The primary purpose of a subchronic study as part of the toxicological appraisal of a xenobiotic is the characterization of its physiological impact following repeated administrations over a significant fraction (10%) of the life span of the test species.62 Subchronic toxicity studies on Spirulina have been conducted by some researchers. There have been some differences, mainly in preparing the feeds given to the animals, the administration time, and the type of analysis conducted. In studies conducted in our laboratory, the consumption of food and water and the weight gain were measured. Hemoglobin concentration, total red blood cell counts, packed cell volume, and total and differential leukocyte counts were analyzed. The biochemical analysis determined the concentrations of asparte-aminotransferase, glucose, urea nitrogen, cholesterol, and proteins. At the end of the study animals were humanely killed and the brain, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, gonads, and seminal vesicles were weighed. Samples of these organs, stomach, and duodenum were fixed and microscopically examined for morphological effects that may have correlated with other changes seen in vivo or in clinical pathology. As summarized in Table 2.2 Spirulina, even at very high concentrations, produced no adverse effects, which coincides with the findings of other authors.40,63,64
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Many women who have recently given birth are always interested in attempting to lose some of that extra weight that traditionally accompanies having a baby. What many of these women do not entirely realize is the fact that breast-feeding can not only help provide the baby with essential vitamins and nutrients, but can also help in the weight-loss process.