Therapeutic Utility Of Spirulina In Nephrotic Syndrome

Introduction

Nephrotic syndrome is defined as a clinical condition in which >3.5 g/1.73 m2/day of proteins are excreted in the urine. The defects in the change or size of selective barriers of the glomerular capillary wall that underline the excessive filtration of plasma proteins can arise as a consequence of a variety of diseases processes, including immunological disorders, toxic injuries, metabolic abnormalities, biochemical defects, and vascular disorders. Thus, nephrotic syndrome is a common end point of a variety of disease processes that alter the permeability of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) or glomerular capillary wall. Proteinuria is the hallmark of the nephrotic state. The other important characteristics of nephrotic syndrome are hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, and edema.

Spirulina, which has a balanced amino acid profile, fatty acid profile, vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, rich source of GLA, and hypocholesterolemic effect, prompted us to supplement it to patients suffering from nephrotic syndrome and to study its therapeutic effect and anti-inflammatory effect on these patients.

Methodology

The study was designed to see the efficacy of Spirulina supplementation for a period of 4 months in nephrotic patients. Patients suffering from nephrotic syndrome were enrolled from the Special Paediatric Nephrotic Clinic of Shri Sayajirao General Hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat, India with the consent of the consulting physician as well as parents of the patients. The enrolled patients were divided into two groups; experimental (n = 30) and control (n = 30). The nephrotic patients in the control and experimental group were matched for age, gender, and severity of disease to ascertain the improvements witnessed in these patients after Spirulina therapy in comparison to the patients in the control group. Patients in the control group were treated only with medication and were studied for a period of 4 months. Patients in the experimental group were supplemented with 1 g/day Spirulina tablets for 4 months. The patients were asked to take one tablet (500 g each) along with lunch and one tablet (500 g each) with dinner.

Results and Discussion

The results of the study are as follows:

The clinical profile of all the nephrotic patients supplemented with Spirulina for 4 months is depicted in Table 4.10. There was no significant change registered in BMI, WC, and WHR after 4 months of supplementation.

Hypoproteinaemia is a clinical manifestation of nephrotic syndrome.61 In the current study also the patients exhibited hypoproteinaemia at baseline. An improvement in the levels of total protein was seen after supplementation of Spirulina. This

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