Percent Prevalence of Anemia among the Subjects: Based on Hb Levels
Hemoglobin levels n = 133 >11 g/dL
Before supplementation 30.83 (41)
After supplementation 43.61 (58) 10-10.99 g/dL
Before supplementation 26.31 (35)
After supplementation 29.32 (39) 7-9.99 g/dL
Before supplementation 42.11 (56)
After supplementation 27.07 (36) <7 g/dL
Before supplementation 0.75 (1) After supplementation —
Experimental Control n = 65 n = 68
Values in parenthesis indicates number of subjects.
group. Of the subjects who received the Spirulina supplementation, the maximum rise in hemoglobin levels was seen in those who were anemic to begin with. The initially anemic in the control group, on the other hand, showed a significant drop in their mean hemoglobin levels by 0.21 g/dL.
It was interesting to note that the drop in hemoglobin levels seen in the initially anemic subjects was not as much as that seen in normal subjects of the control group, two compensatory processes, one of increased absorption and the other of accelerated erythropoiesis in deficiency may together have resulted in this finding.
Although many detailed studies are not available in literature regarding the effect of Spirulina supplementation on hemoglobin levels in humans, a few pilot studies done, corroborate the findings of the present study.80 A study conducted in India using dietary supplementation of Spirulina fusiforms at 2 g/day on 20 subjects over a period of 36 days showed a 10% increase in hemoglobin concentration.79 As stated earlier, a study conducted in Japan on 8 women having hypochromic anemia, assessed the effect of 4 g Spirulina supplementation for 30 days on hemoglobin levels. The average blood hemoglobin content increased by 21%, that is, from 10.9 to 13.3/dL.78
Supplementation of Spirulina, which brought about a rise in the hemoglobin levels of the experimental group, led to a drop in the percent prevalence of anemia in the subjects of experimental group (Table 4.18). While initially 70.8% of the subjects in experimental group were anemic, after the intervention period this had dropped to 41.5%. The percent prevalence of anemia in the control group increased from 67.7% to 70.6% by the end of the study. Initially, a larger proportion (46.2%) of the subjects in the experimental group was moderately anemic and 24.6% were mildly anemic.
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