HomeHealth articlesweight lossSpirulina

Spirulina is a popular food supplement that has been used for several decades. Read the article and learn more about the benefits.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Sumiya Sulthana

Published At May 12, 2020
Reviewed AtDecember 14, 2022

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green alga that is consumed by both animals and humans. There are two different species of spirulina. It is used as fodder in aquaculture and poultry. It is considered a superfood as it has immense nutritional value. In old age, it was used as a medicine and can potentially treat eye problems, maintain oral health, and maintain weight and blood glucose levels.

What Are the Characteristics of Spirulina?

It lives at a pH of about 8.5 and a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.

  • They are autotrophic organisms.

  • They make their own food and do not need any other source.

  • The cells of the algae do not have tough and fibrous walls.

In Which Form Is Spirulina Supplied?

Spirulina is supplied in powder and tablet form. It is available in pharmacies, hospitals, and other health centers. Spirulina can be added to the diet in different forms.

  • Add it to milk or water, which changes to a green drink.

  • Consume it by sprinkling them on soups and salads.

  • Mix a small spoon with fruits and vegetables.

  • Add it to health drinks.

What Are the Benefits of Spirulina?

  • Spirulina is an ideal dye for sweets, chocolates, candies, and ice creams.

  • It has anti-viral, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties.

  • It has immuno-modulating properties and can modify the gene according to different immune reactions.

  • It can fight obesity and diabetes.

  • It has hypocholesterolemic (lowering cholesterol) and hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugars) abilities.

  • It contains major bioactive components.

  • It is an excellent choice when formulating diets.

  • Due to its rich nutritional value, it can fight malnutrition.

  • It absorbs sunlight and produces nutrients in the cell, which converts the carbon dioxide gas into oxygen.

  • It is helpful in removing toxins from the blood.

  • It purifies the liver.

  • It is used for brewing beer.

  • It is used in shampoos and conditioners as it can increase hair growth.

What Is the Nutritional Value of Spirulina?

Dried parts of spirulina have a rich content of carbohydrates, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, minerals, proteins, carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, B12, and fat. In addition, it has high levels of iron.

One single spoon of dried spirulina has the following contents:

4 grams of protein, 1.6 grams of carbohydrate, 0.5 grams of fat, 8 mg (milligrams) of phosphorus and calcium, 2 milligrams of iron, 14 mg of magnesium, 73 mg of sodium, 1 mg of vitamin C, and 95 mg of potassium.

How Does It Help in Losing Weight?

People are known to lose weight if they reduce their food intake along with a few exercises. Spirulina is a low-calorie food item with a lot of nutrition. A study was conducted in 2016, which showed that spirulina has better quality effects on weight loss. Also, people who were obese were told to consume spirulina continuously for three months. As a result, all the people involved in this study drastically improved their body mass index.

Spirulina reduces the appetite and elevates the energy level, as it is rich in protein and fiber and gives satiety with a regular meal. So a person may feel full after eating a limited amount of food and not overeat.

What Does It Do to the Gut?

Spirulina has a structure that can be easily digested. Since it has sheer walls, the consumed spirulina is easily digested. Spirulina has a good impact on the intestine. It improves the functioning of the immune system. Prebiotics are the parts of undigested food. It facilitates the growth of some bacteria, thereby improving gut health. When it is eaten along with fiber-rich foods, it has many more beneficial effects. During aging, more useful bacteria can be preserved in the gut.

What Are the Effects on Diabetes?

Spirulina helps in the management of diabetes. High fasting blood sugar is common in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In 2017, a study was conducted on mice. The results of this study were significant. When spirulina was injected into the mice, the levels of blood sugar were reduced. There were also higher levels of insulin and enhanced liver enzyme functions.

Does It Boost the Metabolism?

Spirulina does an excellent job of enhancing a person’s body metabolism. Having a high metabolic function can increase stamina and make a person feel energetic and fresh. In addition, the anabolism and catabolism rates get increased, so weight loss would be a huge possibility.

What Does Spirulina Have to Do With Allergies?

If a person has allergies to dust, pollen grains, and pets, the person may suffer from allergic rhinitis. Spirulina is known to relieve nasal congestion. It can also reduce itching, sneezing, and runny nose.

Does It Have an Influence on Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure?

Spirulina can reduce the total cholesterol level. It is known to have a positive impact on lipid levels. Higher levels of cholesterol are known to be associated with heart disease. It is known to reduce low-density lipids and increase the level of high-density lipids.

Prevents Heart Disease:

The rate of heart disease is indeed increasing throughout the world. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are both associated with heart disease. As spirulina has the capacity to reduce both of these risk factors, it has the ability to prevent heart disease.

Anti-Cancer Properties:

Spirulina has anti-cancer properties. It can reduce the size of the tumor. It can make precancerous and cancerous lesions disappear.

Anti-Toxic Properties:

Spirulina had anti-toxicity. It could counteract the pollutants in the body. Drinking water may only be clean sometimes, and there are chances of pollution. It is used in the treatment of pollutant poisoning.

