Spirulina is a genus of blue-green algae used as a nutritional supplement. Blue-green algae, which are microscopic fresh-water organisms, are also known as cyanobacteria. Their color is derived from the green pigment of chlorophyll, and the blue from a protein called phycocyanin. The species most commonly recommended for use as a nutritional supplement are Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis. These occur naturally in warm, alkaline, salty, brackish lakes, but are also commonly grown by aquaculture and harvested for commercial use. Spirulina contains many nutrients, including B vitamins, beta-carotene, gamma-linolenic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc, bioflavonoids and protein.
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