Spirulina, Chlorella, Klamath Blue Green AlgaeSpirulina (Arthrospira platensis & A. maxima) is a blue-green algae with enormous nutritional value. It is consumed as a dried powder with a dark green color. Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris), a green algae is just as nutritious to its blue-green cousin, with a few differences in specific nutrients. For the sake of simplcity I will focus on spirulina in this monograph.

Spirulina’s nutritional profile is impressive. It is the most nutrient-dense plant in the world (Nettles is a close second, being the most nutrient-dense land-plant in the world). The blue-green algae is made up of 50-65% amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It is also chalk full of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, carotenes, iron, calcium and chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll, which gives this algae its deep green color, is a key component in the process of photosynthesis. It helps plants to absorb the sun’s light energy and convert it into glucose.  We have thought that the ability to utlilize the sun’s energy was limited to the plant kingdom, but recent studies suggest that humans can also utilize the sun’s energy in the presence of chlorophyll.

“Here we show that mammalian mitochondria can also capture light and synthesize ATP when mixed with a light-capturing metabolite of chlorophyll.” (1)

This means that if we consume chlorophyll-rich plants, we too can convert the sun’s rays into ATP! How cool is that? No wonder spirulina has a reputation for being energizing. Imagine how much more energized you might feel if you drank your spirulina smoothie and then went outside to for a walk?
Chlorophyll closely resembles hemoglobin, a pigment protein in our red blood cells which helps transport oxygen to our cells. When we consume chlorophyll, we essentially replenish our blood and our body’s ability to utilize oxygen. This is why chlorophyll-rich plants around the world are classified as blood tonics, plants that produce more blood cells or otherwise strengthen the blood.
Chlorophyll also has the ability to chelate heavy metal toxins and facilitate their excretion from the body. And it is a precursor to the production of glutathione, a potent antioxidant.
That is all just from the green pigment chlorophyll that spirulina, chlorella and many other dark green plants contain. But spirulina also contains another pigment called phycocyanin. This is the blue part to blue-green algae. Phycocyanins have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (2).
So the overall properties & effects of spirulina include:spirulina powder
  • tonic for the blood & spleen
  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar) (3)
  • hypolipidemic (lowers blood lipids) (3)

These properties suggest that spirulina could be beneficial for the following:

  • reducing the severity of allergies and other inflammatory conditions by helping to detoxify, nourish and invigorate the blood.
  • improving overall metabolism
  • regulating blood sugar & triglycride levels
  • supporting weight loss & impoving energy levels

Consider adding spirulina into your daily life if you are are feeling depleted, sluggish or overweight, or if you are wondering if you are getting enough essential nutrients in your daily diet.

I recently began to add spirulina into my daily protocol (click here to see my protocol & recipes) and can attest to the significant improvement in energy that I feel. I use it as an after-lunch pick me up and it helps me maintain mental clarity through the afternoon. I am excited to see how this changes with throughout the year with increasing my time spent outdoors in the warmer months.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to prevent, treat or diagnose any disease.

Works Cited

  1. https://jcs.biologists.org/content/joces/127/2/388.full.pdf
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19299804/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22561632/