What is phycocyanin? Origin, composition and benefits

Phycocyanin, also known as Blue Phycocyanin, is found in cyanobacteria, mainly in spirulina, to which it gives its bluish hues. It plays a crucial role in cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

Condensed solar energy.

In addition to its abundant chlorophyll, spirulina produces phycocyanin, a unique protein complex that absorbs a very large proportion of the sun’s light spectrum, unlike other plants.

Phycocyanin (from the Greek “phyco”: seaweed, and “cyanine”: cyan, meaning blue) is the combination ofa protein and a natural blue pigment, a color that is particularly rare in nature.

It’s this ability to capture light photons that gives it its exceptional qualities.

The composition of phycocyanin is fascinating. It’s a water-soluble protein called a phycobiliprotein. It is composed of two main subunits: α-phycocyanin and β-phycocyanin. Each of these subunits contains chromophore groups that absorb light in the blue and red parts of the spectrum, giving phycocyanin its characteristic blue-green color.

Phycocyanin, a key component of spirulina, has a complex, highly organized structure. The subunits combine to form complexes called phycobilisomes, which are responsible for capturing and transferring the light energy required for photosynthesis in algae. These complexes can be isolated from algae and used for a variety of purposes, including the food industry and scientific research in biotechnology.

The main benefits of phycocyanin

Phycocyanin, a phyto-nutrient found in spirulina, is recognized as a powerful stimulant. The scientific committee (some 2,000 publications on spirulina to date) highlighted thatphycocyanin alone was responsible for many of the effects attributed to spirulina. Studies have also shown that extracting the molecule makes it infinitely more effective (cf. phycocyanin absorption). It is said to be 6000 to 7000 times more effective than spirulina. What’s more, phycocyanin is very well tolerated and doesn’t cause the discomfort that some people sometimes experience with spirulina.

Who can take phycocyanine?

The benefits of phycocyanin are numerous. Thanks to its many exceptional properties and the absence of contraindications, phycocyanine offers its multiple benefits to everyone, whatever their age.

Phycocyanine en gelule (poudre)
Personnes malades / convalescentes

Sick/convalescent people

Its immunostimulant properties support people who are weak, ill or convalescing.



Phycocyanin is ideal for athletes. We invite you to consult the studies in the bibliography.



Phycocyanin is suitable for children aged 1 and over.

Vegan, végétalien, végétarien

Vegetarian / Vegan

Phycocyanin is 100% vegan.

Senior, personnes âgées


Phycocyanin is an ideal ally for seniors.

They tried our phycocyanine ...

How to consume phycocyanine?

Spiruline bleue, phycocyanine
Posologie : spiruline - phycocyanine


Dosage should be adapted to each individual's lifestyle.

We recommend taking phycocyanine for 3 months at a time, to enable the phycocyanin to effectively inform the body over several cellular cycles. No dietary supplement, no matter how fabulous, will have a lasting effect without assiduity and consistency.

Doses can therefore be increased during periods of intense effort, fatigue, exams, depression…
Phycocyanin and fatigue are often linked, and increasing doses can help combat fatigue.

Effets secondaires : spiruline - phycocyanine

Side effects

Due to its potential detoxifying effect, phycocyanine may cause slight digestive discomfort or a few symptoms such as headaches or increased pain on the first day of the treatment. This is perfectly normal. If this happens, drink plenty of water, halve doses and/or take phycocyanin with meals. If the effects persist, consult your doctor.

Contre indications : spiruline - phycocyanine


Life's Code phycocyanine can be consumed by anyone aged 1 and over, with no contraindications.

Mentions obligatoires : spiruline - phycocyanine

Mandatory information

The information and indications given on this site are for health and lifestyle purposes only and are in no way intended as therapeutic indications for medical purposes. The author cannot be held responsible for any misuse. Taking food supplements, even from natural sources, is never a substitute for a varied diet or medical treatment.

Phycocyanin absorption and stability.


Phycocyanin is a blue pigment (carried by a protein) naturally present in spirulina. To benefit from all its effects, the pigment must be dissociated from its protein to be absorbed in the intestine (duodenum).

In dry spirulina, this dissociation takes a long time (around 36 hours in vivo), making it very difficult to absorb phycocyanin during digestion of dry spirulina.

In fact, to be effective, phycocyanin needs to be absorbed very soon after ingestion, just as it leaves the stomach at the duodenal level. However, to be released from raw spirulina, phycocyanin has to pass through the various stages of spirulina digestion, making it bio-available only at the end of the digestive tract, a place much less conducive to its assimilation.

Taking dry spirulina for its phycocyanin content is therefore pointless.

In contrast, consumption of a spirulina extract concentrated in phycocyanin provides access to the pigment in free form (i.e. not bound to its carrier protein), making it directly absorbable by the body from the start of digestion, and boosting its performance.


