Spirulina is an excellent way to support healthy fertility and pregnancy through its superior nutritional content. Spirulina is a cyanobacteria, that is commonly referred to as blue-green algae. The protein in spirulina is considered to be of the highest quality protein, superior to all other plant proteins, including those in the legume family (beans, peas, soy, etc.). It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Because spirulina is an exceptionally nutritive plant food source, it has been shown to be excellent for supporting healthy fertility and pregnancy.
Several studies on mice have shown no adverse effects on pregnant mice who were fed spirulina daily at a weight appropriate dosage. Excessive dosage of spirulina was shown to have some adverse effects to both the mice mothers and pups. This study makes a good point, it is important to use spirulina as a food, not in high doses. More does not equal better results!
Benefits of Spirulina for Healthy Fertility
Spirulina is one of the most asked about nutritional food supplements today. Spirulina is part of our Fertilica FertiliGreens product, but because Fertilica FertiliGreens is not recommended for pregnancy, (it contains some herbs not meant for pregnancy) pure spirulina may be a good alternative greens supplement.
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food” -Hippocrates, 460-c. 370 BC
Spirulina is a Complete Protein Source
This green super food is a complete protein source, as it contains all the amino acids necessary to qualify as a complete protein source. Protein content is 50-70% of its total dry weight. There is a variation in percentage of protein content dependent on time of harvest in relation to daylight. It contains the most protein when harvested in the early daylight (interesting!).
Whole Food Spirulina Contains a Wide Variety of Vitamins and Minerals
As we all know a whole food diet is essential to healthy fertility. Spirulina provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, all of which are easily utilized by the body. Spirulina is an easy way to boost your nutritional intake daily!
Vitamins: A, D, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, B12, Folate and Pantothenic Acid.
Minerals: Potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Because spirulina grows in fresh water, rather than salt water like seaweed, it contains a relatively low amount of sodium.
Antioxidant Content May Improve Egg & Sperm Health, Prevent Preeclampsia
Many of the vitamins and minerals in spirulina are antixoidants, which have been shown to protect the body from free radical damage. Oxidative damage due to free radicals have been shown to contribute to fertility issues such as luteal phase defect, poor egg and sperm health, as well as lowered overall immunity and health.
Researchers in Mexico suggest that spirulina may be helpful in treating women with preeclampsia, or preventing it from happening at all. This may be due to its superior nutritional content, but researchers suggest it for another reason. Numerous studies have shown that preeclampsia is associated with increased oxidative stress in both the placenta and vascular system of the mother. NADPH oxidase has been shown to be the number one source for oxidant stress associated with preeclampsia. Phycocyanobilin (PCB) contained in spirulina has been shown to inhibit NADPH. This may help to protect mother and child from preeclampsia. The leading cause of preeclampsia is poor nutrition.
Essential Fatty Acids
Spirulina contains essential fatty acids in the form of linolenic acid, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. These essential fatty acids aid in protaglandin function necessary for hormonal balance and blood pressure regulation (also important for pregnancy).
Low Sugar and Starch Content
Spirulina only contains about 10-15% carbohydrate content. Spirulina consumption does not alter insulin levels, which makes it safe for those with PCOS, or dibetes related infertility.
Where Does Spriulina Come From?
Spirulina naturally grows in alkaline lake water in warm regions. It is now farmed in controlled environments as well. Spriulina is tiny, measuring only 0.1mm across. Its rapid growth makes it an sustainable food crop. Because spirulina grows in such harsh conditions, it has been shown to be a very clean food source.
Suggested Daily Dosage
There are no official recommended daily guidelines for spirulina, but a general consensus is that 3000mg a day is safe. There are many spirulina products on the market, it is best to always follow the suggested guidelines on the product label for the product that you purchased. Always let your health care provider know what nutritional supplements you are taking, as they may be able to suggest an amount to take based on your personal needs. If you are pregnant, it is very important you let your doctor know you wish to take spirulina or are taking it. Never exceed suggested dosage for the product you are taking.
Spirulina comes in tablets, capsules or loose powder. The loose powder is excellent in Fertility Smoothies. Spirulina is a key ingredient in our Fertilica FertiliGreens! Remember that Fertilica FertiliGreens is not suggested for use in pregnancy, so switching to a pure spirulina supplement is suggested if you wish to use a greens supplement into pregnancy.
1. Reproductive and peri- and postnatal evaluation of Spirulina maxima in mice, Journal of Applied Phycology 9: 107-112, 1997
2. Effect of supplementation of blue green algae (Spirulina) on outcome of pregnancy in rats, Plant Food for Human Nutrition 43: 29-35, 1993.
3. Spirulina for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia, Mark F. McCarty, Jorge Barroso-Aranda, and Francisco Contreras, Oasis of Hope Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico