Skip to main content


Scientific Name(s): Arthrospira (Spirulina) fusiformis, Arthrospira (Spirulina) maxima Setchell et Gardner, Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis (Nordstedt) Gomont
Common Name(s): Dihe, Spirulina, Tecuitlatl

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 21, 2022.

Clinical Overview


Spirulina is available in the United States as a health food or supplement. Claims of immunostimulatory, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiobesity, hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, antiviral, and chelating effects exist; however, evidence supporting these claims is limited, and spirulina cannot be recommended for any specific use.


Clinical data are insufficient to guide therapeutic dosing of spirulina. Dosages in clinical studies have ranged from 1 to 10 g/day, usually in divided doses, given for up to 12 months.


Phenylketonuria has occurred; however, an association with spirulina has not been substantiated.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Because of the possible presence of mercury and other heavy metal contaminants in spirulina, use should be avoided during pregnancy.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Few reports of adverse reactions are available. Cases of anaphylaxis and spirulina-associated hepatotoxicity have been reported, and reactions from heavy metal contamination are possible.


Spirulina is considered nontoxic to humans at usual levels of consumption and has "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, information is limited.

Scientific Family

  • Phormidiaceae


Spirulina, a blue-green algae (cyanophytes/cyanobacteria), grows as microscopic, corkscrew-shaped multicellular filaments and is now classified as a distinct genus, Arthrospira (also known as and formerly classified as Spirulina). A. platensis is found in Africa and Asia, and A. maxima is found in Central America.Ciferri 1983, Kulshreshtha 2008 Spirulina is free growing and exists only in high-salt alkaline water in subtropical and tropical areas, sometimes imparting a dark-green color to bodies of water.Ciferri 1985 Spirulina is noted for its characteristic behavior in carbonated water and its energetic growth in laboratory cultures.Dillon 1995 It is commercially grown in the United States and has been proposed as a primary foodstuff to be cultivated during long-term space missions because it withstands extreme conditions.Gòdia 2002, Robb-Nicholson 2006 Due to its unique growth requirements, contamination of open pond cultures of spirulina by other microorganisms is usually slight, with the alga growing as a relatively pure culture.

For information on red, blue, or green algae, see the Seaweed monograph.


Spirulina has been described in the literature since the 16th century. Spanish explorers observed the Aztecs harvesting a blue mud that probably consisted of spirulina. The mud, which was dried to form chips or flavored bread, was obtained from Lake Texcoco near Mexico City. Spirulina was also harvested in the Sahara Desert from small lakes near Lake Chad, where it was called "dihe" and consumed by the local population.Ciferri 1983 Spirulina is currently marketed by numerous companies as a nutritional supplement.Khan 2005


Spirulina is composed of approximately 65% crude protein, high levels of B-complex vitamins,Lumsden 1974 vitamin E,Mitchell 1990 beta-carotene,Wang 2008 and zeaxanthin.Dillon 1995, Kapoor 1993 The protein content includes 22 essential amino acids,Ciferri 1983, Maranesi 1984 and the total protein is nutritionally superior to legume protein but inferior to meat protein.Ciferri 1983 The proteins C-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin in spirulina have been the focus of much research.Patil 2008, Yoshikawa 2008 High levels of gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, are present.Otleş 2001 An assay for spirulina lipids using high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry has been developed.Herrero 2007 Spirulina preparations contain 300 to 400 ppm of iron (dry weight) and, unlike many forms of plant iron, have high bioavailability when ingested by humans. A dosage of 10 g/day can contain 1.5 to 2 mg of absorbable iron, similar to that of standard ferrous sulfate.Kapoor 1993, Kapoor 1993 Trace elements present at high levels include manganese, selenium, and zinc. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are also concentrated in the organism.Johnson 1986 Calcium spirulan, a sulfated polysaccharide from A. platensis has been characterized.Hayashi 1996

Uses and Pharmacology

Clinical trials have investigated spirulina's potential clinical applications but have been too small to support its purported effects.Karkos 2011

Allergic rhinitis and asthma

In vitro data

In vitro data have suggested that C-phycocyanin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, selectively inhibiting release of histamine from rat mast cells and preventing increases in immunoglobulin E.Remirez 2002

Clinical data

A small study in patients with mild to moderate asthma (N=34) suggested that spirulina supplementation (1 g/day) produced improvement in lung function parameters.Labhe 2001 A study evaluating spirulina in patients with allergic rhinitis (N=36) suggested a positive effect on laboratory values, but no clinical outcomes were reported.Mao 2005 In a 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients with allergic rhinitis (N=150), spirulina 2 g/day was superior to placebo with regard to diary-based symptom scores of nasal discharge.Cingi 2008

Antibacterial/Antifungal activity

Animal and in vitro data

In vitro, spirulina demonstrated some activity against common human bacterial pathogens but less than that of the standard comparator.Ozdemir 2004 Immune stimulation by phycocyanin and polysaccharides of spirulina led to antifungal and antibacterial effects in mice.El-Sheekh 2010

Antioxidant effects

Animal and in vitro data

In vitro, the antioxidant activity of selenium-containing phycocyanin was evaluated using 4 different free-radical scavenging assays; results indicated that selenium-containing phycocyanin exhibits stronger antioxidant activity than phycocyanin.Chen 2008 In cellular assays of antioxidant activity, 4 commercial spirulina preparations were active.Dartsch 2008 Another in vitro study determined that both the phycocyanin and nonphycocyanin bioactive compounds in a novel A. platensis–based aqueous cyanophyta extract contributed to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects without a negative impact on blood clotting. In the presence of phycocyanin, nonphycocyanin, and aqueous cyanophyta extract, time for clot formation and lysis was not affected; however, clots were significantly more robust, with the effect statistically significant (P<0.05) at doses between 125 and 500 mcg/mL. Lipoxygenase inhibition was associated specifically with the nonphycocyanin components.Jensen 2015 In one study, spirulina supplementation in rats did not increase plasma or liver alpha-tocopherol levelsGarcía-Martínez 2007; however, another study in rats reported effective antioxidant activity using combinations of whey protein and spirulina.Gad 2011 In another study, C-phycocyanin from spirulina reduced oxidative stress in hamsters fed an atherogenic diet.Riss 2007 Similarly, in rabbits fed a 4-week high-cholesterol diet to induce hypercholesterolemia, an additional 8 weeks of spirulina 1% or 5% added to feed protected against oxidative stress.Kim 2010 In mice with zymosan-induced arthritis, phycocyanin exerted a scavenging action against reactive oxygen species, and also demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in various in vitro and in vivo models.Remirez 2002 Pretreatment with spirulina 180 mg/kg orally in a rat cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury model reduced neurologic deficits and histological changes.Thaakur 2010 A systematic review of preclinical in vivo and in vitro studies evaluating effects of spirulina (Arthrospira) and its extracts against specific toxicity induced by environmental and occupational pollutants showed strong antioxidant effects of spirulina, particularly of the C-phycocyanin protein, which has been shown to exhibit up to 20 times more antioxidant activity than ascorbic acid.Martinez-Galero 2016

