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Spirulina for Diabetes: Can It Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

Spirulina for Diabetes: Can It Help Regulate Blood Sugar?

Nowadays, more people are trying to look for natural methods to manage their diabetes. One of the methods gaining popularity is taking spirulina for diabetes.

But what exactly is spirulina, and can it really help diabetics? What other health benefits can it provide? Read on to find out more.

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that has recently gained popularity because of its potential health benefits. It is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that the body needs.

Because it is a type of algae, it thrives in lakes and other similar bodies of water where it can be harvested. These days however, spirulina is typically farmed in man-made ponds. This allows the farmers to have better control of what chemicals are found in the water since spirulina can absorb heavy metals from the water.

After harvest, drying and processing turns the spirulina into powder, flakes. or capsules. People typically mix the powder with drinks to make smoothies, but it can also be mixed with other food. The capsules can also be taken on their own.

Proponents of spirulina swear by its numerous health benefits, and believe that it is a type of superfood. Indeed, there is a body of research that seems to support some of these claims.

But what about spirulina for diabetes? Can it help regulate sugar levels or even remove the need for insulin?

Spirulina for Diabetes: What Benefits Does It Have?

Keeping diabetes in check involves making lifestyle changes along with medication to help control blood sugar levels. However, not all diabetics have access to nor can they afford to take their diabetes medication. This is the reason why there is a lot of interest in alternative methods of managing diabetes.

Some evidence points to spirulina as a possible means of helping manage the effects of diabetes in patients. According to one study2, which studied the effects of spirulina in rats, it can help mitigate oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to an imbalance of the antioxidants and free radicals in the body, and it also plays a role in the various complications of diabetes.

Another study3 found that spirulina supplements helped lower blood sugar levels among patients with diabetes. In yet another study4, researchers found that spirulina helps the body release more insulin, which can help control blood sugar levels. However, this was a study on rats, so further testing and research can better help us to understand how this translates to diabetes in humans.

Based on the results of these studies, spirulina can potentially aid diabetics in managing their condition better.

Are There Other Health Benefits to Spirulina?

Aside from diabetes, spirulina also contains many minerals and nutrients that make it a superfood. This means that incorporating spirulina into your diet can help you get more of the necessary nutrients that your body needs.

It also lowers cholesterol levels, aids in managing allergic rhinitis, and can even potentially aid in lowering the risk of cancer because of its antioxidant properties. Because of this, it might be worth trying out spirulina supplements if you wish to be healthier.

Key Takeaways

While spirulina has gained traction as a superfood, with numerous studies to back it up, its not a good idea to depend on it completely for your health. It can be an effective supplement, but as far as managing conditions such as diabetes go, its still best to listen to your doctor’s recommendations.

Learn more about Diabetes here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1 Spirulina Information | Mount Sinai – New York, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/spirulina, Accessed November 24, 2021

2 SciELO – Brazil – Antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties of <i>Spirulina platensis</i> produced in Turkey Antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties of <i>Spirulina platensis</i> produced in Turkey, https://www.scielo.br/j/cta/a/tv6TGh4L8k5nRhhBw8V49QH/?lang=en, Accessed November 24, 2021

3 Role of Spirulina in the Control of Glycemia and Lipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12639401/, Accessed November 24, 2021

4 Effects of Spirulina platensis on insulin secretion, dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity and both carbohydrate digestion and absorption indicate potential as an adjunctive therapy for diabetes | British Journal of Nutrition | Cambridge Core, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/effects-of-spirulina-platensis-on-insulin-secretion-dipeptidyl-peptidase-iv-activity-and-both-carbohydrate-digestion-and-absorption-indicate-potential-as-an-adjunctive-therapy-for-diabetes/F0CEF56B9424B512CF2F266EFCA0EFB6, Accessed November 24, 2021

5 Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136577/, Accessed November 24, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 2 days ago
Fact Checked by Cesar Beltran