AFA, Algae, Algas Verdiazul, Algues Bleu-Vert, Algues Bleu-Vert du Lac Klamath, Anabaena, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Arthrospira fusiformis, Arthrospira maxima, Arthrospira platensis, BGA, Blue Green Algae, Blue-Green Micro-Algae, Cyanobacteria, Cyanobactérie, Cyanophycée, Dihe, Espirulina, Hawaiian Spirulina, Klamath, Klamath Lake Algae, Lyngbya wollei, Microcystis aeruginosa and other Microcystis species, Nostoc ellipsosporum, Spirulina Blue-Green Algae, Spirulina fusiformis, Spirulina maxima, Spirulina platensis, Spiruline, Spiruline d'Hawaii, Tecuitlatl.
"Blue-green algae" refers to several species of bacteria that produce blue-green colored pigments. They grow in salt water and some large fresh water lakes.
Blue-green algae have been used for food for several centuries in Mexico and some African countries. They have been sold as a supplement in the US since the late 1970s.
Blue-green algae products are used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not they are effective for any of them.
Blue-green algae are taken by mouth as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also taken by mouth for anemia and to stop unintentional weight loss. They are also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hay fever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, weight loss, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women's health issues such as menopause.
Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, twitching of the eyelids, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, improving exercise performance, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health. Blue-green algae is also taken by mouth for high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and HIV-related conditions, cancer, fatty liver disease, hepatitis C, and arsenic poisoning.
Blue-green algae are applied inside the mouth to treat gum disease.
Blue green algae is also used as a food or for food coloring.
Blue-green algae are commonly found in tropical or subtropical waters that have a high-salt content, but some types grow in large fresh water lakes. The natural color of these algae can give bodies of water a dark-green appearance.
Some blue-green algae products are grown under controlled conditions. Others are grown in a natural setting, where they are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria, liver poisons (microcystins) produced by certain bacteria, and heavy metals. Choose only products that have been tested and found free of these contaminants.
You may have been told that blue-green algae are an excellent source of protein. But, in reality, blue-green algae are no better than meat or milk as a protein source and cost about 30 times as much per gram.
How does it work?
Blue-green algae have a high protein, iron, and other mineral content which is absorbed when taken orally. Blue-green algae are being researched for their potential effects on the immune system, swelling (inflammation), and viral infections.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Seasonal allergies (hayfever). Early research shows that taking 2 grams per day of blue-green algae by mouth for 6 months might relieve some allergy symptoms in adults.
- Insulin resistance due to HIV medication. Early research shows that taking 19 grams per day of blue-green algae by mouth for 2 months increases insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance due to HIV medication.
- Arsenic poisoning. Early research shows that taking 250 mg of blue-green algae and 2 mg of zinc by mouth twice daily for 16 weeks reduces arsenic levels and the effects of arsenic on the skin in people living in areas with high arsenic levels in the drinking water.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early research shows that dissolving 3 mL of a product containing blue-green algae, peony, ashwagandha, gotu kola, bacopa, and lemon balm (Nurture and Clarity, Tree of Healing-LD, Israel) into 50-60 mL of water and drinking three times daily for 4 months improves ADHD in children aged 6 years to 12 years who haven't taken other treatments for ADHD.
- Tics or twitching of the eyelids (blepharospasm or Meige syndrome). Early research shows that taking a specific blue-green algae product (Super Blue-Green Algae, Cell Tech, Klamath Falls, OR) at a dose of 1500 mg daily for 6 months does not reduce eyelid spasms in people with blepharospasm.
- Diabetes. An early study shows that people with type 2 diabetes who take 1 gram of a blue-green algae product (Multinal, New Ambadi Estate Pvt. Ltd., Madras, India) by mouth twice daily for 2 mouths have lower blood sugar levels.
- Exercise performance. An early study shows that men who jog regularly are able to sprint for longer periods of time before becoming tired when they take 2 grams of blue-green algae three times daily for 4 weeks.
- Hepatitis C. Research on the effects of blue-green algae in people with chronic hepatitis C has been inconsistent. One study shows that taking 500 mg of spirulina blue-green algae by mouth three times daily for 6 months results in greater improvements in liver function compared to milk thistle in adults with hepatitis C who were not yet treated or were unresponsive to other treatments. However, another study shows that taking blue-green algae for one month worsens liver function in people with hepatitis C or hepatitis B.
