Numerous studies have shown that a freshwater blue-green algae called spirulina can significantly boost men’s immunity and health. This superfood, and its cousin chlorella, can be enjoyed both in food and as a supplement.
Nutritionists and other health experts often recommend using spirulina daily to help keep the immune system functioning at an optimal level. Spirulina is also highly recommended to help address nutritional deficiencies and certain symptoms and health concerns, as it has an impressive nutritional profile. It also is more easily absorbed and utilized by the body than is chlorella, because it has a completely digestible cellulose wall.
Spirulina as a superfood
Not all spirulina is created equal. However, on average, one ounce of this superfood contains the following:
- Protein: 39 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 230 milligrams
- Copper: 85% DailyValue (DV)
- Riboflavin: 60% DV
- Thiamin: 44% DV
- Iron: 44% DV
- Manganese: 27% DV
- Niacin: 18% DV
- Magnesium: 14% DV
- Plus more vitamins and minerals at lower DV
Spirulina also contains special elements such as phycocyanin, polysaccharides, and sulfolipids, which work together to promote and support health.
How does spirulina boost men’s immune health?
It is essential for the immune system to function optimally if you want to effectively fight off disease and illness, as well as heal from injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to sprains and fractures. Here are some ways spirulina boosts men’s immune health.
- Fights cancer: Studies in both animals and humans have shown that spirulina or its extracts can prevent or slow cancer progression. Spirulina contains unique polysaccharides that stimulate enzymes in the nucleus and help with DNA recovery, which is important since damaged DNA can result in the development of cancer.
- Helps correct nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are responsible for changes in immune function. Therefore, use of spirulina supplementation may help modulate immune function by helping to correct nutritional deficiencies.
- Stimulates new blood cells. Spirulina supports the generation of new blood cells as well as increase the activity of immune system cells, including bone marrow stem cells, natural immune cells, and T cells. The blue poypeptide in spirulina called phycocyanin, for example, support the stem cells found in bone marrow.
- Improves organ function. Spirulina can improve function of organs involved in immune system operations, including the spleen and the thymus.
- Builds antibodies. Spirulina speeds up the manufacture of antibodies so the body is better able to protect against foreign disease-causing microorganisms
- Promotes overall health. Even if you have a healthful diet, including immune system boosting foods such spirulina is important because it can help protect against damage from the excessive amount of stressors in our lives (e.g., air and water pollutants, job and relationship stress, economic worries, food additives, environmental toxins, etc) that take a significant toll on immune function.
Improves anemia. A study among older adults found that those who had a history of anemia and who took a spirulina supplement for 12 weeks showed an improvement in hemoglobin concentration.
You can find spirulina supplements in the form of powder, flakes, and tablets. A typical daily dose is 3 grams, but you should discuss dosing with your healthcare provider to ensure you take the amount that best fits your needs.
Karkos PD et al. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011; 2011: 531053
Selmi C et al. The effects of spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cellular & Molecular Immunology 2011 May; 8(3): 248-54