Why We Don’t Sell Spirulina
Spirulina is a type of blue green algae that grows in salty lakes in Mexico and on the African continent. Assigned its name as it grows in a spiral shape. It is quick to reproduce and easy to harvest. Records suggest the Aztecs used spirulina as a food source. Spirulina has a broad spectrum of nutrients which include B vitamins, beta carotene and minerals iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and zinc. It is also a rich source of GLA (gamma linolenic acid), protein and vitamin B12, although in a form which is not absorbable.
Spirulina is available in powder and tablet/capsule form and can be found in most health food shops. However, it is expensive.
What is spirulina used for?
There are no well documented uses for spirulina, although it is commonly taken as nutritional support for immune health, cholesterol and weight loss. The evidence is weak in connection with immune support and weight loss studies showed little difference between spirulina and placebo.
Why don’t we sell spirulina?
There are significant safety concerns with blue green algae as it can be naturally contaminated with highly toxic substances, such as microcystins which are produced by cyanobacteria. It is not clear what the maximum safe intake of such substances is or if a toxic affect accumulates over a period of time. With this uncertainty it’s difficult to confirm if spirulina is safe to use long-term. For us, spirulina raises too many concerns over contaminants and quality for us to be able to sell it with confidence.
What are the alternatives?
A colourful and varied diet rich in all healthy food groups is the best route to meeting all your nutritional needs. Iron can be obtained from leafy green vegetables, meat and dried fruit such as prunes. Vitamins and minerals are in abundance in fruit and vegetables. In terms of protein, legumes, nuts, grains and animal-based foods are an easier and cheaper way of consuming this macronutrient. Essential fatty acids are readily available in oily fish, nuts and seeds.
If you are looking to support your diet, we would suggest a good multi-vitamin such as Multi-Guard® Active and omega 3 supplement, as these are the foundations to most Nutritionists’ programmes.
Spirulina is a source of valuable nutrients, however, there is a question mark over safety and no concrete data to suggests it is helpful to specific health concerns.
Further reading… why not browse our Blog articles to find out more about how to support a healthy lifestyle.
Need FREE confidential nutrition advice? Contact our Nutrition Advice Team by clicking here.
Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.