ENERGYbits® Blog

Algae, A Woman’s Best Friend

Three Generations Smiling

What You’ll Learn

  • Algae is a whole-food that can help protect women’s health naturally.
  • Taking algae every day can help improve hormone imbalances naturally.
  • Chlorella algae’s Vitamin K2 helps women improve heart and bone health.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are proud to support this important cause. In fact, our Founder, Catharine Arnston started our company as a result of her younger sister developing breast cancer – who thankfully is still cancer-free ten years later (thanks for asking). But breast cancer is not the only health issue facing women this month and every month so keep reading to learn how to use plant-based nutrition like algae to help protect yourself and the women you love.

Women’s Health Facts 

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 299,578 women in 2017 (1 in every five female deaths) [1]. Over 80% of osteoporosis cases are women (8 million in the USA every year) [2].
  • Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis [2].
  • Menstrual cramps during a women’s period can be as painful as suffering a heart attack (referred to as Dysmenorrhea) which millions of women suffer from every month [3].
3 Generations of Family on Couch
Women have different nutrional needs at different stages of life.

Women’s Unique Nutritional Needs

Did you know that women have unique nutritional needs, including needing more of certain vitamins and minerals during different life stages?

  1. Calories. Most women need fewer calories than men. That’s because women have less muscle, more body fat, and smaller bones. Find out how many calories you need each day.
  2. Vitamins/minerals. Calcium, iron, and folic acid are essential for women [4].
  3. Reproductive health. Women have different nutritional needs during various stages of life, such as during pregnancy and breastfeeding or after menopause.
  4. Health problems. Women are more likely to have nutrition-related health issues like celiac disease and lactose intolerance, and mineral deficiencies like iron-deficiency anemia.
  5. Metabolism. Women process some substances differently and burn fewer calories at rest and during exercise than men do [5].
Three women making a smoothie
Spirulina and Chlorella are great additions to smoothies.

The Link Between Algae and Hormones

Hormones have many significant effects on women’s health, and we’re not talking about just mood swings during “that time of the month.” Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, trouble concentrating and infertility are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance [6]. Fortunately, research has shown that many of these symptoms can be reduced by spirulina algae [7].

After taking spirulina, women reported feeling calmer, having more energy, less painful breasts, less PMS, and fewer hot flashes. The reasons have been attributed to spirulina’s high amounts of gamma-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that converts into prostaglandins, a precursor to calming hormones [8].

After taking spirulina, women reported feeling calmer, having more energy, less painful breasts, less PMS, and fewer hot flashes.

Research has shown that Vitamin K2, another nutrient found in algae, (especially chlorella) also helps ease hormonal woes [7]. Vitamin K2 is particularly important before, during and after menopause which is when a woman’s body becomes less efficient at absorbing and utilizing vitamin K2 (likely due to changes in estrogen levels) [9]. Unfortunately, in the USA there are only two known food sources of Vitamin K2 – grass fed animal protein and algae, particularly chlorella algae (a single serving of chlorella tablets provide the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K2 for women). By the way, only the Vitamin K2 found in food like chlorella (which is called M-4) can be absorbed by the brain [9]. That is why we don’t recommend K2 supplements (which are MK-7- a version of K2) since their form of Vitamin K2 cannot be absorbed by your brain. To help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, you want to be sure you have Vitamin K2 in the form of M-4 (which is found in algae).

Ladies, Protect Your Heart with Algae!

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death, and strokes are number three [10]. Eating a heart-healthy diet is one of the best ways to lower your risk for heart disease (and men, that means you too!). Protect your heart by choosing nutrient-dense plant-based foods, eat less sugar to reduce your daily calories, and avoid unhealthy fats [11].

Algae scores on all four because algae is:

  1. plant-based nutrition
  2. contains NO sugar
  3. each tablet is ONE calorie and
  4. contains only healthy fat

That’s why it’s so easy to love your heart to bits with algae!

Grandma and Granddaughter riding bikes
B Vitamins in Spirulina help keep you active and energized!

More Ways that Women Benefit from Algae [12]

  • Helps Reduce Anemia. Heavy bleeding is the most common cause of iron-deficiency and anemia in women. Iron carries oxygen in your blood and anemia results when you do not have enough iron.

How Algae Can Help: The best way to minimize symptoms of anemia is to increase your daily amount of iron, but iron supplements are not the answer. This is because they can reach toxic levels, cause constipation, and are not as bioavailable as plant-based sources of iron like algae. Spirulina and chlorella contain the highest known amount of plant-based iron (non-heme iron) which does not stimulate the mTOR pathway or the IGF-1 pathway as the heme iron (which is sourced from animal protein and is also not the answer for vegans) [13].

