Last updated: August 15, 2021

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Food supplements are supposed to keep the body fit and promote health when taken regularly - spirulina tablets are one of them. The blue-green algae spirulina is said to slow down ageing, strengthen the immune system and even prevent cancer. But how much truth is there behind this miracle product?

In the spirulina tablets test 2021 you will find all the important information you need to know about spirulina. In the following article, we explain which spirulina tablets are recommended, what you should bear in mind when taking them and what side effects the tablets can have.




The most important facts

  • Spirulina is a plant that also consists of cyanobacteria and is also known as blue-green algae. It is often referred to as a superfood due to its attributed positive medicinal effects.
  • Spirulina can bring many positive effects to your body. These include an antioxidant effect and an ideal supply for the liver and kidneys. It also serves as a source of protein and energy booster, the brain cells and the immune system are supported and the cardiovascular system is strengthened.
  • Because spirulina is a natural product, it rarely has side effects. Rare side effects include worsening symptoms of autoimmune diseases, vitamin B12 deficiency and contamination with pollutants during production.

The Best Spirulina Tablets: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for spirulina tablets

Before you decide on certain spirulina tablets, you should pay attention to certain aspects in order to avoid making a wrong purchase and to be happy with your desired product for a long time. In the following section you will find out what these are and why they are so important for your purchase decision.

The criteria that help you decide on the right product include:

Dosage

First of all, the dosage of spirulina tablets plays an important role in order to avoid possible side effects and unpleasant surprises. On the market you will find tablets ranging from 250 milligrams to usually 500 milligrams and depending on the product between 540 and 1000 tablets. The daily dose and consumption recommendation differs depending on the manufacturer, but an intake of 3 x 5 tablets per day is optimal.

If you tolerate spirulina well, you should take at least 10 grams of pure spirulina per day. Since spirulina is digested within one hour, you can also take one to three tablets every hour.

Shelf life

The next criterion is the shelf life of spirulina tablets. To ensure the longest possible shelf life, you should make sure that the tablets are stored in a dark and dry place. This way, the products can be kept for one to one and a half years. However, it is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging.

Ingredients

The composition of your spirulina powder is an important criterion for finding the right product. It is important that the tablets are really spirulina, even if certain terms in many products such as "Spiruline", "Alga Cyanophyceae Spirulina", "Spirulina platensis" or "Arthrospira platensis" can be confusing. Pay close attention to how the ingredients are composed.

The tablets should consist of more than 98% spirulina, because pressed tablets often contain press aids such as soy lecithin, magnesium stearate or silicea, so that there are only a few products on the market that consist of 100% spirulina. In addition, the products should not contain any preservatives or colourings.

Besides the main ingredient spirulina, it contains many other valuable nutrients such as:

  • Beta-carotene: It serves as an antioxidant for the skin, eyes and immune system
  • Phycocyanin: The "blue" in blue-green microalgae that helps detoxify the organs
  • Zeaxanthin: The antioxidant for the lens, retina and brain tissue
  • Iron: It provides healthy blood levels and more energy
  • Vitamin B12: It is especially for vegetarians and vegans, as they are usually deficient in it
  • Vitamin K: It strengthens the arteries and bones
  • GLA (gamma-linolenic acid): It is an essential fatty acid for the brain
  • Trace elements: They support muscle function in the body. Often wrongly assumed, spirulina, however, contains almost no iodine at all.
  • Superoxide dismutase (SOD): SOD has an anti-inflammatory effect by neutralising free radicals and can protect and stimulate the body's cells

Here you can see well that spirulina tablets contain a whole lot of valuable vitamins and trace elements and can therefore serve as an all-rounder.

Certification

Another important criterion is the certification of the products. The certification indicates how environmentally friendly and natural the spirulina tablets are produced. Since spirulina is a processed agricultural or aquaculture product, many products contain an organic seal. They indicate that they are produced without additives or additional chemicals.

Furthermore, before buying, you should make sure that your desired product meets GMP and HACCP standards. These two certificates are common in the pharmaceutical sector and ensure quality control in production processes and hazard protection for the end user. Furthermore, you should make sure that the spirulina tablets are GMO-free, i.e. not genetically modified.

Smell and colour

Before buying, check the smell and colour of the spirulina tablets. High-quality spirulina tablets are dark green and matt in colour. If the tablets have a shiny colour, this indicates that binding agents have been processed. These are used to make the tablets last longer.

A special feature is the particular smell of the spirulina tablets, which can smell slightly fishy. However, if they have a strong smell, this may indicate that the product is already heavily oxidised and therefore no longer usable.

