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Improve Your Gut Health with Algae! - ENERGYbits

Improve Your Gut Health with Algae!

, by Catharine Arnston, 9 min reading time

Optimizing the gut flora has become a hot topic these days since the gut is the epicenter of your health and your gut flora is a big part of gut health.

Your gut flora, including mostly bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and other single-celled organisms, plays a crucial role in all aspects of your health <1>. The latest studies are showing that these organisms can affect your weight, metabolism, hormones, cognition, mood, sleep, and much more. When the gut flora is thrown off balance, you get dysbiosis, which can manifest as suboptimal health and symptoms in the weakest links in your body.

Despite its importance, there are a lot of misconceptions about what the gut flora is and the best ways to optimize it. In this article, we’ll cover the latest science about gut flora and dysbiosis, along with how our VITALITYbits® algae tablets can help optimize your gut flora.

What is the gut flora and what are the best ways to improve it?

The gut flora (or microbiota) refers to the beneficial microorganisms that live in your gut. Studies approximate that each person has about 30 trillion of their own cells and 38 trillion bacteria <2>. You have more bacteria than human cells!

Here are a few ways your gut flora affects your overall health.

  1. Affecting other floras throughout your body

Aside from the gut flora, you also have floras in other parts of your body, such as the mouth, vagina, skin, and more. These microorganisms start growing on your body the moment you are born. Then, your environment, diet, lifestyle, and medications shape your floras. These floras outside of your gut typically reflect the health of your gut flora <3>,<4>,<5>.

  1. Producing, metabolizing, and digesting

Your gut microbes can produce many more types of enzymes and proteins than you do since they have 22 million genes and you have ~20,000.

That means they eat leftover nutrients and fiber that you can’t digest, producing postbiotics. They also metabolize some of your food, hormones, neurotransmitters, and waste.

  1. Interacting with your gut, immune, and nervous system

Your gut flora interacts closely with the immune cells and nerves in your gut. 80% of your immune cells and neurotransmitters like serotonin are in your gut <6>,<7>. Not surprisingly, a healthy gut flora is crucial for immune readiness and balance <8>. Many people with mental health and cognitive struggles also have dysbiosis <9>.

What is dysbiosis and what are the signs?

Researchers are still discovering what makes a gut flora healthy. Typically, a healthy flora is diverse, well-distributed in species, and conducive for friendly bacteria to stay. Whereas, dysbiosis is when you have less bacteria diversity and a less conducive environment for healthy bacteria.

The most common signs and symptoms of dysbiosis include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Stool changes
  • Food/environmental sensitivities
  • Skin issues
  • Weight changes
  • Brain fog/mood changes
  • Suboptimal immune function or balance

Many people believe that taking probiotics will fix dysbiosis or improve the gut flora, but that’s not true. First, most probiotics only stay for 2 – 3 weeks and deliver temporary health benefits before leaving in your stool. Second, you have a two-way relationship with your gut flora where your actions and health status matter to your gut bacteria. For example:

  • What you eat and feed your gut bacteria, such as fiber, fats, and polyphenols have a much bigger impact on your gut microbes than supplements do <10>. Omega-3, found in algae tablets, feeds good gut bacteria, while saturated fats tend to promote dysbiosis <11>,<12>.
  • Environmental toxins, stress, and antibiotic use can throw off your gut flora.
  • An inflamed or leaky gut will favor less healthy gut bacteria <13>.

This is not to say that probiotics are not beneficial–they are great supplements to improve gut health, especially if you have signs of dysbiosis. However, they’re not the end-all-be-all of gut health, especially in the long term.

One of the best ways to start improving your gut flora is to add more plant-based foods, which most of us are not getting enough of. Your gut flora needs fiber and plant-based polyphenols. Researchers were amazed to discover that the human gut can change over to a more diverse gut flora within 2 – 3 days of switching to plant-based <14>. These also tend to be associated with being leaner.

