I recently came across a few articles about how spirulina causes diarrhea, so I decided to write this post about what it was like when I first started taking it and whether there are any studies on this problem.
When I first began taking spirulina I started out at a pretty high dose. I was taking spirulina powder and the recommended dose was 10g, which is a heaping tablespoon about. Well I own bigger than normal tablespoons so I was taking around 12g a day.
How did I feel?
There is no doubt that my body was reacting different to this strange new food that I was ingesting. I remember my stomach felt upset after eating it for the first week or so. It would rumble and just have somewhat of a “sick” feeling. But nothing major.
I never vomited or had diarrhea or anything of that nature. I stuck with my 12g per day and eventually I got used to it. I would say that it only upset my stomach for a week, maybe two. But now its part of my daily diet and I have no problems with it.
After Finding posts about diarrhea online I decided to look into it more and see if there is any reason for this.
Can it really cause diarrhea?
There are no studies specifically focused on whether or not spirulina causes diarrhea, and actually it is suggested that it would prevent diarrhea.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center “In test tubes, spirulina has boosted the growth of L. acidophilus and other probiotics”. Probiotics are GOOD bacteria, and not having enough can cause sickness and diarrhea. So the fact that spirulina INCREASES probiotics would suggest that it would prevent sickness and diarrhea.
But remember, this test was performed in test tubes, not on people. There are many other factors that come into play when it comes to its affects on humans.
There has to be a reason why so many people experience upset stomach and diarrhea
There really needs to be some clinical studies done on this matter. But the reason behind this could be due to spirulina’s ability to absorb toxins from its environment.
Spirulina’s biology allows it to absorb toxins, this can be good and bad. It can be good if you are taking spirulina to detox, as it can pick up toxins in the body and which are then get rid of. But it can be bad if the spirulina is grown in a polluted environment.
There a lot of heavy metals that could potentially be absorbed by spirulina and that are known to cause diarrhea and other illnesses. But this is just a thought of why spirulina causes diarrhea with some people.
First off you need to buy trustworthy spirulina from a reputable company. You don’t want to buy spirulina from a Chinese company with an undisclosed harvesting location, or anything similar to this. You need to KNOW that you are getting clean, quality spirulina, that isn’t being grown in a harmful environment.
Also, if you do experience an upset stomach I would suggest that you just decrease your daily dose for a while and let your body get used to it (took me a little over a week). Then up your dose. I wouldn’t quit taking spirulina unless your stomach problem is really serious.