Health Benefits of Spirulina

Scientific name:  Arthrospira platensis, A. fusiformis, and A. maxima.

Origins & Properties

Spirulina was found in abundance at Lake Texcoco by French researchers in the 1960s, but no reference to its use by the Aztecs as a daily food source was made after the 16th century, probably because of the draining of the surrounding lakes for agriculture and urban development. Some species occur in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be consumed by humans and animals. The three species are Arthrospira platensis, A. fusiformis, and A. maxima. They grow in both fresh and saltwater. They occur naturally in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate. Most cultivated spirulina is produced in open channel raceway ponds, with paddle-wheels used to agitate the water.

Common Uses

Cultivated worldwide, Arthrospira is used as a dietary supplement or whole food. It is also used as a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium, and poultry industries.


  • Boosts immunity: High in many nutrients
  • Fights anemia: Increases the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and improves immune function
  • Antioxidant: Protects against oxidative damage
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Fights free radicals

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