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Super Foods Like Spirulina May be Toxic
Many health-conscious Americans take a daily vitamin or herbal supplement in an attempt to improve their general health and wellbeing. After all, what harm can they do -- right? While health benefits from taking supplements are many times over-exaggerated, some supplements don't even contain what they list on the label and others contain ingredients that could be potentially dangerous. Spirulina is one such example. Manufacturers promote spirulina as a "super food", making it one of the most frequently asked questions at NutritionFacts.org. Because of this, Dr. Michael Greger keeps up with the latest literature on spirulina and promptly reports his findings on his website. Although spirulina "does some amazing things" he says, it's important to examine the risks-vs-benefits when taking these supplements.
Dr. Greger mentions several risks that are associated with spirulina:
- Taking spirulina during pregnancy may cause seizures in newborns.
- Spirulina may promote possible breakdown of the muscles and can be toxic to the liver, promoting liver cancer.
- Recently, spirulina was found to contain potent neurotoxins.
Therefore, Dr. Greger encourages people to avoid taking spirulina supplements and products containing spirulina. Because eating a diet based on a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds supplies large doses of micronutrients, there's no need to buy expensive supplements with potential health risks. Pass up the green supplement "super foods" and eat some green leafy vegetables instead!
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