Origin

Finally, when buying spirulina tablets, you should also pay attention to the origin of the product. Spirulina bacteria are produced in various waters, some of which are contaminated and may be harmful to your health. Therefore, make sure you only buy products where spirulina is obtained from controlled and closed production processes.

Spirulina tablets: Frequently asked questions about spirulina tablets answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of spirulina tablets and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is Spirulina and how does it work?

Spirulina is a plant that also consists of cyanobacteria and is also known as blue-green algae. It is often referred to as a superfood due to its attributed positive medicinal effects. Spirulina is produced in aquacultures, mainly in Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia.

Spirulina Tabletten

Spirulina has a blue-green colour. After filtering and centrifuging, it can also be used in powder form. (Image source: Vita Marija Murenaite / unsplash)

They are obtained by filtering and centrifuging and then either freeze-dried or hot-air dried. The microalgae is offered on the market as a herbal dietary supplement, mostly pressed as pellets or tablets. It is also available in powder form or in capsules. The plant is said to have various effects, including:

  • Sustained energy:
    Spirulina can provide energy through its combination of vitamins, iron, phycocyanin, beta-carotene and other valuable nutrients. In addition, it is an all-vegetable, natural product and contains no chemicals that can have a negative effect on the body.Spirulina is said to increase energy levels as it can release sugars from the body's cells. In addition, the coldness of the ice is said to ensure that metabolic energy is increased, which can be like a "wake-up call" for the body. (1)
  • Immune system is boosted:
    Medical studies suggest that spirulina boosts the immune system. The intake of spirulina is said to increase energy reserves and the body's defences. In 2002, researchers in Russia and Mexico independently discovered the positive properties of spirulina on the immune system. Immune cells were exposed to infections under laboratory conditions. (2) The addition of spirulina showed antiviral properties, i.e. the cells were protected from infection by certain types of viruses and the reproduction of viruses generally slowed down.
  • Antioxidant effect:
    The blue-green microalgae consist of fibrous, soft mucopolysaccharide layers. These have the ability to bind toxins to themselves, especially radiation and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. These toxins are then disposed of.There are some studies that have already demonstrated the detoxifying properties of spirulina: In one study, test subjects were given a microalgae-zinc combination to find out whether they were better protected against the harmful effects after consuming drinking water contaminated with toxins.The scientists found that after 16 weeks, toxicity decreased. (3) A study with laboratory rats exposed to elevated lead levels showed a similar result. (4) After using spirulina, a detoxification of the lead in the rats' brains was observed. (6) In addition, the brain tissue was more resistant to oxidative damage. (5) . Furthermore, there are indications that spirulina has the ability to kill tumours. (6)
  • Spirulina as a source of iron:
    Spirulina contains high levels of iron. It is essential for muscle and blood cells (haemoglobin), as they cannot otherwise supply oxygen without iron. Since the body cannot produce iron itself, it is important to consume these minerals regularly. A team of researchers from France found that iron levels were 6.5 times higher after eating spirulina than after eating beef. (7) This makes them an ideal food for vegetarians and vegans.But spirulina is not only of great benefit to this group of people: another study found that spirulina improved iron and haemoglobin retention in pregnant and lactating rats.This may suggest that spirulina can promote healthy iron and haemoglobin levels in pregnant and lactating women.
  • Brain cells are supported:
    Due to its antioxidant properties, spirulina is thought to protect brain cells from degradation. There are studies that have already been able to prove this: In one study, laboratory rates were given a daily dose of spirulina for 30 days.The results showed that spirulina can protect stem cells from damage. Stem cells are very important for optimal memory function and learning. (8) However, there has not yet been any scientific study on humans.
  • Optimal supply of liver and kidney
    The antioxidant function of microalgae enables the liver and kidneys to function properly because they are protected from free radicals. Free radicals can damage the liver and kidney cells so that they can no longer function as they should.Several studies have tested the antioxidant effect of spirulina on the liver and kidney. The results showed a clear positive effect, as the liver and kidney cells of the laboratory rats became more resistant to oxidation after the addition of spirulina. (9)
  • Heart and circulatory system protection:
    The antioxidant phycocyanin contained in spirulina can ensure that heart cells as well as cells surrounding blood vessels are protected from damage and that cholesterol levels can be lowered. In a Korean study, 78 healthy elderly women and men aged 60 to 87 were given either 8 grams of spirulina or a placebo daily for 16 weeks. The results showed that spirulina had a positive effect on the test subjects: lipid profiles, defence variables and antioxidant capacity increased.lipid levels rose, which in turn had a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Another study showed that taking spirulina lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. Too high levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol often lead to heart disease in old age. (10)

When and for whom is it useful to take spirulina?

