Use of Spirulina is an exceptional means of supporting healthier fertility, pregnancy, and lactation. This is as a result of its higher nutritional and dietetic components. Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, usually termed as blue greenish algae. Dillon, J. C. et al., in 1995, admits to proteins present in Spirulina is regarded as of the utmost quality compared to all plants and animal proteins. This is also inclusive of those of the legume family such as soy and peas. Besides that, it is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Its high nutritive value proves to be excellent in sustaining fertility and pregnancies for all women. Thus expectant mothers should not shy away from using Spirulina in maintaining and improving their health status.
Health Benefits of Spirulina in Pregnant Women
According to Khan, Z., et al. (2005) article on Nutritional and the Therapeutic Potentials of Spirulina, Spirulina is an unlimited source of protein, as it has all the essential amino acids. The total content of protein is 50 to 70% of the total dry weight. Interestingly, it contains the highest content of protein when harvested at early daylight. Besides that, it provides a broad range of minerals and vitamins that are quickly absorbed by the human body. Thus it is the easiest means of boosting your daily intake of nutrients.
It contains the following:
Vitamins: Thiamin, A, D, E, K, Niacin, Riboflavin, B12, B6, Pantothenic Acid, and Folate.
Minerals: Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Copper and relatively low content of Sodium because it grows in fresh waters.
Many minerals and vitamins in Spirulina act as antioxidants. Thus protecting the body from free radical damages. Oxidative damages, as a result of the free radicals, are revealed in contributing to lowered immunity and overall health of a person.
Research conducted in Mexico proposes that Spirulina is useful in the treatment of preeclampsia in pregnant women. Moreso, Spirulina prevents the occurrence of it all, perhaps, due to its high content of nutrients. An article, Spriluna for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia (Mark F. McCartys et al., 2009), explains that preeclampsia is linked with elevated oxidative stresses in the vascular system and placenta of the woman often attributed to poor nutrition. NADPH oxidase is suggested as the leading source of oxidant stress often linked with preeclampsia. Spirulina contains the Phycocyanobilin (PCB) which inhibits the NADPH. Thus this helps protect expectant mothers and fetus from preeclampsia.
Are There Any Negative Effects Of Spirulina On Pregnant And Lactating Women?
Research by Kulshreshthas, A. et al., (2008) on the health care management of Spirulina suggests that it is not safe for consumption by persons with an underlying medical complication such as Sclerosis, Lupus, Phenylketonuria metabolic condition rheumatoid arthritis. This is because Spirulina is known to increase the effects of these diseases. So it is important to check with your physician before consuming Spirulina.
Is It Safe To Consume Spirulina During Breastfeeding?
Your baby gets all necessary nutrients from your breast milk. Thus it is essential that you ensure to have a nutrient rich and healthy diet. Therefore, in this context, a super food such as Spirulina will absolutely help any nursing mother. But is it really safe? Well, Spirulina is only safe provided that you purchase the high quality that is organic and toxic free. The safety of the product depends on the source and the way it is harvested. So you need to ask yourself if you really trust the brand in providing a non-toxic product or if you are convinced 100 percent of the source.
Although Spirulina is highly a primary health booster, we urge lactating mothers to take preliminary precautions during consumption. This is because you can never be so sure of the source of Spirulina. Many products in the market brand themselves as chemical free and organic. However, none of us has the time to carry out a lab test to whether the claims are valid or not. Unlike other vegetables, we barely wash Spirulina before consumption. While under some situations, we can be okay to use Spirulina mainly under recommendation. So why take risks when you are breastfeeding? There is absolutely an increased risk of passing toxins to your child. Unlike you, the baby’s body hardly has developed strong mechanisms of defense. So fighting off toxins is hard since their immunity is still developing.
How Can Spirulina Help You During Breastfeeding?
Most new mothers are anemic due to excessive blood loss during childbirth. Spirulina is a significant source of bioavailable iron without necessarily constipating the mother. Besides that, Spirulina aids to speed up the loss of body fat. The algae help in the detoxification of the body and boosting the mothers’ overall body immunity and health.
Recommended Daily Intake
There is no certified recommendation and rules for consumption of Spirulina. This is, perhaps, due to the limited scope of research and studies. Nevertheless, general consensus suggests that 3000mg daily intake is quite safe. It is however very significant to consult your physician if you desire to use Spirulina supplements. Let he or she make an appropriate recommendation regarding your nutritional needs.
Chamorros, G., Salazars, S., Favilas-Castillos, L., Steeles, C., & Salazars, M. (1997). The Reproductive and peris-and postnatal evaluations of Spirulina maximas in the mice. Journals of the Applied Phycology, 8(2), 107 – 112.
Dillon, J. C., Phucs, A. P., & Dubacq, J, P. (1995). The Nutritional Values of Spirulina. The Worlds Reviews of Nutritions and Dietetics, 78, 32 – 45.
Kapoor, R., & Mehta, U. (1993). Effects of supplementations of blue, green algae (Spirulina) on the outcomes of pregnancies in mice. Plant Foods for Human Nutritions, Formerly Qualitas Plantarum, 43(1), 29 – 35.
Khan, Z., Bhadourias, P., & Bisens, P. S. (2005). The Nutritional and Therapeutic Potentials of the Spirulina. The Current Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology, 6(6), 372 – 378.
Kulshreshthas, A., Jarouliyas, U., Bhadauriyas, P., Prasads, G.B., & Bisens, P. S. (2008). Spirulina in the health cares managements. The Current Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology, 8(5), 401 – 406.
McCartys, M. F., Barosso-Arandas, J., Contreras, F. (2009). Spirulina for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia. Oasis of Hope Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico.
Author: Dr. Ellian (Nutritionist)