- HIV/AIDS. Research on the effects of blue-green algae in people with HIV/AIDS has been inconsistent. Some early research shows that taking 5 grams of blue-green algae by mouth daily for 3 months reduces the incidences of infections, stomach and intestinal problems, feelings of tiredness, and breathing problems in patients with HIV/AIDS. However, taking blue-green algae does not appear to improve CD4 cell counts or reduce viral load in HIV patients.
- High cholesterol. Early research shows that blue-green algae lowers cholesterol in people with normal or slightly elevated cholesterol levels. However, the research findings have been somewhat inconsistent. In some studies, blue-green algae only lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol. In other studies, blue-green algae lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
- High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking 4.5 grams per day of blue-green algae by mouth for 6 weeks reduces blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure.
- Long-term fatigue. Early research shows that taking 1 gram per day of blue-green algae by mouth three times daily for 4 weeks does not improve fatigue in adults with long-term complaints of fatigue.
- Malnutrition. Early research on the use of blue-green algae in combination with other dietary treatments for malnutrition in infants and children shows conflicting results. Weight gain was seen in undernourished children who were given spirulina blue-green algae with a combination of millet, soy and peanut for 8 weeks. However, in another study, children up to 3 years-old who were given 5 grams of blue-green algae daily for 3 months did not gain weight more than those given general treatments to improve nutrition alone.
- Menopausal symptoms. An early study shows that taking 1.6 grams per day of a blue-green algae product by mouth daily for 8 weeks lowers anxiety and depression in women going through menopause. However, it doesn't appear to reduce symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Obesity. Research on the effects of blue-green algae in people who are overweight or obese has been inconsistent. One early study shows that taking a specific blue-green algae product (Multinal, New Ambadi Estate Pvt. Ltd.) at a dose of 1 gram taken two or four times per day by mouth for 3 months slightly improve weight loss in overweight adults. However, another early study shows that taking 2.8 grams of spirulina by mouth three times per day for 4 weeks does not improve weight loss in obese adults who are also following a reduced-calorie diet.
- Precancerous mouth sores (oral leukoplakia). Early research shows that taking 1 gram of spirulina blue-green algae daily by mouth for 12 months reduces oral leukoplakia in people who chew tobacco.
- Gum disease (periodontitis). Early research shows that injecting a gel containing blue-green algae into the gums of adults with gum disease improves gum health.
- As a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron..
- Boosting the immune system..
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)..
- Heart disease.
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions..
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Blue-green algae products that are free of contaminants, such as liver-damaging substances called microcystins, toxic metals, and harmful bacteria, are POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used short-term. Doses up to 19 grams per day have been used safely for up to 2 months. Lower doses of 10 grams per day have been used safely for up to 6 months. Side effects are typically mild and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, headache, and dizziness.
But blue-green algae products that are contaminated are POSSIBLY UNSAFE, especially for children. Children are more sensitive to contaminated blue-green algae products than adults.
Contaminated blue-green algae can cause liver damage, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, thirst, rapid heartbeat, shock, and death. Don't use any blue-green algae product that hasn't been tested and found free of microcystins and other contamination.
"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pemphigus vulgaris (a skin condition), and others: Blue-green algae might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using blue-green algae.
Phenylketonuria: The spirulina species of blue-green algae contains the chemical phenylalanine. This might make phenylketonuria worse. Avoid Spirulina species blue-green algae products if you have phenylketonuria.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Blue-green algae might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, blue-green algae might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Blue-green algae might slow blood clotting. Taking blue-green algae along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.
The appropriate dose of blue-green algae depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for blue-green algae. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Ayehunie, S., Belay, A., Baba, T. W., and Ruprecht, R. M. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis). J Acquir.Immune.Defic.Syndr.Hum Retrovirol. 5-1-1998;18(1):7-12. View abstract.
Baroni, L., Scoglio, S., Benedetti, S., Bonetto, C., Pagliarani, S., Benedetti, Y., Rocchi, M., and Canestrari, F. Effect of a Klamath algae product ("AFA-B12") on blood levels of vitamin B12 and homocysteine in vegan subjects: a pilot study. Int.J.Vitam.Nutr.Res. 2009;79(2):117-123. View abstract.
