Looking for new ways to treat the digestive issues you’re experiencing? Try expanding your diet. According to research out of the University of California San Diego, adding one particular food to your regular eating regimen could make all the difference in terms of how you feel. Science Daily reported that consuming Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, an organism from the algae kingdom, can help reduce problems related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
While previous research has shown that consuming different species of algae provides vitamins, proteins, and other health-related benefits, the study recently published in the Journal of Functional Foods mentioned that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is now proving to be essential for wellness. “People have been looking at this algae for decades, but this is the first study to show what many of us have suspected—it’s good for you,” said lead investigator and algae expert Stephen Mayfield, professor in University of California San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and co-director of the Food and Fuel for the 21st Century Program (FF21). “This is exciting because it demonstrates a clear benefit: If you have IBS-like symptoms, this is good for you.”
The researchers first discovered that mice lost weight after eating algae during their initial round of studies. After rallying about 50 volunteers and giving them spoonfuls of powered Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to eat for one month, they found that those who previously reported having digestive issues experienced less gas and bloating after eating the algae.
All in all, the researchers believe that this study will help add this species of algae into people’s regular eating regimens. “I hope that this study helps destigmatize the thought of incorporating algae and algae-based products into your diet—it is a fantastic source of nutrition and we have now shown that this species of algae has additional benefits to animal and human health.”