Spirulina maxima Decreases Endothelial Damage and Oxidative Stress Indicators in Patients with Systemic Arterial Hypertension: Results from Exploratory Controlled Clinical Trial

Mar Drugs. 2018 Dec 8;16(12):496. doi: 10.3390/md16120496.


(1) Background: Spirulina (Arthrospira) maxima has shown beneficial effects such as being anti-dyslipidemic, antiviral, antioxidant and antihypertensive. However, there are few and limited clinical studies. (2) Methods: a prospective, randomized, parallel pilot study of 4.5 g administration of Spirulina maxima or placebo for 12 weeks in 16 patients with systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) undergoing treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors was performed to assess the effects on endothelial damage and oxidative stress indicators. The blood levels of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, endothelin-1, and sE-selectin were quantified; the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and concentrations of reduced glutathione, oxidized glutathione, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, were also quantified before and after the treatment period. (3) Results: There were statistically significant (p < 0.05) decreases in systolic blood pressure, sVCAM-1, sE-selectin and endothelin-1 levels, and increases in glutathione peroxidase activity and oxidized glutathione levels. (4) Conclusion: The effects found in the present study agree with antihypertensive and antioxidant effects previously reported for Spirulina maxima. However, this is the first report about the effects on indicators of endothelial damage. More research in this field is necessary to gain an insight into the effects of Spirulina on these indicators.

Keywords: Arthrospira maxima; antioxidant; cardiovascular; nutraceutical; systolic blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • E-Selectin / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spirulina / chemistry*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antioxidants
  • E-Selectin
  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • SELE protein, human
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1