Becker EW, Jakober B, Luft D, and et al. Clinical and biochemical evaluations of the alga spirulina with regard to its application in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind cross-over study. Nutr Report Internat 1986;33(4):565-574.
Bogatov, N. V. [Selenium deficiency and its dietary correction in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic catarrhal colitis]. Vopr.Pitan. 2007;76(3):35-39. View abstract.
Bucaille P. Intérêt et efficacité de l'algue spiruline dans l'alimentation des enfants présentant une malnutrition protéinoénergétique en milieu tropical. Thèse de doctorat en médecine.Toulouse-3 université Paul-Sabatier 1990;Thèse de doctorat en médecine. Toulouse-3 université Paul-Sabatier:1.
Doshi, H., Ray, A., and Kothari, I. L. Bioremediation potential of live and dead Spirulina: spectroscopic, kinetics and SEM studies. Biotechnol.Bioeng. 4-15-2007;96(6):1051-1063. View abstract.
Doshi, H., Ray, A., and Kothari, I. L. Biosorption of cadmium by live and dead Spirulina: IR spectroscopic, kinetics, and SEM studies. Curr Microbiol. 2007;54(3):213-218. View abstract.
Gonzalez, R., Rodriguez, S., Romay, C., Gonzalez, A., Armesto, J., Remirez, D., and Merino, N. Anti-inflammatory activity of phycocyanin extract in acetic acid- induced colitis in rats. Pharmacol Res 1999;39(1):1055-1059. View abstract.
Gorban', E. M., Orynchak, M. A., Virstiuk, N. G., Kuprash, L. P., Panteleimonova, T. M., and Sharabura, L. B. [Clinical and experimental study of spirulina efficacy in chronic diffuse liver diseases]. Lik.Sprava. 2000;(6):89-93. View abstract.
Habou H, Degbey H Hamadou B. Évaluation de l'efficacité de la supplémentation en spiruline du régime habituel des enfants atteints de malnutrition proteinoénergétique sévère (à propos de 56 cas). Thèse de doctorat en médecine Niger 2003;1.
Halidou, Doudou M., Degbey, H., Daouda, H., Leveque, A., Donnen, P., Hennart, P., and Dramaix-Wilmet, M. [The effect of spiruline during nutritional rehabilitation: systematic review]. Rev.Epidemiol.Sante Publique 2008;56(6):425-431. View abstract.
Han, L. K., Li, D. X., Xiang, L., Gong, X. J., Kondo, Y., Suzuki, I., and Okuda, H. [Isolation of pancreatic lipase activity-inhibitory component of spirulina platensis and it reduce postprandial triacylglycerolemia]. Yakugaku Zasshi 2006;126(1):43-49. View abstract.
Hayashi, K., Hayashi, T., and Kojima, I. A natural sulfated polysaccharide, calcium spirulan, isolated from Spirulina platensis: in vitro and ex vivo evaluation of anti-herpes simplex virus and anti-human immunodeficiency virus activities. AIDS res Hum Retroviruses 10-10-1996;12(15):1463-1471. View abstract.
Ishii, K., Katoch, T., Okuwaki, Y., and Hayashi, O. Influence of dietary Spirulina platensis on IgA level in human saliva. J Kagawa Nutr Univ 1999;30:27-33.
Iwata K, Inayama T, and Kato T. Effects of spirulina platensis on fructose-induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Nippon Eiyo Shokuryo Gakkaishi (J Jpn Soc Nutr Food Sci) 1987;40:463-467.
Iwata, K., Inayama, T., and Kato, T. Effects of Spirulina platensis on plasma lipoprotein lipase activity in fructose-induced hyperlipidemic rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol.(Tokyo) 1990;36(2):165-171. View abstract.
Johnson PE and Shubert LE. Accumulation of mercury and other elements by Spirulina (Cyanophyceae). Nutr Rep Int 1986;34:1063-1070.
Karkos, P. D., Leong, S. C., Arya, A. K., Papouliakos, S. M., Apostolidou, M. T., and Issing, W. J. 'Complementary ENT': a systematic review of commonly used supplements. J Laryngol.Otol. 2007;121(8):779-782. View abstract.
