Cholesterol-Regulatory and Hypolipidemic Properties of Super Spirulina
A large number of experimental and epidemiological data have shown the connection between the incidence of cardiovascular disease and a patients diet rich in fats and cholesterol. It is thus important to emphasize that consumption of Spirulina as a dietary supplement may contribute, in part at least, to an overall strategy to manage this serious health problem. A number of human clinical trials have been performed to evaluate the hypolipidemic activity of Spirulina including healthy volunteers and patients with ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes and nephrotic syndrome, and elderly subjects. Consumption of about 1-8 g Spirulina/day for 4-16 weeks have shown significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol and total lipids, free fatty acids and triglycerides level as well as reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Patients with ischemic disease, and diabetes have shown also increased levels of HDL and a decrease of the LDL/HDL ratio. Moreover, investigations with animal models have shown also that spirulina intake can cause the reduction of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis, associated with a decrease in levels of serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol and an elevation of HDLcholesterol. Thus, spirulina may be beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis and reducing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Spirulina has shown also therapeutic effects in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as evidenced by ultrasonography and aminotransferase data, accompanied by hypolipidemic action and protective effects on hyperlipidemia and oxidative-stress induced by a toxic metal in animal liver and kidney.