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Spirulina: Health Discoveries from the Source of Life

by Robert Henrikson(more info)

listed in nutraceuticals, originally published in issue 32 - September 1998

Both Spirulina and Chlorella have been called superfoods because they contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb. These are the highest protein foods – over 60% digestible vegetable protein, with concentrated beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace minerals.

Earthrise Farms, the world’s largest spirulina farm in the sunny California desert
Earthrise Farms, the world’s largest spirulina farm in the sunny California desert


Health Benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella

We’re undergoing a health revolution. As more people take responsibility for their own health, the demand for natural foods, herbal medicines and nutraceuticals is growing dramatically. Among these are the ancient algae spirulina and chlorella.

Algae represent over two-thirds of the Earth’s living biomass. They live everywhere on the Earth’s surface, and are essential for the life and balance of our biosphere. Macroalgae are usually called seaweed. Microalgae are microscopic – and there are thousands of kinds.

Spirulina is a microscopic algae in the shape of a perfect spiral coil.

This first photosynthetic life form, our immortal ancestor, was designed by nature 3.5 billion years ago. Blue-green microalgae like spirulina produced the oxygen in our atmosphere allowing all higher life forms to evolve.

One billion years later, photosynthetic cells evolved a nucleus.

Chlorella, a green microalgae is a spherical single cell algae with a cellulose wall protecting a cell nucleus. From this point on, all higher plants evolved.

Chlorella under the miscroscope
Chlorella under the miscroscope

Both Spirulina and Chlorella have been called superfoods because they contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb. These are the highest protein foods – over 60% digestible vegetable protein, with concentrated beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace minerals.

Chlorella has the highest level of cleansing chlorophyll and RNA and DNA nucleic acids. Spirulina contains the rare essential fatty acid GLA, the unique blue pigment phycocyanin (“algae-blue”) and polysaccharides in its cell walls. Spirulina has soft cell walls, easily digestible. Chlorella’s hard cell walls are cracked open during the drying process for digestibility.

Scientists are identifying whole foods and plants with special life enhancing compounds, called phytonutrients. They are the leading edge of the health revolution. Spirulina is loaded with unique phytonutrients like phycocyanin, polysaccharides and sulfolipids that enhance the immune system, possibly reducing risks of infection, cancer and auto immune disease. Chlorella and Spirulina are rich in natural carotenoid antioxidants that promote cellular health and reduce the risk of cancer, and cleansing chlorophyll which helps detoxify our bodies of ever present pollution.

Safety and Quality Advantages of Cultivated Microalgae

Both spirulina and chlorella are known to be safe and nutritious whole foods, consumed by millions of people over the past 20 years. Their safety is backed by hundreds of scientific studies. Spirulina is unique among blue-green algae because it has a long history of safe use. The Aztecs consumed spirulina in Mexico over five centuries ago. Indigenous people consume spirulina growing in African Lakes today. In fact, the United Nations and the World Health Organisation recommend spirulina as safe and nutritious for children.

Both spirulina and chlorella are cultivated in pure cultures at specially designed algae farms. It’s important to realise the big advantage in growing a pure culture of safe microalgae in a controlled environment.

Many other kinds of algae grow wild and uncontrolled in lakes and waterways, such as the blue-green algae aphanizomenon and microcystis. They bloom on whatever nutrients or pollutants are available. Some algae, like microcystis, are toxic, just like some land plants and mushrooms. One problem harvesting wild algae like aphanizomenon, popularly called blue-green algae, is that it can be contaminated with toxic algae like microcystis.

There’s a wide range in microalgae quality, because it can come from many countries. Customers should check the label – does it say exactly where it’s grown? Is the cultivation controlled for a pure culture? With the growing concern about contaminated algae harvested from lakes, the source is important.

