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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Katie and Miimi

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae. While health claims for spirulina supplements abound, there is cause for concern. These supplements were found to contain liver toxins and neurotoxins. In fact, in 2009, a potent neurotoxin was found in spirulina.

Although the U. S. Pharmacopeia’s safety evaluation of spirulina concludes that “the available evidence does not indicate a serious risk to health or other public health concern when spirulina is properly identified, formulated, and used,” consumers should be advised to choose spirulina supplements with third party testing. Researchers reported a range of adverse reactions but attributed them to other algae toxins within the spirulina.

Chlorella, on the other hand, appears to be safe.


Image Credit: WILL POWER / Flickr. This image has been modified.

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