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Spirulina (generic name)

treats Eye disorders, Oral leukoplakia, Chronic viral hepatitis, Malnutrition, High cholesterol, Allergic rhinitis, Weight loss, Chronic fatigu...
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Interactions with Drugs

Spirulina may interact with certain drugs taken for immune system disorders, high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, neurologic conditions, and viruses as well as blood thinners and antihistamines.

Spirulina may also interact with drugs taken for weight loss, cancer, heart disorders, and osteoporosis. There is a possible interaction when taking spirulina with drugs that are potentially toxic to the kidney.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Small increases in calcium levels have been reported, although it is unclear whether this is due to the effects of spirulina alone. Use of spirulina and calcium supplements together may further increase calcium levels.

Spirulina may increase levels of protein, iron, gamma-linolenic fatty acid, carotenoids, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.

Spirulina may interact with certain dietary supplements taken for immune system disorders, high blood pressure, cancer, weight loss, heart disorders, inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, neurologic conditions, blood clots, and viruses. Use cautiously with antihistamines or any herb or supplement that is potentially toxic to the kidney.


This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( Ethan Basch, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Steve Bent, MD (University of California San Francisco); Heather Boon, B.Sc.Phm, PhD (University of Toronto); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); Sadaf Hashmi, MD, MPH (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health); Paul Hammerness, MD (Harvard Medical School); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Beth N. Kerbel, PharmD (Northeastern University); Erica Seamon, PharmD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Michael Smith, MRPharmS, ND (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine); David Sollars MAc, HMC (New England School of Acupuncture); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jen Woods, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Robert Zori, MD (University of Florida), Katie Nummy, BS (Northeastern University).


DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

Baicus C, Baicus A. Spirulina did not ameliorate idiopathic chronic fatigue in four N-of-1 randomized controlled trials. Phytother Res 2007 Jun;21(6):570-3.

Hernandez-Corona A, Nieves I, Meckes M, et al. Antiviral activity of Spirulina maxima against herpes simplex virus type 2. Antiviral Res 2002;56(3):279-285.

Iwasa M, Yamamoto M, Tanaka Y, et al. Spirulina-associated hepatotoxicity. Am J Gastroenterol 2002;97(12):3212-3213.

Jensen GS, Ginsberg DI, Drapeau C. Blue-green algae as an immuno-enhancer and biomodulator. J Amer Nutraceut Assoc 2001;3(4):24-30.

Mani UV, Desai S, Iyer U. Studies on the long-term effect of spirulina supplementation on serum lipid profile and glycated proteins in NIDDM patients. J Nutraceut 2000;2(3):25-32.

Mathew B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair PP, et al. Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiformis. Nutr Cancer 1995;24(2):197-202.

Misbahuddin M, Islam AZ, Khandker S, et al. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2006;44(2):135-41.

Romay C, Armesto J, Remirez D, et al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of C-phycocyanin from blue- green algae. Inflamm Res 1998;47(1):36-41.

Samuels R, Mani UV, Iyer UM, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of spirulina in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome. J Med Food 2002;5(2):91-96.

Shih SR, Tsai KN, Li YS, et al. Inhibition of enterovirus 71-induced apoptosis by allophycocyanin isolated from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis. J Med Virol 2003;70(1):119-125.

Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Kittaka-Katsura H, et al. Characterization and bioavailability of vitamin B12-compounds from edible algae. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2002;48(5):325-331.

Yang HN, Lee EH, Kim HM. Spirulina platensis inhibits anaphylactic reaction. Life Sci 1997;61(13):1237-1244.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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