Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammation of lungs and the most commonrespiratory disorder in which the airways are reversibly narrowed. During attacks the smooth muscle cells in the bronchi constrict and the airways become inflamed and swollen. In a clinical study carried out for a period o 4 months, the long-term effect of Spirulina supplementation in patients suffering from bronchial asthma was explored by studying the pulmonary function and the level of IgE antibodies of the patients. Asthmatics received either only specific medication (bronchodilators and antiinflammatory drugs) or medication and Spirulina (1g/day). It was revealed that consumption of Spirulina significantly decreased the level of IgE antibodies while the pulmonary function was improved. These results suggest that Spirulina can be introduced along with medicine as a therapeutic and dietary supplement in the treatment of asthmatics and thus to reduce the need of drugs in the treatment of asthma.
Spirulina and Allergic Inflammation
Allergic inflammation involves the same types of mediators as other inflammatory responses but they are induced by IgE antibodies binding to mast cells. As a result the release of inflammatory agents is triggered and among these molecular mediators histamine plays a central role. On the other hand, anaphylaxis is a severe systemic allergic reaction caused by IgE-mediated release of various mediator molecules. It is already known from in vitro studies and experiments with animals that total Spirulina or Spirulina extracts as well as phycocyanin do not enhance sensitization to allergens. In contrast, administration of Spirulina for a long period of time was decreased the production of antigen specific IgE antibodies and histamine, while the inflammatory reaction to allergen exposure was also decreased. Studies (double blind with placebo) with patients with clinical history of allergic rhinitis receiving Spirulina 1-2g/day for 3-6 months have shown that the patients presented considerable decrease of interleukin-4 (it plays significant role in IgE antibodies production) produced by blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after stimulation with phytohemagglutinin. In parallel, consumption of Spirulina significantly improved the symptoms and physical findings including nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.