Are Algae Supplements, Spirulina, & Astaxanthin the Secret to Our Well-Being?

 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

spirulina and astaxanthin

Microalgae are gaining traction in the food industry, and more products containing the two ingredients are introduced to the market each year. Compared to other foods, these microorganisms are rich in bioactive substances, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and high-value pigments. 

Some microalgal strains, like Spirulina and Astaxanthin, have been consumed for a long time. Bioactive substances derived from these sources have been authorized for use as human foods. 

To a certain extent, oil rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) obtained from Schizochytrium sp. and Astaxanthin sourced from Haematococcus Pluvialis can be consumed. The latter is the most essential carotenoid pigment in aquatic animals, including salmon, trout, and lobster.

What Are Astaxanthin and Spirulina?

Health and well-being are important, but there isn’t much general knowledge about the nutrients that support different parts of our bodies. Choosing the best health supplement for you can be challenging because so many varieties are available.

Let’s delve into two dietary supplements: Astaxanthin and Spirulina. We’ll look at the sources of each and discuss how they can help us get healthier.

Spirulina and Astaxanthin

Spirulina has a striking blue-green color but a mild flavor. It contains fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K, fatty acids, beta-carotene, minerals, and essential nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.

Additionally, it includes crucial amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. It contains roughly the same amount of protein as meat. Spirulina may be regarded as a vegan protein source because it is made from cyanobacteria.

Spirulina is a natural cleanser that aids in the removal of toxins from the body. So, how long does it take for Spirulina to work? You won’t start to feel different in your energy levels for about one to three weeks. 

Due to its status as one of the most potent antioxidants found in nature, Astaxanthin is frequently referred to as “the king of carotenoids.” The compound never changes into a pro-oxidant, thus reducing harmful oxidation within the body, making it ideal for performance and health-related advantages. 

Astaxanthin can also aid in treating early aging, diseases of the brain like dementia, issues with the eyes, heart disease, arthritis, and a variety of cancers are all caused by inflammation due to its potent antioxidant properties.

Benefits of Astaxanthin and Spirulina

Both Spirulina and Astaxanthin have numerous benefits.  

healthy youthful skin

Encourage Healthy Skin Aging

Antioxidants can counteract the skin stress caused by free radicals. Astaxanthin, for example, improves skin photoprotection from UV rays and supports maintaining a normal inflammatory response. It functions almost like an internal sunscreen. 

Boosts Brain Health

Omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in Spirulina are present in a ratio of roughly 1.5 to 1. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids support healthy brain development during pregnancy and infancy, prevent the age-related onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and combat depression and anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids also improve brain function, reduce heart disease risk, fight inflammation, and enhance bone and joint health.

Helps Manage Cholesterol

They are a source of compounds with antioxidant properties that protect fatty substances like cholesterol from oxidation. It also aids in lowering total cholesterol by increasing “good” high-density lipoprotein and decreasing “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL).

Might Lower Your Chance of Getting Macular Degeneration 

Astaxanthin fall in a class of phytonutrients known as carotenoids. On the other hand, the major carotenoids found in Spirulina are zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, and β-carotene. 

Carotenoids are advantageous for immune and eye health. The retina contains two of the most prevalent carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which lowers your risk of macular degeneration.

Uses of Spirulina and Astaxanthin

What does Spirulina help with? It has many uses combined with Astaxanthin, which include: 

  • Reducing allergies
  • Battling liver disease
  • Boosting fertility in men
  • Alleviates sinus problems
  • Elevates cholesterol levels
  • Acts as therapy for Alzheimer’s
  • Improves exercise performance
  • Reduces blood pressure and cancer risk
  • Detoxification of heavy metals, especially arsenic
  • Spirulina benefits for diabetes patients in maintaining blood sugar control
  • Treats metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease

Source of Spirulina and Astaxanthin

Spirulina is a blue-green alga that naturally grows in salty lakes and oceans in subtropical climates. Spirulina is accessible as a liquid, powder, tablet, and capsule. Although Spirulina capsules vs tablets are more complex and compact, they may go through the system undigested or only partially digested because our system can absorb all forms. Astaxanthin is a member of the xanthophyll subclass. 

salmon fish serving in a white ceramic dish plate

So, where does Astaxanthin come from? Algae, salmon, yeast, trout, shrimp, krill, and crayfish are the natural food sources of Astaxanthin. The main sources of commercial Astaxanthin are Haematococcus, Phaffia yeast, and chemical synthesis. One of the best natural sources of Astaxanthin is Haematococcus Pluvialis.

