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The Multiple Health Benefits of Spirulina

By Nicolas Martineau B.Sc. Nutrition

Spirulina is a superfood with impressive nutritional values. Indeed, this microalgae contains levels of protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins that surpass basic foods like beef, tofu, and milk. Beyond its nutritional advantages, spirulina harbors additional health benefits. In this article, we will outline its recognized health benefits as well as other promising health benefits that are still under study.

Recognized Health Benefits (acknowledged by Health Canada):

  • Antioxydant:
    Rich in polysaccharides, phycocyanins, and even containing selenium, spirulina contains several antioxidants known to combat free radicals and oxidative stress. On a daily basis, our bodies require antioxidants to optimize health and prevent potential chronic diseases.
  • Helps reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis
    Although natural, spirulina is more effective than some medications in countering seasonal allergies! A study demonstrates that 2g of spirulina is more effective than antihistamine medications containing cetirizine (e.g., Reactine). This 2020 study was conducted with 53 patients, and spirulina more effectively reduced histamine production, which is responsible for symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
  • Aids in the formation of red blood cells:
    Rich in iron, spirulina helps in the formation of red blood cells, which are essential for transporting oxygen and iron in our bodies. Spirulina is therefore a supplement of choice for vegans. By contributing to the formation of red blood cells, spirulina can help prevent the onset of certain forms of anemia.
  • Supports eye, skin, membrane, and immune functions:
    Since spirulina is recognized as a rich source of beta-carotene (a provitamin A), this microalgae contributes to the health of the eyes, skin, and immune system.

Health Benefits Under Study:

  • Anti-inflammatory:
    Spirulina is a complex superfood as it contains several active components. Notably, phycocyanin and beta-carotenes are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. Phycocyanin inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Also, spirulina's antioxidant effect would also contribute to its anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Hypolipidemic
    Rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), spirulina has a positive impact on lipid profiles. Studies show that spirulina significantly reduces levels of bad cholesterol (LDL and VLDL) and also increases levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in our blood.
  • Immunomodulatory:
    Spirulina contains a wide variety of natural active ingredients that aid in immune functions. Among these, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in spirulina modulates the immune system. Another substance named c-phycocyanin also helps stimulate and regulate the immune system.
  • Antiviral:
    In vitro studies indicate that spirulina inhibits the in vitro multiplication of several viruses including herpes simplex and influenza. The antiviral effect is due to its ability to inhibit viruses from attaching to and penetrating cells. Additionally, spirulina's ability to clinically stimulate our immune system is another possible explanation.
  • Antithrombotic:
    Preliminary studies demonstrate that spirulina could help prevent thrombosis. Gamma-linolenic acid, phycocyanin, and other polysaccharides have antiplatelet effects and inhibit thrombin activity. Also, its anti-inflammatory properties would contribute to preventing blood clot formation.
  • Regulates intestinal microbiota:
    Some studies show that combining spirulina with probiotics is more effective than taking a probiotic alone. Spirulina helps reduce the number of certain bacteria and increase the number of other bacteria. Spirulina also has a prebiotic effect, meaning it serves as food for good bacteria.
  • Reduces blood pressure:
    Hypertension is a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases. Several studies indicate that as little as 2g of spirulina per day helps reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially among people already suffering from hypertension. Although its mechanisms of action are not fully understood, spirulina contains a lot of potassium, phycocyanin, and natural angiotensins, which help explain why it is so effective.
  • Improves physical performance:
    Several studies have shown that spirulina supplementation contributes to improving physical performance. It improves recovery as well as average and maximum muscle strength and tolerance. Since spirulina contains a wide variety of active components such as cysteine, arginine, phycocyanin, numerous antioxidants, and vitamins, studies still struggle to specify the responsible elements and mechanisms of action explaining this observation.

Spirulina has undeniable health benefits, and many other promising benefits are undergoing further research to better understand its effects. Certainly, consuming spirulina regularly contributes to improving our health. As there are different qualities of spirulina on the market, it is advisable to be cautious and choose a reliable spirulina that is not only grown in a greenhouse but also rigorously analyzed by an independent laboratory. Land Art spirulina meets all these quality criteria. Cheers !


  1. Machowiec et al, 2021, Effect of Spirulina Supplementation on Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2021 Sep; 13(9):3054
  2. Azemi et al, 2023, Effect of Linoleic Acid on Cholesterol Levels in a High-Fat Diet-Induced Hypercholesterolemia Rat Model. Metabolites. 2023 Jan; 13(1):53.
  3. Zhang et al, 2022, Effects on Spirulina Supplementation on Immune Cells Parameters of Elite College Athletes. 2022 Oct; 14(20): 4346.
  4. Fais et al, 2022, Wide Range Applications of Spirulina: From Earth to Space Missions. Mar. Drugs. 2022 May; 20(5): 299.
  5. Hamedifard et al, 2019, The effects of spirulina on glycemic control and serum lipoproteins in patients with metabolic syndrome and related disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Phytother. Res. 2019 Oct; 33(10): 2609-2621.
  6. Serban et al, 2016, A systematic review and meta-analysis of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations. Clin. Nutr. 2016 Aug; 35(4): 842-51.
  7. Wu et al, 2016, The antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities of Spirulina: an overview. Arch. Toxicol. 2016 Aug; 90(8):1817-40.
  8. Nourollahian et al, 2020, Clinical comparison of the efficacy of spirulina platensis and cetirizine for treatment of allergic rhinitis. Acta Otorhinolaryngol. Ital. 2020 Jun; 40(3):224-229
  9. Gurney et al, 2022, Algae Supplementation for Exercise Performance : Current Perspectives and Future Directions for Spirulina and Chlorella. Front. Nutr. 2022; 9 : 865741
  10. Grover et al, 2021, C-Phycocyanin- A novel protein from Spirulina platensis – In vivo toxicity, antioxidant and immunomodulatory studies. Saudi J. Biol. Sci. 2021 Mar; 28(3): 185301859.
  11. Koukourani et al, 2020, Antithrombotic properties of Spirulina against platelet-activating factor and thrombin. Food Bioscience, 2020 Oct; Vol.37, 100686.
  12. Spirulina, Single Ingredient Monograph, Health Canada 2024
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