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Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, Aztec warriors ate spirulina gathered from the shores of Mexico's Lake Texcoco. Modern spirulina is harvested from tanks maintained under sterile conditions or from the pristine waters just off the coast of Hawaii, but the value of spirulina in natural health is just as great today.
Dry spirulina is 55 to 80 per cent pure protein, and the rest of the plant is mostly omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Spirulina contains all of the essential amino acids, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. It provides calcium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, sodium, and zinc. It offers the essential fatty acids ALA, DHA, EPA, and GLA, and the plant nutrients beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin, the latter a plant pigment that recharges lutein.
There's just one drawback to using spirulina.
Humans do not live by algae alone. That's why the best use of spirulina is to make sure you don't miss any major or minor nutrients. There are no spirulina side effects except for people who suffer phenylketonuria, who have to avoid all concentrated sources of phenylalanine, including spirulina. It's also important to remember that spirulina's health benefits do not include providing vitamin B12, so it's necessary to find other sources for that essential nutrient.
Choosing your spirulina dosage, however, is up to you. It's impossible to take too much, so use as much spirulina as you are comfortable including in your diet, always choosing brands from companies that employ strict quality control.
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