Kato T, Takemoto K, Katayama H, and et al. Effects of spirulina (Spirulina platensis) on dietary hypercholesterolemia in rats. Nippon Eiyo Shokuryo Gakkaishi (J Jpn Soc Nutr Food Sci) 1984;37:323-332.
Konno, T., Umeda, Y., Umeda, M., Kawachi, I., Oyake, M., and Fujita, N. [A case of inflammatory myopathy with widely skin rash following use of supplements containing Spirulina]. Rinsho Shinkeigaku 2011;51(5):330-333. View abstract.
Kraigher, O., Wohl, Y., Gat, A., and Brenner, S. A mixed immunoblistering disorder exhibiting features of bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus foliaceus associated with Spirulina algae intake. Int.J.Dermatol. 2008;47(1):61-63. View abstract.
Madhyastha, H. K., Radha, K. S., Sugiki, M., Omura, S., and Maruyama, M. Purification of c-phycocyanin from Spirulina fusiformis and its effect on the induction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator from calf pulmonary endothelial cells. Phytomedicine 2006;13(8):564-569. View abstract.
Mani UV, Desai S, and Iyer U. Studies on the long-term effect of spirulina supplementation on serum lipid profile and glycated proteins in NIDDM patients. J Nutraceut 2000;2(3):25-32.
Marcel, A. K., Ekali, L. G., Eugene, S., Arnold, O. E., Sandrine, E. D., von der, Weid D., Gbaguidi, E., Ngogang, J., and Mbanya, J. C. The effect of Spirulina platensis versus soybean on insulin resistance in HIV-infected patients: a randomized pilot study. Nutrients. 2011;3(7):712-724. View abstract.
Mazokopakis, E. E., Karefilakis, C. M., Tsartsalis, A. N., Milkas, A. N., and Ganotakis, E. S. Acute rhabdomyolysis caused by Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis). Phytomedicine. 2008;15(6-7):525-527. View abstract.
Moulis, G., Batz, A., Durrieu, G., Viard, C., Decramer, S., and Montastruc, J. L. Severe neonatal hypercalcemia related to maternal exposure to nutritional supplement containing Spirulina. Eur.J.Clin.Pharmacol. 2012;68(2):221-222. View abstract.
Murthy, K. N., Rajesha, J., Swamy, M. M., and Ravishankar, G. A. Comparative evaluation of hepatoprotective activity of carotenoids of microalgae. J Med Food 2005;8(4):523-528. View abstract.
Nakaya N, Homma Y, and Goto Y. Cholesterol lowering effect of spirulina. Nutrit Repor Internat 1988;37(6):1329-1337.
Narasimha, D. L., Venkataraman, G. S., Duggal, S. K., and Eggum, B. O. Nutritional quality of the blue-green alga Spirulina platensis Geitler. J Sci Food Agric 1982;33(5):456-460. View abstract.
Pandi, M., Shashirekha, V., and Swamy, M. Bioabsorption of chromium from retan chrome liquor by cyanobacteria. Microbiol.Res 5-11-2007; View abstract.
Patel, A., Mishra, S., and Ghosh, P. K. Antioxidant potential of C-phycocyanin isolated from cyanobacterial species Lyngbya, Phormidium and Spirulina spp. Indian J Biochem Biophys 2006;43(1):25-31. View abstract.
Premkumar, K., Abraham, S. K., Santhiya, S. T., and Ramesh, A. Protective effect of Spirulina fusiformis on chemical-induced genotoxicity in mice. Fitoterapia 2004;75(1):24-31. View abstract.
Rawn, D. F., Niedzwiadek, B., Lau, B. P., and Saker, M. Anatoxin-a and its metabolites in blue-green algae food supplements from Canada and Portugal. J Food Prot. 2007;70(3):776-779. View abstract.
Roy, K. R., Arunasree, K. M., Reddy, N. P., Dheeraj, B., Reddy, G. V., and Reddanna, P. Alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential by Spirulina platensis C-phycocyanin induces apoptosis in the doxorubicinresistant human hepatocellular-carcinoma cell line HepG2. Biotechnol.Appl Biochem 2007;47(Pt 3):159-167. View abstract.
