Spirulina Health Benefits and Information

Spirulina Health Benefits and Information

Spirulina is one of hundreds of algae species and is commonly known as blue green algae. Because so many different kinds of algae exist, they are identified primarily by their color. Algae, including spirulina, are tiny organisms that usually grow in water. Some of the different algae are blue-green, green, yellow-green, red, and brown.

Unlike most other plants, spirulina does not have roots, leaves, or stems. Spirulina, does however, contain a pigment called chlorophyll which is required by all plants to turn sunlight into food energy. Spirulina also removes carbon dioxide from the air and releases oxygen. Unlike many other plants, spirulina creates proteins and sugars just as animals do.

Around the world, spirulina is used as food source for animals and humans. While considered a food staple in some parts of the world, spirulina is also well known for its medicinal applications. It also contains antioxidants such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin; these antioxidants are thought to decrease the activity of free radicals that damage body cells, by a chemical process called oxidation, and suppress immune function.

Dosage and Administration

Spirulina is available in tablets and powder. One tablespoon of spirulina powder is about 7,000 mg (7 grams). Follow the directions on the manufacturer's package that you buy. Doses used in some human studies varied from about 1,000 mg (one gram) per day to more than 5,000 mg (5 grams) per day.