Side Effects of Spirulina and Astaxanthin

Some of the side effects people may experience after consuming these microbes are: 

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Muscle ache
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Alterations in sex drive
  • Altered levels of hormones
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Additional bowel movements
  • Decreased blood calcium levels
  • Stomach pain after consuming a large dosage

Precautions When Taking Spirulina and Astaxanthin

Just like any other product, some precautions should be considered before consuming Spirulina and Astaxanthin. 

  • If you are breastfeeding, do not use this product.
  • Avoid using this product if you are pregnant or anticipate getting pregnant soon
  • If you have ever had heart, liver, or kidney disease, let your doctor know before you start any treatment.
  • Patients with asthma, hypertension, allergy, autoimmune conditions, parathyroid disorders, and osteoporosis should use Astaxanthin cautiously.
  • Consult your doctor before using Spirulina because it might not interact well with other medications or organic products.

In Summary 

SimilaritiesThey both have lots of antioxidants.
Are the most widely used algae supplements available.
Both of these could lower your blood pressure and help your cholesterol profile.
DifferenceSpirulina is a blue-green alga that naturally grows in salty lakes and oceans in subtropical climates.Algae, salmon, yeast, trout, shrimp, krill, and crayfish are Astaxanthin’s natural food sources.
Best ForSpirulina aids in the removal of toxins from the body since it is a natural cleanser.Astaxanthin is best for treating early aging, dementia, heart disease, arthritis, and various cancers caused by inflammation due to its potent antioxidant properties.
Not ForNot for people who use blood thinners, have allergies, autoimmune diseases, or have bleeding disorders.Patients who are allergic to Astaxanthin, related carotenoids, or the astaxanthin source, Haematococcus Pluvialis, should not take Astaxanthin.

What to Consider Before Buying Astaxanthin and Spirulina FAQS

green powder supplement on a spoon

Is There Astaxanthin in Spirulina?

A common question among dietary consumers is, does Spirulina contain Astaxanthin? Spirulina is algae, and Astaxanthin is a carotenoid present in freshwater microalgae. Spirulina is a freshwater blue-green alga that is used as a food source. While Astaxanthin is derived from the microalga Haematococcus Pluvialis, it has a potent use as a dietary supplement for humans.

Both highlight the health benefits of algae, producing a range of health-improving effects.

Can I Consume Astaxanthin and Spirulina Together?

Depending on the body’s requirements, Astaxanthin can be consumed with chlorella and Spirulina. Combining chlorella and Astaxanthin is wise when looking for anti-inflammatory effects. It is advised to take Spirulina in the evening before a meal. Because it is best absorbed when there are lipids present, Astaxanthin should be consumed with or right after a meal.

Is Spirulina Better Than Astaxanthin?

The most potent antioxidant discovered by humans in nature is, by far, Astaxanthin. It has antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-tumor, and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease prevention properties. Spirulina has a chlorophyll content that is over ten times higher than that of common vegetables.

Some of its common benefits include consuming Spirulina for allergies alleviation, promoting digestion, removing inflammation in internal organs, and neutralizing toxins in the blood. 


Spirulina contains various nutrients and antioxidants that may make it suitable for treating or preventing various diseases. Spirulina is commercially produced for use in food and supplements. 

Typically, Spirulina is sold as a powder or pill. Astaxanthin improves the body’s immune system by reducing oxidative load through protecting the cells against oxidation.  

It is also jam-packed with anti-fatigue and anti-inflammatory properties. To reap the full health benefits of Astaxanthin, you should load up on foods rich in antioxidants at least two times a week. Alternatively, you can take astaxanthin supplements from a reputable seller. If you’re interested in using these as supplements, consult a doctor first. 

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