Ecological Cultivation and Quality Assurance: Growing Spirulina in California

Ecological farming means no pesticides or herbicides are ever used. Grown in accordance with the guidelines set by the California Organic Foods Act of 1990, spirulina is certified organic. Spirulina grows in over 30 ponds, each larger than a football field. Long paddlewheels mix the pond water for optimum growth. Harvest occurs daily during the growing season, April through November. Spirulina rich water is pumped to the sealed harvest building for a quick 15 minute journey through the stainless steel harvest and drying system. Dehydration takes only a few seconds, preserving heat sensitive pigments and phytonutrients with no preservatives, no additives and no irradiation.

Spirulina powder is cold pressed directly into tablets and sealed into bottles at the bottling plant. Each day farm scientists conduct over 40 quality control tests on each lot – from the ponds to the packaged guaranteeing quality, purity and potency from the living ponds to the customer.

Spirulina offers more nutrition per acre than any other food. Spirulina delivers 20 times more protein per acre than soybeans, 200 times more than beef. By growing more spirulina, we can help stop cutting the last original forests to grow food. By bringing it into our personal lives, we become part of the solution to improve the health of our planet.

Health Discoveries of Spirulina from Published Scientific Research

For the past 20 years, people around the world have reported amazing stories about their results from spirulina chlorella. They’ve experienced increased energy and alertness, reduced weight, enhanced cleansing and fasting, and increased resistance to disease. Great for people of all ages, including children. Older people find it easy to digest. Athletes find it provides energy and endurance and speeds recovery. There are many remarkable recoveries from life-threatening illness.

Unlike other products that offer glowing testimonials, there is actually substantial published scientific research on both Spirulina and Chlorella.

In particular for spirulina, an international detective hunt has been underway for over 20 years. Scientists around the world – in Japan, China, India, Europe, Russia and the USA – are discovering how and why spirulina is so effective for human and animal health. Hundreds of published scientific studies reveal how spirulina and its unique phytonutrients boost the immune system and improve health. No other algae has been the subject of such intense research.

Scientific theory explains the prime directive of our body’s metabolism is to support our immune system. When our immune system is stressed or suffering, it draws on our body’s metabolic energy. People with immune system imbalance often feel chronic fatigue and low energy.

Both scientific research and the experience of thousands of people indicate spirulina is an immune regulating food. Small amounts can help balance and stabilise the immune system, freeing up more of our metabolic energy for vitality, healing and assimilation of nutrients. It enhances the body’s cellular communication process and its ability to read and repair DNA, like a kind of cellular “tune up”. This is why people taking spirulina often report they have more energy.

Scientific discoveries show how spirulina benefits five of the most important health issues today:
1.    Strengthening the immune system.
2.    Supporting cardiovascular health and lowering cholesterol.
3.    Improving gastrointestinal and digestive health.
4.    Enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification.
5.    Reducing cancer risks with better antioxidant protection.

How spirulina strengthens the immune system

Over the years many people have reported that they have fewer colds and flu, or if they get a cold, they escape more chronic symptoms. They say wounds heal faster and they recover more quickly from illness. They have more energy.

Spirulina is a powerful tonic for the immune system

Published studies from all over the world feeding mice, hamsters, chickens, turkeys, cats, fish and even humans, confirm spirulina improves immune system function. Medical scientists discovered it not only stimulates the immune system, it actually enhances the body’s ability to generate new blood cells. Important parts of the immune system, bone marrow stem cells, macrophages, T-cells and natural killer cells, spleen and thymus glands – all show enhanced activity. Scientists observe it causes macrophages to increase in number, become activated and more effective killing germs.[1,2,3,4,5] Because spirulina increases disease resistance in animals, even in very small doses, the animal feed industry is studying its use as a new probiotic to help replace overused antibiotic drugs in animal feeds.

Scientists in Japan have published new studies showing a purified extract unique to spirulina inhibits replication of HIV-1, Herpes, Influenza, Mumps and Measles virus in-vitro yet is very safe for human cells.[6,7]

The phytonutrients responsible for strengthening the immune system are beta carotene, phycocyanin and polysaccharides. Of course, scientists are confirming what people have been experiencing all along.