Phycocyanin in its absorbable form is an unstable molecule. To be absorbed in the intestine (duodenum), the phycocyanin molecule must be detached from its carrier protein. This makes it unstable, especially in aqueous environments where it tends to degrade. Studies show that phycocyanin extracted and stored in the presence of water oxidizes considerably over time.

On the other hand, when phycocyanin is solid, in powder form, it is much more stable and retains all its properties over time. That's why we've developed a unique presentation of powder dosed and packaged in vegetarian capsules that preserves all the qualities of this incredible molecule.

We recommend rehydrating the powder just before consumption, by pouring the contents of the capsule into a little water to make it even more absorbable.

How to recognize a good phycocyanin?

Spiruline bleue, phycocyanine

The essentials for quality production:

A unique phycocyanin dosage

A cold extraction process, without chemical solvents, that offers one of the highest concentrations of phycocyanin on the market. What's more, freeze-drying our phycocyanin preserves all its structural qualities. On average, our phycocyanin capsules contain 5 to 10 times more phycocyanin than is currently available on the market. An all-natural blue color and red fluorescence, a guarantee of phycocyanin richness and efficacy.

A demanding, controlled extraction process

A rigorous methodology based on years of research and partnerships with experienced laboratories guarantees the exceptional efficacy of our phycocyanin extract. Each stage of production is meticulously mastered and controlled to ensure that our highly potent active concentrate is respected and magnified, from the cultivation of spirulina to the presentation of our blue jewel. Excellence is our priority at all times.

Soutient le métabolisme

A stable, absorbable freeze-dried phycocyanin

A supply of phycocyanin directly assimilated by the body, unlike the phycocyanin present in raw spirulina. In fact, extracting the phycocyanin makes it 6000 to 7000 times more effective than dry spirulina.

Des analyses en toute transparence

Transparent analysis

We carry out numerous bacteriological and heavy metal analyses on each batch of product (by an independent laboratory). Our analysis reports are available on request, in full transparency.

Cold drying by freeze-drying

In accordance with the Life's Code charter, spirulina and phycocyanin are dried at low temperatures to preserve all their virtues. Our phycocyanine contains no preservatives, colorants or other additives.

Did you know?

Scientists have accepted the highly probable hypothesis that phycocyanin is the basis for the evolution of life on earth. Phycocyanin was the first molecule to photosynthesize by capturing sunlight. It is therefore said to have made air compatible with life by bringing it oxygen over 3 billion years ago…

Even more fascinating is the fact that phycocyanin is still responsible for the appearance of plants and animals/humans on Earth. In fact, 1.5 billion years ago, when cells first appeared, it generated chlorophyll by integrating a magnesium atom into its structure! And even crazier, by capturing iron, it would have given rise to hemoglobin, the characteristic and fundamental element of blood.

A single atom differentiates phycocyanin (blue) from chlorophyll (green) and hemoglobin (red)!