Clinical data

Limited clinical studies suggest antioxidant effects of spirulina, but clinical importance has not been demonstrated.Deng 2010, McCarty 2007, Szulinska 2017 In one small clinical study, spirulina showed no effect on plasma antioxidant status.Shyam 2007

Antiplatelet/Anticoagulant activity

Ex vivo data

C-phycocyanin inhibited platelet aggregation in ex vivo experiments.Hsiao 2005

Clinical data

A small, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (N=24) assessed the impact of aqueous cyanophyta extract from spirulina (2.3 g/day, equivalent to approximately 1 g/day of phycocyanin) on coagulation and platelet activation in adults with chronic pain. After 2 weeks, no significant difference was observed in platelet aggregation, platelet P-selectin expression, serum levels of soluble P-selectin, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin clotting time, or fibrinogen activity between the aqueous cyanophyta extract and placebo groups. Significant improvement in primary pain scores at rest and when active was noted in the aqueous cyanophyta extract group (P<0.01) and between groups (P<0.05). The liver enzyme AST was also significantly reduced in the aqueous cyanophyta extract group (P<0.001). Inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 and activation of Nrf2 by phycocyanin have been identified as likely mechanisms of action.Jensen 2016

Antiviral activity

It has been suggested that cultures in which large amounts of algae are consumed have lower levels of HIV infection.Teas 2004 Spirulina and its extracts have been evaluated for antiviral activity.

In vitro data

One in vitro study found that the sulfated polysaccharide calcium spirulan interfered with the replication of several enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, mumps, measles, influenza A, and HIV-1.Hayashi 1996 Another study described a slightly different range of viruses susceptible to the extract.Hernández-Corona 2002 HIV-1 adsorption and penetration were inhibited by an aqueous extract of spirulina, and a crude hot water extract reduced HIV-1 replication.Teas 2004 This type of in vitro activity is common to acidic polysaccharides from a variety of sources. Enterovirus is also susceptible to spirulina, with allophycocyanin being the active constituent.Shih 2003

Clinical data

An evidence-based review (14 studies including 1,725 adults and 271 children) evaluated the effects of nutritional supplements, including spirulina, in HIV-infected individuals. The reviewers stated that firm conclusions could not be drawn because of the small sample sizes and heterogeneity among studies. Risk of mortality was not significantly altered with nutritional supplementary food or supplemental spirulina compared with control (placebo or no supplement) in malnourished, antiretroviral therapy–naive adults in the 2 studies evaluating this outcome. In an 8-week pediatric study evaluating effects of spirulina 10 g/day (in addition to traditional meals) on anthropometric measures, no benefit was observed compared with control (traditional meal only group). In general, the available evidence did not support the use of specific macronutrients, whey protein, or spirulina to improve anthropometric, immunologic, or clinical outcomes in HIV-infected adults and children.Grobler 2013 In a 6-month, double-blind, randomized, comparative pilot trial conducted in 66 interferon-naive adults with unresponsive chronic hepatitis C, no difference in virological response was observed between spirulina (1,500 mg/day) and silymarin (420 mg/day) groups. However, supplementation with spirulina resulted in statistically significant improvements in serum ALT values (P=0.006), sexual function total scores (P=0.001), and overall quality-of-life scores (P=0.003). Mild, transient adverse events of nausea, bloating, giddiness, and headache were reported in fewer than 6 patients in both groups.Yakoot 2012


Animal and in vitro data

In mice with zymosan-induced arthritis, phycocyanin exerted a scavenging action against reactive oxygen species, and also demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in various in vitro and in vivo models.Remirez 2002 In similar experiments of mice with complete Freund adjuvant–induced arthritis, spirulina 800 mg/kg orally for 8 days was effective in reducing inflammation.Rasool 2006 In rats, collagen-induced arthritis was inhibited by spirulina 400 mg/kg given for 45 days.Kumar 2009


Animal and in vitro data

C-phycocyanin showed a dose-dependent inhibition of HeLa and human chronic myeloid leukemia cell growth and proliferation in vitro.Li 2006, Subhashini 2004 Induction of apoptosis was considered to be one of the mechanisms involved.Li 2005 A polysaccharide extract of spirulina was antiangiogenic in a mouse corneal model.Yang 2009 Doxorubicin-resistant HepG2 liver cancer cells were inhibited by spirulina C-phycocyanin through an apoptotic mechanism,Roy 2007 while water-soluble polysaccharides were implicated as the active agent against stomach cancer cells.Oh 2011 Survival rates increased in mice with liver cancer treated with C-phycocyanin, and tumor regression has been reported in animals with oral cancer.Schwartz 1987, Schwartz 1988, Shklar 1988 Activation of antitumor natural killer (NK) cells by spirulina enhanced antitumor efficacy in a B16 mouse melanoma model, and the effect was abolished in MyD88 null/null mice, indicating that NK cell activation was a key pathway.Akao 2009 In a hamster cheek pouch model of carcinogenesis, 10 mg/day of spirulina extract reduced dysplastic changesGrawish 2008; these results were further confirmed by an immunohistochemical study.Grawish 2010 In rats, spirulina demonstrated a chemopreventive effect in dibutyl nitrosamine–induced carcinogenesis.Ismail 2009

Clinical data

In a study conducted in India, spirulina induced lesion regression in tobacco chewers with oral leukoplakia.Mathew 1995

