High blood pressure can be caused by eating a high amount of salt in food, lack of exercise, regularly drinking lots of alcohol, smoking, or can be genetic. But leaving the condition untreated can lead to more life-threatening health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. Simple lifestyle changes are recommended to prevent and treat high blood pressure, such as cutting down on salt, being active and cutting down on alcohol.
But researchers have also shown how spirulina can help lower your reading.
A 2016 trial of 40 overweight people who had high blood pressure showed spirulina to be an effective blood pressure-lowering ingredient.
Volunteers who took spirulina for three months saw improvements in their blood pressure, body weight and BMI, while those taking a placebo saw no significant changes.
Holland & Barrett explains what spirulina is: “Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in freshwater ponds and lakes.
“It’s packed with nutrients, including B vitamins, beta-carotene, copper and iron, as well as small amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese.
“You can take spirulina in tablets, capsules or as a powder that can be added to shakes and smoothies for a nutritional boost. It’s also increasingly popular as an ingredient in snack, or energy, balls.”
There’s no recommended daily dosage for spirulina, but studies suggest 1-8g a day can be effective.
The high street health store further advises: “Make sure you follow any instructions or recommendations on the product label before taking.
“Talk to your GP or a trained dietician or nutritionist if you’re concerned.
“You should not take spirulina if you are pregnant – there’s not enough evidence to prove it is safe, have an auto-immune disease – it may cause the condition to flare up, or are taking blood-thinning medication – it may slow blood clotting.
“If you are on any medication, check with your doctor that it is safe to take spirulina at the same time.”
Other benefits of spirulina including lowering ‘bad’ choelsterol.
In a 2018 meta-analysis of research, Chinese scientists reported that spirulina supplements has a “favourable effect” on improving LDL (‘bad’) choelsterol and triglyceride ( a type of fat in the blood).
Spirulina was also found to help reduce blood glucose levels, which lead to be considereation spirulina could be used in the “prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in humans”.
Potassium has been found to help balance out the negative effects salt in a person’s diet has on their blood pressure.