How Spirulina enhances cardiovascular health and helps lower cholesterol

Many people are taking dietary supplements to support a healthy heart and lower cholesterol. Scientists have been confirming this too. Animal nutrition studies in Mexico, Argentina, Japan and India found the same cholesterol lowering benefits and an improvement in heart artery function for lower blood pressure.[8,9,10,11]

Published scientific studies with men in Japan and India showed several grams of spirulina daily can lower cholesterol.[12,13] These studies suggest spirulina will reduce serum LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins – the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (High Density Lipoproteins – the good guys).

Human studies in Germany and India found a weight reduction effect along with cholesterol reduction.[14] All these studies indicate spirulina is a useful supplement for cardiovascular health and for lowering cholesterol.

How Spirulina improves gastrointestinal and digestive health

When people take spirulina they often notice immediate change in regularity and elimination. Research confirms it does promote digestion and bowel function. It suppresses bad bacteria like e-coli and Candida yeast and stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria.[15,16] Healthy flora is the foundation of good health and it increases absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, and helps protect against infection.[17]

In a village clinic in Togo, West Africa, Earthrise Farms provided a tablespoon a day to undernourished children. Their mothers praised this “green medicine” for bringing rapid recovery and weight gain.
Other studies with malnourished children in Mexico, India, Romania, Rwanda and Zaire, have shown easily digested spirulina is beneficial when intestines no longer absorb food effectively.[18,19,20]

It’s a great food for malnourished people precisely because it helps rebuild healthy intestinal flora, which are essential for the utilisation of more complex foods. Because in AIDS patients, nutrient malabsorption associated with opportunistic infections can initiate full blown AIDS, we’ve been donating spirulina to health clinics for HIV positive people.

How Spirulina enhances natural cleansing and detoxification

When spirulina was first introduced 20 years ago, people quickly discovered it accelerated detoxification during fasting and cleansing.

Later, in Japan, researchers found spirulina significantly reduced kidney toxicity caused by the heavy metal mercury and three pharmaceutical drugs.[21,22] This suggested it’s beneficial for humans suffering from heavy metal poisoning. Other researchers found rats consuming spirulina or chlorella algae eliminated 7 times the dangerous chemical dioxin compared to a control diet.[23]

In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days, lowered radionucleides by 50%, and normalised allergic sensitivities.[24]

Today we are subject to an onslaught of toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and drugs. Our bodies need to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina has a completely unique combination of phytonutrients – including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides, that can help cleanse our bodies.

How Spirulina increases antioxidant protection and reduces cancer risks

Free radical molecules damage our body’s cells. They are caused by pollution, poor diet, stress and injury. Antioxidant nutrients fight these dangerous oxidising free radicals. They also stimulate our immune system to guard against cancer and other diseases and even slow the aging process.

Major antioxidant vitamins are beta carotene (provitamin A) C, and E.

Antioxidant minerals selenium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and chromium form our bodies antioxidant enzymes. Spirulina contains all these nutrients, and exceptionally high levels of beta carotene and iron, and zinc in super spirulina.

Research shows spirulina helps protect Vitamin C from potency loss. In the past 20 years, many studies have shown natural beta carotene from fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many cancers. Spirulina’s beta carotene has been widely studied in India with thousands of people. Just one gram a day for a year given to 5000 preschool children, significantly reduced the incidence of eye disease.[25] One gram a day caused total regression of mouth cancer lesions in 44% of male tobacco chewers.[26] This reinforced an earlier Harvard study that showed a spirulina extract used topically, reversed oral cancer tumours in hamsters.[27] Chinese scientists found the unique polysaccharides also have antioxidant properties.[28] No doubt, spirulina is one of the most powerful antioxidant whole foods.

The scientific research identifies a rainbow of health enhancing phytonutrients

Spirulina’s dark colour comes from this rainbow of natural pigments. They harvest sunlight at different wavelengths and protect from too much sun.