Chelating effects

Animal and in vitro data

A protein extract and purified phycocyanin protected neuroblastoma cells from iron-induced toxicity.Bermejo-Bescós 2008 Diet supplemented with spirulina 5% prevented carbon tetrachloride–induced fatty liver in rats.Torres-Durán 1998 Cadmium toxicity in rats was reduced by spirulina, as measured by liver histopathology.Karadeniz 2009 Mercuric chloride–induced oxidative stress in mice was blocked by spirulina 800 mg/kg orally for 40 days.Sharma 2007 Lead acetate damage to rats was minimized by spirulina via normalizing plasma and liver lipid levels, as well as via antioxidant effects.Ponce-Canchihuamán 2010 S. platensis pretreatment protected mice against acetaminophen- and galactosamine-induced hepatitis.Lu 2010 Liver and kidney enzyme markers of toxicity were reduced with spirulina administration following 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide insult to rats.Viswanadha 2011 Spirulina decreased cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats, an effect attributed to its antioxidant action.Mohan 2006 Gentamicin-induced kidney damage in rats was reversed by intraperitoneal administration of spirulina 1 g/kg daily.Karadeniz 2008 In a study of pregnant mice, intragastric administration of spirulina 125 to 500 mg/kg for 17 days of gestation reduced teratogenicity due to cadmium.Paniagua-Castro 2011 In mice injected with cyclophosphamide, pretreatment with spirulina reduced mutagenicity of cyclophosphamide.Chamorro-Cevallos 2008 A systematic review of preclinical in vivo and in vitro studies of the antitoxic properties of Spirulina spp. to environmental pollutants supports the strong antioxidant effects of spirulina and notes very few reports of adverse events.Martinez-Galero 2016

Clinical data

In a small, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, spirulina plus zinc increased urinary excretion of arsenic and decreased arsenic hair content in individuals with long-term exposure to arsenic.Misbahuddin 2006

Diabetes/Metabolic syndrome

Animal data

In a study of rats with alloxan-induced diabetes, spirulina 10 mg/kg orally for 30 days lowered glucose levels while slightly elevating insulin.Muthuraman 2009

Clinical data

Two small clinical studies (N=15 and N=25) investigated the effects of spirulina supplementation in type 2 diabetes; improvement was noted in fasting blood sugar and lipid profiles. Suggested mechanisms of action include hypoglycemia caused by fiber content or possible insulin-stimulating action of peptides and polypeptides of spirulina proteins. The actions on lipids have been attributed to gamma linolenic acid content.Mani 2000, Parikh 2001 More recent systematic reviews of interventional trials exploring the effects of spirulina on metabolic syndrome have been conducted. In a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial (N=50), insulin sensitivity and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were reported to be significantly improved with administration of spirulina supplementation compared with placebo in obese patients with stable, treated hypertension (P<0.001).Szulinska 2017 Based on limited and/or equivocal data, spirulina is likely to improve glucose metabolism, lipid parameters, and possibly blood pressure for some patient populations with metabolic syndrome.van den Driessche 2018, Yousefi 2019

Dietary supplement

Spirulina, historically considered a food item in many countries, is now popularly thought of as a dietary supplement.Robb-Nicholson 2006 Spirulina has been purported to aid in weight loss because of its high phenylalanine content, but an FDA review found no evidence to support this claim.Saper 2004 Suggestions that spirulina is a valuable source of vitamin B12 have been similarly disputed.Robb-Nicholson 2006

Animal data

Skeletal muscle protein (myosin) was increased in young rats fed spirulina as the sole dietary protein source compared with those fed casein.Voltarelli 2008

Clinical data

In a study of malnourished children in the West African nation of Burkina Faso, spirulina supplementation for 8 weeks demonstrated clinical improvement in weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.Simpore 2006 Similar nutritional rehabilitation results have been demonstrated among HIV-positive children receiving spirulina.Simpore 2005 Both motor and mental development scores were significantly improved in preschool children aged 6 to 18 months in Zambia 1.5 years after the completion of 16 months of spirulina supplementation compared to no supplementation. Data collected from 370 of the original 540 children enrolled in the initial open-label trial revealed significantly higher gross and fine motor skills (P<0.001) as well as language and personal-social skills (P<0.05). Greater improvements were observed in children with baseline values that were moderately to severely stunted and/or whose dietary diversity was below median.Masuda 2019 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of elderly Koreans, a variety of positive effects (cholesterol, antioxidant status, interleukin 2 [IL-2] and IL-6 levels) were observed with administration of spirulina 8 g/day for 16 weeks.Park 2008 In another double-blind, randomized, controlled trial involving 50 obese adults with medication-controlled hypertension and no concomitant conditions, supplementation with 2 g/day of S. maxima for 3 months did not result in beneficial changes in plasma mineral levels (ie, calcium, magnesium, zinc) but did lead to significantly lower iron levels compared with placebo (P=0.008).Suliburska 2016


Clinical data

Although spirulina supplementation (3 g/day) was ineffective against idiopathic chronic fatigue in one small study, it showed improvements in some physical and mental fatigue parameters in healthy, active men in another small study.Baicus 2007, Johnson 2016 In a small study of moderately trained males, spirulina increased time to fatigue, decreased carbohydrate oxidation rate, and increased fat oxidation rate, leading to an increase in exercise performance.Kalafati 2010

Hepatoprotective effects

Clinical data

In a case series of 3 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, spirulina 4.5 g/day for 3 months improved ALT values and lipid profiles.Ferreira-Hermosillo 2010


Clinical data

In a small pilot study of patients with systemic arterial hypertension (N=16; 3 men, 13 women) treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, adjunctive oral supplementation with S. maxima 4.5 g/day for 12 weeks significantly improved mean systolic blood pressure compared with placebo (126 vs 140 mm Hg; P<0.05), as well as some but not all markers of endothelial damage and antioxidant status. Reported adverse events were similar between groups.Martínez-Sámano 2018 However, in a small, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 24 adults with chronic pain, no difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure was observed between placebo patients and those receiving aqueous cyanophyta extract (2.3 g/day, equivalent to approximately 1 g/day of phycocyanin).Jensen 2016

Immune system effects

Animal and experimental data

Most in vitro and animal experiments have suggested immunostimulatory effects; however, one in vitro study found a spirulina extract to be immunosuppressive.Rasool 2009 Activation of monocytes and macrophages,Balachandran 2006, Pugh 2001 as well as augmentation of interleukin and interferon production, have been demonstrated.Mao 2000 In a study of aged mice, treatment with spirulina increased intestinal epithelial lymphocytes compared with the control aged group.Hayashi 2009 An ex vivo study of NK cells from spirulina-treated healthy patients showed increased NK activity, an effect confirmed by a second study in which NK cell and T-cell markers were increased with spirulina.Nielsen 2010

