Spirulina: A Multi-Functional Food For Health
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that improves the elimination of toxins like Mercury and arsenic (1). As discussed previously, spirulina is high in proteins, minerals, b-vitamins, vitamin A, and iron. All of these nutrients can be helpful in children with autism and other population who are affected by toxicity with metals and have multiple deficiencies of vitamins.
Spirulina can be beneficial for weight loss. A study that analyzed multiple clinical trials of the use of spirulina for weight loss determined that spirulina diminishes body weight significantly, especially in obese people (2). Obesity is higher in autism when compared to non-autistic individuals (3).
Other clinical trials have demonstrated beneficial effects on cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. These spirulina effects make sense if you are replenishing missing nutrients in your body, increasing antioxidants, and lowering inflammation (4).
In summary, spirulina can be beneficial as part of a healthy diet for most people looking to lose weight, reduce cholesterol, and for individuals in the spectrum.
"Our biggest shortcoming is low expectations."
There is hope for autism!
David Rivas, RPh, MSc, CCN
Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist/Consultant
(1): Bhattacharya, S. (2020). The Role of Spirulina (Arthrospira) in the Mitigation of Heavy-Metal Toxicity: An Appraisal. Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology, 39(2).
(2): Moradi, S., Ziaei, R., Foshati, S., Mohammadi, H., Nachvak, S. M., & Rouhani, M. H. (2019). Effects of spirulina supplementation on obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 47, 102211.
(3): Healy, S., Aigner, C. J., & Haegele, J. A. (2019). Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US youth with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 23(4), 1046-1050.
(4): DiNicolantonio, J. J., Bhat, A. G., & OKeefe, J. (2020). Effects of spirulina on weight loss and blood lipids: a review. Open Heart, 7, 1-7.