These pigments offer unusual health benefits and help synthesise many enzymes necessary for regulating body metabolism. They are chlorophyll (green), carotenoids (yellow and orange) and phycocyanin (blue), the dominant colour.


Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of ten mixed carotenoids. About half are orange carotenes: alpha, beta and gamma and half are yellow xanthophylls. They work synergistically at different sites in our body to enhance antioxidant protection. Twenty years of research proves eating beta carotene rich fruits and vegetables gives anti-cancer protection. Synthetic beta carotene has not always shown these benefits. Research in Israel showed natural beta carotene from algae was far more effective.


Spirulina has one of nature’s highest levels – about 1%. Chlorophyll is known for cleansing and detoxifying. It’s sometimes called “green blood” because it looks like the blood haemoglobin molecule. Blood has iron at its core, giving it a red colour, and chlorophyll has magnesium, making it green. Spirulina’s beneficial effect on anaemia could be due to this similarity combined with its high bioavailable iron.


This protein complex is about 14% of spirulina. Phycocyanin means “algae-blue”, and is found only in blue-green algae. It evolved a billion years before chlorophyll. It may be the precursor to chlorophyll and haemoglobin, because it has both magnesium and iron at its core. Phycocyanin may be the origin of life common to both plants and animals. Research shows it stimulates the immune system, builds both red and white blood cells and assists detoxification.


Spirulina contains about 20% carbohydrates and sugars, making up its soft cell walls. The primary forms are rhamnose and glycogen, two polysaccharides easily absorbed by the body. Scientists in Russia China, Japan and the USA found spirulina and its polysaccharide extract supercharged the immune system against viruses and germs. It acts much like a broad spectrum vaccine against invading bacteria. Based on studies with hamsters and fish, rabbits and rats, chickens and cats, as little as 3 grams a day may be effective for humans.


The National Cancer Institute found sulfolipids in blue-green algae were “remarkably active” against the AIDS virus in vitro. Spirulina contains 5-8% lipids, and 40% of these are glycolipids and sulfolipids. These compounds seem to prevent viruses from either attaching to or penetrating cells, preventing viral infection. Meanwhile, the virus can be eliminated by the body’s defences. Exciting new research in Japan and the USA has confirmed spirulina extracts in vitro can inhibit replication of the HIV virus.

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)

We need a dietary source of essential fatty acids. One is gamma-linolenic acid – a precursor to the body’s prostaglandins – master hormones that control many functions. But poor diet, saturated fats and alcohol can cause GLA deficiency leading to conditions like heart disease and premenstrual stress. Known GLA foods are mothers milk and oil extracts of evening primrose, black currant and borage seeds. Spirulina is a potent source, an astonishing 1% by weight! Eight spirulina tablets contain equivalent GLA to a capsule of primrose oil. Many women appreciate spirulina’s benefits for PMS and for healthy, beautiful skin.

Benefits of eating a little algae every day: good for you and our planet

This scientific evidence is just the tip of a large body of international research. We will continue to uncover its health benefits because spirulina is a safe natural food with huge global potential.

Spirulina can help restore our lives. It’s the next best thing to eating sunlight! Eat algae and bring light into your own cells. Take a few tablets a day and embark on a new path. Eat less and get more from nutrient dense food. Consume less and live lighter on the Earth. Magnified by millions of people, life begins to change. This is a magnificent legacy for our next generations.

However, simply eating wild algae won’t transform our planet. There are only a few lakes in the world where wild algae can be harvested safely for food. But cultivating algae will make a difference. Algae harvests sunlight, transforming light to living matter more efficiently. By growing algae, less of our planet’s fertile surface is needed to convert sunlight into food. We can help stop cutting the last forests to grow food. By using spirulina for our personal health, we become part of the solution to improve our planetary health.

