Effect of Spirulina maxima on postprandial lipemia in young runners: a preliminary report

J Med Food. 2012 Aug;15(8):753-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.0309. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Trained people exhibit low plasma concentrations of triacylglcyerols in both fasting and postprandial states. Exercise practice is commonly believed to improve postprandial lipemia. In addition, elevated postprandial lipemia is an indicator of poor lipid clearance, and it has been associated with atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, and obesity. Spirulina maxima is an edible microorganism with a high nutritional value. When it is consumed, beneficial properties to health have been demonstrated, such as hypolipemic and antihypertensive properties in human beings. This work evaluates the effects of orally administrated S. maxima on postprandial lipemia in a young Mexican sporting population after 15 days of consumption, as a possible alternative treatment to improve their lipid clearance. Forty-one runners (10-26 years old; 21 men and 20 women) volunteered to participate in the study. All of them were physically active for at least 1 year before the study and were not undergoing training during the study. The subjects consumed 5 g of Spirulina during 15 days. Before and after the treatment with Spirulina, they consumed (12 h fasting) a standardized meal with high fat content (53.2% total calories). Postprandial lipemia was measured at 1.5, 3, and 4.5 h after the fatty meal. Fasting plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) concentrations were lower after Spirulina treatment than before treatment. In addition, the postprandial area under the curve of TAG concentrations was lower after the treatment with Spirulina. Sixty-two percent of the youngest runners (10-16 years) studied exhibited the best response to the treatment. Orally administered S. maxima decreased postprandial lipemia in sporting teenagers. The youngest people were the most responsive to the beneficial effects of Spirulina on postprandial lipemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Athletes
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects*
  • Spirulina / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents