Background: Chlorella vulgaris (C. vulgaris) is reported to improve dyslipidemia and hypertension; however, its effect on inflammatory biomarkers and insulin resistance has not been noticed thus far. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a hepatic symptom of metabolic syndrome is strongly associated with insulin resistance and inflammation.
Aim of the study: In the current interventional trial, we aimed to study the effects of C. vulgaris supplementation on glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with NAFLD.
Methods: Seventy NAFLD patients confirmed by ultra-sonographic findings were randomly assigned into intervention group (four 300 mg tablets of C. vulgaris) or placebo group (four 300 mg tablets of placebos) for 8 weeks. Anthropometric measurements, liver enzymes, fasting serum glucose (FSG), insulin, high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were assessed and homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) score for insulin resistance was estimated before and after the intervention.
Results: Anthropometric measurements decreased significantly in both group (p < 0.001). However, mean reduction in weight was significantly higher in C. vulgaris - treated group compared to placebo group. Serum concentrations of liver enzymes, FSG and hs-CRP also significantly decreased and serum insulin concentration and HOMA score increased significantly only in C. vulgaris-treated group (P < 0.001, P < 0.006 and P < 0.025, respectively). Mean change in serum glucose and TNF-α levels were significant between the groups even after adjusting for the serum insulin and baseline values of variables (P = 0.014, P = 0.005, P = 0.014, respectively); between-group differences were not significant for the other variables by the end of study.
Conclusion: To our finding, C. vulgaris supplementation could be considered as an adjunctive therapy to decrease weight and improve glycemic status and reducing hs-CRP as well as improving liver function in patients with NAFLD.
Irct number: 201202233320N7.
Keywords: Chlorella vulgaris; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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