As South Africans prepare for winter and a fifth wave of Covid-19, numerous studies have shown the antiviral effects of spirulina, with one study showing that it may help reduce severe Covid-19 risk by 70%.

The study published in the peer review journal, Marine Biotechnology monitored the production of the immune system protein, TNF-α, in different test tubes. TNF-α causes cytokine storms, an immune overreaction that leads to severe Covid-19.

Results showed a 70% reduction when optimum quantities of spirulina extract were added.

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Weather the ‘cytokine storm’

Lead study author, Dr. Asaf Tzachor, from the Interdisciplinary Centre (IDC) in Herzliya said: “This indicates that the algae extract may be used to prevent cytokine storms if given to patients soon after diagnosis.

In some Covid-19 patients, a cytokine storm can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, damage to organs and is the leading cause of death.

Cross-over application

Tzachor said that if proven effective, spirulina could also be used against other coronaviruses and influenza.

“If you control or are able to mitigate the excessive release of TNF-α, you can eventually reduce mortality,” said Tzachor.

A few additional studies have shown the antiviral properties of spirulina against viruses such as herpes, influenza and HIV and the use of spirulina antibodies as an immune booster against Covid-19.

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Prevent, fight, recover

Health expert Vanessa Ascencao said that with winter underway and the fifth wave imminent, South Africans need to maintain a healthy nutrition and lifestyle to prevent, fight and recover from illness.

“Eat nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, avo, oily fish, eggs and lean protein, as these are loaded with vitamins, minerals, immune boosters and antioxidants,” said Ascencao.

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Get regular exercise, avoid sugar, practice mindfulness, get enough sleep and supplement with nutrient dense, 100% nature-based Marcus Rohrer Spirulina to supercharge your immune system,” said Ascencao.

Marcus Rohrer Spirulina is shown to deliver more key nutrients per serving than any other spirulina.

It helps to balance blood sugar levels, is a powerful immune booster and detoxifier, and helps to increase energy.