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Carrots Are Also A "Superfood"
I looked up the USDA analysis for 1 raw carrot. Following I have listed a number of nutrients where the carrot has more than spirulina. This is not a complete list.
Nutrient Carrot Spirulina
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 708 mcg 449 mcg
Vitamin B6 99 mcg 14 mcg
Vitamin E 475 mcg 106 mcg
Calcium 24 mg 9 mg
Potassium 230 mg 59 mg
Zinc 173 mcg 53 mcg
Selenium 72 mcg 12 mcg
My conclusion is that if you are buying spirulina thinking it is a good source of vitamins/minerals, then you are being scammed. You can get the same vitamins/minerals from regular vegetables and in comparable quantities, but for a much cheaper price.
Because it has a considerable amount of vitamin B12, spirulina is usually recommended to strict vegetarians who can’t get this vitamin from plant sources. But Dr. Varro Tyler, a world renowned authority on herbs at Purdue University, said spirulina’s vitamin B12 content is due mainly to contamination with insect or animal fecal matter. This is not surprising since spirulina grows in open lakes and ponds and is not thoroughly washed before it’s dried.
In Health Schemes, Scams and Frauds, Dr. Stephen Barrett, a psychiatrist and board member of the National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc. said an FDA analysis of one popular product called Blue Green Manna contained "15 whole or equivalent adult flies, 164 adult fly fragments, 41 whole or equivalent maggots, 59 maggot fragments, one ant, five ant fragments, one adult cicada, one cicada pupa, 763 insect fragments, nine ticks, four mites, 1,000 ostracods, two rat or mouse hairs, four bird feathers, six bird-feather barbules, and 10,500 water fleas." Some strains of spirulina also have toxins that can cause nausea, diarrhea and throat infections.
"In test animals injection of the toxic algae causes tumors, and larger doses can cause death within minutes. Batches of contaminated spirulina have been seized by the FDA. Since the toxins are not routinely tested for by all manufacturers, it would seem that using the algae is like playing Russian roulette," according to nutritionist Kurt Butler in A Consumer’s Guide to Alternative Medicine.
Spirulina promoters are apparently aware of this but tell their customers that these side effects are signs that their products are working and "cleansing" the body. In truth, you’re probably poisoning yourself without knowing it.
To protect consumers, US law enforcement agencies have taken actions against several multilevel companies making fraudulent claims about spirulina. One American distributor was fined $225,000 by California authorities for false and misleading advertising.