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J Med Food. 2002 Summer;5(2):91-6.

Hypocholesterolemic effect of spirulina in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, M S University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.


In nephrotic syndrome, large amounts of plasma proteins are lost in urine, causing a decrease in the plasma oncotic pressure. This leads to enhanced hepatic synthesis of albumin and other proteins, including lipoproteins, causing a secondary hyperlipidemia. Essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) can prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the body, and spirulina has an appreciable amount of GLA. In this study 23 patients (age 2 to 13 years) with nephrotic syndrome received either medication (group I) or medication plus 1 g/day Spirulina (group II). Height, weight, and serum levels of fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), and low- and high-density cholesterol fractions (LDL-C and HDL-C, respectively) were measured before and after the 2-month study period. Mean height and weight were normal compared with healthy, age-matched Indian children. Lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly increased at baseline. TC significantly decreased by 116.33 mg/dl, LDL-C by 94.14 mg/dl, and triglycerides by 67.72 mg/dl in group II; in control group I, these values fell by 69.87, 61.13, and 22.62 mg/dl, respectively. The LDL-C:HDL-C ratio also decreased significantly, by 1.66 in group II and 1.13 in group I. TC:HDL-C decreased by 1.96 in group II and 1.19 in group I. HDL-C:LDL-C also improved significantly in both the groups. It can be concluded that spray-dried Spirulina capsules, rich in antioxidants, GLA, amino acids, and fatty acids, helped reduce the increased levels of lipids in patients with hyperlipidemic nephrotic syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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