Sall MG, Dankoko B Badiane M Ehua E. Résultats d'un essai de réhabilitation nutritionnelle avec la spiruline à Dakar. Med Afr Noire 1999;46:143-146.
Samuels, R., Mani, U. V., Iyer, U. M., and Nayak, U. S. Hypocholesterolemic effect of spirulina in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome. J Med Food 2002;5(2):91-96. View abstract.
Sautier, C. and Tremolieres, J. [Food value of the spiruline algae to man]. Ann.Nutr.Aliment. 1975;29(6):517-534. View abstract.
Schwartz J, Shklar G, Reid S, and et al. Prevention of experimental oral cancer by extracts of Spirulina-Dunaliella algae. Nutr Cancer 1988;11(2):127-134.
Shklar, G. and Schwartz, J. Tumor necrosis factor in experimental cancer regression with alphatocopherol, beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and algae extract. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 1988;24(5):839-850. View abstract.
Torres-Duran, P. V., Ferreira-Hermosillo, A., Ramos-Jimenez, A., Hernandez-Torres, R. P., and Juarez-Oropeza, M. A. Effect of Spirulina maxima on postprandial lipemia in young runners: a preliminary report. J.Med.Food 2012;15(8):753-757. View abstract.
Venkatasubramanian K, Edwin N in collaboration with Antenna technologies Geneva and Antenna trust Madurai. A study on preschool nutrition supplementation family income booster by Spirulina. Madurai Medical College 1999;20.
Yakoot, M. and Salem, A. Spirulina platensis versus silymarin in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. A pilot randomized, comparative clinical trial. BMC.Gastroenterol. 2012;12:32. View abstract.
Yamani, E., Kaba-Mebri, J., Mouala, C., Gresenguet, G., and Rey, J. L. [Use of spirulina supplement for nutritional management of HIV-infected patients: study in Bangui, Central African Republic]. Med.Trop.(Mars.) 2009;69(1):66-70. View abstract.
Yang, H. N., Lee, E. H., and Kim, H. M. Spirulina platensis inhibits anaphylactic reaction. Life Sci 1997;61(13):1237-1244. View abstract.
Abdulqadar G, Barsanti L, Tredici MR. Harvest of Arthrospira platensis from Lake Kossorom (Chad) and its household usage among the Kanembu. J Appl Phycology 2000;12:493-8.
Anon. Health Canada announces results of blue-green algal products testing – only Spirulina found Microcystin-free. Health Canada, September 27, 1999; URL: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/archives/releases/99_114e.htm (Accessed 27 October 1999).
Anon. Toxic algae in lake Sammamish. King County, WA. October 28, 1998; URL: splash.metrokc.gov/wlr/waterres/lakes/bloom.htm (Accessed 5 December 1999).
Baicus C, Baicus A. Spirulina did not ameliorate idiopathic chronic fatigue in four N-of-1 randomized controlled trials.Phytother Res 2007;21:570-3. View abstract.
Baicus C, Tanasescu C. Chronic viral hepatitis, the treatment with spiruline for one month has no effect on the aminotransferases. Rom J Intern Med 2002;40:89-94. View abstract.
Becker EW, Jakober B, Luft D, et al. Clinical and biochemical evaluations of the alga spirulina with regard to its application in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind cross-over study. Nutr Report Internat 1986;33(4):565-74.
Blue-Green Algae Protein Is a Promising Anti-HIV Microbicide Candidate. www.medscape.com/reuters/prof/2000/03/03.16/dd03160g.html (Accessed 16 March 2000).
Branger B, Cadudal JL, Delobel M, et al. [Spiruline as a food supplement in case of infant malnutrition in Burkina-Faso]. Arch Pediatr 2003;10:424-31. View abstract.
Cha BG, Kwak HW, Park AR, et al. Structural characteristics and biological performance of silk fibroin nanofiber containing microalgae spirulina extract. Biopolymers 2014;101(4):307-18. View abstract.
Chiu HF, Yang SP, Kuo YL, et al. Mechanisms involved in the antiplatelet effect of C-phycocyanin. Br J Nutr 2006;95:435-40. View abstract.
Ciferri O. Spirulina, the edible microorganism. Microbiol Rev 1983;47(4):551-78. View abstract.
