Nutrition Questions and Answers
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Lesa Rusher, who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.
Lesa Rusher is a qualified naturopath with a thriving business in Canberra, Australia and has a wealth of experience treating clients on a variety of health issues. Lesa Rusher's full credentials can be found in our experts area.
Lesa Rusher will answer your nutrition-related questions.
Q: I am trying to find definitive answer to what spirulina actually contains.
I am finding conflicting information about whether or not spirulina contains vitamin C or even whether it contains vitamin B12.
I would like to know about this, as I am a vegetarian and would like to understand what the nutrients are in the food I am consuming.
A: Good question.
There is a lot of conflicting information about the nutrient content of spirulina and this may be partly attributed to the form of spirulina used in experiments (some sources are more "pure" and have more nutrients than others).
If you do plan to use spirulina as a dietary food supplement, you must buy a brand which can guarantee the nutrients it contains, so that you can be assured it has adequate levels for your dietary needs (as a vegetarian).
100g of spirulina contains the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A - 570 IU
- Vitamin C - 10.1 mg
- Vitamin E - 5.0 mg
- Vitamin K - 25.5 mcg
- Vitamin B1 - 2.4 mg
- Vitamin B2 - 3.7 mg
- Vitamin B3 - 12.8 mg
- Vitamin B5 - 3.5 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.4 mg
- Vitamin B12 - 0.0 mg
- Folate - 94.0 mcg
- Choline - 66.0 mg
(source: Nutrition Data - dried spirulina)
The source of this data gives an average of all data for spirulina (from information sourced from the US Department of Agriculture) and shows it contains no vitamin B12, whereas many other sources (some reliable, some not so reliable) shows that it does contain vitamin B12. You will need to confirm with the manufacturer of the spirulina you want to purchase how much vitamin B12 is contained in the spirulina you want to purchase.
The amount of the nutrients in spirulina depends on the quality of the spirulina, how it has been grown and if there is any certification (or guarantee) on the quality and contents of the spirulina. It requires some research to find a brand of spirulina that meets these criteria which can provide you with high enough levels of nutrients for your requirements.
Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.
Enjoy better health!