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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Spirulina
treats Eye disorders, Oral leukoplakia, Chronic viral hepatitis, Malnutrition, High cholesterol, Allergic rhinitis, Weight loss, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Arsenic poisoning, and Diabetes

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DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Avoid use in individuals with known allergy to spirulina, blue- green algae species, or any of their constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

Few side effects have been reported with spirulina use. The most frequently reported adverse effects are headache, muscle pain, flushing of the face, sweating, and difficulty concentrating. These have been described in people taking 1 gram of spirulina by mouth daily. Skin reactions have also been reported.

Blue- green algae, especially types that are usually harvested in uncontrolled settings (Anabaena spp., Aphanizomenon spp., and Microcystis spp.), may be contaminated with heavy metals. Liver damage, diarrhea, and vomiting have been reported.

The amino acid phenylalanine in blue- green algae may cause an adverse reaction in people with the genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU), and should be used cautiously.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is not enough information to recommend the safe use of spirulina during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In mice, diets containing up to 30% spirulina are not reported to cause harmful effects to either the mother or the offspring. However, reliable human studies addressing safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding are not available.


Interactions with Drugs

Spirulina may interact with certain drugs taken for immune system disorders, high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, neurologic conditions, and viruses as well as blood thinners and antihistamines.

Spirulina may also interact with drugs taken for weight loss, cancer, heart disorders, and osteoporosis. There is a possible interaction when taking spirulina with drugs that are potentially toxic to the kidney.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Small increases in calcium levels have been reported, although it is unclear whether this is due to the effects of spirulina alone. Use of spirulina and calcium supplements together may further increase calcium levels.

Spirulina may increase levels of protein, iron, gamma- linolenic fatty acid, carotenoids, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.

Spirulina may interact with certain dietary supplements taken for immune system disorders, high blood pressure, cancer, weight loss, heart disorders, inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, neurologic conditions, blood clots, and viruses. Use cautiously with antihistamines or any herb or supplement that is potentially toxic to the kidney.

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