Scientific References:

1.    Qureshi M. A., DVM, Ph. D., Kidd M.T., Ph.D., and Ali R.A., M.S., Journal of Nutritional Immunology, No. 3 (4) 1995, pages 35-45, “Spirulina platensis Extracts Enhances Chicken Macrophage Functions After in vitro Exposure”. Qureshi M.A., J.D. Garlich, and M.T. Kidd. “Dietary Spirulina Platensis enhances humoral and cell mediated immune functions in Chickens.”
2.    Duncan P.L. and Klesius P.H., Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 8: 308-313, 1996 “Effects of Feeding Spirulina on Specific and Nonspecific Immune Responses of Channel Catfish.”
3.    Zhang C. et al, Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology, April 25-27, p.58, 1994 . “The Effects of Polysaccharide and Phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis variety on Peripheral blood and Haematopoietic system of Bone Marrow in Mice.”
4.    Baojiang, Guo. Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology 25-27 April 1994, Book of Programme & Abstracts, L6 “Study on Effect and Mechanism of Polysaccharides of Spirulina Platensis on Body Immune Functions Improvement.”
5.    Qureshi M.A. and R.A. Ali. ImmunoPharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 18(3), 457-463 (1996) “Spirulina Platensis Exposure enhances macrophage phagocytic function in cats.”
6.    Hayashi O., Isobe K., Hirahashi T., Katoh T., Okuwaki Y. Japanese Journal “Effects of the Extracts from Spirulina and Chlorella on the Immune Function of Mice in Culture.”
7.    Hayashi O., Katoh T., Okuwaki Y., J. Nutri. Sci. Vitaminol., 40, 431-441, 1994, “Enhancement of Antibody Production in Mice by Dietary Spirulina platensis.”
8.    Paredes-Carbajal M.C. et al, Life Sciences. Vol 61, No. 15, pp. PL 211-219, 1997 “Effects Of Dietary Spirulina maxima on endothelium dependent vasomotor responses of rat aortic rings.”
9.    Kazuko Iwata, et al, Laboratory of Nutrition, Kagawa Nutrition College “Effects of Spirulina platensis on Blood Pressure in Rats.”
10.    Gloria Z. de Caire, et al, Phyton, 44 Aniversario 57 (1): 93-96, VII – 1995, “Effect of Spirulina platensis on glucose, uric acid and cholesterol levels in the blood of rodents.”
11.    Toshimitsu Kato, et al, J. Jpn. Soc Nutr, Food Sci. 37, 323-332 (1984) “Effects of Spirulina (Spirulina platensis) on Dietary Hypercholesterolemia in Rats.
12.    Amudha Ramamoorthy and S. Premakumari, J. Food Sci. Technol, 1996, Vol 33, No. 2, 124-128 “Effect Of Supplementation of Spirulina on Hypercholesterolemic Patients.”
13.    Noriaki Nakaya, M.D. et al, Nutrition Reports International June 1988 Vol. 37 No. 6 pages 1329-1337 “Cholesterol Lowering Effect Of Spirulina”
14.    Becker, E.W. et al, Nutrition Reports International, April 1986, Vol. 33, No. 4, 565. Clinical and biochemical evaluations of the alga spirulina with regard to its application in the treatment of obesity.
15.    Chen F., Zhang Q., Chinese Journal of Preventative Medicine 1995 Jan (1): 13-7 “Inhibitive effects of Spirulina on aberrant crypts in colon induced by dimethylhydrazine.”
16.    Tsuchihashi N., et al, Laboratory of Nutrition, Kagawa Nutrition College , “Effects of Spirulina (Spirulina platensis), on Cecum Content in Rats.”
17.    Bocci V., Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 35,2 – Winter 1992, pg. 251-260 “The Neglected Organ: Bacterial Flora has a Crucial Immunostimulatory Role.”
18.    Ramos Galvan, R. Colloque sur la valeur nutritionelle des algues spirulines, Rueill, May 1973. Nat. Inst. of Nutrition, Mexico City. Clinical experimentation with spirulina.
19.    Annapurna, V. et al. J. Clin. Biochem Nutrition. 10 p. 145-151. 1991. Bioavailability of spirulina carotenes in preschool children. National Inst of Nutrition. Hyderabad, India.
20.    Fica, V. et al. Clinica II Medicala, Spitalui Clinic Municipiului, Bucuresti. Med Interna 36 (3), 1984. Observations on the utilization of spirulina as an adjuvant nutritive factor in treating some diseases accompanied by a nutritional deficiency.
21.    Yamane, Y. Annual Sym. of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, Apr. 15, 1988, Chiba Univ, Japan. The effect of spirulina on nephrotoxicity in rats.
22.    Fukino, H. et al. Japan J. Toxicological Environ Health Vol 43, 1997. Effect of spirulina on the renal toxicity induced by inorganic mercury and cisplatin.
23.    Morita, K et al. Eisei Kagaku. 1990, 36:5. Effect of Chlorella, Spirulina and Chlorophyllin on Fecal Excretion of Polyclorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins in rats.
24.    Evets L.B. et al, Grodenski State Medical University, January 15, 1994 Russian Federation Committee of Patents and Trade, Patent Number: (19) RU (11) 2005486 C1 (51) 5 A 61K35/80 “Means to Normalise the levels of Immunoglobulin E Using the food supplement Spirulina.”
25.    Seshadri, C.V. All India Project. Shri Amm Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC) Madras. 1993. Large Scale Nutritional Supplementation with spirulina alga.
26.    Mathew et al. Nutrition and Cancer 24, 197-202, 1995 “Evaluation of Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer With Spirulina fusiformis.”
27.    Joel Schwartz, Gerald Shklar, Susan Reid, and Diane Trickler, Nutrition and Cancer 11, 127-134, 1988 “Prevention of Experimental Oral Cancer by Extracts of Spirulina-Dunaliella Algae.”
28.    Zhou Zhi-gang, Liu Zhi-li and Liu Xue-xian, Acta Botanica Sinica 1997, 39 (1): 77-81 “Study on the isolation, purification and antioxidation properties of polysaccharides from spirulina maxima.”

