Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be fed on by way of human beings and animals. The species are Arthrospira platensis and A. Maxima.

Cultivated worldwide, Arthrospira is used as a dietary complement or complete food. It is also used as a feed supplement inside the aquaculture, aquarium, and rooster industries.

Benefits of Spirulina

As an ecologically sound, nutrient-rich nutritional complement, spirulina is being investigated to address food security and malnutrition, and as nutritional assist in long-time period area flight or Mars missions. Its benefit for meals safety is that it needs less land and water than livestock to supply protein and electricity.

Dried spirulina consists of 5% water, 24% carbohydrates, 8% fat, and about 60% (51–71%) protein.

Provided in its typical complement shape as a dried powder, a one hundred-g quantity of spirulina materials 290 kilocalories (1, two hundred kJ) and is a rich source (20% or extra of the Daily Value, DV) of numerous important nutrients, in particular protein, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, providing 207%, 306%, and 85% DV, respectively), and dietary minerals, together with iron (219% DV) and manganese (90% DV).

The lipid content material of spirulina is eight% with the aid of weight imparting the fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, stearidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid.

In contrast to the ones 2003 estimates (of DHA and EPA each at 2 to 3% of overall fatty acids), 2015 studies indicated that spirulina products “contained no detectable omega-three fatty acids” (much less than 0.1%, such as DHA and EPA). An in vitro study said that distinct strains of microalgae produced DHA and EPA in large amounts.

Vitamin B12

Spirulina contains no nutrition B12 clearly , and spirulina supplements are not taken into consideration to be a reliable supply of diet B12, as they contain predominantly pseudo vitamin B12 (Coα-[α-(7-adenyl)]-Coβ-cyanocobamide), which is biologically inactive in humans.

In a 2009 function paper on vegetarian diets, the American Dietetic Association said that spirulina isn’t always a dependable source of active diet B12. The medical literature further advises that spirulina is wrong as a source of B12.

Animals and aquaculture

Various studies on spirulina as an alternative feed for animal and aquaculture have been done. Spirulina may be fed up to 10% for poultry and much less than 4% for quail.

Increase inside the spirulina content as much as 40 g/kg (0.sixty four oz/lb) for sixteen days in 21-day-vintage broiler male chicks, ended in yellow and purple color of flesh and this will be because of the buildup of the yellow pigment, zeaxanthin.

Spirulina as an alternative feedstock and immune booster for big-mouth buffalo, milk ish, cultured striped jack, carp, pink sea bream, tilapia, catfish, yellowtail, zebrafish, shrimp, and abalone become established[6] and as much as 2% spirulina consistent with day in aquaculture feed may be thoroughly recommended.


Spirulina may additionally have unfavorable interactions when curious about prescription drugs, specially those affecting the immune machine and blood clotting.[1]

Quality-related safety and toxicology

Spirulina is a shape of cyanobacterium, a number of which are recognized to provide toxins consisting of microcystins, BMAA, and others. Some spirulina dietary supplements have been discovered to be contaminated with microcystins, albeit at levels beneath the limit set via the Oregon Health Department.

Microcystins can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, and within the long time period, liver damage. The consequences of chronic publicity to even very low stages of microcystins are of concern, because of the potential threat of toxicity to numerous organ systems and probably cancer.

These poisonous compounds aren’t produced via spirulina itself,[4] however may additionally occur because of infection of spirulina batches with different toxin-producing blue-inexperienced algae.

Because spirulina is considered a nutritional supplement in the U.S., no lively, industry-wide law of its production takes place and no enforced safety standards exist for its manufacturing or purity.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health describes spirulina dietary supplements as “probably safe”, provided they may be freed from microcystin infection, however “probably unsafe” (specially for children) if infected.

Given the lack of regulatory standards in the U.S., some public-health researchers have raised the priority that consumers can’t be positive that spirulina and different blue-inexperienced algae supplements are free of infection.

Heavy-metal infection of spirulina dietary supplements has additionally raised concern. The Chinese State Food and Drug Administration reported that lead, mercury, and arsenic contamination was enormous in spirulina dietary supplements advertised in China.

