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Potential Side Effects
of Taking Spirulina

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Spirulina Side Effects and Cautions

This is part of a series of short articles by on the side effects of natural remedies.

Spirulina Benefits, Cautions and Side Effects:

Taken as a detoxifier and energy producer, spirulina is rich in antioxidants and is an excellent source of protein and one of the very best sources for beta carotene.

That having been said, I've tried spirulina and blue green algae many times over the years and, in general, I don't tolerate it. Many do report health benefits when consuming spirulina supplements though, and these health benefits may include increased energy, correction or RNA deficiency, immune system boosting, etc.

What I experience with spirulina is that, after a few days, the inside of my intestinal wall starts to feel irritated and raw, like it is having an allergic reaction. That's a unique side effect and not one I've seen listed for spirulina.

Common Spirulina Side Effects:

Partial List - Monitor yourself for any unreported side effects whenever starting on a new nutritional supplement.

Gastrointestinal distress
Tummy ache
Itchy Skin
Changes in Stool Color
Flatulence
Chest Pain


More serious potential side effects and cautions:

Because spirulina is high in nucleic acid, taking it could cause a problem if your kidneys are already weak or functioning below healthy levels, due to uric acid build up. I would not suggest spirulina for anyone with a known kidney problem without weighing the risks.

Edema is a possible side effect of spirulina and if this symptom occurs after a person starts taking spirulina, it could indicate that the kidneys may be struggling. This is thought to occur mostly with those who have a pre-existing kidney problem. However, if you experience edema, it could also mean your kidneys are weak and you might want to have a check-up to test your kidney function.

Spirulina, being highly detoxifying, may also increase symptoms of certain pre-existing conditions. It is thought that this is a detox crisis rather than a side effect. I would discontinue use if experiencing rheumatic joint pain, kidney discomfort, increased pain from ulcers or migraines because these could signal that the spirulina is detoxing too fast for your already-compromised system to handle.

If you tend toward low blood sugar or are hypoglycemic, you may also want to monitor your blood sugar levels if taking spirulina or take some other form of nutritional supplement that will not be as apt to cause a blood sugar drop.

Related: Side Effects of MMS

Health Disclaimer: The potential side effects mentioned on this page may not be all the side effects that exist when taking spirulina or bluegree algae. Ask your doctor or consult with a qualified natural healing practitioner if concerned about spirulina side effects, in particular if you are being treated for kidney issues or blood sugar issues.