Cingi C, Conk-Dalay M, Cakli H, Bal C. The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2008;265:1219-23. View abstract.
Dagnelie PC, van Staveren WA, van den Berg H. Vitamin B-12 from algae appears not to be bioavailable. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:695-7.. View abstract.
Dagnelie PC. Some algae are potentially adequate sources of vitamin B-12 for vegans. J Nutr 1997;2:379.
Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
Food and Drug Administration. 21 CFR Part 73, Listing of color additives exempt from certification; spirulina extract. Federal Register, vol. 78, issue 156, August 13, 2013. www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-13/html/2013-19550.htm (accessed 4/21/16).
Genazzani AD, Chierchia E, Lanzoni C, et al. [Effects of Klamath Algae extract on psychological disorders and depression in menopausal women: a pilot study]. Minerva Ginecol 2010;62:381-8. View abstract.
Gilroy DJ, Kauffman KW, Hall RA, et al. Assessing potential health risks from microcystin toxins in blue-green algae dietary supplements. Environ Health Perspect 2000;108:435-9. View abstract.
Hayashi O, Hirahashi T, Katoh T, et al. Class specific influence of dietary Spirulina platensis on antibody production in mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1998;44:841-51.. View abstract.
Hayashi O, Katoh T, Okuwaki Y. Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary Spirulina platensis. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1994;40:431-41.. View abstract.
Heussner AH, Mazija L, Fastner J, Dietrich DR. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2012;265:263-71. View abstract.
Hirahashi T, Matsumoto M, Hazeki K, et al. Activation of the human innate immune system by Spirulina: augmentation of interferon production and NK cytotoxicity by oral administration of hot water extract of Spirulina platensis. Int Immunopharmacol 2002;2:423-34. View abstract.
Hsiao G, Chou PH, Shen MY, et al. C-phycocyanin, a very potent and novel platelet aggregation inhibitor from Spirulina platensis. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:7734-40. View abstract.
Iwasa M, Yamamoto M, Tanaka Y, et al. Spirulina-associated hepatotoxicity. Am J Gastroenterol 2002;97:3212-13. View abstract.
Jensen GS, Ginsberg DJ, Huerta P, et al. Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae has rapid effects on the circulation and function of immune cells in humans. A novel approach to nutritional mobilization of the immune system. JANA 2000;2:50-6.
Juarez-Oropeza MA, Mascher D, Torres-Duran PV, Farias JM, Paredes-Carbajal MC. Effects of dietary Spirulina on vascular reactivity.J.Med.Food 2009;12:15-20. View abstract.
Kalafati M, Jamurtas AZ, Nikolaidis MG, et al. Ergogenic and antioxidant effects of spirulina supplementation in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010;42:142-51. View abstract.
Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, et al. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;531053. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen058. Epub 2010 Oct 19. View abstract.
Katz M, Levine AA, Kol-Degani H, Kav-Venaki L. A compound herbal preparation (CHP) in the treatment of children with ADHD: a randomized controlled trial. J Atten Disord 2010;14:281-91. View abstract.
Kim HM, Lee EH, Cho HH, Moon YH. Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in rats by spirulina. Biochem Pharmacol 1998;55:1071-6. View abstract.
Kushak RI, Drapeau C, Van Cott EM, Winter HH. Favorable effects of blue-green algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on rat plasma lipids. JANA 2000;2:59-65.
Kushak RI, Drapeau C, Winter HS. The effect of blue-green algae Aphanizomenon flos-Aquae on nutrient assimilation in rats. JANA 2001;3:35-39.
Le TM, Knulst AC, Röckmann H. Anaphylaxis to Spirulina confirmed by skin prick test with ingredients of Spirulina tablets. Food Chem Toxicol 2014;74:309-10. View abstract.
Lee AN, Werth VP. Activation of autoimmunity following use of immunostimulatory herbal supplements. Arch Dermatol 2004;140:723-7. View abstract.
Lu HK, Hsieh CC, Hsu JJ, et al. Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress. Eur J Appl Physiol 2006;98:220-6. View abstract.
