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J Appl Phycol. 2012 Jun;24(3):575-582. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Dietary algae and HIV/AIDS: proof of concept clinical data.

Abstract

Dietary algae have been reported to decrease HIV viral fusion/entry and replication and increase immune response, suggesting that regular consumption of algae by people in Japan, Korea, and Chad could be an important factor in their relatively low HIV/AIDS rates. Five antiretroviral-naïve people with HIV (three females, two males; five African Americans) living in Columbia SC participated in the phase I study of acute toxicity. Subjects were randomly assigned to 5 g day(-1) brown seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida), Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), or a combination of both. Endpoints included HIV viral load, complete blood count (CBC), metabolic and lipid panel, and quality of life questionnaire data. When no short-term toxicities were observed, six additional subjects (four females, two males; five African Americans, one Latina) were recruited to further evaluate short- and long-term toxicities (phase II). No adverse effects were observed for the 11 subjects in the phase I trial, and quality of life indicators improved at 3 weeks. No significant changes were observed in CBC, metabolic or lipid panel analyses. CD4 cells (milliliters) and HIV-1 viral load remained stable over the first 3-month phase II study period. One subject continued in the study for 13 months and had clinically significant improvement in CD4 (>100 cells mL(-1)) and decreased HIV viral load of 0.5 log(10). Our pilot data suggest that Undaria, Spirulina, and a combination of both were nontoxic and over time may improve clinical endpoints of HIV/AIDS.

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