What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a microscopic algae that grows naturally in fresh alkaline lakes, tropical springs, and salt water. It is on every continent but its highest concentrations can be found in spirulina_1150x1150Mexico, Central Africa and East Africa. It has a rich blue-green colour. Spirulina is very rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Traditionally, it was used as a food source by the Aztecs but since its rediscovery in 1960’s, it has become a widely popular dietary supplement due to its high vitamin, mineral, and protein concentrations.

Spirulina is an excellent source of protein with good absorbability. Approximately 60 percent of dry weight of spirulina is protein. It also contains B Vitamins, Vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and the essential fatty acid – gamma linolenic acid, which has been known to help reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Spirulina also has ten times more beta-carotene than carrots and thirty times more phytonutrient content than blueberries.

There are a variety of health benefits associated with Spirulina such as boosting the immune system and energy levels, improving digestion, building endurance, cleansing the body, controlling appetite, optimizing cardiovascular function, supporting the liver, and reducing inflammation.

Since Spirulina is such a potent source of vitamins and nutrients, it is considered a superfood and has thus gained much popularity as a dietary supplement. You can consume it as capsules, powder, tablets, or flakes. Spirulina has a strong taste so if taken as powder, it is best to add the powder into fresh juice or mix it into smoothies.

Add this superfood to your morning smoothie, enjoy its vibrant blue green colour and give yourself an energy boost!

Note: People with hyperparathyroidism, serious seafood or seaweed allergies, kidney disease, or phenylketonuria should consult their physician before taking any Spirulina supplements.

Wellness Naturopathic Centre, North Vancouver, BC

http://www.wellnessnaturopathic.com

The information on this website is for education purposes only. It does not substitute for proper assessment and treatment by a licensed health care provider.

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Why do I get bloated? Could it be SIBO?

If you have been suffering from bloating and gassiness and don’t seem to be able to figure out why, the answer may be SIBO. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which large numbers of bacteria that are supposed to be found in the colon are present in the small causes-of-ibs-sibo-hero-800x798intestine. This overgrowth wreaks havoc on the digestive system. Given that one of the main functions of the small intestine is to digest and absorb food, any interruption in this process will affect absorption of nutrients and potentially lead to numerous nutrient deficiencies.

SIBO is often an overlooked condition as its symptoms do overlap with other conditions. For instance, many patients with IBS test positive for SIBO which may be the underlying cause for their symptoms and often these symptoms are eliminated with proper SIBO treatment. Some of the symptoms of SIBO include bloating and distention, excessive gassiness, indigestion, abdominal pain/cramps, and diarrhea/constipation.

What are some of the conditions associated with SIBO (as cause, effect, or coexisting):

  • Acne
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hypochlorydria (low stomach acid)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rosacea

How do I get tested for SIBO?

SIBO Breath Test measures the levels of hydrogen and methane, which are two gases, produced by bacteria in response to glucose or lactulose (sugars). Humans do not produce these gases. These gases are a result of fermentation of these sugars by bacteria. If the levels of these gases increase to an abnormal level, then SIBO is diagnosed. Complications from untreated chronic SIBO can range from mild vitamin and mineral deficiencies to severe malabsorption and consequently major nutritional deficiencies and even weight loss.

For further information on SIBO testing, contact Wellness Naturopathic Centre 604.987.4660

Wellness Naturopathic Centre, North Vancouver, BC

http://www.wellnessnaturopathic.com

The information on this website is for education purposes only. It does not substitute for proper assessment and treatment by a licensed health care provider.