Chronic toxicity testing is performed to assess the cumulative toxicity of chemicals, often including a consideration of the carcinogenic potential of chemical.36 Chronic toxicity studies involve repeated administrations over the entire life-span of the test animals or at least a major fraction thereof.46
For this study Spirulina was included in the feed at the same concentrations as in the subchronic study. Animals were fed for 84 weeks, during which time the effect on the weight gain was observed and analysis of hematology and serum chemistry were made. Kidney function testing over the different administration stages were examined to determine the ability of this organ to produce concentrated urine.59 After killing the animals, different organs were weighed and a histopathology study was performed. The survival of animals treated with the alga was equal or slightly higher than that of soy fed controls. This excludes, therefore, the possibility that Spirulina contains any toxic agents that would interfere with the normal physiological or biochemical processes in the long run. There were no obvious intergroup differences in macroscopic or histopathological findings, as would be expected in older animals65 (Table 2.2).
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