How Algae Can Help: Both spirulina and chlorella have high amounts of B vitamins- nutrients which help the brain produce a happy/balanced mood [13]. Spirulina and chlorella also contain very high amounts of antioxidants, carotenoids, and the amino acids like tryptophan- the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which improves your mood and melatonin- the neurotransmitter that helps you sleep. A night of good sleep and increased tryptophan will do wonders to improve your day [13]. Who doesn’t want that! So, let’s all find some algae!

  • Helps Reduce Diabetes. Women with irregular or longer menstrual cycles have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Younger women between 18 and 22 with irregular periods are even more at risk [14].

How Algae Can Help: Both spirulina and chlorella have been shown to help improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity [15], and the blue-green pigment in spirulina (phycocyanin) further improves insulin resistance [16]. Not only does algae help stabilize blood sugar, but it also has NO sugar and satisfies your hunger, so your sugar craving is reduced. And that’s sweet!

  • Helps Reduce Heart Disease. When you have amenorrhea or are in menopause, your ovaries may no longer make estrogen. Estrogen helps protect your body against heart disease and stroke.

How Algae Can Help: Studies on chlorella (and spirulina) show they contribute to reducing cholesterol and triglycerides in women [17]. Both algae also contain high amounts of Vitamin K2 a critical nutrient that helps maintain healthy arteries and blood pressure [18] by reducing arterial stiffness (which can lead to heart attacks and strokes). Spirulina is also a great source of Omega-3 (which reduces inflammation) not only because it’s vegan and sustainable but also because it is safer. More than 80% of fish oils are rancid, toxic, and acidic to the body. This increases the risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis (hardening of the arteries) [19].

  • Helps Reduce Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes your bones to become brittle and break easily. Women are at greatest risk because our bones are thinner. Over 80% of osteoporosis hits women.

How Algae Can Help: Good nutrition is the healthiest, most natural way to protect your bones. But it’s not just calcium that makes your bones strong. Calcium does not make your bones strong in fact; it makes them brittle [20]. What makes your bones strong is nutrient-dense, high protein, alkaline, plant-based whole foods like spirulina and chlorella tablets (both of which have the highest concentration of protein in the world and the highest concentration of minerals in the world) [21]. Algae is also a natural source of Vitamin K2 (which moves calcium out of soft tissue like blood vessels into bones) so your bones stay strong [22].

  • Helps Prevent Diet-Induced Acidosis: When your blood/body pH is below 7.365, this causes a degree of metabolic imbalance that has links to cancer and creates an environment in your body where cancer can progress quickly.

How Algae Can Help: Eating an alkaline diet is vital in protecting your health. Green vegetables and plant-based foods, like algae offer the most abundant source of alkalizing minerals available.

Did you know that Vitamin K2 is virtually absent from our food supply? Fortunately, algae is loaded with it!

Vitamin K2 in ENERGYbits (Spirulina) and RECOVERYbits (Chlorella)
Compared to Vitamin K2 in Other Food Sources
Chart of K2 Content in Food
Source: Linus Pauling Institute Website

Algae is a Girl’s Best Friend

It’s clear that women are faced with many health issues and that this can be overwhelming. But don’t be disheartened! Start small. But start now. Try to increase the number of nutrient-dense, alkaline whole foods in your diet (like algae) so your body can get the nutrients it needs to help you live long and live well. Plant-based superfoods like spirulina and chlorella tablets may be the easiest, fastest, toxin-free, alkaline foods that could change your life. They changed ours.

We hope you’ll tell your mom, your sister, your wife or your best friend to check out ENERGYbits® and start on a path of better health today! Girl power, yeah!

Sources
  1. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0b013e318287cf2f
  2. https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/
  3. https://www.abc15.com/news/health/doctor-period-cramps-can-be-almost-as-bad-as-having-a-heart-attack
  4. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/folic-acid-for-the-prevention-of-neural-tube-defects-preventive-medication
  5. https://www.womenshealth.gov/files/documents/fact-sheet-healthy-weight.pdf
  6. https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones
  7. http://vorga.org/9-4-109.full.pdf
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319099698_Spirulina_A_source_of_gamma-linoleic_acid_and_its_applications
  9. https://www.intechopen.com/books/cell-signalling-thermodynamics-and-molecular-control/vitamin-k2-a-vitamin-that-works-like-a-hormone-impinging-on-gene-expression
  10. https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/how-eat-health/heart-healthy-eating#15
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_06.pdf
  12. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/your-menstrual-cycle-and-your-health
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671130
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178699/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800884
  16. https://www.cyanotech.com/pdfs/spirulina/sptl02.pdf
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24920270
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24249971
  19. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928581/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4784773/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/

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