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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2008 Dec;56(6):425-31. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2008.08.004. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

[The effect of spiruline during nutritional rehabilitation: systematic review].

[Article in French]

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Pédiatrie A, hôpital National de Niamey, BP 238, Niamey, Niger.



To evaluate the impact of spiruline on nutritional rehabilitation.


Systematic search in medical and scientific databases (Medline, Cochrane, Embase) and other specific databases (PhD theses, reports...).


We selected studies in which spiruline was used as supplementation in malnourished patients, irrespective of the form and dose of spiruline and in controlled trials or not. Two persons made the selection separately. Nutritional status was estimated by anthropometric and biological measures.


Thirty-one references were identified and seven studies were retained for this review; three randomized controlled and four non-controlled trials. Spiruline had a positive impact on weight in all studies. In non-controlled trials, the other parameters: arm circumference, height, albumin, prealbumin, protein and hemoglobin improved after spiruline supplementation. For these studies, methodology was the main drawback. None of the studies retained for analysis were double-blinded clinical trials and all involved small samples. Four of them did not have a control group for comparison.


The impact of spiruline was positive for most of the considered variables. However, the studies taken into account in this review are of poor-methodological quality. A randomized, a large-sized double-blind controlled clinical trial with a longer follow-up should be conducted to improve current knowledge on the potential impact of spiruline on nutritional rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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