Clinical data

In a study in healthy men, oral administration of spirulina for 3 months resulted in enhanced interferon production and NK cell capacity.Teas 2004 A trial in elderly patients showed positive effects on anemia and immunosenescence after 6 and 12 weeks of spirulina supplementation.Selmi 2011 Immunostimulatory effects appear to be largely mediated by spirulina polysaccharides.Balachandran 2006, Pugh 2001 In a small, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 19 trained male athletes, supplementation with spirulina 1,500 mg/day for 6 weeks appeared to mitigate exercise-induced reductions in some immune parameters, suggesting a potential preventative effect against strenuous exercise–induced immune deficits.Juszkiewicz 2018

Lipid effects

Animal data

Experiments in rats suggest that C-phycocyanin exhibits hypocholesterolemic action.Nagaoka 2005 In rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet, the addition of spirulina (1% or 5%) lowered serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL at 8 weeks. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) was markedly increased.Cheong 2010

Clinical data

Two small clinical studies examined the role of spirulina in hyperlipidemia secondary to nephrotic syndrome. Both populations showed an improved lipid profile with spirulina supplementation; however, the control group in one experiment also showed improvement. The gamma linolenic acid content of spirulina may have played a role in the mechanism of action.Khanam 2001, Samuels 2002 A study in type 2 diabetes patients reported a reduction in triglycerides with use of spirulina 8 g/day for 12 weeks.Lee 2008 In studies of healthy volunteers, spirulina 4.5 g/day for 6 weeks lowered blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL, and increased HDL.Juárez-Oropeza 2009, Torres-Duran 2007 In a 15-day study of healthy runners, spirulina 5 g/day produced a significant reduction (−20%) in postprandial triglyceride levels compared with baseline (P=0.04). Subgroup analysis found that triglyceride reduction was greatest in 10- to 12-year-old study participants.Torres-Durán 2012 In a case series of 3 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, spirulina 4.5 g/day for 3 months improved ALT values and lipid profiles.Ferreira-Hermosillo 2010 A systematic review and meta-analysis identified 7 randomized controlled trials (N=522) evaluating spirulina's effects on lipid parameters. Diagnoses of participants included type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease, overweight, nephrotic syndrome, and HIV, with one trial enrolling volunteers. Pooled results supported efficacy of spirulina in improving total cholesterol (weighed mean difference [WMD], −46.76 mg/dL; P<0.001), LDL (WMD, −41.32 mg/dL; P<0.001), triglycerides (WMD, −44.23 mg/dL; P<0.001), and HDL (WMD, +6.06 mg/dL; P=0.001); effects were independent of dose. No adverse events were reported for any dosages used (1 to 10 g/day for durations of 2 to 12 months).Serban 2016 Recent systematic reviews of interventional trials exploring the effects of spirulina on metabolic syndrome suggest spirulina is likely to improve glucose metabolism and lipid parameters in some patient populations with metabolic syndrome, based on limited and/or equivocal data.van den Driessche 2018, Yousefi 2019


Animal data

A rat study showed that spirulina potentially protects neural stem cells and promotes their growth.Bachstetter 2010

Clinical data

An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) support network did not find evidence sufficiently compelling to support use of spirulina in ALS and states that better efficacy and safety studies are needed.ALSUntangled 2011


Clinical data

Recent systematic reviews of interventional trials exploring the effects of spirulina on metabolic syndrome report a potential beneficial effect on weight reduction in populations with metabolic syndrome based on limited and/or equivocal data.van den Driessche 2018, Yousefi 2019 In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial in 52 obese or overweight sedentary Mexican men, spirulina alone and in combination with a physical exercise program reduced body weight compared with the placebo phase. Obese men experienced more benefit than their overweight counterparts. Cardiorespiratory fitness was similarly improved with spirulina with and without exercise, with more benefit evident in the obese group.Hernández-Lepe 2018


Animal data

In a study of rosiglitazone-treated rats, oral treatment with spirulina 500 mg/kg/day reduced the risk of osteoporosis.Gupta 2010

Radioprotective effects

In vitro data

Spirulina has been reported to protect mouse and human bone marrow cells against gamma radiation.Klingler 2002, Lu 2006, Mao 2005, Mohan 2006, Qishen 1989, Wu 2005


Clinical data are insufficient to guide therapeutic dosing of spirulina. Spirulina has typically been studied in daily dosages of 1 to 10 g, usually in divided doses, for durations of 15 days to 12 months.Grobler 2013, Labhe 2001, Serban 2016, Simpore 2006, Torres-Durán 2012, Yousefi 2019

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Spirulina may contain more than 180 mcg of mercury per 20 gJohnson 1986 and should be avoided during pregnancy. A case of neonatal hypercalcemia, considered a likely result of maternal exposure to excessive S. platensis, was reported in a 1-day-old newborn. Subsequent to 5 months of daily maternal spirulina consumption, spirulina-related toxicity was suspected to have caused hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol to calcitriol, resulting in fetal hypercalcemia.Moulis 2012


None well documented. An antiplatelet effect has been demonstrated in vitro but was not clinically evaluated.Hsiao 2005 A likely lab specimen interference was suspected in an otherwise healthy, asymptomatic 55-year-old female who presented for her annual physical with very high carbohydrate antigen levels; the patient had been taking spirulina health products for approximately 6 months. Interference was noted in 2 different assay methods (ARCHITEXT i2000 and cobas E601).Li 2015

Adverse Reactions

Few reports of adverse reactions are available. Case reports of immunoblisteringKraigher 2008 and rhabdomyolysisMazokopakis 2008 linked to spirulina have been published. Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) may contain the amino acid phenylalanine; therefore, individuals with phenylketonuria should avoid spirulina.Robb-Nicholson 2006 A case of spirulina-associated hepatotoxicity has been reported.Iwasa 2002 Hepatotoxic microcystins and neurotoxic anatoxin-a are produced by a number of cyanobacteria and have been reported as spirulina contaminants.Jiang 2008, Rawn 2007 Other contaminants include the heavy metals mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and lead, as well as microbes cultivated on fermented animal waste.Johnson 1986, Wu 1981 There may be a potential for adverse reactions in individuals with autoimmune disorders who consume immunostimulatory herbal preparations.Lee 2004 Two cases of anaphylaxis in young, atopic teenage boys have been reported, each occurring within 10 minutes to 6 hours of consuming spirulina tablets. In both cases, the reaction was confirmed as a positive allergic reaction to S. platensis via skin prick tests. In one case, the offending allergen was positively identified as C-phycocyanin protein.Le 2014, Petrus 2010 A case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome in a patient with Cushing disease was suspected to have developed 1 week after taking a spirulina product.Mustafa 2009


