Consumption of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii algae improves gastrointestinal problems associated with irritable bowel and bowel syndrome, followed by discomfort such as diarrhea, gas and bloating, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.
For decades, the green cell organism that grows mainly in wet soils had served for biofuel research topics, however, it is the first time it has been analyzed for health benefits, the scientists said.
‘People have been watching these algae for decades, but this is the first study that shows what many of us suspect; It is good for you. This is exciting because it demonstrates a clear benefit: if you have symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, this is good for the person who consumes it’, said lead researcher and seaweed expert Stephen Mayfield, a distinguished professor in the UC Division San Diego of Biological Sciences.
Mayfield lab researchers have been exploring C. reinhardtii as a cost-effective and sustainable source of plant-based products, specifically pharmaceuticals and biofuels, according to the News Medical Life Sciences. The discovery was made by preliminary data in mice with acute colitis that showed that algae consumption significantly reduced their weight index, which is generally related to inflammation of the digestive tract.
Based on these results, the researchers set out to test a similar effect in humans with and without symptoms, who consumed daily tablespoons of the biomass of the algae mentioned in powder and gave reports of their gastrointestinal health for a month. The results showed that participants who had a history of frequent symptoms recorded significantly less discomfort such as gas, diarrhea or inflammation.
The benefits of consuming this species of algae were immediately obvious, it is expected that the study will help to stigmatize the idea of incorporating algae and products based on these in the person’s diet.
Although they pointed out that a greater number of tests are needed over longer periods, the specialists said that the addition of C. reinhardtii to the diet will not only add nutritional value but can also work to relieve some gastrointestinal symptoms of certain individuals.