Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae that grows in alkaline water, both in the sea and fresh water. It is cultivated all over the world and is often found in health supplements. The benefits of spirulina include providing a complete source of protein and amino acids as well as over 100 nutrients. Some have described it as a “superfood” and the most complete food source available. However, there are a number of spirulina side effects you need to be aware of if you want to get the health benefits from this vitamin rich source.
Spirulina dosage recommendations
The vast majority of spirulina side effects can be avoided by simply taking the correct dose. The dose of spirulina you take will depend on the form in which you take it, as different types have varying amount of spirulina in them. When spirulina is combined with other natural health ingredients such as barley and chlorella, you will quite often find doses of around 500mg of spirulina per tablet. Pure spirulina capsules usually contain anything from 250mg to 5g and a spoonful of powdered spirulina is enough to give 3-5g for the whole day.
Most common spirulina side effects
A few people have reported minor symptoms after taking spirulina. This is due to how your body reacts to it and is not actually a result of spirulina itself. Below are a number of the most common spirulina side effects, symptoms or reactions you might experience when consuming spirulina supplements.
- Fever and restlessness. Because spirulina is a complete protein source which makes up over 70% of the algae, the protein combines with other nutrients in the substance to stimulate metabolism in your body. This releases heat and can lead to a fever.
- Blackish green waste material. Spirulina can also cleanse your colon and removes accumulated residues. If the waste material excreted is green in color, this is usually just a result of the green coloring found on the supplement tablets or capsules and is nothing to worry about.
- Gas and stomach aches. Spirulina can cause your digestive system to create excess intestinal gases which leads to wind and stomach aches.
- Dizziness, nausea and thirst. Because spirulina absorbs a lot of water, this can cause side effects such as these. To combat this, aim to consume more water, at least half a liter, to prevent your body reserves from becoming depleted.
- Itching skin, rashes and breakouts. Another symptom of spirulinas colon cleansing ability is that as the toxins are removed, they cause problems on the skin surface, leading to breakouts, rashes, redness and mild itching.
When taking the recommended dose, there are no dangers to your health. Spirulina side effects can sometimes occur if you consume more than 50g per day. As with most dietary supplements, a vitamin or mineral excess can have negative effects. This is why it always makes sense to look for a quality health supplement that provides the right dose for optimum health.
Due to the high nucleic acid content that then increases uric acid levels, other spirulina side effects can include kidney problems such as kidney stones and possibly impaired liver function. However, if you stick to the recommended dose of no more than 5g a day, it is highly unlikely that you will experience any side effects.