Spirulina is a dietary supplement which is cultivated world wide. The plant, spirulina, is a blue-green algae shaped like a spiral coil which can live in both fresh and sea water. It is available on the market in flakes, tablets and powder forms.
As previously mentionned on this post about the many spirulina benefits, it is considered a superior source of complete protein containing all essential amino acids. It is also a source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, A, C, D and E. It’s bioavailability for B12 however is still being disputed. Spirulina also contains many minerals including iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium.
Spirulina is a natural food source and is relatively safe, however there are some spirulina side effects which may be experienced as well as conditions under which it should not be taken. People who suffer from the metabolic disorder phenylketonuria should not take spirulina which contains the amino acid phenylalanine. People with this disorder cannot metabolize this amino acid which then builds up in the brain and causes damage. Also there are some noted difficulties in taking exceedingly high amounts as well. Since it is rich in nucleic acid, too much may cause increased levels of uric acid in your system which could eventually cause kidney problems. There is also a danger of impaired liver function from the higher content of vitamins and minerals, so caution should always be practiced with higher doses.
Some of the side effects which you might experience when taking spirulina are:
• A slight elevated temperature which is the body’s response to burning off the extra protein consumed.
• Some dizziness which could be an indication of taking too much. Either reduce your consumption or stop if the dizziness persists.
• Stomach aches and gastrointestinal upsets.
• Body rash or itching.
• Constipation. While taking spirulina you should drink extra water to help your body absorb it.
Something to consider when taking spirulina is the source where it is grown. It readily absorbs contaminants from impure water so being cautious about the conditions in which it was grown is important.
Because it is a natural food, taking recommended doses of spirulina is reasonably safe, but if you are experiencing side effects which cause too great discomfort, you should stop taking it and consult with your doctor or a specialist. In spite of it being natural, tolerance levels may vary from person to person.