Wondering about the side effects of spirulina? We’re here to help!
Spirulina is a freshwater microalgae, known for its delicate spiral shape as it grows in pure form. Researchers are focusing on finding more about this miracle algae, and are consistently finding new information and research to share with health-enthusiasts all over the world.
Let’s break down everything you need to know about both the benefits and potential side effects of spirulina.
What is in Spirulina?
Gram-per-gram, spirulina boasts:
- 60-70% protein
- Exceptional amounts of vitamins B12, A, K1, K2
- Good source of iron
- Phytonutrients: carotenoids, phycocyanin, GLA, and SOD (superoxide dismutase)
- Almost 3000% more beta-carotene than carrots
With all of that goodness, it’s no wonder the word is spreading about the potential of this “super seaweed.”
However, it’s important to also keep in mind the potential side effects of spirulina when considering whether to take it.
TWEETABLEGram-for-gram, spirulina contains almost 4000% more iron than spinach! Click To Tweet
Side Effects of Spirulina
Spirulina can cause certain side effects if its purchased from a non-reputable company and has become contaminated. For this reason, it’s important to research the company thoroughly and talk to your doctor if you have any medical issues.
Trustworthy companies guarantee their spirulina is grown and harvested in a controlled, uncontaminated environment, and anyone interested in reaping the benefits of this mighty, miracle medicine should only purchase with this assurance.
Spirulina and other blue-green algae products are highly likely to contain certain bacteria, microcystins, and heavy metals if they are grown in their natural still-water setting.
For this reason, it’s important to thoroughly research the company and find a brand that grows their spirulina in a tightly-controlled environment.
Only choose spirulina that is contaminant-free.
The side effects of spirulina which has been contaminated can include liver damage, stomach pain such as nausea and vomiting, excessive thirst, and rapid heartbeat.
Always consult your physician before starting a new supplement regimen, including spirulina.
Allergies: Those who are allergic to seafood of any kind or allergic to iodine should never take spirulina, even from a trustworthy source.
Special Conditions: Individuals with hyperparathyroidism or phenylketonuria should also avoid spirulina.
Pregnant or Breast-Feeding Mothers: Consult with your doctor. There is not yet enough information on the side effects of spirulina as they apply to pregnant or new mothers. It’s best to be safe and avoid use.
Auto-Immune Diseases: Since spirulina may activate the immune system, this could effect those with certain auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. Avoid taking spirulina and consult your health care provider.
Benefits of Spirulina
When consuming spirulina from a reputable company that sells pure spirulina grown in a controlled, untainted environment, the benefits can be plentiful.
Here are several reasons why people consume spirulina:
Vitamins like No Other
Spirulina in dried form contains a natural abundance of vitamins and minerals, as well as all of the essential amino acids. It’s like a natural multivitamin!
Many health-conscious individuals enjoy adding spirulina powder to their health shakes or meals to get an extra boost of vitamin and mineral power.
With all of the vitamins and minerals in such a concentrated form, it’s no wonder individuals take this place to give them more energy to power through the day.
Taken in the morning instead of (or alongside) your coffee, it can give you even more pep in your step! With your new-found energy, you may also notice your appetite may not be as ravenous for that late afternoon snack.
Add a serving to your smoothie at lunch and you just may find yourself feeling energized and ready to tackle that inbox!
Spirulina may help fight several health conditions and diseases, though more research is needed.
There have been numerous studies, and more are currently being conducted on this mighty all-natural superfood.
Studies are pointing to the possibility that spirulina increases antibody production, boosts proteins which fight infection, and produces other immunity-improving cells. This may be ideal news for people fighting HIV and AIDS and cancer.
Studies in animals and test tubes are showing scientists that spirulina may protect allergy sufferers against those annoying histamines that are released. Runny noses, itchy and reddened eyes, and sneezing may be a thing of the past with the advent of spirulina.
Antibiotics are great to take in order to fight various types of infections; however, antibiotics can also kill the good bacteria known as Lactobacillus acidophilus. No one has time for the health problems which can ensue when this happens! Spirulina may actually and effectively boost the growth of helpful bacteria in dairy products such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Zeaxantuin is a vital nutrient for the eyes. Spirulina boasts a high-concentration of this nutrient, and because of this, it may be able to minimize the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Studies are currently being performed to further prove this theory.
Even More Potential Applications for Spirulina
People also use spirulina for:
- Weight Loss
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Hay Fever
- Stress and Anxiety
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Improving Memory
- Increasing Metabolism
- Healing Wounds
- Digestive Health
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Many people who are already avid spirulina users are seeing the powerful and positive effects of this mighty algae.
As is the case with many dietary supplements out there, the effects of spirulina are still being researched and may include even more great benefits for its users.
As with any supplement, it is important to talk with your physician about consuming spirulina as they can take into account your full health history and can determine if spirulina may benefit you.
What benefits have you experienced from taking spirulina? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.