Mahendra J, Mahendra L, Muthu J, John L, Romanos GE. Clinical effects of subgingivally delivered spirulina gel in chronic periodontitis cases: a placebo controlled clinical trial. J Clin Diagn Res 2013;7(10):2330-3. View abstract.
Majdoub H, Ben Mansour M, Chaubet F, et al. Anticoagulant activity of a sulfated polysaccharide from the green alga Arthrospira platensis. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009;1790(10):1377-81. View abstract.
Mani UV, Desai S, Iyer U. Studies on the long-term effect of spirulina supplementation on serum lipid profile and glycated proteins in NIDDM patients. J Nutraceut 2000;2(3):25-32.
Mao TK, Van de Water J, Gershwin ME. Effects of a Spirulina-based dietary supplement on cytokine production from allergic rhinitis patients. J Med Food 2005;8:27-30. View abstract.
Marles RJ, Barrett ML, Barnes J, et al. United States Pharmacopeia safety evaluation of spirulina. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2011;51(7):593-604. View abstract.
Mathew B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair PP, et al. Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiforms. Nutr Cancer 1995;24:197-02. View abstract.
Mazokopakis EE, Starakis IK, Papadomanolaki MG, Mavroeidi NG, Ganotakis ES. The hypolipidaemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population: a prospective study. J Sci Food Agric 2014;94(3):432-7. View abstract.
Misbahuddin M, Islam A Z, Khandker S, et al. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2006;44:135-41. View abstract.
Nakaya N, Homma Y, Goto Y. Cholesterol lowering effect of spirulina. Nutr Rep Internat 1988;37(6):1329-37.
Ngo-Matip ME, Pieme CA, Azabji-Kenfack M, et al. Effects of Spirulina platensis supplementation on lipid profile in HIV-infected antiretroviral naïve patients in Yaounde-Cameroon: a randomized trial study. Lipids Health Dis 2014;13:191. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-13-191. View abstract.
Park HJ, Lee YJ, Ryu HK, et al. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans. Ann.Nutr.Metab 2008;52:322-8. View abstract.
Petrus M, Culerrier R, Campistron M, et al. First case report of anaphylaxis to spirulin: identification of phycocyanin as responsible allergen. Allergy 2010;65(7):924-5. View abstract.
Ramamoorthy A, Premakumari S. Effect of supplementation of spirulina on hypercholesterolemic patients. J Food Sci Technol 1996;33(2):124-8.
Romay C, Armesto J, Remirez D, et al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of C-phycocyanin from blue-green algae. Inflamm Res 1998;47:36-41.. View abstract.
Romay C, Ledon N, Gonzalez R. Further studies on anti-inflammatory activity of phycocyanin in some animal models of inflammation. Inflamm Res 1998;47:334-8.. View abstract.
Rzymski P, Niedzielski P, Kaczmarek N, Jurczak T, Klimaszyk P. The multidisciplinary approach to safety and toxicity assessment of microalgae-based food supplements following clinical cases of poisoning. Harmful Algae 2015;46:34-42.
Serban MC, Sahebkar A, Dragan S, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations. Clin Nutr 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2015.09.007. [Epub ahead of print] View abstract.
Shastri D, Kumar M, Kumar A. Modulation of lead toxicity by Spirulina fusiformis. Phytother Res 1999;13:258-60.. View abstract.
Simpore J, Kabore F, Zongo F, et al. Nutrition rehabilitation of undernourished children utilizing Spiruline and Misola. Nutr J 2006;5:3. View abstract.
Tadros MG, MacElroy RD. Characterization of Spirulina biomass for CELSS diet potential. October 1988. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890016190_1989016190.pdf (accessed 06/06/2016).
Vitale S, Miller NR, Mejico LJ, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial of super blue-green algae in patients with essential blepharospasm or Meige syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol 2004;138:18-32. View abstract.
Watanabe F, Katsura H, Takenaka S, et al. Pseudovitamin B12 is the predominant cobamide of an algal health food, spirulina tablets. J Ag Food Chem 1999;47(11):4736-41. View abstract.
Winter FS, Emakam F, Kfutwah A, et al. The effect of Arthrospira platensis capsules on CD4 T-cells and antioxidative capacity in a randomized pilot study of adult women infected with human immunodeficiency virus not under HAART in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Nutrients 2014;6(7):2973-86. View abstract.