Metabolic syndrome consists of several conditions, or components, that occur together, including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and/or or triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, and excess body fat around the waist. Any and all of these conditions can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or sleep apnea, you have an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Lifestyle plays an important role in preventing the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and adhering to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains is key. Research suggests that supplementation with spirulina, a cyanobacteria sometimes referred to as blue-green algae, may also help to prevent or decease metabolic syndrome conditions.
One systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of spirulina published in Clinical Nutrition in 2016 showed that oral supplementation significantly lowered plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDL, the “good” kind of cholesterol.
Another systematic review published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in February 2019 reported that the clinical trials reviewed indicate that an oral dosage of 1-19gr/day of spirulina for 0.5-6 months has positive effects on metabolic syndrome conditions.
Spirulina is also rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating compounds.
Serban MC, Sahebkar A, Dragan S, et al. "A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations." Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;35(4):842-51
Yousefi R, Saidpour A, Mottaghi A. "The effects of Spirulina supplementation on metabolic syndrome components, its liver manifestation and related inflammatory markers: A systematic review." Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:137-144