Spirulina maxima improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and total antioxidant status in obese patients with well-treated hypertension: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 May;21(10):2473-2481.


Objective: Spirulina maxima consumption is known to be associated with enhanced cardiovascular and metabolic health. Human studies on this topic have recently been described in a few papers; however, potential protective cardiovascular properties of Spirulina in obese patients receiving standard pharmacological antihypertensive treatment remain to be elucidated. Putative beneficial cardiovascular effects of Spirulina supplementation in well treated, obesity-related hypertension were studied in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Patients and methods: Total 50 obese subjects with treated hypertension, each randomized to receive 2 g of Spirulina or a placebo daily, for three months. At baseline and after treatment anthropometric parameters, plasma lipid levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress biomarkers along with insulin sensitivity estimated by euglycemic clamp were assessed.

Results: After three months of Spirulina supplementation significant decrease in body mass (p < 0.001), body mass index (BMI; p < 0.001) and waist circumference (WC; p = 0.002) were observed in Spirulina group. Spirulina had also significant, lowering effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; p < 0.001) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentration (p = 0.002) in supplemented patients compared to placebo group. Spirulina supplementation considerably improved total antioxidant status (TAS; p = 0.001) and insulin sensitivity ratio (M; p < 0.001) in Spirulina group compared to placebo-treated individuals.

Conclusions: The favorable influence of Spirulina supplementation on insulin sensitivity, plasma lipid levels along with inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers reported in this study creates the promise for new therapeutic approaches in obese patients with well-treated hypertension.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Spirulina*


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipids
  • Plant Preparations