nutritional value and is eaten as a food in some parts of the world.
Sourced from China
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Studies show that supplementation with spirulina can improve cholesterol levels, lower fasting blood sugar, and lower diastolic blood pressure.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about any side effects you experience.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) that grows naturally in lakes around the world. Spirulina is consumed as a food in some parts of the world and there are reports that it was even eaten by the Aztec civilization. Today, spirulina is used as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions due to its nutritional value. Spirulina is a good vegan source of protein and it is sometimes referred to as a superfood. It is possible to grow spirulina at home with the proper equipment.
What are the health benefits of spirulina?
Spirulina has a number of purported health benefits, including working as an appetite suppressant, treating fatigue, treating certain viruses, and stimulating the immune system. Most of these claims have little or no evidence to support them. However, supplementation with spirulina does have supporting research in a few cases. Some studies show that spirulina may be effective for weight loss, treating nasal congestion related to allergies, managing diabetes, and treating chronic hepatitis C (1). More studies need to be done before the full effects of supplementation with spirulina are understood.
Spirulina may also have the following health benefits, which is why it was chosen to be an ingredient in the Roman Dailies:
One review of seven studies investigated the effects of spirulina supplementation on cholesterol. The review found that supplementation with spirulina reduced total cholesterol levels, reduced LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) levels, reduced triglyceride levels, and raised HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) levels (3).
A more recent review of studies also concluded that supplementation with spirulina could lead to reduced cholesterol, reduced fasting blood glucose (which can be used as a screening test for diabetes), and reduced diastolic blood pressure. Studies that were included in the review tested doses of spirulina ranging from 1–19 g per day and the studies lasted for anywhere between 2–48 weeks (2).
What doses of spirulina have been studied?
Nutritional supplements, like spirulina, are not reviewed by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. There is no established ideal dosage of spirulina and studies have tested a wide range of dosages for a wide range of time periods. Standard dosages available for purchase range from 1–8 g per day.
In what forms is spirulina available?
Spirulina is available as a supplement in either tablet or capsule form. It is also available as a powder and can be added to smoothies.
How does Roman offer spirulina?
Roman obtains spirulina from a non-GMO source in China that grows Spirulina platensis. It is available as spirulina whole plant powder.
Roman offers spirulina in the following supplements:
Spirulina is one of seven main ingredients in Roman’s Heart Health supplement. The supplement consists of four tablets and two fish oil softgels that should be taken with water. Each individual tablet contains 0.5 g of spirulina, for a total daily dose of 2 g.
Other ingredients in the tablets include deodorized garlic bulb powder, magnesium citrate, Coenzyme Q10, menaquinone-7, cholecalciferol, microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium phosphate, stearic acid, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and pharmaceutical glaze (shellac, povidone). Ingredients in the fish oil soft gels include marine lipid concentrate, gelatin, glycerin, purified water, and mixed tocopherols. The softgels contain fish and should not be consumed by anybody with a fish allergy.
What are the side effects of taking spirulina?
Spirulina is generally well tolerated. When side effects do occur, they include nausea, headaches, and insomnia. There have also been case reports of anaphylaxis, muscle damage, and seizures in an infant that were thought to be related to the mother’s supplementation with spirulina (1).
Does spirulina interact with any other drugs?
Spirulina may interact with medications that are metabolized by cytochrome P450. If you are taking any medications and are unsure if they may interact with spirulina, talk to your healthcare provider prior to beginning supplementation.
Some spirulina supplements may be contaminated by strains of algae known as Microcystis. This can be toxic and cause liver damage, kidney failure, and neurotoxicity. It is important to only obtain spirulina from a trusted source (1).
Roman’s Heart Health supplement contains fish and should not be consumed by anybody with a fish allergy.
- Blue-green Algae. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/blue-green-algae. Published August 25, 2015. Accessed November 19, 2019.
- Huang H, Liao D, Pu R, Cui Y. Quantifying the effects of spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. 2018;Volume 11:729-742. doi:10.2147/dmso.s185672.
- Serban C, Sahebkar A, Dragan S, Andrica F, Urosniu S, Banach M. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations. Atherosclerosis. 2015;241(1). doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.04.935.