Information is limited. Spirulina is considered nontoxic to humans at usual levels of consumption and has GRAS status according to the FDA. Excessive spirulina consumption (daily for 5 months) during the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy was considered the likely cause of fetal hypercalcemia in a newborn.Moulis 2012



This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

More about spirulina

Related treatment guides

Akao Y, Ebihara T, Masuda H, et al. Enhancement of antitumor natural killer cell activation by orally administered spirulina extract in mice. Cancer Sci. 2009;100(8):1494-1501.19432881
ALSUntangled Group. ALSUntangled No. 9: Blue-green algae (Spirulina) as a treatment for ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2011;12(2):153-155.21323493
Bachstetter AD, Jernberg J, Schlunk A, et al. Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis and protects against LPS induced declines in neural stem cell proliferation. PLoS One. 2010;5(5):e10496.20463965
Baicus C, Baicus A. Spirulina did not ameliorate idiopathic chronic fatigue in four N-of-1 randomized controlled trials. Phytother Res. 2007;21(6):570-573.17335116
Balachandran P, Pugh ND, Ma G, Pasco DS. Toll-like receptor 2-dependent activation of monocytes by spirulina polysaccharide and its immune enhancing action in mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006;6(12):1808-1814.17052671
Bermejo-Bescós P, Piñero-Estrada E, Villar del Fresno AM. Neuroprotection by Spirulina platensis protean extract and phycocyanin against iron-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2008;22(6):1496-1502.18572379
Chamorro-Cevallos G, Garduño-Siciliano L, Barrón BL, Madrigal-Bujaidar E, Cruz-Vega DE, Pages N. Chemoprotective effect of spirulina (Arthrospira) against cyclophosphamide-induced mutagenicity in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46(2):567-574.17928122
Chen T, Wong YS. In vitro antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of selenium-containing phycocyanin from selenium-enriched Spirulina platensis. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(12):4352-4358.18522403
Cheong SH, Kim MY, Sok DE, et al. Spirulina prevents atherosclerosis by reducing hypercholesterolemia in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2010;56(1):34-40.20354344
Ciferri O. Spirulina, the edible microorganism. Microbiol Rev. 1983;47(4):551-578.6420655
Ciferri O, Tiboni O. The biochemistry and industrial potential of spirulina. Annu Rev Microbiol. 1985;39:503-526.3933408
Cingi C, Conk-Dalay M, Cakli H, Bal C. The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008;265(10):1219-1223.18343939
Dartsch PC. Antioxidant potential of selected Spirulina platensis preparations. Phytother Res. 2008;22(5):627-633.18398928
Deng R, Chow TJ. Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae spirulina. Cardiovasc Ther. 2010;28(4):e33-e45.20633020
Dillon JC, Phuc AP, Dubacq JP. Nutritional value of the alga Spirulina. World Rev Nutr Diet. 1995;77:32-46.7732699
El-Sheekh MM, Mahmoud YA, Abo-Shady AM, Hamza W. Efficacy of Rhodotorula glutinis and Spirulina platensis carotenoids in immunopotentiation of mice infected with Candida albicans SC5314 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 35. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2010;55(1):61-67.20336506
Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Torres-Duran PV, Juarez-Oropeza MA. Hepatoprotective effects of Spirulina maxima in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a case series. J Med Case Rep. 2010;4:103.20370930
Gad AS, Khadrawy YA, El-Nekeety AA, Mohamed SR, Hassan NS, Abdel-Wahhab MA. Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective effects of whey protein and spirulina in rats. Nutrition. 2011;27(5):582-589.20708378
García-Martínez D, Rupérez FJ, Ugarte P, Barbas C. Tocopherol fate in plasma and liver of streptozotocin-treated rats that orally received antioxidants and spirulina extracts. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007;77(4):263-271.18271281
Gòdia F, Albiol J, Montesinos JL, et al. MELISSA: a loop of interconnected bioreactors to develop life support in space. J Biotechnol. 2002;99(3):319-330.12385718
Grawish ME. Effects of Spirulina platensis extract on Syrian hamster cheek pouch mucosa painted with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. Oral Oncol. 2008;44(10):956-962.18262461
Grawish ME, Zaher AR, Gaafar AI, Nasif WA. Long-term effect of Spirulina platensis extract on DMBA-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis (immunohistochemical study). Med Oncol. 2010;27(1):20-28.19156551
Grobler L, Siegfried N, Visser ME, Mahlungulu SS, Volmink J. Nutritional interventions for reducing morbidity and mortality in people with HIV. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(2):CD004536.23450554
Gupta S, Hrishikeshvan HJ, Sehajpal PK. Spirulina protects against rosiglitazone induced osteoporosis in insulin resistance rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010;87(1):38-43.19896232
Hayashi O, Katayanagi Y, Ishii K, Kato T. Flow cytometric analysis of age-related changes in intestine intraepithelial lymphocyte subsets and their functional preservation after feeding mice on spirulina. J Med Food. 2009;12(5):982-989.19857060
Hayashi T, Hayashi K, Maeda M, Kojima I. Calcium spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis. J Nat Prod. 1996;59(1):83-87.8984158
Hernández-Corona A, Nieves I, Meckes M, Chamorro G, Barron BL. Antiviral activity of Spirulina maxima against herpes simplex virus type 2. Antiviral Res. 2002;56(3):279-285.12406511
Hernández-Lepe MA, López-Díaz JA, Juárez-Oropeza MA, Hernández-Torres RP, Wall-Medrano A, Ramos-Jiménez A. Effect of Arthrospira (Spirulina) maxima supplementation and a systematic physical exercise program on the body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of overweight or obese subjects: a double-blind, randomized, and crossover controlled trial. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(10).30275428
Herrero M, Vicente MJ, Cifuentes A, Ibáñez E. Characterization by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry of the lipid fraction of Spirulina platensis pressurized ethanol extract. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2007;21(11):1729-1738.17487827
Hsiao G, Chou PH, Shen MY, Chou DS, Lin CH, Sheu JR. C-phycocyanin, a very potent and novel platelet aggregation inhibitor from Spirulina platensis. J Agric Food Chem. 2005;53(20):7734-7740.16190625
Ismail MF, Ali DA, Fernando A, et al. Chemoprevention of rat liver toxicity and carcinogenesis by spirulina. Int J Biol Sci. 2009;5(4):377-387.19521547