Mental Health Support:

Spirulina is a good source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid component that helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin plays a vital role in providing a lot of euphoria. It is known to provide pleasure. When a person is in depression and anxious, they may have low levels of serotonin. By consuming spirulina supplements, healthy serotonin levelslevels of serotonin can be maintained in the body.

What Are the Contraindications?

It is not advised for pregnant women and children as the influence of spirulina on them is not known. Patients with autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis should not take spirulina. People who are allergic to seafood and seaweed should not consume spirulina if a person has kidney disorders.

What Are the Disadvantages of Spirulina?

Though there are a lot of advantages, there are a few negative aspects too. For example, it can cause headaches, muscle pain, weakness, sweating, and insomnia.


Spirulina is a blue-green alga and is considered a superfood due to its nutritional value. It is available in the form of capsules, tablets, and powder. Intake of spirulina is very healthy and provides all the essential nutrients to the body, but the use of spirulina is still questionable. Still, many studies and researches are ongoing to understand the facts and recommendations about spirulina. Therefore, always consult a doctor before starting the consumption of spirulina.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Health Benefits of Spirulina?

Spirulina has the following properties:
- Highly nutritious.
- Lowers the level of LDL cholesterol.
- Anticancer properties.
- Antioxidant.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Helps in the treatment of anemia.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Controls blood sugar level.
- Enhances muscle strength and endurance.


Can We Take Spirulina Daily?

In general, around 1 to 8 g of spirulina can be taken daily; however, it should be taken as per the physician's recommendations. Its usage should be avoided in pregnant women, individuals with autoimmune disorders, and those taking blood-thinning medicines.


Is Spirulina Consumption Harmless?

Spirulina is a relatively safe and reliable supplement and does not cause any side effects in most people. Few minor side effects include nausea, headache, and insomnia. Its use is contraindicated during pregnancy, autoimmune disorders, or while taking blood-thinners.


What Is the Recommended Time to Take Spirulina?

Spirulina can be best consumed half an hour to one hour before the main meals by taking one teaspoon of spirulina in a glass of lemon water or swallowing four tablets.


Do Spirulina Induce Defecation?

In a few cases, spirulina is expected to cause altered bowel movements because of the increased chlorophyll present in spirulina.


Does Spirulina Cause Liver Damage?

Spirulina is expected to cause clinically evident liver damage. However, the exact cause of liver damage with the use of spirulina is unknown. It has been attributed that contamination of spirulina with cyanobacteria is supposed to cause liver damage.


Is Spirulina Skin-Friendly?

Spirulina has its use in topical skin care ointments, which play an essential role as moisturizers, anti-wrinkles, anti-acne, and anti-aging agents, sunscreen protectors, and also helps in treating wounds and skin pigmentations.


Can Spirulina Cure Fatty Liver?

Despite the metabolic effects of spirulina, like hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties, it also has been proven to be a safe, reliable, and effective dietary supplement in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Can Spirulina Help in Muscle Building?

Spirulina has an increased protein content and has about all the eight amino acids required to form protein. Because of this, it helps build muscle mass.


Does Spirulina Help in Hair Growth?

As spirulina contains proteins, fatty acids, and iron, it plays an essential role in treating thinning of hair or balding and helps in improving the growth of hair.


Can Spirulina Provide Energy?

Spirulina contains readily absorbable polysaccharides like glycogen and rhamnose and essential fat like gamma-linoleic acid thereby helps enhance the body's energy levels.


Can Spirulina Be Taken After a Workout?

Three grams of spirulina has comparatively higher antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than five servings of fruits and vegetables, which help muscle recovery after a workout.


Can Vitamin C and Spirulina Be Taken Together?

Reports suggest that when taken together with vitamin C, spirulina has been attributed to reducing the level of liver enzymes that cause cell death.


What Is the Effect of Spirulina on the Brain?

Spirulina has a protective effect against cerebral ischemia injury, which is due to its antioxidant properties. It helps in reducing the raised brain malondialdehyde (MDA) and reviving the diminished brain superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and reduced glutathione (GSH) activities.


How Does Spirulina Taste?

Spirulina has the taste of lake water, with a green, earthy, and light sulfuric taste. Although initially, it does not taste good, it can become an acquired pleasant taste with time.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Lochana .k
Dr. Lochana .k


Source Article ArrowMost popular articles

Do you have a question on

weight loss

Ask a Wellness Expert online

*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: Wellness medicine is not aimed to replace the services of your treating physician or allopathy medicines. Our site's information is to those who are willing to take responsibility for their health, being fully aware that the content published herein would not qualify as a prescription or specific medical advice. If users use the information and stop prescribed medication without their physician's consent, they bear full responsibility for their actions, and iCliniq-Wellness bears no responsibility for the same. Information on Wellness medicine should not be misinterpreted as a cure for any illness, as our body is complex and everyone reacts differently.