Food supplements promise many positive effects on the human body when taken regularly - Spirulina powder is no exception. Whether it is slowing down the ageing process, strengthening the immune system or reducing the risk of cancer, this powder can work wonders. However, there are also critical voices that doubt the effect and even warn against a hasty intake by risk groups.
To give you an overview of whether this supplement is right for you and whether you can expect positive results, we have compiled and weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of this superfood in our big spirulina powder test 2021.
In addition, we have summarised a few characteristics so that you can recognise a high-quality product, whether as a spirulina tablet or spirulina powder, in order to make your experience with the product as pleasant as possible before, during and after the purchase.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Spirulina Powder: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying spirulina powder
- 5 Decision: What types of spirulina are there and which one is right for me?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate spirulina products based on these factors
- 7 Facts worth knowing about spirulina powder
The most important facts
- The effects of spirulina should be viewed critically, as no usable results could be obtained even through several studies.
- Poor quality spirulina powder can aggravate the condition of autoimmune diseases, as the body's own immune system attacks its own cells.
- Taking spirulina can lead to a balanced diet and have positive effects on the body due to the numerous nutrients it contains.
The Best Spirulina Powder: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying spirulina powder
What is Spirulina Powder?
Spirulina is taken as a food supplement in powder or tablet form and was named "The Best Food of the Future" as early as 1974 by organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
To fight hunger and malnutrition in the world, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations relies on the cultivation and use of spirulina by other countries.
What makes spirulina a superfood?
Spirulina contains a high number of vitamins, especially from the B-complex, beta - carotene, iron, magnesium and potassium and is advertised as the most protein-rich food.
However, the effect of the advertised effects is questionable, because scientific studies have delivered different results.
How effective is spirulina really?
A connection has even been found between the intake of spirulina and an improvement in the health of diabetes sufferers (12, 13).
However, the effect of spirulina is doubtful, as the studies listed have incomplete and incomprehensible data and partly only come from animal experiments. The European Food Safety Authority has even banned the advertising of links between spirulina and diabetes.
When and for whom is the use of spirulina powder sensible?
This person can first carry out an analysis of the blood count and best assess which vitamins and minerals should be added and whether spirulina powder can deliver the promised success.
Consumption by risk groups, i.e. people with autoimmune diseases, is not advised.
What side effects can spirulina powder cause?
The algae containing spirulina may already be contaminated when harvested. If the algae grow in waters that contain heavy metals, bacteria, harmful particles or microcystins, there is a risk of contamination. Microcystins are naturally produced by the algae as a protective mechanism, but pose a risk to the liver if consumed in large quantities. This risk is lower in controlled cultivation.
Spirulina is considered a means of boosting one's immune system. However, there is a risk that taking the supplement can lead to a worsening of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. The reason for this is the process of the immune cells attacking their own cells to strengthen the system. However, this worsens the condition of said autoimmune diseases.
Vegetarians and vegans like to take spirulina powder because of the high doses of vitamin B12 it contains. However, the vitamin B12 in the food supplement is not usable by the human body, so that the hoped-for effect cannot occur.
Decision: What types of spirulina are there and which one is right for me?
What is the best way to take spirulina?
Spirulina can be taken in different forms. Here are the main differences:
When it comes to food supplements, beginners more often go for the powder form. However, this is also the easiest to use with other foods.
What alternatives are there to spirulina powder?
A food supplement that also belongs to the category of algae and is said to have similar effects as spirulina is chlorella. The two food supplements are similar, but they also have differences.
Here we have compared the two types of algae:
|Origin||Salt water and fresh water||Fresh water|
|Advantage||Contains more vitamin B||Rich in vitamin A|
|Feature||Rich in protein||Growth factor supports cell reproduction|
Both products are said to have positive effects. However, the studies on these food supplements are still very doubtful, so there is no guarantee of the positive effects.
Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate spirulina products based on these factors
The market for dietary supplements is growing every year with more and more suppliers and products. Some of these products are opaque or promise similar results as products from another brand. Here we have summarised a few points that will help you compare the products:
When buying your spirulina powder, you should pay attention to where it is produced. The bacteria in spirulina are produced in various waters, some of which may be contaminated and therefore harmful to health.
Spirulina should only be purchased from closed and controlled manufacturing processes.
Spirulina is a processed agricultural product from farming or aquaculture, so the products often receive an organic seal. This indicates a natural production of the end product without additional chemicals or additives.
The composition of your spirulina powder is an important criterion for finding the right product. The packaging should clearly state that this is a spirulina product, even if the designation can vary between "Spiruline", "Spirulina", "Alga Cyanophyceae Spirulina", "Spirulina platensis" or "Arthrospira platensis".
For tablets, the composition should be more than 98 % spirulina. Powdered products should even contain 100 % spirulina. Furthermore, the products should not contain any preservatives or colourings.
Smell and colour
A high quality spirulina has a dark green and matt colour. If it is a shiny colour, this indicates that it has been processed with a binder layer to prevent disintegration.
