Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (it lowers blood pressure). (14) Japanese researchers claim that this is because consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome. I find this extremely promising for Americans because metabolic syndrome has rapidly become one of the main causes of preventable disease today, as it raises one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. (15) 6. Reduces Cholesterol Along those same lines, spirulina benefits have also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels. A recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology took rabbits, fed them a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 0.5% cholesterol for four weeks, and then fed them a HCD with 1% or 5% spirulina for an additional eight weeks. (16) After the eight-week trial was complete, LDL levels decreased by 26% in the group eating 1% of spirulina and 41% in the group eating 5% spirulina, which heavily suggests that the more we eat the more benefits we will receive! Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also significantly reduced.