Spirulina is suitable for everyone, regardless of age, who wants to supplement their diet with valuable nutrients. Especially in hectic times, when food has to be prepared quickly, it can happen that important nutrients are missed out in the diet. Spirulina offers a short-term substitute for "green stuff" consumption in such cases. However, you should be careful not to take spirulina as a permanent replacement, but rather as an accompaniment to a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle.

Furthermore, the consumption of spirulina is recommended for older people and for physically and mentally impaired people who often suffer from a nutrient deficit and whose bodies may therefore no longer be able to process these nutrients effectively. Since this group of people also often has to take medication, the nutrient balance can also be permanently impaired here.

Spirulina is also ideal as a nutrient booster for children, who often do not like to eat fruit and vegetables, for fast food addicts and for students who do not live at home. The reason is that they often consume processed products that contain few valuable ingredients. Spirulina is easy for the body to digest and use and is also an energy-rich food source.

Not only humans can benefit from spirulina, animals can also take many positive advantages. In veterinary practices, it is often recommended as a dietary supplement, as animals can usually absorb the ingredients of the blue-green algae very well.

How do you take Spirulina tablets?

There are two ways you can consume spirulina tablets: Either you can take them as a course of treatment over a period of one to three months or you can take the tablets regularly as a supplement to your diet.

We recommend that you normally take 3 to 4 grams of spirulina. The tablets usually contain either 500 milligrams of spirulina powder, so you can take up to 8 tablets a day in the combination of 2 x 4 tablets with a glass of water. You can take the spirulina tablets both with and without food and either once or several times a day.

Spirulina can have an energising and stimulating effect, which is why we recommend that you take the tablets about four hours before bedtime.

Despite the general recommendation, we advise you to follow the dosage and intake rules stated on the packaging or in the package insert from the manufacturer.

If you have an existing condition, you should increase the daily dose by up to 10 grams of spirulina. In order to get your body used to it, you should first start with an intake of 4 grams and increase it bit by bit. This way, your body can slowly get used to the blue-green algae food and avoid possible detoxification reactions due to the high detoxification power of spirulina. These reactions include indigestion, which can be expressed by flatulence or a bloated belly.

Be sure to check with your doctor before taking spirulina if you are taking blood thinning medication.

What are the side effects of Spirulina tablets?

Although spirulina as a natural product usually has only a few side effects, there are still dangers and side effects that we have summarised for you in the following table.

Side effect Description
Contamination There is a possibility that spirulina algae may be contaminated with harmful substances when harvested. These are often heavy metals, harmful particles, bacteria and microcystins. Microcystine is always naturally present in spirulina, but can be a risk to the liver if consumed in excess. To avoid possible contamination, you should choose products that are grown in a controlled environment.
Exacerbation of autoimmune diseases Spirulina can cause autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis to be exacerbated. Because spirulina can strengthen the body's own immune system, the immune system can act more strongly and attack the body's own cells more frequently in an existing autoimmune disease. This leads to a worsening of the said autoimmune diseases.
Possible vitamin B12 deficit Vegetarians and vegans in particular like to take spirulina because of the high doses of vitamin B12 it contains. However, the vitamin B12 contained in the food supplement is not usable by the human body and the desired effect cannot occur.

Despite the side effects mentioned above, they are usually quite rare. If you do not feel well after taking Spirulina tablets, please consult a doctor.

What are the alternatives to Spirulina?

An alternative to spirulina is chlorella. It is also a microalgae and is often confused with spirulina.

Spirulina Tabletten

Chlorella belongs to the genus of freshwater algae and is mainly used for the production of food, food supplements and cosmetics. (Image source: Liz Harrell / unsplash)

Despite the many similarities, they do have some striking differences:

Difference Spirulina Chlorella
Shape Spiral, blue-green, no nucleus present Smaller, green, nucleus present
Origin Fresh and salt water Fresh water
Processing Ready for immediate consumption Elaborate processing required before consumption
Uses For energy supply, strengthening the immune system For withdrawal from stimulants such as cigarettes, stress reduction
Advantage More vitamin B present More vitamin A present
Special feature Rich in proteins Can stimulate cell production

Despite the above facts, according to the current state of research, chlorella is still much less researched than spirulina. Accordingly, there are currently no scientific studies on it.