Spirulina: Extra Questions and Answers

How much should people take and when should they take it?
Long time consumers and scientific evidence both suggest 2-5 grams a day bring significant health benefits. This is a teaspoon of powder or 6 to 20 tablets. Take it every day for best results. Because spirulina is a whole food, you can take it alone or with meals. Take convenient tablets anytime. Or, mix spirulina powder in a fruit juice smoothie as an instant breakfast, or in a vegetable juice smoothie in the afternoon.

Is spirulina recommended for pregnant mothers, infants and children?
Yes, its a perfect supplement. Iron deficiency anaemia in mothers and children is the most prevalent nutritional disorder. Pregnant women can use spirulina’s vegetable protein and bioavailable iron. In India and Vietnam, doctors prescribe spirulina for pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants. Parents are often surprised how much their children enjoy this green food. Kids like to suck on tablets and munch spirulina covered popcorn.

What are the benefits for an ageing population?
Spirulina is an ideal anti-ageing food: concentrated nutrient value, easily digested and loaded with antioxidants. Beta carotene is good for healthy eyes and vision. This all vegetable, low fat protein means we can lighten up on a meat centred diet that can aggravate arthritis and raise cholesterol. When we choose to eat less meat, vegetables like spirulina are good sources of more iron and essential minerals.
As people age, many who don’t eat enough, have restricted diets or poor digestion may experience low energy from being undernourished. Spirulina builds healthy lactobacillus, aiding assimilation and elimination and relieving constipation. Older people really notice an energy boost. In Japan, 73% of those taking spirulina are over 50 years old!

