Feb
14
2015

Beware of spirulina side effects!

The origin of spirulina or introduction to its side effects

When talking of spirulina side effects, it is important to understand what it is in its essence. Spirulina is classified as a simple one-cell organism, which falls between alga and bacteria. It is very ancient organism, existing for millions of years and outliving many generations of other specimens. For all this time though, it hasn’t changed much, and you consume it in the same form as it was.

Now, the interesting thing is when you take spirulina into the body, the latter doesn’t really know how it should react.The thing is that the spirulina’s cell walls resemble these of the bacteria so the body may as well try to attack this unusual alga, especially when consumed for first time. Finally, as you take it in the form of a supplement, you’ll be consuming trillions of its cells, hence these spirulina side effects can be significantly expressed.

Typical spirulina side effects

This is why, when you take spirulina for the first time, you will likely to have the following side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite

Since spirulina also interferes with the immune functioning, it is also possible to have rashes and different signs of autoimmune diseases, yet this is however, less likely than the ones mentioned above.

My observations of its side effects

When taking spirulina, I swear that from time to time I really experience the above side effects. Some people say that this is a manifestation of a “healing crisis” but I’m still unsure yet whether we should believe in such things, which are generally used by marketers in order to defend their brand. Although you won’t find the above-mentioned spirulina side effects in wiki sources, they are really true. In fact, all of my friends and family members who’ve been taking spirulina for at least 6 month have once experienced these side effects.

An interesting thing I observed is that all these side effects occurred when they experimented with intake dosage, increasing it either significantly or slightly, even in such doses as four capsules a day. So what follows from this is that you should be careful about the dosage and take the supplement regularly. This is also recommended by many sources, and it’s quite true, because the body may have a hard time adjusting for this supplement, but once it does, there should be no problem. Other people experienced these bad side effects on the very first week of intake.

This makes me believe spirulina has a sort of cumulative or ‘critical mass’ over time, which when exceeded, fires up with some nasty side effects, casting on you a sort of ‘toilet agony’. Perhaps it would make sense to describe my experience in a bit more detail now.

My experience of taking spirulina

For me the side effects fired when I increased the dosage from two capsules to the four a day. I was very cautious about this supplement before, but as I looked back to my girlfriend who was taking four capsules at that time, I also decided to increase the dosage in order to experience more of the positive effects. That was a bad idea though, and in addition, I took it after lunch. Spirulina is supposed to be taken strictly before food, but I simply forgot about taking it early when I was invited to eat with my family.

About two hours later, it started with diarrhea. I couldn’t lift my ass off a toilet during the first number of urges, because it was really intense. This continued for around 3 hours, and I didn’t even think that it was the side effects of spirulina at that time. For the whole evening, I haven’t eaten anything, and I was starting to feel weak. I ate some noodles just to stuff my stomach with something; however, I vomited every bit of my dinner. It was getting late, but I couldn’t sleep and also developed an annoying headache.

Early in the morning I was feeling really wasted, so I decided to check up for the hospital. I didn’t mention anything about spirulina but they said I was likely poisoned. They prescribed me some oral dehydration solution, and it kinda helped to feel better so I was able to sleep. Next day the symptoms were gone, though a bit of sickness due to lack of sleep has remained. For weeks, I hesitated to take it again, but when I took it up again in the same dosages, I never experienced these side effects anymore.

Spirulina farts

One important thing you should know about spirulina is that it interferes with your digestive system. When you take it for long, it does quite some positive things, such as improving the intestine flora by reducing the bad bacteria and improving the rates of beneficial bacteria, and then it normalizes the stool, although when you take spirulina the stool will always be green. Spirulina has very strong pigments, containing as much as a kilo of vegetables in a single heaped spoon. In my opinion, this isn’t a great deal, and I wouldn’t count it as a side effect.

The problem though, is that at the first time, which is around 1 week of continuous intake, it may result in constipation and its reverse – the diarrhea. Now comes the most interesting spirulina side effect: if you don’t take it continuously or take it less than one week, you will almost certainly experience more farts. I call them spirulina farts, obviously… Sometimes they really smell, sometimes not but the good thing is they are only temporary, unlike for instance with chlorella, which consist mainly of crude fibers and depending to personal intolerance may never stop reminding of itself in this not very pleasant way.

Safety concerns

Although spirulina is considered generally safe, the blue-green alga is likely to be contaminated during the stage of production, especially if handled improperly. This is why I advise to buy spirulina only from the trusted suppliers like Amazon, etc. where you can get some transparent reviews from these customers who have already taken the products. Otherwise, you are likely to get ‘fake’ spirulina, but let me explain how it works. See, the true organic spirulina is not so easy to cultivate. The cost of equipment, labor and maintenance all add up in order to get the quality production.

On average, for $20 you could get around 1/4 kilos or more of organic spirulina available in the form the mass. On the other hand, there is also a cheap supply of spirulina from Africa. The locals collect it without any special equipment and are literally threading on it with their feet. Such supplies have a very cheap self-cost, but they are quite ineffective as supplement. Mostly they are used as animal feeds and if taken by humans, it ends up with indigestion or poisoning, in addition to all the above-mentioned side effects.

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