March 11, 2021



Spirulina is a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria, but is most commonly referred to as blue-green algae. Spirulina can grow in extreme conditions that are typically inhospitable to other water-dwelling organisms, such as outer space. Algae is a carbon-neutral, eco-efficient crop, benefitting both human health and planetary health.

Spirulina is a complete protein (which means it contains all essential amino acids), and it’s made up of 65% protein—3x the percentage of beef. Spirulina also contains a number of essential nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin E, and B vitamins, and is rich in antioxidants, minerals, chlorophyll, and phycocyanobilin.



Studies have shown spirulina to help boost the innate immune system, which acts as the body’s first line of defense and activates immediately after an antigen’s appearance in the body . Spirulina has been shown to boost macrophage function, T-cell proliferation, and Natural Killer (NK) cell activity. A 2002 study analyzed blood cells of pre-and-post oral administration of hot water extract of spirulina. NK cell function was enhanced in >50% of subjects after oral administration of Spiurlina. Researchers also discovered that spirulina directly affects the myeloid lineage that raises the maturation stage of monocytes/macrophages, which is one the important innate immune cells involved in pathogen detection and phagocytosis* (1).

*the process by which a cell uses its plasma membrane to engulf a large particle
  1. Hirahashi T, M. Matsumoto, K. Hazeki, Y. Saeki, M. Ui, T. Seya. 2002. 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. 2(4):423-34


Heart Health:

Spirulina has gained attention for its cardiovascular benefits due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic properties* (1). A 2007 before-and-after clinical study found that among 36 healthy volunteers (16 male and 20 female) ages 18 to 65 who ingested 4.5g of spirulina daily for 6 weeks increased their HDL cholesterol** by 15% and say a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol**. Participants also saw significant reductions in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure (2). 

A separate before-and-after clinical trial followed 26 elderly woman (age 60+) with hypercholesterolaemic condition*** (serum total cholesterol above 200mg/dL), and participants were given 7.5mg/day of spirulina for 8 weeks. Researchers found significant reductions in serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL; additionally, apolipoprotein B**** levels were also decreased (3). 

*the ability to reduce the levels of lipids and lipoproteins (lipid-protein complexes) in the blood
**two types of lipoproteins; HDL (high density lipoprotein) is considered “good” cholesterol and may protect the body against arterial narrowing, and LDL (low density lipoprotein) is considered “bad” cholesterol and might worsen arterial narrowing
***high cholesterol
****a protein that is involved in the metabolism of lipids and is the main protein constituent of lipoproteins such as LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  1. Deng R, Chow TJ. Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovasc Ther. 2010;28(4):e33‐e45. doi:10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x
  2. Torres-Duran PV, Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Juarez-Oropeza MA. Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of mexican population: a preliminary report. Lipids Health Dis. 2007;6(33):1–8. [PMC free article]
  3. Kim MH, Kim WY. The change of lipid metabolism and immune function caused by antioxidant material in the hypercholesterolemin elderly women in Korea. The Korean J Nutrition. 2005;38:67–75. 137. [Google Scholar]


Our spirulina is sourced from the first spirulina farm in North America, established in 1976, and is now the largest spirulina farm in the world. Our spirulina grows in the Sonoran Desert, far away from cities, highways and airports where the air is clean. Mineral-rich Colorado River water is channeled through canals to large settling ponds, then through filters into growing ponds. Our supplier does not use irradiation, chemicals, herbicides or pesticides, and conducts dozens of rigorous quality control tests daily to ensure that our high quality exceeds all international food standards.


Is spirulina vegan?

Spirulina is a microscopic plant, making it 100% vegan and a fantastic plant-based source of protein. Our source of spirulina does not contain or come in contact with any animals or animal byproducts.

How does spirulina differ from chlorella?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae, while chlorella is considered a green algae. Chlorella’s “green” color is due to higher concentrations of chlorophyll, while spirulina’s “blue” hue is due to the blue protein phycocyanin. Chlorella has an indigestible cellulose wall which must be broken down in order to be properly digested. On the other hand, spirulina has a digestible cellulose wall, making it readily available for consumption and easily absorbed and digested when taken.

This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and contains trusted sources.

Our goal at GEM is to give readers up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics. GEM content is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and articles undergo an extensive review process.

All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.