Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiformis.
AuthorsMathew B, et al. Show all Journal
Nutr Cancer. 1995;24(2):197-202.
Regional Cancer Centre, Medical College Campus, Kerala, India.
The blue-green microalgae Spirulina, used in daily diets of natives in Africa and America, have been found to be a rich natural source of proteins, carotenoids, and other micronutrients. Experimental studies in animal models have demonstrated an inhibitory effect of Spirulina algae on oral carcinogenesis. Studies among preschool children in India have demonstrated Spirulina fusiformis (SF) to be an effective source of dietary vitamin A. We evaluated the chemopreventive activity of SF (1 g/day for 12 mos) in reversing oral leukoplakia in pan tobacco chewers in Kerala, India. Complete regression of lesions was observed in 20 of 44 (45%) evaluable subjects supplemented with SF, as opposed to 3 of 43 (7%) in the placebo arm (p < 0.0001). When stratified by type of leukoplakia, the response was more pronounced in homogeneous lesions: complete regression was seen in 16 of 28 (57%) subjects with homogeneous leukoplakia, 2 of 8 with erythroplakia, 2 of 4 with verrucous leukoplakia, and 0 of 4 with ulcerated and nodular lesions. Within one year of discontinuing supplements, 9 of 20 (45%) complete responders with SF developed recurrent lesions. Supplementation with SF did not result in increased serum concentration of retinol or beta-carotene, nor was it associated with toxicity. This is the first human study evaluating the chemopreventive potential of SF. More studies in different settings and different populations are needed for further evaluation.
Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects by Immulina®, a Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins.
AuthorsNielsen CH, et al. Show all Journal
Planta Med. 2010 Nov;76(16):1802-8. Epub 2010 Jun 17.
Institute for Inflammation Research, Rigshospitalet National University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Immulina®, a commercial extract of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis is a potent activator of THP-1 monocytes and CD4+ T cells IN VITRO and enhances several immunological functions in mice. We further characterized Immulina® by determining that Braun-type lipoproteins are responsible for a major portion of the IN VITRO monocyte activation exhibited by this material. In order to understand the effect of Immulina® on NK cell activity, a pilot study was conducted on ten healthy North American individuals who supplemented their diet with Immulina® (400 mg/day) for seven days. We observed a 40% average increase in the killing of K562 tumor cells by NK cells (p < 0.01) after Immulina® supplementation. In a separate placebo-controlled, crossover study involving 11 healthy Danish subjects, we observed increased mRNA expression of the NK cell marker NKG2D by 37% (p = 0.02) and by 55% (p = 0.0003) after administration of Immulina® (200 mg and 400 mg per day, respectively) for seven days. The mRNA expression of the NK- and T-cell marker perforin increased by 75% (p = 0.008) after administration of 400 mg Immulina® per day. Both markers displayed significant dose-dependent effects (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.02, respectively). The ratio between CD56 (bright) and CD56 (dim) NK cells was not affected by Immulina® administration. In summary, two independent studies showed enhancement of NK cell activity following administration of Immulina® for seven days.
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