Table 415

Effect of Spirulina Supplementation on Blood Hemoglobin Levels of Anemic Adolescent Girls (Mean ± SD)

Hemoglobin (g/dL)


Spirulina incorporated in parathas Spirulina incorporated as a syrup


After 1 month of supplementation

in the Spirulina-supplemented parathas served to anemic adolescent girls, while in sugar syrup there was virtual absence of inhibitors.

The supplementation was carried out in between the meals, that is, between the breakfast and lunch. Therefore, this increase of hemoglobin levels can be attributed solely to iron content of Spirulina. Also care was taken to see that the dietary pattern of the girls did not change during the period of supplementation. Therefore, the supplementation of Spirulina, which contains a highly available form of iron, has led to the significant increase in hemoglobin levels in anemic adolescent girls. Although not many detailed studies are available regarding the effect of Spirulina supplementation on hemoglobin levels in anemic subjects, few pilot studies reported correlates the present findings. A study carried out in Japan on women having hypochromic anemia, were treated with 4 g Spirulina for 30 days. Their average blood hemoglobin content increased by 21% from 10.9 to 13.3 mg%.78 In another study dietary supplementation of Spirulina fusiforms at 2 g/day over a period of 36 days showed 10% increase in hemoglobin content.79

Thus, it is clear from this study, that supplementation of 5 g of spray-dried Spirulina powder to anemic adolescent girls for a period of 30 days had a significant effect on iron metabolism, as is evident by the improved hemoglobin levels, and can be effectively used to combat iron-deficiency anemia, which is widely prevalent in the world.

Study II: Preschool Children

The major objective of the second study was to assess the effect of Spirulina supplementation on hemoglobin levels of preschool children (3-6 years) in urban slums of Vadodara.

The study was carried out in five anganwadis, two of which were selected as the experimental group and three as the control group. A total of 163 children (3-6 years) were selected, out of which 83 formed the experimental group and 80 formed the control group. Out of the total 163 subjects, 18 subjects from the experimental and 12 from the control group dropped out of the study. The subjects of the experimental group (n = 65) received daily 1 g spray-dried Spirulina supplementation for a period of 50 days and the control group received no supplementation.

Spirulina was supplemented for a period of 50 days to the subjects of the experimental group through door-to-door visits on a daily basis by an investigator. One gram spray dried Spirulina supplement was administered in 15-mL sugar syrup to the subjects by the investigator.

Table 4.16 shows the mean nutrient intake of the subjects by the control and experimental groups. There was no significant difference in the intake of any of the nutrients by the subjects in the two groups. In both the groups the subjects did not

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