Iwasa M, Yamamoto M, Tanaka Y, Kaito M, Adachi Y. Spirulina-associated hepatotoxicity. Am J Gastroenterol. 2002;97(12):3212-3213.12492223
Jensen GS, Attridge VL, Beaman JL, Guthrie J, Ehmann A, Benson KF. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of an aqueous cyanophyta extract derived from Arthrospira platensis: contribution to bioactivities by the non-phycocyanin aqueous fraction. J Med Food. 2015;18(5):535-541.25764268
Jensen GS, Drapeau C, Lenninger M, Benson KF. Clinical safety of a high dose of phycocyanin-enriched aqueous extract from Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis: results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a focus on anticoagulant activity and platelet activation. J Med Food. 2016;19(7):645-653.27362442
Jiang Y, Xie P, Chen J, Liang G. Detection of the hepatotoxic microcystins in 36 kinds of cyanobacteria spirulina food products in China. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2008;25(7):885-894.18569007
Johnson M, Hassinger L, Davis J, Devor ST, DiSilvestro RA. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of spirulina supplementation on indices of mental and physical fatigue in men. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016;67(2):203-206.26888417
Johnson PE, Shubert LE. Availability of iron to rats from Spirulina, a blue-green alga. Nutr Res. 1986;6(1):85.
Juárez-Oropeza MA, Mascher D, Torres-Durán PV, Farias JM, Paredes-Carbajal MC. Effects of dietary spirulina on vascular reactivity. J Med Food. 2009;12(1):15-20.19298191
Juszkiewicz A, Basta P, Petriczko E, et al. An attempt to induce an immunomodulatory effect in rowers with spirulina extract. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15:9.29467598
Kalafati M, Jamurtas AZ, Nikolaidis MG, et al. Ergogenic and antioxidant effects of spirulina supplementation in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(1):142-151.20010119
Kapoor R, Mehta U. Effect of supplementation of blue green algae (spirulina) on outcome of pregnancy in rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1993;43(1):29-35.8464842
Kapoor R, Mehta U. Iron status and growth of rats fed different dietary iron sources. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1993;44(1):29-34.8332584
Kapoor R, Mehta U. Utilization of beta-carotene from Spirulina platensis by rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1993;43(1):1-7.8464841
Karadeniz A, Cemek M, Simsek N. The effects of Panax ginseng and Spirulina platensis on hepatotoxicity induced by cadmium in rats. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009;72(1):231-235.18395256
Karadeniz A, Yildirim A, Simsek N, Kalkan Y, Celebi F. Spirulina platensis protects against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Phytother Res. 2008;22(11):1506-1510.18690652
Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, Sivaji N, Assimakopoulos DA. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:531053.18955364
Khan Z, Bhadouria P, Bisen PS. Nutritional and therapeutic potential of Spirulina. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2005;6(5):373-379.16248810
Khanam A, Rashid H. Effect of spirulina on lipid profile in patients with glomerulonephritis. Bangladesh Renal J. 2001;20:8-13.
Kim MY, Cheong SH, Lee JH, Kim MJ, Sok DE, Kim MR. Spirulina improves antioxidant status by reducing oxidative stress in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. J Med Food. 2010;13(2):420-426.20210608
Klingler W, Kreja L, Nothdurft W, Selig C. Influence of different radioprotective compounds on radiotolerance and cell cycle distribution of human progenitor cells of granulocytopoiesis in vitro. Br J Haematol. 2002;119(1):244-254.12358931
Kraigher O, Wohl Y, Gat A, Brenner S. A mixed immunoblistering disorder exhibiting features of bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus foliaceus associated with spirulina algae intake. Int J Dermatol. 2008;47(1):61-63.18173606
Kulshreshtha A, Zacharia AJ, Jarouliya U, Bhadauriya P, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. Spirulina in health care management. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2008;9(5):400-405.18855693
Kumar N, Singh S, Patro N, Patro I. Evaluation of protective efficacy of Spirulina platensis against collagen-induced arthritis in rats. Inflammopharmacology. 2009;17(3):181-190.19390977
Labhe RU, Mani UV, Iyer UM, Mishra M, Jani K, Bhattacharya A. The effect of spirulina in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Nutraceutical Functional Med Foods. 2001;3(pt 4):53-62.
Le TM, Knulst AC, Röckmann H. Anaphylaxis to spirulina confirmed by skin prick test with ingredients of spirulina tablets. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014;74:309-310.25445756
Lee AN, Werth VP. Activation of autoimmunity following use of immunostimulatory herbal supplements. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(6):723-727.15210464
Lee EH, Park JE, Choi YJ, Huh KB, Kim WY. A randomized study to establish the effects of spirulina in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutr Res Pract. 2008;2(4):295-300.20016733
Li B, Gao MH, Zhang XC, Chu XM. Molecular immune mechanism of C-phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis induces apoptosis in HeLa cells in vitro. Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2006;43(pt 3):155-164.16316316
Li B, Zhang X, Gao M, Chu X. Effects of CD59 on antitumoral activities of phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis. Biomed Pharmacother. 2005;59(10):551-560.16271846
Li M, Shen S, Zhou H. Caution in a case of highly discrepant carbohydrate antigen 19-9 values in an apparently healthy patient taking spirulina: a case report. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2015;53(2):e45-e46.25153597
Lu HK, Hsieh CC, Hsu JJ, Yang YK, Chou HN. Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006;98(2):220-226.16944194
Lu J, Ren DF, Wang JZ, Sanada H, Egashira Y. Protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against D-galactosamine–and acetaminophen-induced liver injuries. Br J Nutr. 2010;103(11):1573-1576.20102673
Lumsden J, Hall DO. Soluble & membrane-bound superoxide dismutases in a blue-green algae (spirulina) and spinach. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1974;58(1):35-41.4364622
Mani UV, Desai S, Iyer I. Studies on the long-term effect of spirulina supplementation on serum lipid profile and glycated proteins in NIDDM patients. J Nutraceutical Funct Med Foods. 2000;2(3):25-32.
Mao TK, Van de Water J, Gershwin ME. Effect of spirulina on the secretion of cytokines from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. J Med Food. 2000;3(3):135-140.19281334
