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Danger of spirulina

Updated February 12, 2018

Fans of spirulina call it a superfood, because this blue-green algae contains over 100 different nutrients and is rich in protein and several vitamins. Spirulina products are available in a fresh dried form, as well as tablets, capsules, extract, powder and flakes. People also can cultivate it at home. Side effects are uncommon, and are more likely if people take excessively large doses.

Slight Fever

One possible spirulina side effect is a slightly-elevated temperature, because the high protein level and certain other nutrients promote body metabolism, which may convert fat into heat energy.

Other Side Effects

Other side effects include dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, itching, headaches, muscle pain and sweating.

Importance of Hydration

People taking spirulina may experience thirst as well as constipation, both because not enough water is being consumed. Spirulina users should drink at least a half litre of water along with the supplement.

Kidney Issues

If people take very large doses of spirulina, they risk the danger of kidney damage. Spirulina has a high concentration of nucleic acid, which creates the waste product uric acid. Too much uric acid can cause kidney stones and other problems.

Liver Issues

Another danger of spirulina is that excessively high doses have been linked to impaired liver function. This may be due to the high concentration of vitamins and minerals, some of which can be toxic in large amounts.

Considerations

Spirulina may react with several other drugs, herbs and dietary supplements. (See the Resources section below for a list of these substances.)

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About the Author

Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.