Spirulina may be beneficial for NAFLD Original paper

In this 8-week randomized controlled trial in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, spirulina reduced fatty liver severity. Spirulina also resulted in reductions in markers of liver health, body weight, and triglycerides.

This Study Summary was published on April 4, 2022.

Background

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is frequently taken as a dietary supplement. A few studies have found that spirulina may be beneficial for people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),[1][2] but these studies were preliminary; furthermore, it is not clear what effect spirulina has on actual liver fat levels in this population.

The study

In this 8-week randomized controlled trial, 46 people (mean age of 37) with NAFLD were randomly assigned to consume a sauce with 2 grams of spirulina or a placebo sauce with a similar taste and appearance.

The primary outcome was change in fatty liver severity (on a scale of 1 to 3), assessed using ultrasound. The secondary outcomes included anthropometrics, blood pressure, blood lipids (e.g., LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides), HOMA-IR (a marker of insulin resistance), QUICKI (another marker of insulin resistance), malondialdehyde (MDA; a marker of oxidative stress), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and markers of liver function, namely, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP).

The results

Fatty liver severity decreased in the spirulina group compared with the placebo group. There was also a decrease in body weight as well levels of ALT, AST, triglycerides, HOMA-IR, and MDA and an increase in TAC in the spirulina group compared with the placebo group.

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This Study Summary was published on April 4, 2022.

References

  1. ^Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Torres-Duran PV, Juarez-Oropeza MAHepatoprotective effects of Spirulina maxima in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a case seriesJ Med Case Rep.(2010 Apr 7)
  2. ^Elias E Mazokopakis, Maria G Papadomanolaki, Andreas A Fousteris, Dimitrios A Kotsiris, Ioannis M Lampadakis, Emmanuel S GanotakisThe hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic effects of Spirulina ( Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a prospective pilot studyAnn Gastroenterol.(2014)