Know Your Source of Spirulina and Chlorella

by Bob McCauley, ND

Not all Chlorella and Spirulina producers are the same. Many companies produce and sell Chlorella and Spirulina.  Some have decades of experience, while others have only a few years.   Producing Chlorella and Spirulina is not an easy task whatsoever. It is a complicated blend of science and art.  Chlorella and Spirulina are used as ingredients in many natural products, such as nutritional bars and super green foods.  But the question is where does the Chlorella and Spirulina come from, meaning who produced it?

Know Your Source Video

Most companies who retail Chlorella will admit it’s from China if they are pushed to answer. The question is where in China and which producer do they purchase it from.   Most often they either don’t know because they bought it from a broker or they are embarrassed to say they know nothing about the producer.

Do not consume any Chlorella or Spirulina without seeing the COA. When you want to purchase Chlorella, first ask for the COA, Certificate of Analysis.  It tells you everything about the product including its origin and quality.  We offer one with every batch we purchase from Taiwan Chlorella.  There are Pheophorbides , heavy metals and bacteria levels that need to be measured by law for Chlorella.    The producer does have it but many of them don’t want to offer it because it may reveal something embarrassing about their product.  We are the only company that openly offers a COA of our products.  They are posted on our website.

Chlorella and Spirulina from Taiwan is good quality, but some of it is quite expensive.  Some of the best Chlorella in the world comes from Taiwan, but not all of it is good quality.  I have blogged about the producers of Cryptomondales and the misrepresentation of their algae product which they claim is a cross between species, which is a flat-out lie.  While it is a good product, we need to be wary of a company that is capable of lying about how their product is produced and what it actually is.

Fermented Chlorella is Chlorella grown in tanks.  It comes primarily from Korea, although it is being to cultivated in tanks in other countries as well.  It is inexpensive but it never sees the light of day.  Natural sunlight is critical for growing Chlorella since it helps produce the chlorophyll in Chlorella.  The taste of this Chlorella is unlike Chlorella that is grown outside in sunlight under natural conditions.  See my BLOG here comparing fermented vs. Sunlight grown Chlorella.

Japanese Chlorella is generally good quality, but there are questions about radiation contamination from Fukushima.

Spirulina from Hawaii. Quite expensive although the aluminum levels in Hawaiian Spirulina is quite high.  I cannot explain where the aluminum is coming from in their brand and neither can they.  Be careful of Spirulina that is called “Hawaiian” because only 51% actually needs to be grown in Hawaii

Spirulina from Ecuador.  Sometimes called Inca Spirulina.  Good quality with lows metals grown in tubes.  Quite expensive.

Spirulina from India. Some of the only Certified Organic Spirulina on the market. – Very high quality but quite expensive.




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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.
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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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33 Responses to Know Your Source of Spirulina and Chlorella

  1. Shannon says:

    I am curious about chlorella. I am currently using Tung Hai Chlorella which is sourced in Oregon, distributed by Life Time (U.S. company based in L.A.) and the parent company appears to be the Vedan Enterprise from Taiwan. So my question is whether this is good Chlorella and whether it is chlorella at all since blue-green algae (a different thing altogether) has been known to be from Oregon.
    I have not found much info on the product compared to others but the reviews I have seen were positive. Here’s the company info on the product.

  2. Jameella Nuur says:

    Is there any chlorella which is grown in the US which I can buy as pills?

  3. Sofia HM says:

    Very interesting article!
    which would be the ideal microalgae profile to have, for these 2 species? Which quality certificate (process & product) should the Chlorella Or Spirulina biomass or extract have to be suitable for processing and sale?

    Thanks & cheers!

  4. Malik says:

    What about Chlorella from Hawaii? I have found that Source Naturals has a great broken cell-wall Chlorella that works very well with my physiology. I just ordered Now Chlorella, which is from a Hawaiian manufacturer. Any insight?

  5. Tine says:

    I was looking at the COA for your Chlorella products, and I was wondering about the content of heavy metals. How come there is any at all? Should’nt it be completely without any heavy metals?

    I hope you’ll answer my questions,


  6. Bob McCauley says:

    Heavy Metals are in every food you eat, although very small amounts. However, only spirulina and chlorella are regularly tested for heavy metals. We are the only company that offers that information about heavy metals in spirulina and chlorella. Hope this helps explain the issue.

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  8. Demetris says:

    We have been importing Yaeyama Chlorella from Japan for the last 10 years and we have never seen a batch that is radiation condaminated.

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  10. Randy says:

    Does anyone have any knowledge of Indonesian spirulina? Is it good quality or not? I have found spirulina in Thailand markets form Indonesia. Thanks for any help you can give.

  11. Christina Ackerman says:

    I recently came across a company that is selling chlorella and spirulina in powdered form only. It was told to me that it is purchased from Taiwan through a broker that delivers it to a company in Las Vegas, Nevada called Herb Supply House. Are you aware of this company and it’s reputation for these type of products?

  12. Miss Missy says:

    I looked at the COAs you have posted. Just wondering where you have posted what the accepted or recommended or preferred guidelines are for the safe ranges of all these components for which there are results? Please post the link, otherwise the results are meaningless to me. Thanks.

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  14. Evelyn says:

    I am using a Chlorella named Sun+ Earth produced in Australia by Sun+ Earth
    web site;info@supplements
    No other infomation given, have you heard of them?
    I was taking Green barley, and was talked into Chlorella.
    Must say I haven’t felt so good since being on Chlorella, significant constipation problems.
    Any infomation you can help me with would be appreciated,
    Thank you so much, Evelyn

  15. russ says:

    check out and their Ecuadorian Spirulina


  16. Ananda says:

    Could you advice which company in India makes these very high quality Spirulina. Is it a branded product and available in stores or online.

  17. Guk says:

    Is the chlorella from indonesian java island good??? Called sun chlorella

  18. Marleiza Best says:

    I am using a Chlorella from Natrol called China Chlorella. I would like to know if
    this is good.

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