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Group A: medication only, Group B: medication + Spirulina, Group C: Spirulina only. ANOVA: * significant at p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. a Baseline: 2 months, significant atp < .05.

Baseline: 4 months, significant at p < .05.

other contributory factor could be the GLA which might have played a crucial role as an anti-inflammatory.

Epidemiological studies have related the prevalence of asthma to total IgE levels.51,52 Also studies have shown a relation between serum total IgE levels and impairment of lung function if symptoms suggesting asthma are present. There is also a relation reported between reduced baseline pulmonary function and likelihood that airway hyper responsiveness will be detected.53-55 This relation provides an indirect link between increase serum IgE levels and airway hyper responsiveness through impaired lung function.

In the present study the mean IgE values at baseline were 749.70 ± 1.55 IU/mL, 277.58 ± 3.89 IU/mL, and 443.51 ± 1.86 IU/mL in Group A, Group B, and Group C, respectively (Table 4.9).

A significant difference was observed at baseline between these values in the three groups of asthmatics. The higher IgE levels in Group A patients as compared to the other two groups could possibly be attributed to the longer duration of disease in them (mean 7 years) as compared to 5 years in group B and 4 years in Group C. In addition, a significant difference was observed between the three groups after a 2-month and 4-month supplementation period. In Group A (only medication) an increase in serum IgE values was observed over the 4-month period; however, this increase was nonsignificant. In Group B (medication + Spirulina) the IgE value showed a significant decrease in 2 months of Spirulina supplementation. However, when the supplements were withdrawn in the next 2 months, it increased by 29 IU/mL, though this increase was nonsignificant. In Group C (only Spirulina) patients who were on continued Spirulina supplementation for a period of 4 months the IgE value showed a significant decrease from the baseline (443.51 ± 1.86 IU/mL) value over a period of 4 months (378.59 ± 1.74 IU/mL) (Table 4.9). Thus, these findings suggest the beneficial effect of Spirulina in improving the IgE status in the Spirulina-supplemented groups as against the medication group (Group A). The decrease in the IgE levels observed in the Spirulina-supplemented group can possibly be explained through the effect of GLA on prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) formation. GLA gets converted to dihommogammalinolenic acid (DGLA), which takes a preferential pathway to synthesize prostanoids of 1, 3 series, which are anti-inflammatory in nature. Further, increase in DGLA, allows it to act as a competitive inhibitor of the proinflammatory 2-series PGs (PG2) and 4-series LTs (LT4).

There is evidence that PGE2 can modulate the cytokines by T-lymphocytes. The formation of IgE by B-lymphocytes in turn is influenced by cytokines produced by T-helper (CD4+) lymphocytes. Interleukin-4 (IL4) acts to commit B-cells to the synthesis of IgE, whereas interferon y (IFN-y) inhibits the formation of IgE.56'57 A low concentration of PGE2 inhibits the formation of IFN-y although it has no effect on production of IL4.58'59 By inhibiting the formation of IFN-y but not IL4, PGE2 will increase the formation of IgE. There is also evidence that PGE2 can directly act on j -cells to stimulate the formation of IgE. Roper and coworkers60 have reported that PGE2 promotes the action of IL4 to increase the number of lymphocytes producing IgE.

Thus, it can be postulated that Spirulina, which is a rich source of GLA would have possibly led to decrease in the proinflammatory PGE2 production, which in turn would have led to a decrease of IgE in the Spirulina-supplemented groups. Further, withdrawal of supplements in Group B could possibly have led to an increase in PGE2 formation, which in turn could have led to an increase in the IgE levels.

Conclusions

Thus, from the positive results obtained in protein status, pulmonary function, and IgE status in supplemented groups it can be concluded that Spirulina can be introduced along with medicine as a therapeutic and dietary supplement in the treatment of asthmatics, and in the long run this may not only help to control asthma but also reduce the need of drugs in its treatment.

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Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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