Also indexed as:Algae (Blue-Green), Spirulina
Few side effects have been reported from the ingestion of blue-green algae. However, as blue-green algae can accumulate heavy metals from contaminated water, consuming blue-green algae could increase the body’s load of lead, mercury, and cadmium,3 though noncontaminated blue-green algae have been identified.4 Another popular species of blue-green algae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, has been found to produce toxins.5 A few reports also describe allergic reactions to blue-green algae. Animal studies have found spirulina to be safe during pregnancy.6, 7, 8
There is one case report of a man who developed liver damage while taking spirulina.9 As he was also talking three prescription medications, it is not clear whether the spirulina caused or contributed to the liver injury.
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