Is Spirulina Good For Anemia? What About Taking Chlorella For Anemia?

Article at a glance:

  • Anemia is a blood disorder commonly caused by iron deficiency. However, other types of anemia may also develop from the lack of other vitamins and minerals.
  • With a robust nutritional profile, chlorella and spirulina tablets may offer amazing benefits to fight iron deficiency and other types of anemia.
  • In several trials, spirulina and chlorella have exhibited potential for improving serum iron and hemoglobin concentration levels.


Anemia is a prevalent health condition caused by a lack of various vitamins and minerals. But you’re not entirely defenseless against anemia, especially if you know the right dietary supplements.

Is spirulina good for anemia? Should you take chlorella for anemia? Keep reading, and let’s discover how these algae superfoods can help manage anemia.


What Is Anemia?


Several types of blood cells have different tasks in ensuring the body’s proper function. For example, red blood cells are responsible for the highly important process of delivering oxygen throughout the body.

Hemoglobin, a protein rich in iron, mainly allows red blood cells to perform this task.

Unfortunately, certain conditions could lead to the lower production of healthy red blood cells, leading to the development of the common blood disorder known as anemia.

Anemia is primarily characterized by a lower red blood cell count, meaning various body organs and parts may lack oxygen.

This explains why some common anemia symptoms are weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and headache. Other patients may also experience chest pain, pale skin, irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations, and pulsatile tinnitus.


Who Is at Risk of Anemia?


Who Is at Risk of Anemia?


Poor diet, blood loss, and underlying disease are common causes of anemia. That puts malnourished children, women who are menstruating, and patients with chronic diseases and infections at a higher risk for anemia.

Pregnancy-related anemia is also common among women because the blood volume in the body increases during pregnancy. Expecting moms would need higher iron intake to avoid iron deficiency anemia.

Poor diet is a potential cause of anemia, so it is important to ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals to help the body produce enough healthy red blood cells.

Of course, maintaining a balanced diet is irreplaceable in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But if keeping track of what you eat is challenging, natural supplements rich in vitamins and minerals may be beneficial.


How Is Anemia Diagnosed?


A complete blood count is a physician’s first test to determine if a patient has anemia. This test measures levels of various blood cells and proteins, including red blood cell count, white blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit.


Chlorella and Spirulina for Anemia


Chlorella and spirulina have been popular among health enthusiasts because they are known for their immensely rich nutritional profiles. Research has found that these powerhouse algae superfoods naturally present essential vitamins and minerals.

Iron, vitamin B12, and folate are some of these nutrients—all essential in managing anemia and its symptoms.

Is spirulina good for anemia? Does taking chlorella for anemia lead to beneficial effects? Further clinical trials are encouraged to answer these questions conclusively. Still, existing research-based outcomes suggest that chlorella and spirulina supplements may help with anemia.


Benefits of Chlorella for Anemia


Is chlorella good for anemia?

Chlorella supplements come from the unicellular green algae of the same name. While chlorella is regarded as one of the oldest food sources, its health benefits remain highly relevant today.

Aside from its extremely rich chlorophyll content, chlorella is also known as a robust source of vegan protein. Studies have shown that chlorella can contain up to 5.5% chlorophyll and boasts up to 60% protein content.

However, these are not the only nutrients the green algae have that may explain the potential benefits of chlorella for anemia.


Iron in Chlorella


Anyone looking for natural supplements for anemia must consider their iron content when choosing a product for two reasons. First, iron plays a significant role in red blood cell production. Second, iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia.

Iron is important for maintaining a healthy red blood cell count. The body needs it to produce hemoglobin.


What is the recommended daily iron intake?


The advised dietary intake of iron for adult men ages 19 to 50 is 8 mg per day. The recommended amount of iron is higher for women in the same age range, at 18 mg daily, because women who menstruate are more prone to iron deficiency.

Regardless of age, pregnant women are recommended to have a much higher daily iron intake of 27 mg. The body’s blood volume increases during pregnancy, elevating the needed amount of iron to produce red blood cells.


Is chlorella rich in iron?


Is chlorella rich in iron?


Aside from iron supplements, chlorella supplements may offer fantastic support to improve iron consumption. Iron is naturally present in chlorella and in “substantial amounts” in several commercially available chlorella products.

How much iron does chlorella have? The exact amount of iron in chlorella products can vary. But one study revealed that up to 104 mg of iron is present in every 100 g dry weight of chlorella in some supplements sold in health stores.

The same study also mentioned that chlorella may provide higher amounts of iron than other plant-derived foods. Taking chlorella for iron deficiency may also be highly beneficial for vegans and vegetarians.


Does chlorella build red blood cells? Does chlorella increase hemoglobin?


While chlorella doesn’t necessarily make red blood cells or hemoglobin, its rich iron content may support their production.

Some evidence suggests that chlorella supplementation for pregnant women may help increase hemoglobin levels. One study found that consuming 6 g of chlorella pyrenoidosa supplement daily from the 12th to 18th week of gestation significantly lowered the incidence of anemia.


Chlorophyll in Chlorella


Chlorophyll is another significant component of chlorella that you should consider when deciding whether to take chlorella for anemia.

This green pigment is found in almost every plant and green algae species. However, chlorella is famous for being exceptionally rich in chlorophyll, which accounts for up to 5% of its weight.


What does chlorophyll do for anemia?


As you may already know, chlorophyll is also a popular natural supplement due to its long list of potential health benefits. Studies also suggest that chlorophyll’s chemical makeup positively affects anemia.

In one animal study, subjects were injected with higher doses of liquid chlorophyll to determine its effect on blood parameters. Results demonstrated significantly increased levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cells, lymphocytes, granulocytes, and platelets.


