Spirulina, the Brain Detoxifier

Spirulina is a highly effective remover of heavy metals, and has been demonstrated to support normal regeneration rates in the brain despite the presence of a variety of research toxins. This remarkable blue-green algae has powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects and helps prevent the accumulation of beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein, proteins that clump together in the brain and create the fibrils characteristic of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease.

Neuroprotection

Phycocyanobilin proteins, the main bioactives in spirulina, are responsible for its potent antioxidant effects. These proteins inhibit an enzyme complex called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, which catalyzes the production of free radicals and is believed to play a central role in in inflammatory and oxidative diseases.

Numerous studies have observed a decrease in brain inflammation from consuming spirulina. Its ability to block NADPH oxidase, resulting in less microglia activation, is a confirmed reason for this effect. Researchers are investigating whether spirulina also acts via a second, independent anti-inflammatory mechanism of increasing the activity of our fractalkine receptors, which leads to less production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain. These protective processes help block the synthesis of beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein and prevent these proteins from causing neurotoxic effects. 

The neuroprotection seen from spirulina has been linked to improved motor and memory function, as well as lower levels of TNF-alpha and other biomarkers of systemic inflammation.

Detoxification

In addition to protecting the brain from toxic stressors by calming inflammation, spirulina is one of the few compounds proven to actively remove heavy metals and significantly reduce related toxicity. This has been noted with lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Neurogenesis

Spirulina encourages neuron health and regeneration by reducing the brain’s toxic load and lowering inflammation. It has been shown to increase the density of brain cells in lab animals infected with alpha-synuclein, especially in the substantia nigra, the first area of the brain to be affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Studies:

A Spirulina-Enhanced Diet Provides Neuroprotection in an α-Synuclein Model of Parkinson's Disease

Spirulina prevents memory dysfunction, reduces oxidative stress damage and augments antioxidant activity in senescence-accelerated mice

CX3CL1 reduces neurotoxicity and microglial activation in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

Control of microglial neurotoxicity by the fractalkine receptor

Phycobiliprotein C-Phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis Is Powerfully Responsible for Reducing Oxidative Stress and NADPH Oxidase Expression Induced by an Atherogenic Diet in Hamsters

Spirulina and C-phycocyanin reduce cytotoxicity and inflammation-related genes expression of microglial cells

Spirulina platensis protects neurons via suppression of glial activation and peripheral sensitization leading to restoration of motor function in collagen-induced arthritic rats

Protective effects of C-phycocyanin against kainic acid-induced neuronal damage in rat hippocampus

Oral phycocyanobilin may diminish the pathogenicity of activated brain microglia in neurodegenerative disorders

Blueberry- and spirulina-enriched diets enhance striatal dopamine recovery and induce a rapid, transient microglia activation after injury of the rat nigrostriatal dopamine system

Critical role of NADPH oxidase in neuronal oxidative damage and microglia activation following traumatic brain injury

NADPH oxidase mediates oxidative stress in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine model of Parkinson's disease

NADPH oxidase 1-mediated oxidative stress leads to dopamine neuron death in Parkinson's disease

Neuroprotective effect of Spirulina in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats

Simple in vitro assays to identify amyloid-beta aggregation blockers for Alzheimer's disease therapy

Diets enriched in foods with high antioxidant activity reverse age-induced decreases in cerebellar beta-adrenergic function and increases in proinflammatory cytokines

The microalga Spirulina platensis presents anti-inflammatory action as well as hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties in diabetic rats

A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans

Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study

Investigation on the role of Spirulina platensis in ameliorating behavioural changes, thyroid dysfunction and oxidative stress in offspring of pregnant rats exposed to fluoride

Spirulina or dandelion-enriched diet of mothers alleviates lead-induced damages in brain and cerebellum of newborn rats

Spirulina (Arthrospira) protects against cadmium-induced teratogenic damage in mice

Improvement of Mercuric Chloride-Induced Testis Injuries and Sperm Quality Deteriorations by Spirulina platensis in Rats

Evaluation of protective efficacy of Spirulina fusiformis against mercury induced nephrotoxicity in Swiss albino mice

Spirulina platensis feeding inhibited the anemia- and leucopenia-induced lead and cadmium in rats

Comparison between the effects of alcohol and hexane extract of spirulina in arsenic removal from isolated tissues

Neuroprotection by Spirulina platensis protean extract and phycocyanin against iron-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells

Spirulina Promotes Stem Cell Genesis and Protects against LPS Induced Declines in Neural Stem Cell Proliferation