Mao TK, Van de Water J, Gershwin ME. Effects of a spirulina-based dietary supplement on cytokine production from allergic rhinitis patients. J Med Food. 2005;8(1):27-30.15857205
Maranesi M, Barzanti V, Carenini G, Gentili P. Nutritional studies on Spirulina maxima. Acta Vitaminol Enzymol. 1984;6(4):295-304.6442827
Martínez-Galero E, Pérez-Pastén R, Perez-Juarez A, Fabila-Castillo L, Gutiérrez-Salmeán G, Chamorro G. Preclinical antitoxic properties of spirulina (Arthrospira). Pharm Biol. 2016;54(8):1345-1353.26439611
Martínez-Sámano J, Torres-Montes de Oca A, Luqueño-Bocardo OI, Torres-Durán PV, Juárez-Oropeza MA. Spirulina maxima decreases endothelial damage and oxidative stress indicators in patients with systemic arterial hypertension: results from exploratory controlled clinical trial. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(12).30544795
Masuda K, Chitundu M. Multiple micronutrient supplementation using Spirulina platensis during the first 1000 days is positively associated with development in children under five years: a follow up of a randomized trial in Zambia. Nutrients. 2019;11(4). pii:E730.30934863
Mathew B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair PP, et al. Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiformis. Nutr Cancer. 1995;24(2):197-202.8584455
Mazokopakis EE, Karefilakis CM, Tsartsalis AN, Milkas AN, Ganotakis ES. Acute rhabdomyolysis caused by spirulina (Arthrospira platensis). Phytomedicine. 2008;15(6-7):525-527.18434120
McCarty MF. Clinical potential of spirulina as a source of phycocyanobilin. J Med Food. 2007;10(4):566-570.18158824
Misbahuddin M, Islam AZ, Khandker S, Ifthaker-Al-Mahmud, Islam N, Anjumanara. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2006;44(2):135-141.16615668
Mitchell GV, Grundel E, Jenkins M, Blakely SR. Effects of graded dietary levels of Spirulina maxima on vitamins A and E in male rats. J Nutr. 1990;120(10):1235-1240.2213251
Mohan IK, Khan M, Shobha JC, et al. Protection against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by spirulina in rats. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2006;58(6):802-808.16552571
Moulis G, Batz A, Durrieu G, Viard C, Decramer S, Montastruc JL. Severe neonatal hypercalcemia related to maternal exposure to nutritional supplement containing spirulina. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2012;68(2):221-222.21842336
Mustafa N, Periyasamy P, Kamaruddin N. Steven Johnson syndrome in a patient with Cushing's disease. Med J Malaysia. 2009;64(3):238-239.20527277
Muthuraman P, Senthilkumar R, Srikumar K. Alterations in beta-islets of Langerhans in alloxan-induced diabetic rats by marine Spirulina platensis. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2009;24(6):1253-1256.19912059
Nagaoka S, Shimizu K, Kaneko H, et al. A novel protein C-phycocyanin plays a crucial role in the hypocholesterolemic action of Spirulina platensis concentrate in rats. J Nutr. 2005;135(10):2425-2430.16177207
Nielsen CH, Balachandran P, Christensen O, et al. Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects by Immulina a spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins. Planta Med. 2010;76(16):1802-1808.20560112
Oh SH, Ahn J, Kang DH, Lee HY. The effect of ultrasonificated extracts of Spirulina maxima on the anticancer activity. Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2011;13(2):205-214.20405153
Otleş S, Pire R. Fatty acid composition of Chlorella and Spirulina microalgae species. J AOAC Int. 2001;84(6):1708-1714.11767135
Ozdemir G, Karabay NU, Dalay MC, Pazarbasi B. Antibacterial activity of volatile component and various extracts of Spirulina platensis. Phytother Res. 2004;18(9):754-757.15478198
Paniagua-Castro N, Escalona-Cardoso G, Hernández-Navarro D, Pérez-Pastén R, Chamorro-Cevallos G. Spirulina (Arthrospira) protects against cadmium-induced teratogenic damage in mice. J Med Food. 2011;14(4):398-404.21254891
Parikh P, Mani U, Iyer U. Role of spirulina in the control of glycemia and lipidemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Med Food. 2001;4(4):193-199.12639401
Park HJ, Lee YJ, Ryu HK, Kim MH, Chung HW, Kim WY. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(4):322-328.18714150
Patil G, Chethana S, Madhusudhan MC, Raghavarao KS. Fractionation and purification of the phycobiliproteins from Spirulina platensis. Bioresour Technol. 2008;99(15):7393-7396.18295479
Petrus M, Culerrier R, Campistron M, Barre A, Rougé P. First case report of anaphylaxis to spirulin: identification of phycocyanin as responsible allergen. Allergy. 2010;65(7):924-925.19889119
Ponce-Canchihuamán JC, Pérez-Méndez O, Hernández-Muñoz R, Torres-Durán PV, Juárez-Oropeza MA. Protective effects of Spirulina maxima on hyperlipidemia and oxidative-stress induced by lead acetate in the liver and kidney. Lipids Health Dis. 2010;9:35.20353607
Pugh N, Ross SA, ElSohly HN, ElSohly MA, Pasco DS. Isolation of three high molecular weight polysaccharide preparations with potent immunostimulatory activity from Spirulina platensis, Aphanizomen flos-aquae and Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Planta Med. 2001;67(8):737-742.11731916
Qishen P, Guo BJ, Kolman A. Radioprotective effect of extract from Spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test. Toxicol Lett. 1989;48(2):165-169.2505406
Rasool M, Sabina EP. Appraisal of immunomodulatory potential of Spirulina fusiformis: an in vivo and in vitro study. J Nat Med. 2009;63(2):169-175.19093070
Rasool M, Sabina EP, Lavanya B. Anti-inflammatory effect of Spirulina fusiformis on adjuvant-induced arthritis in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006;29(12):2483-2487.17142986
Rawn DF, Niedzwiadek B, Lau BP, Saker M. Anatoxin-a and its metabolites in blue-green algae food supplements from Canada and Portugal. J Food Prot. 2007;70(3):776-779.17388076
Remirez D, González R, Merino N, Rodriguez S, Ancheta O. Inhibitory effects of spirulina in zymosan-induced arthritis in mice. Mediators Inflamm. 2002;11(2):75-79.12061427
Remirez D, Ledón N, González R. Role of histamine in the inhibitory effects of phycocyanin in experimental models of allergic inflammatory response. Mediators Inflamm. 2002;11(2):81-85.12061428
Riss J, Décordé K, Sutra T, et al. Phycobiliprotein C-phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis is powerfully responsible for reducing oxidative stress and NADPH oxidase expression induced by an atherogenic diet in hamsters. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55(19):7962-7967.17696484
