Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spirulina: Quick Immune Super-Builder

Suzy Cohen is a pharmacist who knows that medications have their place, but she prefers to avoid the automatic rubber stamping of drug treatments. She also writes "Dear Pharmacist," a nationally syndicated column which also appears on the Healthier Talk website.

In a recent column, a reader inquired about a so-called "superfood."T.E. Chicago, Illinois: You mentioned "spirulina" in a recent column as a supplement to help boost thyroid hormone. I've never heard of this, is it a vitamin? What else is it good for?"

Suzy Cohen: "Spirulina is supercool, and it's a superfood. It's actually algae that grows in our oceans, springs and lakes. If you viewed it with a microscope you would see beautiful bright blue-green spirals, for which it is named. Spirulina is a single-cell organism that is capable of turning sunlight into energy, and it has been on earth for eons.

"Spirulina is a superfood because it has tons of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. It's food, people of many cultures actually eat a version of it. Spirulina is a great source of vegetable protein and what makes it even more amazing is the detoxifying chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants).

"Chlorophyll eliminates body odor and cleans out the digestive tract. Because spirulina packs this kind of a punch, I think it is a good supplement for everyone, especially those of you who do not eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Spirulina could be of benefit to you if you have:

Chronic fatigue or anemia
Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's or Graves' disease
Vision loss
Frequent infections
Pollen, hayfever, and/or mold allergies
Heart problems
Neuropathis pain or heavy metal burdens
Type 2 diabetes

You can read Suzy's detailed comments on how spirulina offers benefits for each of these conditions in her article "Spirulina is a Supercool Superfood" on the Healthier Talk website.

I have found 2 wonderful resources of authentic, fully potency Spirulina that our family uses and switches between: EarthRise Spirulina Natural and Natures Sunshine Spirulina .
  • Earthrise are chewables that our daughters pop in like candy, several times a day.
  • Nature's Sunshine brand are capsules for easy swallowing.

Spirulina does occasionally detox the system too quickly when first starting, so I would start out with adults: 1/day with a meal, Children 1/2 tablet a day. Adults can EVENTUALLY build up to 3 capsules a day, and children 3-5 tablets a day.

This is a WONDERFUL all-purpose vitamin for children, otherwise I would reccomend this one as well as a safe and effective, daily vitamin for children: Natures Sunshine Elderberry Plus Herbasaurs.

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******


  1. Ms. Salubrious,
    I ran across this site because I was searching for info on Spirulina. An herbalist did a muscle test and gave me Nature's Sunshine spirulina. Then, I got some organic spir. that was sold in bulk at the health food store. I tried it for a few days and noticed almost too much energy as it made me a little hyper and even affected sleep one night. Then, I tried the NS spirulina, and it made me tired and sleepy. This is weird. Any thoughts?

  2. Hi Cammy! Thanks for the inquiry! While I'm not a liscensed physician, I do have a passion for health and will answer to the best of my knowledge. Thinking it could be one of these 3?
    1) Since different brands are harvested at different locations, there isn't consistency in the nutrient, the reason the FDA won't touch it. They WILL medications, because they can be chemically created to be unified in design. You can try to find the best brand for you. Spirulina is natural, there for not unified...just like most apples, fruit etc.
    2) A pancreatic weakness (diabetic?)or heart condition can speed the heart for hyperness, or can alter blood sugar levels, bringing about a change in energy
    3) a website on some possible symptoms and causes (noticed tiredness in the list!!):
    Another one for a breakdown of nutrients involved, with symptoms list along the side:

    Hoping one of these may at least give you a LEAD to a possible answer???
    Thanks for reading!!