Algae and the Effects on Aging

Spirulina is a blue - green spiral shaped algae that are rich in antioxidants, protein, has anti-inflammatory agents that minerals and vitamins. It is claimed that it also might have anticancer properties. Sounds like a magic algae that cure all ailments, right? In 2017, a study has been conducted by a group of researchers out of Belgium to see if Spirulina has an effect on aging and if gut microbiota is somehow involved. Mice of 3 months and 24 months of age were used for the study that was categorized into three groups: young mice standard diet (3 months), old mice standard diet (24 months), and old mice with 5% Spirulina infused diet. After a six week dietary implementation, fecal samples were harvested to undergo 16S rDNA profiling of the V1-V3 hypervariable region and were sequenced on the Illumina Miseq platform. They reported that the mice with Spirulina infused diet had an increased diversity, richness, and evenness of the bacterial microbiota when compared to the other two groups. The Spirulina fed mice also had a positive effect on their intestinal innate immune system by seeing an increase of antimicrobial molecule secretion that is involved in shaping the composition of the gut bacteria. Furthermore, it has been shown that the composition of the gut microbiota does affect homeostasis and immunity function of the whole organism. So implementing Spirulina into the diet can help you stay young health wise and keep disease away by strengthening the immune system.