Spirulina has a particular smell, but this does not necessarily have to be bad. If spirulina has a strong smell, there is a risk that the product is already heavily oxidised and thus damaged.
Facts worth knowing about spirulina powder
How, when and for how long do I take spirulina powder?
The daily recommendations vary depending on the manufacturer and user, as this is not a medical product.
First of all, you should have a balanced diet so that you don't have to get your nutritional values only from spirulina powder. A recommended daily value is about three grams per day for adults, about half for children.
If the dosage is too high, you may experience side effects, so you may want to discuss your intake with your family doctor.
What is the shelf life of Spirulina products?
Spirulina powder is labelled by the manufacturer with a shelf life of 18 months. Make sure you store it in a dry place away from the sun to slow down the process.
In which foods does spirulina occur naturally?
Spirulina is already a natural product that can be found in fresh and salt waters with a high pH value.
To reduce the risk of contamination, the algae for use in most supplements are grown and harvested under observation and in optimal conditions.
Image source: Tashka2000/ 123rf.com
In der vorliegenden Studie untersuchten wir die Auswirkungen eines Nahrungsergänzungsmittels auf Spirulina-Basis ( Division of Rheumatology/Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of California at Davis, School of Medicine, Davis, California, USA / 2005)
Die Auswirkungen von Spirulina, Tinospora cordifolia und Pestwurz auf die allergische Rhinitis wurden kürzlich in nur wenigen Untersuchungen untersucht.Diese doppelblinde, placebokontrollierte Studie untersuchte die Wirksamkeit und Verträglichkeit von Spirulina bei der Behandlung von Patienten mit allergischer Rhinitis. Der Konsum von Spirulina verbesserte die Symptome und körperlichen Befunde im Vergleich zu Placebo signifikant. (Department of of ENT, Eskisehir Osmangazi University Medical Faculty, Eskisehir, Turkey / 2008)
Die vorliegende Studie wurde durchgeführt, um die Wirksamkeit der Spirulina-Supplementierung bei der Behandlung von Asthma bronchiale zu untersuchen. (Department of Foods and Nutrition Gujarat, India / 2015)
Das Ziel dieser Studie war es, die Sicherheit hinsichtlich der Antikoagulansaktivität und der Thrombozytenaktivierung während des täglichen Verzehrs eines wässrigen Cyanophyta-Extrakts (ACE), der eine hohe Dosis Phycocyanin enthält, zu bewerten. (NIS Labs, Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA / 2016)
Eine Pilotstudie wurde durchgeführt, um die Auswirkungen von Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) auf kretische Patienten mit nichtalkoholischer Fettlebererkrankung (NAFLD) zu bestimmen.(Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Hospital of Crete, Chania (Elias E. Mazokopakis, Dimitrios A. Kotsiris, Ioannis M. Lampadakis), Crete, Greece / 2014)
Diese Studie testete diese Hypothese in einer randomisierten, doppelblinden, placebokontrollierten Studie bei Männern. (Department of Human Nutrition , Ohio State University , Columbus , OH , USA / 2016)
iel der vorliegenden Studie war es daher, die Wirkung der Spirulina-Supplementierung auf die Trainingsleistung, den Substratstoffwechsel und den Blutredoxstatus sowohl in Ruhe als auch nach dem Training zu untersuchen. (nstitute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Center for Research and Technology - Thessaly, Trikala, Greece / 2010)
Die Auswirkungen einer Spirulina-Supplementierung auf die Verhinderung von Skelettmuskelschäden bei nicht trainierten Menschen wurden untersucht. (Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan College of Physical Education, Taichung, Taiwan / 2006)
Ziel dieser Studie war es, die Wirkung von Spirulina maxima auf Körpergewicht, Blutdruck und Endothelfunktion zu untersuchen. (Department of Internal Diseases, Metabolic Disorders and Hypertension, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland / 2016)
Diese Studie wurde durchgeführt, um die antioxidative Kapazität, die immunmodulatorischen und lipidsenkenden Wirkungen von Spirulina bei gesunden älteren Probanden zu bestimmen und die Wirksamkeit von Spirulina als funktionelles Lebensmittel für ältere Menschen zu dokumentieren. (Foods R&D, CJ CheilJedang Corp., Seoul, Korea / 2008)
Der Zweck dieser Studie bestand darin, die Immunmodulation, die antioxidative Kapazität und die lipidsenkende Wirkung von Spirulina bei adipösen und nicht adipösen koreanischen älteren Menschen zu bestimmen. (Food and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul / 2016)
Der Zweck dieser Studie war es, die Auswirkungen einer Spirulina-Intervention bei koreanischen Patienten mit Typ-2-Diabetes zu untersuchen. (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, 11-1 Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul / 2008)
Ziel dieser Studie war es, die hypoglykämische und hypolipidämische Rolle von Spirulina zu bewerten. (Department of Foods and Nutrition, M S University of Baroda, Vadodara-390002, Gujarat, India / 2001)