Spirulina Extract Against Influenza Virus

Research in the USA

Influenza is a serious viral infectious disease, often confused with other, much milder, respiratory infections caused by: rhinoviruses, RS viruses and parainfluenza viruses, and in children, adenoviruses.

Influenza caused by the H1N1 virus was a gigantic pandemic* in 1918-1919, the so-called Spanish flu and the so-called pandemic in 2009 Mexican disease, as a result of which over 100,000 people died. people. Other major influenza pandemics include the so-called H2N2 virus caused in 1959. Asian flu and flu caused by the H3N2 virus in 1970, the so-called Hong Kong.

A team of outstanding scientists from the USA, Denmark and Sweden tested Spirulina platensis algae extract for its effect on influenza infection caused by the N1H1 virus. It has been found that it reduces the risk of influenza, and if it occurs, it shortens and alleviates its course and reduces the risk of complications. Scientists tested immulina, a preparation containing a special extract of microalgae. The research was conducted at leading medical universities in the USA and Europe.

Professor Gus Kousoulas, virologist and director of the infectious disease research center at Louisiana State University, who coordinated the research, summarizes their results: "The special extract from the microalgae Spirulina platensis we tested not only alleviates flu symptoms and prevents the occurrence of post-flu complications. This bioactive complex increases immunity to influenza caused by the H1N1 virus."

Professor Martin Schalling, director of the Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, states: "Our research on the extract of the microalgae Spirulina platensis has shown that it has a very beneficial effect in triggering the body's appropriate response to H1N1 influenza virus infection."

* pandemic - an epidemic of an infectious disease in various environments, over a very large area - on many continents at the same time.

Research in Taiwan


Well-tolerated Spirulina extract inhibits influenza virus replication and reduces virus-induced mortality Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 12;6:24253.

Autors: Chen Yi-Husiang, Chang Gi-Kung i inni, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China

Influenza is one of the most common human respiratory diseases, and represents a serious public health concern. However, the high mutability of influenza viruses has hampered vaccine development, and resistant strains to existing anti-viral drugs have also emerged. Novel anti-influenza therapies are urgently needed, and in this study, we describe the anti-viral properties of a Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) cold water extract. Anti-viral effects have previously been reported for extracts and specific substances derived from Spirulina, and here we show that this Spirulina cold water extract has low cellular toxicity, and is well-tolerated in animal models at one dose as high as 5,000 mg/kg, or 3,000 mg/kg/day for 14 successive days. Anti-flu efficacy studies revealed that the Spirulina extract inhibited viral plaque formation in a broad range of influenza viruses, including oseltamivir-resistant strains. Spirulina extract was found to act at an early stage of infection to reduce virus yields in cells and improve survival in influenza-infected mice, with inhibition of influenza hemagglutination identified as one of the mechanisms involved. Together, these results suggest that the cold water extract of Spirulina might serve as a safe and effective therapeutic agent to manage influenza outbreaks, and further clinical investigation may be warranted.

Read full paper → Well-tolerated Spirulina extract inhibits influenza virus replication and reduces virus-induced mortality in English

Oral administration of a Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins protects mice against influenza A (H1N1) virus infection


A growing body of research indicates that oral administration of bacteria (such as probiotics) can exhibit a protective effect against influenza A (H1N1) viral infection in mice. In the present study, we used a mouse model to examine whether oral administration of Immulina®, a commercial extract from the cyanobacteria Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis, can reduce the severity of illness resulting from influenza A (H1N1) viral infection. The main active compounds within Immulina® are bacterial Braun-type lipoproteins that activate innate immune cells through a toll-like receptor (TLR) 2-dependent pathway. Mice that were fed Immulina® for 30 days before and 21 days after infection with influenza A (H1N1) virus exhibited a statistically significant reduction in the severity of infection. Compared to the control group, Immulina®-fed mice exhibited less weight loss, increased appetite, decreased clinical signs of disease, and lower lung histopathology scores. The results from the present study adds to the increasing evidence that oral administration of bacterial components that activate innate immune cells, whether derived from a bacterial preparation (probiotics or cyanobacteria) or from plant material containing endophytic bacteria, can exhibit a protective effect against influenza A (H1N1) viral infection.

Read full papper → Pugh ND, Edwall D, Lindmark L. et al.: Oral administration of a Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins protects mice against influenza A (H1N1) virus infection Phytomedicine, Vol.22, 2015, 271-276

Selected abstracts of publications spirulina versus the influenza virus and other viruses → Spirulina Versus Influenza Viruses (pdf file in English)

Abstracts of publications on spirulina research selected from MEDLINE → Spirulina Medical Research (pdf file in English, 528 pages, 2,2 MB)

Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, et al: Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications Volume 2011 | Article ID 531053 |

Selected Topics about Spirulina and Immunity

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Immune System and COVID-19

Spirulina Extract Against Herpes Virus

8 Steps to Good Immunity in Your Child

Spirulina Extract Against Infuenza Virus

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