Is Spirulina Really Toxic to the Liver?

In this video I talk about Spirulina and the debate about whether it is “toxic” or not.

The brand I use is Spirulina Pacifica and the Latin name is Arthrospira platensis. It is Hawaiian and Organic.

The woman who commented about Spirulina being toxic posted her comment here: http://sistahvegan.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/spirulina-super-baby-food-recipe/  under the name Angela. She provides links about Spirulina being toxic that you can view for yourself.

**Update:

I just read this journal article below and the conclusion states:

“Our results indicate that cultivated NO and SP do not contain MC and have minimal cytotoxicity. Furthermore, long-term BGA supplementation in mice did not induce any evident adverse side-effects. Therefore, NO and SP may be developed as a safe natural food for health benefits. Clinical trials are warranted to assess the safety of the BGA supplements in humans.”

NO and SP were the two different types of Spirulina they tested (“This study was undertaken to evaluate in vitro and in vivo toxicity of cultivated Nostoc commune var. sphaeroides Kützing (NO) and Spirulina platensis (SP). Neither NO nor SP contained detectable levels of microcystin (MC)-LA, MC-RR, MC-LW and MC-LR by LC/MS/MS”).

However, I eat The species “Arthrospira platensis” and that seems to be the “same” as Spirulina platensis  but I need to verify that.

Citation:

Volume 49, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 1560–1564

Cover image

In vitro and in vivo safety assessment of edible blue-green algae, Nostoc commune var. sphaeroides Kützing and Spirulina plantensis

10 thoughts on “Is Spirulina Really Toxic to the Liver?

  1. Contaminated blue-green algae CAN cause liver damage because of the various toxins it may contain. If your source has been tested and proven to be toxin-free then I don’t see what the problem is.

  2. I have been consuming Spirulina for over 20 years with no problems and our three beautiful healthy (now adult) children that have eaten it all their lives …!

    1. I am beginning to wonder if BioPharms plant misinformation about herbs and holistic foods so people can become ‘scared’ about consuming foods like Spirulina over some drug that costs $1000 a pill and has side effects like damaging your liver, kidneys, and increasing your risk for cancer. Seriously….

  3. Hi Breeze, any new information in the last couple of years that you came across? I use the same Pacifica brand and as I am preparing for pregnancy I just want to make sure all is safe. Thank you!

      1. I use the Now Foods Organic Spirulina in the powder form. From everything I’ve read myself. In the past the amounts of cytotoxins etc. in spirulina were greater. Brands now take more care in where they grow their product. I’m sure the reason why you buy organic is the same is mine is because one, I try to eat as much organic as possible but spirulina in particular being waterborne obviously makes it more susceptible to absorbing more toxins. Now that being said, the recommendations I’ve seen on preventing liver toxicity from spirulina is to not consume more than 50 grams a day. That is way too much spirulina to begin with because of the amount of Iron in it. That is a little more than 7 tbsp. (1 tbsp = 1 serving, 20% DV of Iron in a serving x 7. Not a good thing) for the brand I use and I know your brand my uncle takes it. You are not even going to come close to that.

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