Question

Dietary Supplements

What should I know before taking Spirulina?

A Answers (1)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    Before taking spirulina, you should know that more evidence is needed to show that it has any actual benefit for the disorders for which people take it. Additionally, there are a number of risks associated with taking Spirulina. The major risk with spirulina, as with all nutritional supplements, is that the product you take may not be what you think it is. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food and drugs, does not regulate supplements as closely as they regulate drugs. The result is that the product that you buy has no guarantee that it is as strong, pure or safe as the label suggests. The side effects of spirulina include sweating, trouble concentrating, headaches, muscle pain and flushing of the face. Additional side effects, such as liver damage, diarrhea and vomiting; are associated with certain types of spirulina that can be contaminated with heavy metals. People with allergies to blue-green algae or people who have phenylketonuria (PKU) are at a greater risk of an unpleasant reaction when taking spirulina. Additionally, spirulina can interact with a number of different types of medications and herbal supplements. Speak to your doctor before taking spirulina if you are taking other medications or supplements for any of the following medical conditions: immune system disorders, inflammation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, viruses, allergies, neurologic conditions, diabetes, weight loss, heart problems, osteoporosis, cancer and blood clots. Spirulina's risk to pregnant women and their fetuses is not known at this time. If you are pregnant, you should speak to your doctor prior to taking spirulina.

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Are there any risks in using Spirulina?