The hypolipidaemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population: a prospective study

J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Feb;94(3):432-7. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6261. Epub 2013 Jul 10.


Background: Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a filamentous cyanobacterium used as a food supplement. The objective of the study was to determine the lipid-lowering effects of Spirulina in Cretan Greek dyslipidaemic patients, and to document its effectiveness as a possible alternative treatment for dyslipidaemia. Fifty-two adultCretan outpatients (32 men, 20 women), median age 47 (range, 37-61) years, with recently diagnosed dyslipidaemia, consumed orally 1 g Spirulina (Greek production) per day for 12 weeks. The full lipid profile was measured in fasting blood samples at the beginning and end of the study period. Anthropometric measurements including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index were also recorded.

Results: At the end of the 3-month intervention period the mean levels of triglycerides, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, total cholesterol, non-high density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels, and the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoproteincholesterol were significantly decreased: 16.3% (P < 0.0001), 10.1% (P < 0.0001), 8.9% (P < 0.0001), 10.8% (P < 0.0001) and 11.5% (P = 0.0006) respectively, whereas the mean high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels were not significantly increased (3.5%). Blood pressure, weight and body mass index remained almost unchanged.

Conclusions: Spirulina supplementation at a dose of 1 g daily has powerful hypolipidaemic effects, especially on the triglyceride concentration in dyslipidaemic Cretan outpatients.

Keywords: Arthrospira platensis; Spirulina; food supplement; hyperlipidaemia; lipids.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spirulina*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Plant Preparations
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol