Is the increasingly popular phycocyanin “Blue spirulina” the wonder well-being product that the health gurus and stores are promoting?

The answer is YES and NO.

This linked article shows just how good the product CAN be in it’s purest form

Spirulina is found in two separate forms as the article below demonstrates

So how does blue spirulina differ from traditional spirulina? Blue spirulina is derived from blue-green algae, Arthrospira platensis; this algae is more commonly known as spirulina. So where does the blue color come from? The word phycocyanin comes from the Greek phyco (algae), and cyanin (blue-green). Phycocyanin is a pigment that gives spirulina (which is a deep green) a slightly bluish hue. To make blue spirulina, the water-soluble antioxidant phycocyanin is extracted from the spirulina and then sold as a blue powder. Phycocyanin is only found in spirulina and some other species of blue-green algae and is one of the key differences between spirulina and other green foods like chlorella, wheat grass, and barley. But besides just providing a beautiful blue color, phycocyanin is a powerful antioxidant.


So to find out the strength of the shop bought phycocyanin we need to first establish the grading of the powders on the market.

Phycocyanin is sold in varying degrees of potency that are either portrayed as numbers or percentages.

E6- This is 25% phycocyanin and sold in almost all powders that don’t promote the word phycocyanin in their product.Think Magic and Blue Spirulina. (One promoted as pure 100% phycocyanin admits to 23% & another well know brand is “30% or higher but never lower”

E9- Sold predominantly in a powder form but around 50% potency

E16- Extraction systems unable or unwilling to fully extract must be sold at E16 to avoid the chance of cross-testing by other companies

E18- Is the purest phycocyanin on the market.This is also very expensive and the predominant reason why many powder sellers and food makers do not use in their products.

Phycocyanin E9 E18

Phycocyanin has many many health benefits in it’s purest form but the percentages also dictate it’s potency so, for example, E9 has 50% of the benefits of E18.

Just one 3-gram serving, for instance, contains:

  • 60% protein 
  • Vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium.
  • A rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD and phycocyanin.
  • 2800% more beta-carotene than carrots
  •  Detoxes Heavy Metals (especially Arsenic)
  • Eliminates Candida
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Cholesterol
  • Boosts Energy
  • Alleviates Sinus Issues and more


So, there you have it

A wonderful addition to any diet for so many reasons but my only wish for us is to make sure that you are purchasing as higher a grade phycocyanin as you can afford.

The benefits do come at a price so please read the labels before purchasing

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some announcements of us to commence stocking E18 Phycocyanin in the near future.

Paul Upfield