What will spirulina do for athletes?
Athletes need extra nutrition. Spirulina is a high intensity superfood for a high intensity workout. Taken before jogging or competition, it delivers energy and improves stamina. Bikers, backpackers and mountain climbers will appreciate this lightweight survival food. For bodybuilders, it offers 60% protein and amino acids, low in fat. It’s helpful for reducing caloric intake, essential for maintaining competitive weight.
World Class athletes use spirulina to improve performance. The Cuban Ministry of Sports gave it to their athletes to intensify training before the ‘96 Olympic games. Cuban track stars have consumed it for many years.
They say it helps create and mend muscle mass and helps iron retention. It improves endurance and wards off cramping for marathoners. When training increases appetite, spirulina curbs hunger.
When I was invited to the largest Chinese training centre for 2000 athletes, I thought I was going to introduce them to spirulina. But, I soon found out it was their secret ingredient they’d been using for five years.
The trainers said they prescribed it for athletes for all sports. It boosts the immune system and improves recovery, so their athletes can intensify training, for which they are famous. Where does their spirulina come from?
I found out this Chinese training centre has its own, private and exclusive spirulina farm.

Can a person lose weight taking spirulina?
It’s not an appetite suppressant. It contains no drugs that trick the body. Yet, many people find taking a few tablets or a spirulina drink an hour before mealtime can help satisfy appetite, so they eat less. We know when we’re going to be hungry, so just plan ahead. Because it’s rich in iron, often deficient in women on low calorie diets, spirulina is ideal support for any diet. Best of all, it helps us to lighten up and make the switch from a bulky diet to lighter, more powerful foods.

How about fasting? Can a person live on spirulina alone?
I don’t suggest living on one food, not even spirulina. I believe a biodiverse diet is best for good health. There are times when I take only spirulina with water or juice – when I fast 3 to 7 days once or twice a year. Fasting one day a week is common practice in traditional societies and religions. Going without food for three days or longer allows the body to cleanse and renew itself. In the late ‘70s, one of the first discoveries was spirulina’s value in fasting. This easy-to-digest food provides energy and stamina for work and play, while making cleansing much easier and more effective.

Is spirulina good for pets and other animals?
Yes. Walk into any pet store and you’ll find it’s a popular supplement for fish, birds and pets. In fact, much of the global spirulina production is consumed by aquaculture raised fish and prawns, tropical fish, ornamental birds, horses and even cats and dogs. In the ‘70s, the first use was enhancing the beautiful colours in fancy koi carp. Then fish and prawn farmers discovered it increased growth rates, survival, colour, and reduced medications. Today, spirulina is in most premium aquarium feeds.
Zoos feed their flamingos a spirulina diet, like the millions of pink flamingos living on it in East African lakes. Ornamental bird breeders use it to enhance colour, health and fertility. Tiny amounts in diets of young turkeys and chickens builds disease resistance, reducing the need for antibiotics. In reptiles, it improves skin gloss and disease resistance. For thoroughbred racehorses, it improves speed and recovery.
If you give spirulina to your dog or cat, you’ll notice healthier skin, lustrous coat and fresher breath. Older animals may regain their flexibility. It’s not unusual for a pet owner to ask: “Is spirulina good for me, too?”



    A vary educative article i thought you will deal more on the use of spirulina and chlorella on catfishes especially Clarias gariepinus.
    by the way what is the best form to consume them (powder tablets or liquid)and where do i get the best(purest culture )in Malaysia?
    Is Edmark Malaysia liquid Spina liquid chlorophyl pure spirulina? thanks

  2. Bea Pollard said..

    Is it safe to take Spirulina is you have severe IBS?

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About Robert Henrikson

About 20 years ago, Robert and a few other green people around the planet partnered with spirulina to bring it to the market as a world food. Robert has founded Earthrise Farms, the world’s largest spirulina farm, and introduced this algae to millions of people in over 30 countries. He has authored the book Earth Food Spirulina: How this remarkable blue-green algae can transform your life and our planet, translated so far into seven languages. Robert has been eating spirulina as long as anyone has – for over 20 years.

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