Robb-Nicholson C. By the way, doctor. I read that spirulina is the next wonder vitamin. What can you tell me about it? Harv Womens Health Watch. 2006;14(3):8.17228442
Roy KR, Arunasree KM, Reddy NP, Dheeraj B, Reddy GV, Reddanna P. Alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential by Spirulina platensis C-phycocyanin induces apoptosis in the doxorubicinresistant human hepatocellular-carcinoma cell line HepG2. Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2007;47(pt 3):159-167.17274761
Samuels R, Mani UV, Iyer UM, Nayak US. Hypocholesterolemic effect of spirulina in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome. J Med Food. 2002;5(2):91-96.12487756
Saper RB, Eisenberg DM, Phillips, RS. Common dietary supplements for weight loss. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70(9):1731-1738.15554492
Schwartz J, Shklar G. Regression of experimental hamster cancer by beta carotene and algae extracts. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1987;45(6):510-515.3108474
Schwartz J, Shklar G, Reid S, Trickler D. Prevention of experimental oral cancer by extracts of spirulina-dunaliella algae. Nutr Cancer. 1988;11(2):127-134.3129701
Selmi C, Leung PS, Fischer L, et al. The effects of spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cell Mol Immunol. 2011;8(3):248-254.21278762
Serban MC, Sahebkar A, Dragan S, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations. Clin Nutr. 2016;35(4):842-851.26433766
Sharma MK, Sharma A, Kumar A, Kumar M. Spirulina fusiformis provides protection against mercuric chloride induced oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45(12):2412-2419.17706852
Shih SR, Tsai KN, Li YS, Chueh CC, Chan EC. Inhibition of enterovirus 71-induced apoptosis by allophycocyanin isolated from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis. J Med Virol. 2003;70(1):119-125.12629652
Shklar G, Schwartz J. Tumor necrosis factor in experimental cancer regression with alphatocopherol, beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and algae extract. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1988;24(5):839-850.3139418
Shyam R, Singh SN, Vats P, et al. Wheat grass supplementation decreases oxidative stress in healthy subjects: a comparative study with spirulina. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(8):789-791.17983333
Simpore J, Kabore F, Zongo F, et al. Nutrition rehabilitation of undernourished children utilizing Spiruline and Misola. Nutr J. 2006;5:3.16430775
Simpore J, Zongo F, Kabore F, et al. Nutrition rehabilitation of HIV-infected and HIV-negative undernourished children utilizing spirulina. Ann Nutr Metab. 2005;49(6):373-380.16219988
Subhashini J, Mahipal SV, Reddy MC, Mallikarjuna Reddy M, Rachamallu A, Reddanna P. Molecular mechanisms in C-Phycocyanin induced apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia cell line-K562. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004;68(3):453-462.15242812
Suliburska J, Szulińska M, Tinkov AA, Bogdański P. Effect of Spirulina maxima supplementation on calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc status in obese patients with treated hypertension. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016;173(1):1-6.26779620
Szulinska M, Gibas-Dorna M, Miller-Kasprzak E, et al. Spirulina maxima improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and total antioxidant status in obese patients with well-treated hypertension: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017;21(10):2473-2481.28617537
Teas J, Hebert JR, Fitton JH, Zimba PV. Algae—a poor man's HAART? Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(4):507-510.15050097
Thaakur S, Sravanthi R. Neuroprotective effect of spirulina in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2010;117(9):1083-1091.20700612
Torres-Duran PV, Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Juarez-Oropeza MA. Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of Mexican population: a preliminary report. Lipids Health Dis. 2007;6:33.18039384
Torres-Durán PV, Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Ramos-Jiménez A, Hernández-Torres RP, Juárez-Oropeza MA. Effect of Spirulina maxima on postprandial lipemia in young runners: a preliminary report. J Med Food. 2012;15(8):753-757.22738038
Torres-Durán PV, Miranda-Zamora R, Paredes-Carbajal MC, Mascher D, Díaz-Zagoya JC, Juárez-Oropeza MA. Spirulina maxima prevents induction of fatty liver by carbon tetrachloride in the rat. Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1998;44(4):787-793.9584992
van den Driessche JJ, Plat J, Mensink RP. Effects of superfoods on risk factors of metabolic syndrome: a systematic review of human intervention trials. Food Funct. 2018;9(4):1944-1966.29557436
Viswanadha VP, Sivan S, Rajendra Shenoi R. Protective effect of spirulina against 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide induced toxicity. Mol Biol Rep. 2011;38(1):309-317.20352348
Voltarelli FA, de Mello MA. Spirulina enhanced the skeletal muscle protein in growing rats. Eur J Nutr. 2008;47(7):393-400.18807105
Wang J, Wang Y, Wang Z, et al. Vitamin A equivalence of spirulina beta-carotene in Chinese adults as assessed by using a stable-isotope reference method. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(6):1730-1737.18541562
Wu JF, Pond WG. Amino acid composition and microbial contamination of Spirulina maxima, a blue-green alga, grown on the effluent of fermented animal wastes. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1981;27(2):151-159.6794684
Wu LC, Ho JA, Shieh MC, Lu IW. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Spirulina and Chlorella water extracts. J Agric Food Chem. 2005;53(10):4207-4212.15884862
Yakoot M, Salem A. Spirulina platensis versus silymarin in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. A pilot randomized, comparative clinical trial. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012;12:32.22497849
Yang L, Wang Y, Zhou Q, et al. Inhibitory effects of polysaccharide extract from Spirulina platensis on corneal neovascularization. Mol Vis. 2009;15:1951-1961.19784394
Yoshikawa N, Belay A. Single-laboratory validation of a method for the determination of c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin in spirulina (Arthrospira) supplements and raw materials by spectrophotometry. J AOAC Int. 2008;91(3):524-529.18567296
Yousefi R, Saidpour A, Mottaghi A. The effects of spirulina supplementation on metabolic syndrome components, its liver manifestation and related inflammatory markers: a systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2019;42:137-144.30670232

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.