Image source: Logvinovich / 123rf.com

References (10)

1. Karkos, P. D., Leong, S. C., Karkos, C. D., Sivaji, N., & Assimakopoulos, D. A. (2011). Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011, 531053. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen058
Source

2. Gorobets OB, Blinkova LP, Baturo AP. Deĭstvie Spirulina platensis na virusy bakteriĭ [Action of Spirulina platensis on bacterial viruses]. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2002 Nov-Dec;(6):18-21. Russian. PMID: 12506621.
Source

3. Misbahuddin M, Islam AZ, Khandker S, Ifthaker-Al-Mahmud, Islam N, Anjumanara. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2006;44(2):135-41. doi: 10.1080/15563650500514400. PMID: 16615668.
Source

4. Upasani CD, Balaraman R. Protective effect of Spirulina on lead induced deleterious changes in the lipid peroxidation and endogenous antioxidants in rats. Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):330-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1135. PMID: 12722134.
Source

5. Simsek N, Karadeniz A, Kalkan Y, Keles ON, Unal B. Spirulina platensis feeding inhibited the anemia- and leucopenia-induced lead and cadmium in rats. J Hazard Mater. 2009 May 30;164(2-3):1304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.09.041. Epub 2008 Sep 20. PMID: 18976856.
Source

6. Deng, R., & Chow, T. J. (2010). Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics, 28(4), e33–e45. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x
Source

7. Grégoire Puyfoulhoux, Jean-Max Rouanet, Pierre Besançon, Bruno Baroux, Jean-Claude Baccou, and Bertrand Caporiccio Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2001 49 (3), 1625-1629 DOI: 10.1021/jf001193c
Source

8. A.D. Bachstetter, J. Jernberg, A. Schlunk, J.L. Vila, C. Hudson, M.J. Cole, R.D. Shytle, J. Tan, P.R. Sanberg, C.D. Sanberg, C. Borlongan, Y. Kaneko, N. Tajiri, C. Gemma, and P.C. Bickford. Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis and protects against LPS induced declines in neural stemcell proliferation. PLOS ONE, Vol. 5, No. 5.
Source

9. E.P. Sabina, J. Samual, S. RajappaRamya, S. Patel, N. Mandal, P. Pranatharthiiharan, P.P. Mishra, and M.K. Rasool. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant potential of spirulina fusiformis on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Research Gate
Source

10. Deng, R., & Chow, T. J. (2010). Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics, 28(4), e33–e45. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x
Source

Why you can trust me?

Klinische Studie
Karkos, P. D., Leong, S. C., Karkos, C. D., Sivaji, N., & Assimakopoulos, D. A. (2011). Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011, 531053. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen058
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Gorobets OB, Blinkova LP, Baturo AP. Deĭstvie Spirulina platensis na virusy bakteriĭ [Action of Spirulina platensis on bacterial viruses]. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2002 Nov-Dec;(6):18-21. Russian. PMID: 12506621.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Misbahuddin M, Islam AZ, Khandker S, Ifthaker-Al-Mahmud, Islam N, Anjumanara. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2006;44(2):135-41. doi: 10.1080/15563650500514400. PMID: 16615668.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Upasani CD, Balaraman R. Protective effect of Spirulina on lead induced deleterious changes in the lipid peroxidation and endogenous antioxidants in rats. Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):330-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1135. PMID: 12722134.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Simsek N, Karadeniz A, Kalkan Y, Keles ON, Unal B. Spirulina platensis feeding inhibited the anemia- and leucopenia-induced lead and cadmium in rats. J Hazard Mater. 2009 May 30;164(2-3):1304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.09.041. Epub 2008 Sep 20. PMID: 18976856.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Deng, R., & Chow, T. J. (2010). Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics, 28(4), e33–e45. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Grégoire Puyfoulhoux, Jean-Max Rouanet, Pierre Besançon, Bruno Baroux, Jean-Claude Baccou, and Bertrand Caporiccio Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2001 49 (3), 1625-1629 DOI: 10.1021/jf001193c
Go to source
Klinische Studie
A.D. Bachstetter, J. Jernberg, A. Schlunk, J.L. Vila, C. Hudson, M.J. Cole, R.D. Shytle, J. Tan, P.R. Sanberg, C.D. Sanberg, C. Borlongan, Y. Kaneko, N. Tajiri, C. Gemma, and P.C. Bickford. Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis and protects against LPS induced declines in neural stemcell proliferation. PLOS ONE, Vol. 5, No. 5.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
E.P. Sabina, J. Samual, S. RajappaRamya, S. Patel, N. Mandal, P. Pranatharthiiharan, P.P. Mishra, and M.K. Rasool. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant potential of spirulina fusiformis on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Research Gate
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Deng, R., & Chow, T. J. (2010). Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics, 28(4), e33–e45. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x
Go to source
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