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I got a question on Spirulina:
“what are your thoughts on taking spirulina capsules? I know you mentioned too much protein being bad but is this an exception cause it’s plant based?”
Answer: Spirulina and Blue Green Algae have their fans. Certainly, they are a concentrated source of Chlorophyll, which has great health benefits. But then, Kale is also a great source of Chlorophyll.
So the question is, are the benefits of Spirulina greater than any harm it may cause?
Unfortunately, it seems that Spriulina has risks associated with it. In one study, 94% of Spirulina powders tested were found to have contamination with “Hepatotoxic Microcystins”. Hepatotoxic means poisonous to your liver. Not something we want.
It was later found that Spirulina can contain a potent neurotoxin also, although the rate was lower, at 7.7% of products tested. Still, that’s not good to find a neurotoxin on ANY products.
It seems like the Spirulina itself may not be to blame, but that it is easily contaminated by other algae that can contain toxins.
For now it seems best to leave the Spirulina on the shelf. For adequate supply of Chlorophyll and other health giving nutrients, Kale will do nicely.
As for the reference to Protein in the question. Generally we tend to get too much protein in our diets, not too little. Certainly that is true of a diet with a lot of animal products. If you are eating mostly plant food, your protein intake will be lower, but sufficient. That is because protein, or rather amino acids (the building blocks of protein) is present in all food.
Plant based protein is different to animal based protein. Animal protein foods have been shown to “feed” cancer, wheras plant foods high in protein do not have this effect.
Conclusion: I don’t recommend Spirulina because of the toxicity risk. If you wish to increase your intake of healthy protein foods, I recommend concentrated plant foods like legumes (peas and beans), grains (rice, wheat), with some nuts and seeds.