  • Benedetti S, Benvenuti F, Pagliarani S, Francogli S, Scoglio S, Canestrari F. Antioxidant properties of a novel phycocyanin extract from the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Life Sci. 2004 Sep 24;75(19):2353-62. PMID 15350832
  • Bhat VB, Madyastha KM. C-phycocyanin: a potent peroxyl radical scavenger in vivo and in vitro. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Aug 18;275(1):20-5. PMID 10944434
  • Bhat VB, Madyastha KM. Scavenging of peroxynitrite by phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin from Spirulina platensis: protection against oxidative damage to DNA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jul 13;285(2):262-6. PMID 11444835
  • Bermejo-Bescós P, Piñero-Estrada E, Villar del Fresno AM. Neuroprotection by Spirulina platensis protean extract and phycocyanin against iron-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2008 Sep;22(6):1496-502. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2008.05.004.
  • Chen JC, Liu KS, Yang TJ, Hwang JH, Chan YC, Lee IT. Spirulina and C-phycocyanin reduce cytotoxicity and inflammation-related genes expression of microglial cells. Nutr Neurosci. 2012 Nov;15(6):252-6. doi: 10.1179/1476830512Y.0000000020. 0
  • Girardin-Andréani, C. Spirulina: blood system, immune system and cancer. Phytotherapy (2005) 3: 158. doi:10.1007/s10298-005-0095-9
  • González R, Rodríguez S, Romay C, Ancheta O, González A, Armesto J, Remirez D, Merino N. Anti-inflammatory activity of phycocyanin extract in acetic acid-induced colitis in rats. Pharmacol Res. 1999 Jan;39(1):55-9. PMID 10366332
  • François Haldemann Phycocyanin, the Blue Gold of Spirulina.
  • Li B, Gao MH, Zhang XC, Chu XM. Molecular immune mechanism of C-phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis induces apoptosis in HeLa cells in vitro. Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2006 Mar; 43(Pt 3):155-64. PMID 16316316
  • Liu Q, Huang Y, Zhang R, Cai T, Cai Y. Medical Application of Spirulina platensis Derived C-Phycocyanin. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:7803846. doi: 10.1155/2016/7803846. PMID 27293463
  • Min et al. Assessment of C-phycocyanin effect on astrocytes-mediated neuroprotection against oxidative brain injury using 2D and 3D astrocyte tissue model. Scientific Reports volume5, Article number: 14418 (2015) doi:10.1038/srep14418.
  • Mitra S. & al. C-Phycocyanin protects against acute tributyltin chloride neurotoxicity by modulating glial cell activity along with its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory property: A comparative efficacy evaluation with N-acetyl cysteine in adult rat brain. Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Aug 5;238:138-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.06.016.
  • Reddy CM, Bhat VB,Kiranmai G, Reddy MN, Reddanna P, Madyastha KM. Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 by C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein from Spirulina platensis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Nov 2;277(3):599-603. PMID 11062000
  • Reddy MC, Subhashini J, Mahipal SV, Bhat VB, Srinivas Reddy P, Kiranmai G, Madyastha KM, Reddanna P. C-Phycocyanin, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, induces apoptosis in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 May 2; 304(2):385-92. PMID 12711327
  • Remirez D. & al. Role of histamine in the inhibitory effects of phycocyanin in experimental models of allergic inflammatory response. Mediators Inflamm. 2002 Apr; 11(2): 81-85.
  • Rimbau V, Camins A, Romay C, González R, Pallàs M. Protective effects of C-phycocyanin against kainic acid-induced neuronal damage in rat hippocampus. Neurosci Lett. 1999 Dec 3;276(2):75-8. PMID 10624795
  • Romay Ch, González R, Ledón N, Remirez D, Rimbau V. C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003 Jun;4(3):207-16. PMID 12769719 full text
  • Romay C, Armesto J, Remirez D, González R, Ledon N, García I. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of C-phycocyanin from blue-green algae. Inflamm Res. 1998 Jan;47(1):36-41. PMID 9495584
  • Satyantini, W. H.,Harris, E., & Utomo, N. B. P. (2014). Pemberian Fikosianin Spirulina Meningkatkan Jumlah Sel Darah, Aktivitas Fagositosis, dan Pertumbuhan Ikan Kerapu Bebek Juvenil (administration of spirulina phycocyanin enhances blood cells, phagocytic activity and growth in humpback grouper juvenile). Jurnal Veteriner, 15(1).
  • Sedriep S, Xia X, Marotta F, Zhou L, Yadav H, Yang H, Soresi V, Catanzaro R, Zhong K, Polimeni A, Chui DH. Beneficial nutraceutical modulation of cerebral erythropoietin expression and oxidative stress: an experimental study. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2011 Apr-Jun;25(2):187-94. PMID 21880207
  • Shih CM. & al. Antiinflammatory and antihyperalgesic activity of C-phycocyanin. Anesth Analg. 2009 Apr;108(4):1303-10. doi:10.1213/ane.0b013e318193e919.
  • Scoglio S, Benedetti Y, Benvenuti F, Battistelli S, Canestrari F, Benedetti S. Selective monoamine oxidase B inhibition by an Aphanizomenon flos-aquae extract and by its constitutive active principles phycocyanin and mycosporin-like amino acids. Phytomedicine. 2014 Jun 15;21(7):992-7. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2014.03.006. PMID 24690316
  • Subhashini J, Mahipal SV, Reddy MC, Mallikarjuna Reddy M, Rachamallu A, Reddanna P. Molecular mechanisms in C-Phycocyanin induced apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia cell line-K562. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Aug 1; 68(3):453-62. PMID 15242812
  • Vadiraja BB, Gaikwad NW, Madyastha KM. Hepatoprotective effect of C-phycocyanin: protection for carbon tetrachloride and R-(+)-pulegone-mediated hepatotoxicty in rats. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Aug 19;249(2):428-31. PMID 9712713
  • José O. Valderrama, Michel Perrut, Wieslaw Majewski. Extraction of Astaxantine and Phycocyanine from Microalgae with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide. J. Chem. Eng. Data, 2003, 48 (4), pp 827-830DOI: 10.1021/je020128r
  • Zhang Cheng-Wu et al. April 1994. Pub. In Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. On Algal Biotech. Univ of Malaysia. P.58. China.

Inscrivez-vous pour profiter de nos promotions, nos actualités et bien plus encore.

Nous ne spammons pas ! Consultez notre politique de confidentialité pour plus d’informations.

Mon panier
Commencez à taper pour voir les produits que vous cherchez.
Mes favoris
0 élément Panier
Mon compte