Spirulina has many proven health benefits, but sometimes spirulina can be dangerous. Always choose spirulina from well-established manufacturers to avoid a potential threat to your health.
Why can spirulina be bad for you?
Polluted environment = polluted spirulina
Like many products from China, cheap spirulina which comes from unknown sources is low quality or even hazardous. Over the past few years Chinese supplements, including spirulina, have been found to contain many dangerous substances. This brings sometimes even life-threatening side effects to consumers.
Spirulina’s quality and safety are directly related to the environment. It is so, because spirulina can absorb toxins and heavy metals from the environment in which it grows. That’s why it is very important to buy spirulina which grows in pollution free environment.
Not only Chinese spirulina is dangerous. After Fukushima accident in 2011, there is a high risk of radiation in Japanese spirulina.
How to avoid polluted spirulina? First of all, buy spirulina only from well-established companies. If in doubt, you can always ask for certificates. If spirulina is free of heavy metals and toxins, manufacturer or seller would give necessary documentation without any problem.
The way spirulina grows can affect its composition
Below some examples of what can be found in spirulina:
- Sodium nitrate (Chilean Nitrate) – used by many spirulina manufacturers, mostly inadmissible in organic spirulina. Can increase chances of developing cancer.
- BMAA – a toxin found only in some species of algae. Chronic dietary exposure to BMAA can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.
- Microcystins –this group of toxins if produced only by certain freshwater species of algae. Microcystins can cause a serious damage to the liver
How to avoid dangers of spirulina?
- Never buy spirulina from unknown sources. This is especially true with Chinese spirulina.
- Whenever you can, buy the organic spirulina.
- If in doubt, ask for certificates.