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What Are the Health Benefits of Blue Green Algae Supplements?

author image Timothy Onkst
Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.
What Are the Health Benefits of Blue Green Algae Supplements?
Blue-green algae sits atop a pond. Photo Credit Barbara Vallance/iStock/Getty Images


According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, blue-green algae is usually a mix of spiriluna and Aphanizomenon flos aquae, also known as AFA. Spiriluna is often cultured and grown in labs, while AFA can be found naturally, most notably in Oregon's Upper Klamath Lake. Proponents of blue-green algae take this supplement for a wide variety of illnesses and problems.

Nutritional Benefits

Medline Plus calls blue-green algae a rich source of nutrients. The algae contains 50 to 70 percent protein according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Blue-green algae is also noted to feature all essential amino acids, it's high in vitamins A, complex-B vitamins, and vitamin E. In fact, MedLine plus says blue-green algae contains more beta-carotene than carrots. The high values of vitamins and minerals could be what helps blue-green algae users combat fatigue according to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Fights Viral Infections

According to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, calcium-spirulan, an extract of spirulina has shown to inhibit HIV cell reproduction and disrupt the virus interaction. Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also notes that the same extract from blue-green algae has been shown to inhibit cell growth in herpes, cytomegalovirus, and influenza. It's important to note that these tests have not been run on humans with these conditions. However in healthy humans, tests showed that the algae increased the the level of natural disease fighting cells. Lab studies strongly suggest that the algae does fight virus cells and mutant cells according to Sloan-Kettering.

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Other Health Uses

According to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, spirulina has shown to have chemo-protective and radio-protective effects in animal testing. Sloan-Kettering attributes this to the algae's ability to stimulate and protect organs and tissues. According to MedLine Plus, preliminary studies have shown spirulina to reduce blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Spirulina has shown to lower cholesterol levels in animals, and according to MedLine Plus preliminary studies have shown the same effects in humans. Many recommend blue-green algae for weight loss but to this point there are no studies or scientific information available on the validity of the claims.

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