What’s in Your Tablets? Spirulina platensis and Chlorella pyrenoidosa


Bob McCauley, CNC, MH


Achieving Great Health

“You aren’t ill: it is just that you are made of second-rate materials.”

~ Natalia Ginzburg

There are several different species of these two algae, however the ones that I speak of in this book are Spirulina Platensis and Chlorella Pyrenoidosa. Another Chlorella product found on the market is chlorella vulgaris, which is nutritionally inferior to its powerful cousin Pyrenoidosa.  The kind of alga found in swimming pools closely resembles chlorella vulgaris, which does not have the broad array of nutrients that Pyrenoidosa has, nor its incredible dietary fiber.  The Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) in vulgaris is miniscule compared to PyrenoidosaVulgaris is cultivated by fermentation instead of grown with sunlight.  Its growing time is only three days whereas Pyrenoidosa takes seven days to mature because it is a far more complex whole food with a much greater array of nutrients than vulgaris.  Cultivating a food with sunlight is a much more natural way to grow a food compared to simply fermenting it.  For one thing, chlorophyll cannot be created without sunlight, which is not used in the fermentation process.  You will pay more, but Chlorella Pyrenoidosa is well worth the extra money.

Spirulina Platensis is grown in Taiwan and India and has been refined and enhanced through thousands of generations of the same strain until it has been tweaked to nutritional perfection.  Aquaculturists select from millions of Spirulina cells in order to develop superior strains of microalgae that are more concentrated in nutrients such as beta carotene, iron, amino acids, calcium and numerous others.

A tremendous amount of scientific research has been done on both Spirulina and Chlorella from universities and medical institutions around the world.  They are also used globally as livestock feed.  Once tableted, they will last up to a year when refrigerated and even longer if vacuum-packed.  Both have been proven to be one of the best solutions to world hunger problems.

The Chlorella cell wall must be opened in order to get at the nutrients.   Spirulina is not a plant so it has no nucleus and its cell wall is comprised of complex polysaccharides.

Which One You Should Take

“There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.”

~ Hippocrates

Even though the nutritional profile of Spirulina and Chlorella are quite similar, they are completely different foods, as different as apples and oranges. Although many of the nutrients in these foods are identical, those same nutrients will assimilate and benefit the body in slightly different ways.  This is why we should attempt to get as many different types of foods into our diet as possible.

Spirulina is a nitrogen-based blue-green algae and has the predominant odor of seaweed.  Chlorella is a green algae that is oxygen-based and has the predominant odor of fresh grass.  Chlorella gets its name from the high amount of chlorophyll in it, up to 10 times that of  Spirulina, which is itself quite high in chlorophyll.  Chlorella belongs to a class of algae called chlorophyta.

Spirulina is an extremely high energy food, great before a workout.  It also is excellent for the treatment of arthritis.  It is in a class of algae called cyanobacteria.  As strains of algae, chlorophyta and cyanobacteria could not be more different from one another, which is why it is a hoax to suggest that you can cross breed them into a new species. Anyone with a scientific background in algae culture knows that it is impossible to cross a bacteria with a plant, such is the same as crossing a animal with a plant.

Dr. Bob’s Blog is not intended as medical advice. The writings and statements on this website have not reviewed and/or approved by the FDA. Our products are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Rather they are meant to demonstrate that aging can be slowed and even reversed and that Great Health achieved when the most fundamental nutritional needs of the human body are met. Always consult a medical doctor or other medical professional when you consider it necessary.
Dr. Bob’s Blog is covered under (47 U.S.C. § 230): “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”.

About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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8 Responses to What’s in Your Tablets? Spirulina platensis and Chlorella pyrenoidosa

  1. kathleen fanelli says:

    i am interested in purchasing chrella and spirulina. i have read your book honoring the temple. I have cyrossis of the liver from hep 3 i contracted from a blood transfusion over 30 yrs ago.l i believe wholeheartedly i can cure my l iver by a rqw food diet and all you have written in your book i do have a water ionizer. thank you kathy fanelli

  2. Michal says:

    …This means that, according to the latest findings, there is no species “Chlorella pyrenoidosa”. Rather this is an outdated term under which species and strains of various algal groups were recorded. The Chlorella group currently consists of three species: C. vulgaris, C. lobophora and C. sorokiniana…

    it’s a part extracted from document i found – http://www.algomed.de/media/publikationen/algomed10eng.pdf – what do you think about it?

  3. Simon says:

    I just read your blog and quote this part;

    ‘Another Chlorella product found on the market is chlorella vulgaris, which is nutritionally inferior to its powerful cousin Pyrenoidosa’

    I just went to check my Chlorella and found it be be the genus Vulgaris. Then I also did some more research and came across the same article Michal found above, stating that Chlorella pyrenoidosa no longer exist due to mis-identification.

    Now I am not sure if what I have is the the best I can get. Would love some clarity here. I would happily buy the best Chlorella for me if some could inform which that is.

