Together with chlorella, spirulina is one of the most widely studied foods nowadays. Several studies during the last ten years have shown that regular consumption of spirulina improves brain function, increases the production of white blood cells, enhances liver function, and stimulates antibodies. Spirulina can also help you deal with almost any nutrient deficiency as a result of its high amount of minerals and vitamins.
In addition to this, a study published by Annals of Hepatology in March 2014 has even found that spirulina contains many bioactive compounds that can help treat pancreatic cancer.
The Czech researchers have discovered that these blue-green algae are rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds, a class of chemical compounds that are closely related to the cancer-fighting antioxidant bilirubin. For that reason, they decided to conduct tests in order to determine the effects of these compounds (specifically: chlorophyllin and phycocyanobilin) on both human pancreatic cancer cell lines and mice that had suffered from pancreatic cancer. The test subjects were treated with one of the following doses in vitro: 0.16 g•L-1 of spirulina, 125 µM of chlorophyllin or 60 µM of phycocyanobilin.
The results of the study have shown that spirulina and its tetrapyrrolic components have strong anti-proliferative properties, with phycocyanobilin proving to be the most effective compound.
The researchers concluded that spirulina and its tetrapyrrolic compounds significantly reduced the proliferation of pancreatic cancer. They also recommend the use of spirulina as a dietary supplement due to its “chemopreventive role”.
How to pick the best spirulina?
If you want to treat a serious health problem with spirulina, it’s important to know that algae are foods that need to be sourced extremely carefully. Spirulina is basically a freshwater sponge that absorbs everything good and bad in its nearby environment. Hence, it is crucial for you to get your spirulina from a clean source (you should know that “certified organic” doesn’t mean that it’s clean). Most experts agree that spirulina from Europe and the United States (especially Hawaii) is cleaner when compared to spirulina that comes from Asia, while spirulina from China is the most contaminated.