Superfoods – How Spirulina Can Help Manage Diabetes

It seems a new “superfood” is discovered every year, touting unbelievable health improvements, fast weight loss, and a magical end to all medical woes. From goji berries to Ginkgo biloba, superfood claims can be greatly exaggerated or outright false.

Fortunately, some superfood claims are not baseless like the humble spirulina.

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a type of algae known as blue-green algae and is in the same basic family as chlorella, another superfood algae supplement. Spirulina contains a massive cocktail of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy acids, and omega 3s. All of these combined makes spirulina a wonderful supplement for both healthy individuals and those with chronic conditions.

Spirulina is typically found in one of two forms: small capsules or fine powder. Because the taste of spirulina can be difficult to stomach (think taking a sip of water from a pond), it is usually recommended to either use the capsules or place the powder into your daily smoothie.

Spirulina and Diabetes

The health benefits of spirulina are uncontested. Unlike many other high-fad superfoods, spirulina’s health benefits have been studied and documented—including its effect on men and women with diabetes.

Due to its high nutrient content, a study concluded that daily consumption of spirulina resulted in a slew of health benefits in diabetes patients, including increased insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure levels and triglyceride numbers—things that are often problematic in diabetes patients. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers determined that spirulina was an effective and powerful addition to the dietary habits of diabetes patients.

Exercising Caution

Although spirulina is not a danger in and of itself, its high nutrient content can be problematic if too much of it is consumed. Many vitamins such as vitamin A can become harmful in high doses, a condition known as vitamin toxicity. To prevent this, simply follow the manufacturer instructions.

As with any new supplement, you should consult your doctor before adding it to your daily routine. Because spirulina can have a significant effect on blood sugar levels, your doctor may need to adjust existing medications to fit a lower blood sugar profile.

As is the case with most nutritional supplements, you should also do your homework before investing in a particular brand. Some brands have been tested and display traces of additives that could dampen the health benefits of spirulina. Whenever possible, opt for organic or non-GMO brands and pay close attention to the supplement’s ingredients.

[expand title=”References“]

NCBI. Accessed 5/12/17.
Diabetic Connect. Accessed 5/12/17.


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