The vitamin B(12) concentration of an algal health food, spirulina (Spirulina sp.) tablets, was determined by both Lactobacillus leichmannii ATCC 7830 microbiological and intrinsic factor chemiluminescence methods. The values determined with the microbiological method were approximately 6-9-fold greater in the spirulina tablets than the values determined with the chemiluminescence method. Although most of the vitamin B(12) determined with the microbiological method was derived from various vitamin B(12) substitutive compounds and/or inactive vitamin B(12) analogues, the spirulina contained a small amount of vitamin B(12) active in the binding of the intrinsic factor. Two intrinsic factor active vitamin B(12) analogues (major and minor) were purified from the spirulina tablets and partially characterized. The major (83%) and minor (17%) analogues were identified as pseudovitamin B(12) and vitamin B(12), respectively, as judged from data of TLC, reversed-phase HPLC, (1)H NMR spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and biological activity using L. leichmannii as a test organism and the binding of vitamin B(12) to the intrinsic factor.