Selmi C, et al. The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 Jan 31.
This study enrolled 40 volunteers, aged 50 years or older, who had been diagnosed with anemia within the previous 12 months. Participants took a Spirulina supplement and completed a nutritional questionnaire for 12 weeks. Complete cell count (CCC) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity were measured at baseline and weeks 6 and 12. Over the 12-week study period, there was a steady increase in average values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) in the subjects of both genders who completed the study (n=30). The increases in MCH, mean corpuscular hemoglobin volume, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were found to be statistically significant (p<0.05) for male participants. Over 50% of subjects also achieved increased IDO activity and WBC count at 6 and 12 weeks of Spirulina supplementation. No significant changes in dietary intake were found to have occurred during the study period. The investigators concluded that spirulina may improve anemia and immunosenescence in older subjects. However larger, randomized clinical trials are necessary to confirm these benefits.
Kalafati M, et a;. Ergogenic and antioxidant effects of spirulina supplementation in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jan;42(1):142-51.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced crossover study enrolled moderately conditioned male subjects (n=9) to investigate the effect of spirulina on exercise performance, substrate metabolism, and blood redox status at rest and after exercise. After taking a spirulina supplement daily for 4 weeks, each subject ran on a treadmill at an intensity corresponding to 70-75% of their V02 max for 2 hours, and then at 95% VO2 max until exhaustion. Blood samples were drawn at baseline, immediately after, and at 1, 24, and 48 hours post-exercise. Time to fatigue following the 2 hour run was found to be significantly longer after spirulina supplementation compared to placebo (2.05 + 0.68 vs 2.70 + 0.79 min; p=0.048). During the 2 hour run, spirulina supplementation also decreased carbohydrate oxidation rate by 10.3% (p=0.008) and increased fat oxidation rate by 10.9% (p=0.003), as compared to placebo (p<0.05). Reduced glutathione levels were also significantly higher after spirulina supplementation than after placebo, at rest and 24 hours after exercise (p=0.049). Spirulina supplementation significantly increased exercise performance, fat oxidation, and GSH concentration and reduced exercise-induced lipid peroxidation.
Lee EH. et al. A randomized study to establish the effects of spirulina in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutr Res Pract. 2008 Winter;2(4):295-300.
This randomized, placebo-controlled study enrolled 37 Korean patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients received spirulina or placebo for 12 weeks. Spirulina supplementation for 12 weeks was found to significantly lower plasma triglyceride (TG) (p<0.05) and malondialdehyde levels (p<0.05), and also showed a tendency to increase plasma adiponectin levels (p<0.1). The lipid lowering effect of spirulina supplementation differed according to the subject serum levels prior to intervention. Subjects with higher initial TG levels had a greater reduction in plasma TG levels and blood pressure. Subjects with higher initial total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels had a greater reduction in these values, as well as in IL-6 and blood pressure. These results provide evidence that spirulina has a beneficial effect on blood lipid profiles, inflammatory variables, and antioxidant capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Cingi C, et al. The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;265(10):1219-23.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled-study, evaluated the effectiveness and tolerability of spirulina in the treatment of patients with a history of allergic rhinitis (n=150). Of the patients who completed the study (n=129), patients received either spirulina tablets (n=85) or placebo (n=44). Symptoms (nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching) were assessed and scored on a four point scale at baseline and at study end. Patients also used a four point scale to grade the severity of their own symptoms. Satisfaction and symptom relief were also graded on a ten point scale by the patients. Spirulina supplementation was found to significantly improve allergic rhinitis symptoms compared to placebo (p<0.001). Patient diaries also revealed a statistically significant difference in effectiveness (p<0.001) and satisfaction (p<0.001) for spirulina compared to placebo. The investigators concluded that spirulina is clinically effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, but further studies should be performed to confirm such effects.