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How Spirulina and Chlorella Benefit Your Heart Health - ENERGYbits

How Spirulina and Chlorella Benefit Your Heart Health

, by Catharine Arnston, 8 min reading time

Experts agree that higher doses of Vitamin K2 are necessary to fully take advantage of the vitamin’s benefits on cardiovascular health. However, few foods contain high enough concentrations of Vitamin K2 to be beneficial, and the diets of most Americans do not contain foods rich in Vitamin K2.

What You’ll Learn

  • Spirulina can lower cholesterol, preventing arterial blockages and protecting your heart.
  • Chlorella contains a high concentration of Vitamin K2, an essential vitamin for heart health.

February is the month dedicated to our hearts. For instance, we celebrate our loved ones on Valentine’s Day. But February is also American Heart Month, so we can focus on loving ourselves by keeping our hearts strong, healthy, and ready to give more love to others.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.<1> In addition, it’s on the rise in adults as young as 35, says the CDC. Fortunately, it is largely preventable, and there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease, including taking spirulina and chlorella algae!

Let’s take a closer look at how algae will help strengthen your heart and add more life to yours, one bit at a time:

Spirulina Algae Helps Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol’s contribution to heart disease is well-established. Keeping your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels low is a great preventative measure to take for your heart health as you age.<2> But as you have probably figured out, controlling your cholesterol levels can be difficult for the average person. Well, have no fear, algae is here! Spirulina, in particular, can help you control your cholesterol levels and help ensure that your heart stays happy and healthy.

With that said, total LDL cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart disease do increase with aging,<3> so caring for your heart becomes even more important the older you get. Spirulina can provide an easy and hassle-free way to control your cholesterol levels, but we also recommend proper diet and exercise to keep your heart pumping proud!

Happy elderly man with elderly woman on his back
Aging doesn’t have to slow you down with algae supporting your health!

Spirulina’s Studied Impact on Cholesterol

Several studies have shown the positive effects of spirulina algae on cholesterol levels. In one study, intake of spirulina for 4 to 8 weeks significantly decreased total serum cholesterol in healthy male participants.<4>

In another clinical trial, 36 healthy volunteers, male and female, ingested spirulina daily for six weeks, and the benefits were many. Participants saw a decrease in total plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.<5>

Similarly, participants in a longer study saw a significant (33.5%) decrease in plasma total cholesterol after taking 4g of spirulina a day for three months.<6> These three instances, all done on healthy volunteers of non-elderly age, demonstrate the positive effects of taking spirulina to control cholesterol levels even at a young age and healthy time of life. So, incorporate spirulina into your diet – it’s never too early to start caring for your heart!

A study done with women over the age of 60 with high cholesterol showed that intake of Spirulina every day for eight weeks resulted in a significant reduction LDL cholesterol.

A study done with women over the age of 60 with high cholesterol showed that intake of Spirulina every day for eight weeks resulted in a significant reduction in serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and oxidized LDL. In addition, apolipoprotein B (a particle associated with cardiovascular disease) levels decreased.<7>

These are just a few instances of algae working its magic. Go Spirulina go!

TIP: Know Your Risk Factors

Knowing if you are at risk for heart disease is extremely important for preventing and treating it. Luckily, the American Heart Association is getting more detailed in identifying risk factors. They recently identified ethnicity as an important risk factor. Understanding your level of risk will help you make sure your heart stays healthy!

Vitamin K2 – Your Heart’s Secret Weapon

Vitamin K2 plays an important role in determining where calcium ends up in the body. This detail may not sound like a big deal, but the difference in where your body allocates calcium is the difference between strong bones and cardiovascular disease.

Think about it this way:

Calcium is the stuff that makes your bones harder and stronger. That’s great! But you wouldn’t want that hardening to happen in your arteries, would you? The short answer is “no,” because hardened arteries can cause serious cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and strokes.

Well, Vitamin K2 prevents the build-up of calcium in your arteries and thus, prevents stiff blood vessels and blood clots along with the serious health issues associated with them.

The Science Behind Vitamin K2

Researchers have found that Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, decreases coronary calcification (calcification of two very important arteries). In one study, 62% of over 550 women of menopausal age were shown to have calcification in their arteries. However, the participants with a higher intake of Vitamin K2 in their diet had decreased levels of calcification, showing a direct link between Vitamin K2 and decreased arterial calcification.<8>

In a much larger study, called the Rotterdam Study, researchers followed almost 5,000 participants for up to ten years. It concluded that those with a higher concentration of Vitamin K2 in their diet had a lower risk of death from coronary disease and lower incidence of severe calcification in the aorta (your main artery).<9>

In short, more Vitamin K2 equals less calcium in your arteries. Less calcium in your arteries equals a healthier heart.

How to Get More Vitamin K2 (Spoiler: It’s Algae)

Experts agree that higher doses of Vitamin K2 are necessary to fully take advantage of the vitamin’s benefits on cardiovascular health.<10> However, few foods contain high enough concentrations of Vitamin K2 to be beneficial, and the diets of most Americans do not contain foods rich in Vitamin K2.

Smoothie with cucumber, chlorella, and other greens
Adding algae to your diet can significantly improve your health

So, while the idea of maintaining a healthy heart with more Vitamin K2 seems simple, figuring out where that vitamin will come from is much harder. But worry no more! Chlorella algae contains a chart-topping, 240 mcg of Vitamin K2 per 100 g (up to 200-times the amount found in conventional U.S. beef)!<11> Adding chlorella to your diet can help ensure your body receives adequate daily Vitamin K2 and help defend against the symptoms of Vitamin K2 deficiency.

BONUS: Spirulina Can Help You Fit in Those Skinny Jeans!

In a study conducted to evaluate the effect of spirulina on cholesterol control, scientists stumbled over this hidden gem. Researchers observed a significant loss in body weight in the participants that supplemented their diets with spirulina every day for three months.<12> Just another amazing benefit of algae!

Loving Your Heart Doesn’t Have to be Hard!

Well, folks, there you have it – both spirulina and chlorella have enormous benefits for your heart. As we have discovered, the cardiovascular benefits of spirulina are primarily results of its hypolipidemic (cholesterol-lowering), antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities.<13> Chlorella is extremely rich in Vitamin K2 and can provide more than enough to supplement a balanced diet and help prevent calcification in your arteries.

We know you’ll be showing love for your family, friends, or that special someone this month, but why not show some for yourself as well? You and your heart deserve the best, so be sure only to use the highest quality spirulina and chlorella available. You’ll be glad you did!

  1. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946211/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2523187
  4. http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US19890065227
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18039384
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289015740_Effect_of_supplementation_of_Spirulina_on_hypercholesterolemic_patients
  7. http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=KR2006013887
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18722618
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514282
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15309455
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941825/table/tbl1/
  12. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289015740_Effect_of_supplementation_of_Spirulina_on_hypercholesterolemic_patients
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907180


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