According to a recent study (2019) published in Diabetes Care, people who consume foods rich in linoleic acid may have a measurably reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Spirulina is one of the highest known sources of this essential fatty acid. But that’s not all; The linoleic acid in Spirulina is in an extremely rare form called gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). Here’s why that’s important for your health.
Linoleic acid is known as an “essential” fatty acid because the body does not make it. In other words, our body gets this essential fatty acid from foods consumed. Once ingested, our body needs to transform the linoleic acid into usable components, of which, gamma-linoleic acid is the most important. Many factors, including missing nutrients or minerals, can slow the process even further. When you eat Spirulina, you are getting the GLA directly which is why numerous studies show promising results associated with Spirulina ingestion and multiple blood sugar-related conditions.
The findings in this particular study are not new. But what is impressive is the size of the study with over 200,000 men and women involved in the study. Additionally, there were 4.93 million person-years of follow-up. (Link to study here: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2019/06/07/dc19-0412)
What else has GLA been associated within scientific studies?
- GLA helps in cellular energy release .
- GLA also assists in various defense mechanisms including killing invading microorganisms, damaged cells, wound healing, tissue repair, etc.
- GLA has shown anti- inflammatory actions .
- GLA facilitates reduction of body weight by increasing the activity of carnitine palmitoyl .
- GLA supports our mitochondria in the transmission of signals in the human brain.
- GLA plays an important role in the treatment of wide variety of pathologies such as atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, multiple sclerosis, lowers low-density lipoprotein, cardio-circulatory diseases coronary heart diseases, arthritis and zinc deficiency [4, 5, 6].
- Treatment with 2.8 g of GLA per day (as the free fatty acid) for 6 months resulted in clinically relevant and statistically significant reduction in the signs and symptoms of disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
- GLA has the potential in modulating immune function. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the effect of GLA on immune functions.
While there are several sources of linoleic acid, such as nuts, seeds, soy and flaxseed oil, the only other substantial natural source of GLA is evening primrose oil, which is quite costly compared to Spirulina. Of course, when you eat Spirulina, you are getting substantial amounts of many other beneficial and rare nutrients as well, especially when you eat BioLumina Spirulina!
-Author, Lance Leonard, CEO New Phoenix Rising
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