Does chlorophyll increase red blood cells?


The direct influence of chlorophyll on the production of red blood cells is yet to be fully understood. However, existing studies explain how chlorophyll may help with anemia.

A 2014 study called chlorophyll the “green blood” after researchers determined it’s “chemically identical” to hemoglobin. This suggests that chlorophyll may emulate hemoglobin’s functions that allow red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body.


Spirulina Benefits for Anemia


Is spirulina good for anemia?

Spirulina is a type of blue-green microalgae that has centuries of history as a nutritious food source. Today, it remains very popular as a natural supplement because of its rich vegan protein content and substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Will you benefit from taking spirulina for anemia? Absolutely! This algae superfood is not only rich in nutrients but has also demonstrated promising health benefits for anemia in clinical trials and research.


Iron and Other Nutrients in Spirulina


Is spirulina a good source of iron?

Spirulina is also hailed as a powerhouse dietary supplement because it contains high levels of protein, amino acids, carotenoids, and healthy fatty acids. Its profile of vitamins and minerals is equally impressive.

The cyanobacteria’s composition consists of up to 70% protein. Iron is also one of the most notable minerals naturally available in spirulina. One analysis found that 1 g of spirulina can contain as much as 1.7 mg iron.

Spirulina also contains other nutrients that fight anemia, such as 0.71 mcg of folic acid and 3.6 mcg of vitamin B12 in every 1 g.

Although both vitamins play important roles in making healthy red blood cells, vitamin B12 in spirulina could be considered more noteworthy because it’s more commonly found in animal-derived foods.

So spirulina is not only a great source of plant-derived protein but may also be an excellent source of vitamin B12 for vegans and vegetarians.


Effects of Spirulina on Anemia Parameters


Much of the promise spirulina holds as a supplement for anemia is backed by clinical trials and studies. Over the years, researchers have found that spirulina administration significantly changes blood parameters in anemic patients.


Does spirulina increase iron levels?


Although still limited, there’s evidence that there may be benefits in taking spirulina for iron deficiency.

Eighty participants with ulcerative colitis participated in a recent randomized controlled trial to determine how spirulina administration may affect serum iron levels and anemia parameters.

Seventy-three participants who completed the double-blinded clinical trial were divided into the placebo group and spirulina group. The latter were administered 1 g of spirulina supplement per day.

After eight weeks, participants in the spirulina group had significantly increased serum iron levels compared to the placebo group.

Other anemia parameters also improved for subjects supplemented with spirulina, including mean corpuscular volume. The MCV is used to determine the average size of red blood cells, which is a key factor in diagnosing anemia.


Does spirulina increase hemoglobin?


Does spirulina increase hemoglobin?


More studies have shown that spirulina supplements improve hemoglobin concentration, which could help maintain a healthy level of red blood cells.

In a small clinical trial, pregnant anemic patients were administered just 300 mg of spirulina daily. Although the dosage used in the study is lower than most spirulina research models, it still resulted in notable improvements in hemoglobin concentration after eight weeks.

Spirulina may benefit senior citizens, who are more susceptible to anemia and weakened immune function.

One study observed the effects of spirulina on anemia and immune function with participants ages 50 and up. Both male and female volunteers saw improvements in the mean corpuscular hemoglobin levels after taking spirulina supplements for 12 weeks.

Increases in the mean corpuscular volume and hemoglobin concentration were more notable among male subjects.


Which One Should You Take for Anemia?


Does chlorella or spirulina have more iron?


Iron content is extremely important when choosing the right dietary supplement for anemia.

On paper, chlorella has a higher amount of iron compared to spirulina. Does this mean chlorella is better than spirulina for anemia? Not necessarily.

Aside from the values of iron content in each algae superfood, it’s also important to consider science-based evidence on the effects of spirulina on blood and anemia parameters. As discussed above, spirulina showed great promise in improving iron levels and hemoglobin concentration.

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose because dietary supplements contain both chlorella and spirulina for optimal health benefits.

As with other dietary supplements, it’s highly advised to consult your healthcare provider before incorporating chlorella or spirulina (or both) into your health regimen.


Is spirulina better than an iron supplement?


Iron supplements are commonly included in the treatment plan for anemia and in the health regimen of pregnant women to fight iron deficiency.

Studies comparing the effects of spirulina and iron supplements on anemia are limited for now. However, preliminary evidence from both human and animal studies indicates better results from spirulina supplementation than iron supplements.


Can I take spirulina and iron supplements together?


While various studies show that spirulina is good for anemia, it should not be treated as a replacement for iron supplements. The good news is there’s early evidence that spirulina and iron supplements may be a powerful combo to fight anemia.

A small-scale study with pregnant anemic patients reported that consumption of both spirulina and iron supplements may lead to “more striking improvements.”


How much spirulina to take for anemia?


There is no defined daily dose for spirulina use for anemia yet, but clinical trials have used up to 6 g of spirulina with no adverse effects reported.

It’s best to follow the recommended daily dose indicated in your supplements’ product labels, typically between 1 and 10 g per day. Also, remember to ask your doctor, especially if you take other medications.


Try Spirulina and Chlorella for Anemia


Thanks to continuing research on chlorella and spirulina, we are learning how amazing these algae supplements are for an array of health concerns, like anemia.

Although something can replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, getting some much-needed help from dynamo superfoods like chlorella and spirulina is a good idea, too.

In addition to being rich in vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, amino acids, and fatty acids, both algae superfoods are substantial sources of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Adding them to your routine may just be the change you need to reduce the risks of anemia.

Remember that choosing high-quality chlorella and spirulina supplements from trusted brands is an important part of this process.




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John Riedl

Simply put that’s why I’ve gone down the health journey of research and creating health brands.

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