What is blue spirulina powder good for?

Blue spirulina powder is a nutritional supplement made from a type of blue-green algae called Arthrospira platensis. This algae has been consumed as a food source for centuries, particularly in Africa and South America. More recently, blue spirulina has gained popularity as a supplement due to its dense nutrient profile.

Some of the main benefits of blue spirulina powder include:

High in Nutrients

Blue spirulina is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein. A 1 tablespoon (7 grams) serving contains:

  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDI
  • Copper: 21% of the RDI
  • Iron: 11% of the RDI
  • It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese

This nutrient profile makes blue spirulina an excellent nutritional supplement. It provides protein, critical vitamins and minerals in a concentrated form.

Rich Source of Antioxidants

Spirulina contains antioxidants, compounds that can protect against cell damage by neutralizing free radicals.The main antioxidants found in blue spirulina are:

  • C-phycocyanin – This antioxidant gives blue spirulina its color and provides anti-inflammatory effects
  • Beta-carotene – This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body and promotes healthy eyes and skin
  • Phenolic acids – Help fight chronic diseases by reducing oxidative damage

Research shows that the antioxidants in blue spirulina can help reduce inflammation, protect brain health and lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

May Improve Blood Sugar Control

Several studies have found that supplementing with blue spirulina can lower blood sugar levels, especially for people with diabetes or prediabetes.

In one study, 25 people with type 2 diabetes took 8 grams of blue spirulina per day. After two months, they experienced significantly lower blood sugar levels, compared to the control group.

The current evidence is limited to smaller studies. However, the results are promising, especially for people with blood sugar problems.

May Reduce Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Blue spirulina may also be effective at reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. This can lower the risk of heart disease.

One study in 127 people with high cholesterol found that 1 gram of spirulina per day reduced total cholesterol by 16.3% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 10.1% after three months.

In another study, taking 1 gram of spirulina per day for 12 weeks led to significant reductions in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol — but not total cholesterol.

Although more research is needed on this specific form of algae, studies consistently link supplements like spirulina to better heart health.

May Boost the Immune System

The immune-strengthening effects of blue spirulina are related to its high antioxidant content and specific substances it contains.

For example, C-phycocyanin, the main antioxidant in spirulina, can also fight inflammation and enhance the immune response.

One study also showed that taking blue spirulina extract increased levels of an antibody called IgA. This antibody plays a role in gut health and is linked to a lower risk of infection.

More research is needed, but current evidence indicates that this supplement may improve immune function, particularly in people who are susceptible to infections.

Bioavailable Source of Iron

Blue spirulina provides a highly bioavailable form of iron, a mineral that a lot of people are deficient in.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world and can cause anemia and fatigue. Yet, many people have difficulty getting enough iron from food alone.

The iron in spirulina comes in the form of ferritin and chlorophyll, two forms that are more easily absorbed than the iron you get from meat or plants.

One study found that spirulina increased iron absorption from plant foods when eaten together. Researchers speculated this was likely because of the algae’s effect on the gut microbiome.

Getting adequate iron from your diet is important, especially for those who can’t tolerate iron supplements.

May Aid in Weight Loss

A few studies suggest that spirulina may aid in weight loss.

Its high protein and fiber content help promote fullness, which is linked to reduced calorie intake and increased weight loss.

One study found that taking 2 grams of spirulina per day led to greater weight loss over three months compared to a placebo.

Researchers speculated this was because the supplementation increased fat burning during exercise.

However, other studies have found no effect on weight when taking spirulina supplements.

While results are mixed, adding this nutritious supplement to a healthy diet can promote fullness and support your weight loss goals.

Easy to Add to Smoothies, Oatmeal or Granola

Blue spirulina has a very concentrated nutritional profile but a relatively neutral taste. This makes it easy to add to foods.

It can be added to:

  • Smoothies
  • Juices
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola
  • Nutrition bars
  • Dips

You can also simply mix it with water. Add a teaspoon to eight ounces of water and stir.

Keep in mind that spirulina also absorbs and thickens liquids, so be sure to account for this when adding it to soups or sauces.

Potential Downsides of Blue Spirulina

Spirulina is generally considered safe but does have some potential downsides, especially when consuming high doses.

  • Contains iodine: Like other algae, spirulina contains iodine. Too much iodine can cause thyroid problems, especially for people who are sensitive or allergic to iodine.
  • Risk of contamination: Spirulina harvested from non-regulated areas can be contaminated with bacteria, liver toxins called microcystins and heavy metals.
  • Can interact with medication: Due to potential effects on blood sugar and the immune system, spirulina may interfere with medication for diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disorders and more.
  • May cause allergic reactions: Spirulina can cause hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, itching and anaphylaxis in those allergic to algae or iodine.

Additionally, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid spirulina due to a lack of safety research.

Dosage Recommendations

The standard daily dosage ranges from 1–8 grams per day.

It’s best to start with a lower dosage to assess your tolerance. Take 500 mg (about 1⁄2 tsp) daily for one week, then gradually increase to the full dosage.

Also, make sure to purchase spirulina from a reputable source. Quality products should be certified free of contaminants.

The Bottom Line

Blue spirulina is a concentrated source of nutrition with little risk of side effects for most people.

It provides protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds like phycocyanin and chlorophyll.

Research indicates it may help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, support weight loss and boost immunity.

The most common ways to take blue spirulina powder are adding it to water, smoothies, granola or protein bars.

Blue spirulina is generally safe. However, some people should avoid it, including children, pregnant women and people with seafood allergies or certain medical conditions.

Overall, this supplement may provide impressive health benefits, especially when part of a nutritious diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does blue spirulina taste like?

Blue spirulina has a mild, slightly salty or seaweed-like flavor. It’s not overpowering, so it blends well into juices, smoothies and recipes without altering the taste too much.

Is blue spirulina better than green spirulina?

There is little nutritional difference between blue and green spirulina. However, some people find the flavor and color of blue spirulina to be more pleasant.

Is spirulina safe?

Spirulina is generally considered safe, especially when taken in standard dosages. However, it does have some risks, particularly for those with thyroid issues, seafood allergies or certain medical conditions.

Does spirulina help you lose weight?

Some research indicates spirulina may aid weight loss, likely due to its protein and fiber content. However, evidence is mixed overall.

Can you eat too much spirulina?

Consuming more than the recommended dosage may lead to side effects. Most sources recommend sticking to 1–8 grams per day.

Is spirulina good for skin?

Studies link the antioxidants in spirulina to skin benefits, such as reduced inflammation, enhanced immunity and protection against aging. Applying it topically may also have benefits.

Is spirulina alkaline?

Yes, spirulina has a high pH, meaning it’s alkaline. Some advocates claim this makes it beneficial for your health, but more research is needed.

Is spirulina a complete protein?

Yes, spirulina contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

How much spirulina should I take per day?

Most health organizations recommend 1–8 grams of spirulina per day. Start with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it to assess your tolerance.

When should you take spirulina?

You can take spirulina any time. Many people prefer first thing in the morning or right before a workout. Take it either on an empty stomach or with food.

Can you take too much spirulina?

Yes, consuming more than the recommended dosage of 1-8 grams daily may cause side effects. Additionally, some people are advised to avoid spirulina.


Blue spirulina is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research indicates it may help lower blood sugar and cholesterol, enhance immunity and promote weight loss.

It has a mild flavor and can be easily added to smoothies, juices, oatmeal and more to give your diet a concentrated nutrition boost.

While generally safe in standard doses, spirulina does have some risks when consumed in excess or by certain groups. But for most people, this supplement may provide impressive benefits.

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