Here are some factors that can improve your gut flora:

  • Eat a healthy and organic diet
  • Eat more plants
  • Manage stress
  • Detoxify, and minimize your toxic exposure
  • Avoid antibiotics and antimicrobial exposures unless absolutely necessary

Now that you’ve learned the latest science of our gut flora, let’s look at how microalgae like spirulina and chlorella can support your gut health and flora even more powerfully than most probiotics can.

How our algae tablets supplements to improve gut health and support a healthy gut flora

1) Protects the gut flora despite an imperfect or unhealthy diet

A clinical study found that chlorella improved gut dysbiosis in just 30 days. Ten patients took 3 g of chlorella algae daily for 30 days and saw an increase in beneficial gut flora such as Akkermansia, and a decrease in less healthy ones like Klebsiella and Prevotella. Participants who received chlorella also experienced a significant reduction in perceived stress <15>.

A high-fat diet (equivalent to a human junk food diet) increases leaky gut and inflammation from the food when given to rats. In a rat study, spirulina algae administration mitigated these effects. Rats were fed spirulina on top of their high-fat diet for 14 weeks. At the end of the study, they found that spirulina worked by modulating the rats’ gut microbiota and inflammatory markers, and decreased their intestinal permeability <16>.

2) Protects the gut lining and balances the inflammation

Excess calorie consumption can irritate the gut. When the gut lining is inflamed or leaky, it creates an environment that favors unhealthy gut bacteria <17>. Certain dietary factors such as fibers and plant polyphenols, which are also in algae tablets, can mitigate some of these effects.

In rats, high-calorie feeding reduced the number of gut lining and mucus-producing goblet cells in the intestines. This increased intestinal permeability and inflammation in the lower gut.

The mucus layer protects your gut lining from your foods and all kinds of elements in your gut.

The study found that feeding rats 25 mg/kg of spirulina dampened the negative effects of the high-calorie diet. Also, the intestinal mucosal barrier of the spirulina group appeared undamaged and the same as healthy control rats <18>.

Researchers have also found that brown algae polysaccharides in spirulina and chlorella can help repair intestinal barrier damage and modulate inflammation <19>. This may explain why the rats that overate appeared to have a perfectly healthy gut barrier.

3) Increases beneficial postbiotics such as short-chain fatty acids

Postbiotics are substances produced by beneficial bacteria in our gut. Our gut flora feed on prebiotic foods such as fiber and ferment them to produce short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate.

These postbiotics have further health benefits for us such as

  • Balancing inflammation
  • Supporting a healthy gut barrier and nutrient absorption
  • Supporting healthy metabolism, blood lipids, and blood sugar levels
  • Inhibiting unhealthy gut bacteria and promoting a healthy gut flora

When mice were fed spirulina algae, they had more short-chain fatty acids-producing bacteria. This helped to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids <20>.

4) Feeds good gut bacteria

In a petri dish, the presence of spirulina algae increased the beneficial Lactobacillus acidophilus than when compared to a petri dish without spirulina algae.

Prebiotics typically do this, but spirulina grew the L. acidophilus even better than a well-known prebiotic fiber called fructooligosaccharide (FOS). The presence of spirulina also led to higher concentrations of short-chain fatty acids acetate and propionate.

The researchers then further evaluated the effects of spirulina (1.5 g two times a day for 5 days) in conjunction with L.acidophilus probiotic administration (106 CFU/g) in healthy people. The L. acidophilus alone increased good bacteria strains in the gut. However, the spirulina combined with the L. acidophilus increased many more good species in the gut than the probiotic alone. Also, the probiotics survived and grew better when combined with spirulina <21>.

These two experiments indicate that spirulina algae can significantly increase the gut flora. It can even further enhance the benefits of the probiotics you’re already taking.


Spirulina and chlorella are not only highly nutritious, they can:

  • Feed a healthy gut flora, even without a probiotic supplement
  • Empower your gut bacteria and probiotic supplements to deliver your health benefits
  • Protect your gut lining and gut flora, even when you have an imperfect diet and lifestyle
  • Help support a balanced inflammatory response

A healthier gut flora means better hormone regulation, metabolism, sleep, mood, skin, hair, and more. If you already take probiotics, adding ENERGYbits® and VITALITYbits® can supercharge their health benefits.


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