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Short-term (5 days) and long-term (5 days/week, for 10 weeks) feeding of Spirulina, was followed by mating with untreated adult virgin females. Examination of uteri and ovaries of pregnant females at 12-14 days of gestation tp count preimplantation losses and nonliving implants failed and reveal dominant lethal effects.

Rats Spirulina given to males 5 days/week for 10 weeks, 81

followed by mating with untreated virgin females during two weeks, failed to reveal germinal mutations of the dominant-lethal type.

Rats Spirulina incorporated into the experimental diet did not 82

show germinal mutations, as shown by a dominant lethal test on males and females. No significant alterations were observed in semen counts, motility, and shape of sperm. Sex organ weights failed to reveal any alteration. Ames Bacteria Negative results were reported in mutagenicity test with 64

five strains of Salmonella typhimurium and Schizosaccharomyces pombe performed on urines of animals fed Spirulina for 4 months.

* Unless otherwise specified, Spirulina was added to the diet at 10, 20, and 30% concentrations, using the corresponding controls.

of development, to be expressed through weekly mating, or of the potential damage induced in germ cells at various stages of development, to be expressed during the first week of mating, respectively. However, this test does not allow for the detection of the most sensitive stage.79 In both cases, Spirulina showed no damage in germ cells.80-82

Human Studies

Since extrapolating data from animals to humans poses some problems because of the differences between the animal and human species, not to mention the individual variations in the same strain, human studies are also conducted to determine the toxicities of different chemicals.55

So far, no systematic studies on clinical toxicology with Spirulina in humans have been found in the literature. There are only some isolated reports stating that people have lived solely on other forms algae for long periods of time, developing no negative symptoms whatsoever. Other studies report discomfort, vomiting, nausea, and poor digestibility of even small amounts of algae.54 Some of these reports include studies conducted with Chlorella, Scenedesmus acutus83 and Scenedesmus obliquus. It should be noted that for centuries Spirulina has been consumed and no significant adverse effect has ever been reported. This, of course, is not a scientific evidence for ruling out toxic effects, although it is an important consideration in relation to Spirulina, as it has been with the milenial use, of some plants and products occurring naturally.

However, toxicity studies have been indirectly conducted on humans with Spirulina such as in the study by Sautier and Tremolieres85 in which this alga was given to undernourished humans as 50% of protein, leading to the conclusion that small doses, even for long periods of time, should be tolerable to normal subjects.

On the other hand, Becker86 studied the effects of Spirulina on obesity by giving the alga at 2.8 g doses, three times a day for 4 weeks, resulting in statistically significant body weight loss in obese patients. No adverse effects were observed from clinical or biochemical parameters and no side effects were seen.

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