One study stated the presence of lead as much as five.1 ppm in a sample from a commercial supplement.

Spirulina doses of 10 to 19 grams consistent with day over several months have been used adequately. Adverse effects might also consist of nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or headache.

Safety issues for certain target companies

Like all protein-rich foods, spirulina carries the crucial amino acid phenylalanine (2.6-4.1 g/a hundred g), which have to be prevented through humans who’ve phenylketonuria, a rare genetic disorder that stops the frame from metabolizing phenylalanine, which then builds up within the brain, inflicting damage.

Spirulina contaminated with microcystins has numerous potential toxicity, especially to children, together with liver damage, shock, and death

Etymology and Ecology

The species A. Maxima and A. Platensis were once classified within the genus Spirulina. The commonplace name, spirulina, refers back to the dried biomass of A. Platensis, which belongs to photosynthetic bacteria that cowl the agencies Cyanobacteria and Prochlorophyta.

Scientifically, a distinction exists among spirulina and the genus Arthrospira. Species of Arthrospira had been isolated from alkaline brackish and saline waters in tropical and subtropical regions. Among the numerous species included within the genus Arthrospira,

A. Platensis is the most widely disbursed and is especially determined in Africa, however also in Asia. A. Maxima is believed to be found in California and Mexico.[6] The term spirulina stays in use for historical reasons.

Arthrospira species are free-floating, filamentous cyanobacteria characterized by cylindrical, multicellular trichomes in an open left-handed helix.

They occur evidently in tropical and subtropical lakes with excessive pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate.

A. Platensis happens in Africa, Asia, and South America, whereas A. Maxima is confined to Central America. Most cultivated spirulina is produced in open channel raceway ponds, with paddle-wheels used to agitate the water.

Spirulina flourishes at a pH around eight.5 and above, as a way to get greater alkaline, and a temperature around 30 °C (86 °F). They are autotrophic, which means that they may be capable of making their very own food, and do not need a living strength or organic carbon supply. In addition, a nutrient feed for growing it is:

Baking soda- 16 g/l (sixty one g/US gal)
Potassium nitrate- 2 g/l (7.6 g/US gal)
Sea salt- 1 g/l (3.eight g/US gal)
Potassium phosphate- 0.1 g/l (0.38 g/US gal)
Iron sulphate- 0.0378 g/l (0.143 g/US gal)

Historical use

Spirulina changed into a meal source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans until the 16th century; the harvest from Lake Texcoco in Mexico and subsequent sale as desserts had been described through one in every of Cortés’ soldiers. The Aztecs referred to as it “tecuitlatl”.

Spirulina changed into discovered in abundance at Lake Texcoco by means of French researchers inside the 1960s, however no reference to its use by using the Aztecs as each day food source became made after the sixteenth century, probably due to the draining of the encircling lakes for agriculture and urban development.

The topic of the Tecuitlatl, which was earlier located in 1520, became not mentioned again until 1940, the French phycologist Pierre Dangeard noted approximately a cake known as “dihe”, ate up via Kanembu tribe, who harvest it from Lake Chad within the African state of Chad.

Dangeard studied the dihe samples and determined it to be a dried puree of the spring shape of the blue-green algae from the lake. The dihe is used to make broths for mealsand also bought in markets. The spirulina is harvested from small lakes and ponds around Lake Chad.

During 1964 and 1965, the botanist Jean Leonard showed that dihe is made up of spirulina, and later studied a bloom of algae in a sodium hydroxide production facility.

As a result, the primary systematic and detailed observations of the boom necessities and body structure of spirulina turned into executed as a basis for organizing large-scale production within the 1970s.


According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, scientific proof is insufficient to propose spirulina supplementation for any human condition, and extra studies is needed to make clear whether or not consumption yields any benefits.

Administration of spirulina has been investigated as a way to control glucose in human beings with diabetes, however, the European Food Safety Authority rejected those claims in 2013. Spirulina has been studied as a capacity nutritional supplement for adults and children stricken by HIV, however, there has been no conclusive impact on the threat of death, frame weight, or immune response.