Anti-inflammatory effects of spirulina
Inflammation is a biological response of the body to stimuli such as chemical irritants, pathogens or damaged cells by producing white blood cells to fight the localized infection or injury. But for some reasons, inflammation can go out of control. It is at this point that it is no longer good for us.
However, the good news is that, a combination of proper diet, rest and physical activity can help prevent this issue of out of control inflammation or as one would call it, unwanted inflammation.
Nutrient-densed plant based foods are great for fighting inflammations. Spirulina has anti-inflammatory properties that protects the body and helps reduce inflammations. In 2014, Muhammad et al. was able to prove that spirulina platensis and spirulina lonar both have anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina platensis was found to be more effective in reducing inflammations (source 1).
The antioxidants in spirulina also help fight inflammation.
Chronic inflammation in your body will eventually lead to health problems.
At worst, this can eventually lead to cancer, but it can also cause damage to your blood vessels, which puts you at a higher risk of heart attack or cerebral haemorrhage.
An antioxidant that is present in large amounts in spirulina is phycocyanin. This is a unique and very powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina contains very high levels of phycocyanin.
Phycocyanin gives spirulina its blue-green color and fights free radicals and reduces infections. This has been proven in the following scientific studies : (source 2, source 3, source 4).
Fig 1. : chemical structure of C-phycocyanin.
Source 1: Somchit MN, Mohamed NA, Ahmad Z, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic properties of Spirulina platensis and Spirulina lonar: a comparative study. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2014;27(5):1277‐1280.
Source 2: Farooq SM, Boppana NB, Devarajan A, et al. C-phycocyanin confers protection against oxalate-mediated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in MDCK cells [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e103361. Asokan, Devarajan [corrected to Devarajan, Asokan]]. PLoS One. 2014;9(4):e93056. Published 2014 Apr 1. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093056
Source 3: Shih CM, Cheng SN, Wong CS, Kuo YL, Chou TC. Antiinflammatory and antihyperalgesic activity of C-phycocyanin. Anesth Analg. 2009;108(4):1303‐1310. doi:10.1213/ane.0b013e318193e919
Source 4: Romay Ch, González R, Ledón N, Remirez D, Rimbau V. C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003;4(3):207‐216. doi:10.2174/1389203033487216