Spirulina as an Anxiolytic

Spirulina platensis is a microscopic filamentous cyanobacterium which is commonly called a blue green algae. Spirulina can be dried and used as a food, and when it is consumed is a good source of certain nutrients. Around 50 to 70 % of the dry weight of spirulina is protein and it also contains high levels of vitamin B12, β-carotene, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium and iron. Spirulina is high in antioxidants including the compound p-phycocyanin and this may provide spirulina with health effects, and in particular the effects of spirulina on mood disorders has been investigated. In one study, researchers administered Spirulina platensis to mice and then exposed the animals to experimental stress. The results of the study showed that the mice were significantly protected from detrimental mood changes by the spirulina, and in particular showed significantly less anxious behaviour. Evidence therefore suggests that spirulina may have mood elevating effects in animals, although it is unclear why this may be. 

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Neekhra, S., Jain, V., Jain, P., Jain, S., Jain, S. A., Garg, N. K., Jain, A. and Jain. A. 2014. Assessment of anxiolytic potential of Spirulina platensis. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. Vol. 5(9): 4067-4071

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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