Are there any risks in using 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.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

News: More Than 700 Supplements Tainted With Prescription Drugs
News: More Than 700 Supplements Tainted With Prescription Drugs
Half of all US adults take dietary supplements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believing these pills, powders and drinks...
Read More
How do standards differ for nutritional supplements and medications?
International Bipolar FoundationInternational Bipolar Foundation
Because the Food and Drug Administration evaluates nutritional supplements as a food rather than...
More Answers
Are any supplements bad for your health?
Based on individual physiology, (we are all slightly different), most anything could be bad for one’...
More Answers
Are supplements that claim they block fat and develop lean muscle safe?
Are supplements that claim they block fat and develop lean muscle safe?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.