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Spirulina & Arthritis

By Brindusa Vanta

Arthritis is a group of diseases that have in common joint inflammation, stiffness, pain and limited range of motion, and in some cases, cartilage destruction. Conventional treatments include prescribing an anti-inflammatory and recommending that the patient lose weight. In animal models, spirulina was found to help protect cartilage integrity, have anti-inflammatory effects and help with weight loss. Further studies in humans are warranted to confirm these findings. If you suffer from arthritis and wish to use spirulina supplement, talk to your doctor first.

Protects Joints Against Destruction

An extract of spirulina was evaluated in animal models suffering from arthritis. After eight days of treatment with spirulina, scientists found that this supplement protected against cartilage destruction and also reduced inflammatory markers. The authors concluded spirulina's anti-arthritic effect may be due to phytcocyanin, an active ingredient of spirulina. The study was published in March 2002 issue of “Mediators of Inflammation.”

Anti-Inflammation and Weight Management

Spirulina has promising anti-inflammatory effects in treating chemically induced arthritis, suggests a research team led by M. Rasool in a study published in December 2006 issue of “Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.” The present study was carried out to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of spirulina. The authors found significantly improved physical and biochemical markers of arthritis to near normal conditions after only eight days of supplementation with spirulina. The study also found that subjects treated with this supplement lost weight.

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Dosage

In animal subjects, protection against cartilage damage was achieved with an eight day regimen of 100 to 400 mg per kilogram per body weight and anti inflammatory effects and weight loss was observed using 800 mg per kilogram per body weight. Alternative health care practitioners typically recommend between 3 g to 5 g of spirulina powder daily, depending on the symptoms that have to be improved and other herbs recommended for arthritis.

Considerations

Based on animal models, it appears that spirulina has beneficial effects on improving symptoms of arthritis, and further studies in humans are needed to evaluate these clinical observations. Everyone may benefit from taking this supplement because is an important source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and plant chemicals with antioxidant properties that can help improve your overall health. If you suffer from arthritis and want to use spirulina for your condition, consult a qualified health-care provider to obtain optimal dosage, possible side effects, drug interactions and other supplements that work synergistically with spirulina to improve arthritis. Keep in mind that spirulina does not replace any conventional drugs your are currently taking for arthritis and has not been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat arthritis.

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