Getting the most out of Spirulina, the richest, most nutritious superfood known to man

Spirulina - Fresh water blue-green algae

Spirulina has gained popularity recently in the horse industry due to its many positive benefits. On the human side, the fresh water blue-green algae has been consumed for centuries. Ancient cultures used this nutrient-dense superfood for its incredible therapeutic properties. In fact, recently, spirulina has been called the richest, most nutritious superfood known to man. An article in AARP magazine listed spirulina as the number one food to add years to your life.

Nutritionally, spirulina is 60% protein (>meat≈27% and soy≈34%), making it the highest most digestible source of “complete” protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. The ability to be easily digested and assimilated is due to spirulina’s lack of cell wall. In addition, spirulina is also the source of important phytonutrients like carotenoids; essential fatty acids like gamma linolenic acid; trace minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium; sulpholipids and the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), all of which are in a bio-available form. Spirulina is the highest source of phytopigments like phycocyanin, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and other plant pigments like chlorophyll. For the horse, this powerful combination supports lower oxidative stress, immunity, cardiovascular health, inflammatory response, improved red and white blood cell counts and a healthy coat.

Since spirulina is a natural product sourced from multiple fresh water locations around the world, there are differences in quality. There are several ways to evaluate spirulina relative to quality, but probably the best is to verify that your spirulina contains the desired nutritional value. With a naturally grown product, there is only one way to be sure and that’s through ongoing verification testing that assures consistent nutrition from batch to batch.

The USP Verified distinction is awarded to dietary supplement products that successfully undergo and meet stringent requirements of the USP Dietary Supplement Verification Process. Having the USP designation is particularly important for spirulina as it allows for a guaranteed label claim, which gives you peace of mind in knowing that your specific spirulina provides the nutritional levels needed to benefit your horse. The USP Verified designation also assures that the product does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants and that the product will indeed break down properly to allow its nutrients to be available for absorption into the body. Additionally, it assures that the product has been made according to FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices using sanitary and well-controlled procedures.

As an example, PROLIFIC/EQ, a product by Spectra Animal Health, contains the gold standard in spirulina, meeting the following quality standards:

  1. USP Verified
  2. USDA and OCIA Certified Organic
  3. Guaranteed Label claims
  4. Free from herbicides and pesticides (compliant with Prop 65 standards)
  5. Non-irradiated
  6. No Chilean nitrate used
  7. 100% Vegetarian inputs
  8. Non-GMO and Gluten Free
  9. Clinically studied
  10. Certified HACCP Food Safety Management

All of this extra effort provides PROLIFIC/EQ the ability to guarantee an impressive 6,500 mcg/g of carotenoids, up to 19% phycocyanin and up to 1.68% chlorophyll with an ORAC score of 24,400 units/100g. In contrast, a side by side comparison to another spirulina source revealed that PROLIFIC/EQ’s spirulina had 32% more xanthophyll/zeaxanthin and 25% more total carotenoids as well as increased levels of other key nutrients; a great example of “you get out what you put in”.

PROLIFIC/EQ contains the most potent, highest quality certified organic spirulina on the market today and the only spirulina awarded the USP Verified distinction.