  4. Bob McCauley says:

    We sell the chlorella pyrenoidosa – not vulgaris. Vulgaris is good, pyrenoidosa a little better. There are some scientists in Germany (European Eggheads) that have “renamed” pyrenoidosa and called it Sorenkina, which is causing confusion. I will be blogging about this more in the future you can be assured. Taiwan Chlorella has grown the same strain of Chlorella for 50 years and that is pyrenoidosa. Call it whatever you want, but eggheads in Europe

    Our chlorella is the best found on the market. I have consumed and sold it for 15 years.

  5. sindre svanes says:

    I am really confused. I sent an email to now foods and their organic chlorella was from hainan and was chlorella vulgaris, yaeyama chlorella is also chlorella vulgaris. Two of the biggest chlorella producers are making an inferior strain? I am baffled to say the least. Do you know more about this subject, it is hard to find info on this on the net.

    The other problem I have encountered is where to get the cleanest chlorella. I bought my recent chlorella from now foods which produces it themselves and from the island hainan. But if you do some google searching on the toxicity and pollution around hainan island you find this:





    the site is also used for military excersis


    “Chlorella Pyrenoidosa has a thicker cell wall and twice the heavy metal binding power of Chlorella Vulgaris. Chlorella Pyrenoidosa is however, very difficult to digest for some people.

    NOTE:For those with sensitive stomachs, Chlorella Vulgaris (below) is a better choice. The advantage of Chlorella Vulgaris is a larger amount of CGF (Chlorella Growth Factor). CGF significantly increases speed of healing in damaged tissue.

    The peak helath site has also some really interesting information, do you know if now foods organic chlorella adhere to principles like:

    – One of the most important chlorella facts you should know is to ONLY buy it if it is grown in filtered man-made pools.

    – Is the chlorella you buy grown indoors or outdoors?

    Sunlight is essential for growing the best chlorella…

    Therefore, the environmentally controlled ponds in which this super-food is grown MUST be outdoors.

    It needs abundant sunlight in order to bind mercury, other toxic metals, and many environmental toxins such as dioxin.

    NOTE: Chlorella grown indoors was found to have NO toxin-binding capacity!

    Protection: the product you buy should ALSO have been protected from exposure to environmental toxins, so the outdoor ponds should be covered during rain and high winds that can carry contaminants.

    Testing: Ponds must be continually monitored and tested to make sure there is proper nutrition (minerals, etc.) for the growing algae, and that the water is free of toxic compounds.

    – ever buy what is called ‘broken cell wall’ Chlorella.


    Broken cell wall Chlorella safety is not assured.

    The term ‘broken cell wall’ indicates the algae has been processed cheaply – basically ground up! This exposes the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds in the cell to oxidation, moisture (which can begin mold growth) etc.

    Cheap Chlorella CAN make you sick because of spoilage, mold toxin accumulation and breakdown of nutrient compounds into undesirable substances.

    ‘Broken cell wall’ Chlorella nutrient content is severely compromised, so you are not getting the richness of healthy compounds that you find in the best product.

    Chlorella safety: The brand I provide has the tough cell wall cracked by radio waves.

    It is like an egg with shell intact but with a network of cracks all over the shell. This allows your digestive juices to get through to the inner part of the Chlorella where all the nutrients are. Because the cell wall protects the inner contents of the cell when creaked with sound waves, the nutrients inside the cell are FRESH!

    It is good to be sure Chlorella safety is the top priority of the company from which you buy!


    What do you have to say to this? Is all chlorella out there shit? is yaeyama chlorella and now foods organic chlorella no good?


    “Chlorella vulgaris is one of over 100 Chlorella species. Chlorella pyrenoidosa has also been championed as an excellent way of removing toxins like mercury from the body. However, in 1992, scientists from Texas University showed that a large proportion of chlorella pyrenoidosa’s algal cultures actually belonged to the closely related genus Scenedesmus and cannot be said to be directly related to chlorella vulgaris or any other member of the Chlorella family. Therefore, taking chlorella pyrenoidosa is not the same as consuming chlorella vulgaris.

    Yaeyama chlorella on the other hand, is a subspecies of chlorella vulgaris. It is 100% pure 9001-HAACP chlorella vulgaris and grows in fresh water on the coral island reef of Ishigaki, Japan. Being from the same family as chlorella vulgaris, it shares the same properties such as an inordinately high amount of chlorophyll, protein and other natural vitamins. Like chlorella vulgaris, yaeyama chlorella uses a special process to break the cell wall yet it still preserves the nutrients contained within.”

  6. sindre svanes says:


    Look at this article. I have seen no one refute it, this is bad… I am considering stopping chlorella spirulina because of this article…..

  7. Bob McCauley says:

    Best thing to do is to look at the heavy metals in the chlorella, or spirulina. That tells all. As for vulgaris vs. pyrenoidosa vs. sorikiniana it’s difficult to explain easier, but they are all pretty good – to make it easy.

    Outside grown is best in my opinion. Taiwan has the best also, IMO.


  8. Stig Levin says:

    I have eaten Taiwan chlorella pyrenoidosa EVERY day for 25 years. I have written a book on chlorella, based on science and information from Dr. Bernard Jensen and other researchers and doctors. I am 79 years old, but never tired or sick so I do have many opportunities to lecture and inform about Chlorella for homeopats and other therapists the whole year.
    I am very happy to eat my Chlorella every day as long as I live!

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