Blue-green algae supplements: avoid them!

Q: Are blue-green algae supplements a good way to get extra nutrients? BG-algae

Dr. David Klein’s response:
Blue-green algae supplementation is a serious mistake, especially for those with inflammatory bowel conditions. The supplements come in powder, tablet and frozen liquid form. They are praised for their high quantities of nutrients, including protein and all essential trace minerals, some of which are typically scant in even organically-grown fruit and vegetables. Are these products really suitable for ingestion by humans? After examining the facts, the answer is a resounding “no.” Here are four major reasons why:

1. B12 Analogues
Most researchers concur that the use of inactive vitamin B12 analogues (“fake” B12, or “pseudo vitamin B12”) found in multivitamin supplements containing vitamin B12 as well as spirulina, chlorella and blue green algae, can deplete, destroy and interfere with active (true) vitamin B12 by competing for the same cell receptor sites. (Analogues, as defined by Dorland’s Medical Dictionary 27th Edition, are chemical compounds with a structure similar to that of another but differing from it in respect to a certain component; it may have a similar or opposite metabolic action). In our quest for truth, it is important to differentiate between what is similar and what is authentic.

(Extracted from the Living Nutrition vol. no. 19 article, “Vitamin B12 Deficiency,” by Paul Fanny, H.D., Ph.D.)

2. Phycocyanin
Although some research has shown that blue-green algae contains ample, active vitamin B12 that is usable by the human body, the blue chromoprotein component which contains phycocyanin (an emetic), listed by James Duke in his Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals and Their Activities, is a protoplasmic poison
and should not be ingested.

(Extracted from the Living Nutrition vol. no. 19 article, “Vitamin B12 Deficiency,” by Paul Fanny, H.D., Ph.D.)

3. Salt
Commercially-grown, powderized and tabletized blue-green algae products (e.g., spirulina and chlorella) are cultured in aqueous tanks which are fertilized with raw mineral salts. The mature algae organisms are rinsed with clear water, filtered then heat-flash dried (typically at temperatures near 400 degrees Fahrenheit, rendering them “cooked,” rather than “raw,” products). However, rinsing cannot completely remove all the inorganic minerals salts (including sodium chloride) which adhere to the outer algae cell walls. The resultant algae powder products contain high amounts of toxic salt. Excessive ingestion of these salty products causes internal irritation, swelling of the intestines and other bodily tissues, exacerbation of inflammation and ulcerations, malabsorption, water retention, hypertension, and the other commonly-known associated disease risks concomitant with table salt ingestion.

4. Stimulation
Blue-green algaes typically contain 60% to 70% protein by weight, as well as high concentrations of a host of other nutrients, plus the aforementioned salt. Such high percentages of nutrients and non-nutritious salts are not found in any of human’s natural dietary fare. As such, the products, if taken in quantities exceeding what I’ll loosely characterize as “minute,” will produce toxifying and stimulating effects. The stimulation may manifest as a “high” which typically leads the user into a false sense of wellness. This in turn often leads to an addiction to the supplement(s) as well as disordered eating (alternating cravings for high-protein supplements, salty fare, concentrated sweets, etc.), hyperactivity, neglect of the health-promoting practices essential for true health and, eventually, adrenal exhaustion, enervation and illness.

Avoid blue-green algaes at all cost!

Many Q&A’s like this appear in each issue of Dr. Klein’s Vibrance Magazine. For more info and to subscribe, visit

    • Patricia Brady
    • September 28th, 2012

    Dear David, thankyou for this article to show my friends; it just doesn’t make sense to me how blue green algae supplements can be so popular, when it blooms at a high rate right in my county; causing the lake to be avoided for swimming and fishing! And research shows it produces states of hypoxia. No one believes me. , just crazy!

    • New17181
    • February 12th, 2013

    how about e3live which is taken from crater lake a natural source,
    and shipped frozen?

    • All blue-green algaes contain the toxic phycocyanin chemical which is a health hazard. Plus they are stimulants which fool us into thinking we are well, misleading us. Just because something comes from nature does not mean it is good for us.

      Dr. David Klein

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