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Spirulina



Interactions

Spirulina/Drug Interactions:
  • ACE inhibitorsACE inhibitors: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with ACE inhibitors. Spirulina may contain beneficial constituents for the production of ACE inhibitory peptides by proteolysis (66).
  • Anti inflammatory agentsAnti inflammatory agents: Spirulina fusiformis has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in animal and laboratory study (9).
  • Anticoagulants and antiplateletsAnticoagulants and antiplatelets: C-phycocyanin is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation, which may be associated with mechanisms including the inhibition of thromboxane A2 formation, intracellular calcium mobilization, and platelet surface glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression accompanied by increasing cyclic AMP formation and platelet membrane fluidity (18).
  • Antidiabetic agentsAntidiabetic agents: Preliminary human data in type 2 diabetics found beneficial effects on lipids and fasting blood sugars after two months of oral spirulina treatment (50).
  • AntihistaminesAntihistamines: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antihistamines. Spirulina has been shown to inhibit IgE-mediated histamine release from activated mast cells in rats, preventing anaphylactic reactions after exposure with a known allergen (6).
  • Antilipemic agentsAntilipemic agents: Based on animal studies, spirulina may decrease serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels (67; 68; 19; 69). Preliminary positive results from a small number of methodologically flawed trials suggest possible efficacy in humans (50; 19).
  • Antineoplastic agentsAntineoplastic agents: Spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antineoplastic agents. In vitro and animal studies suggest that spirulina may have anti-cancer effects (12; 11; 70; 71).
  • Antiobesity agentsAntiobesity agents: In vitro study of ethanolic extracts of Spirulina maxima inhibited the synthesis/release of a cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstrictor metabolite of arachidonic acid, which is increased in obesity (31).
  • Antiviral agentsAntiviral agents: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antivirals. Polysaccharides found in Arthrospiria platensis (formerly known as Spirulina platensis) inhibited both herpes simplex virus-type 1 (HSV-1) and human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) in vitro and in animals (30; 29).
  • Cardiovascular agentsCardiovascular agents: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with ACE inhibitors. Spirulina may contain beneficial constituents for the production of ACE inhibitory peptides by proteolysis (66).
  • DoxorubicinDoxorubicin: Based on an animal study, spirulina served as a cardioprotective agent during doxorubicin treatment (23). Additionally, spirulina did not compromise the anti-tumor activity of doxorubicin and therefore may improve the therapeutic index of doxorubicin (23).
  • Drugs used for osteoporosisDrugs used for osteoporosis: Theoretically, spirulina may decrease the effectiveness of drugs used to treat osteoporosis. Spirulina decreased bone mineral density in the trabecular bone of rodents under estrogen-deficient conditions; however, the exact mechanism is unclear (65).
  • Gastrointestinal agents, miscellaneousGastrointestinal agents, miscellaneous: Spirulina maxima in the diet increased the amount of fat in the feces; reduced plasma, liver, and heart alpha-tocopherol levels; and increased liver retinoid levels at low concentrations. Spirulina platensis has been shown to stimulate the in vitro growth of lactic acid bacteria, which may explain the use of spirulina as a digestive aid (72). An animal study showed that gastric intubation with spirulina suspension for 15 days led to a decrease in the hepatic content of cytochrome P450 enzymes and an increase of glutathione S-transferase activity (46).
  • ImmunosuppressantsImmunosuppressants: There is evidence from animal study that spirulina may have an immune-enhancing effect and theoretically may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy (64).
  • Nephrotoxic agentsNephrotoxic agents: Spirulina fusiformis provided a protective effect against mercury-induced nephrotoxicity in mice (73) and has demonstrated protective effects against cyclosporine and cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats through its antioxidant properties (17; 74; 41).
  • Neurologic agentsNeurologic agents: Spirulina maxima may have a neuroprotective role as evidenced by its ability to partially prevent the dopamine-depleting effect of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and block oxidative stress in a model of Parkinson's disease (44).

Spirulina/Herb/Supplement Interactions:
  • Anti inflammatory herbsAnti inflammatory herbs: Spirulina fusiformis has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in animal and laboratory study (9).
  • Anticoagulants and antiplateletsAnticoagulants and antiplatelets: C-phycocyanin is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation, which may be associated with mechanisms including the inhibition of thromboxane A2 formation, intracellular calcium mobilization, and platelet surface glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression accompanied by increasing cyclic AMP formation and platelet membrane fluidity (18).
  • AntihistaminesAntihistamines: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antihistamines. Spirulina has been shown to inhibit IgE-mediated histamine release from activated mast cells in rats, preventing anaphylactic reactions after exposure with a known allergen (6).
  • AntilipemicsAntilipemics: Based on animal studies, spirulina may decrease serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels (67; 68; 19; 69). Preliminary positive results from a small number of methodologically flawed trials suggest possible efficacy in humans (50; 19).
  • AntineoplasticsAntineoplastics: Spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antineoplastic agents because in vitro and animal studies suggest that spirulina may have anti-cancer effects (12; 11; 70; 71).
  • Antiobesity herbs and supplementsAntiobesity herbs and supplements: In vitro study of ethanolic extracts of Spirulina maxima inhibited the synthesis/release of a cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstrictor metabolite of arachidonic acid, which is increased in obesity (31).
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants: Spirulina contains phenolic acids, tocopherols, and beta-carotene, which are known to exhibit antioxidant properties (13). Spirulina provides some antioxidant protection for both in vitro and in vivo systems (13).
  • AntiviralsAntivirals: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with antivirals. Polysaccharides found in Arthrospiria platensis (formerly known as Spirulina platensis) inhibited both herpes simplex virus-type 1 (HSV-1) and human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) in vitro and in animals (30; 29).
  • Appetite suppressantsAppetite suppressants: In vitro study of ethanolic extracts of Spirulina maxima inhibited the synthesis/release of a cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstrictor metabolite of arachidonic acid, which is increased in obesity (31).
  • CalciumCalcium: In a weight-loss study of 15 volunteers receiving 200mg of spirulina tablets for four weeks, small statistically significant increases in serum calcium were detected (53). Individuals had also been on reduced-calorie diets with unclear constituents. Concomitant use with calcium supplements may theoretically increase serum levels beyond expected results.
  • Cardiovascular herbs and supplementsCardiovascular herbs and supplements: Theoretically, spirulina may have additive effects when taken with ACE inhibitors. Spirulina may contain beneficial constituents for the production of ACE inhibitory peptides by proteolysis (66).
  • ChromiumChromium: Spirulina fusiformis has been reported to be effective in the removal of chromium (93-99%) as well as removing other toxicants from retan chrome liquor (75).
  • Gastrointestinal herbs and supplementsGastrointestinal herbs and supplements: Spirulina maxima in the diet increased the amount of fat in the feces; reduced plasma, liver, and heart alpha-tocopherol levels; and increased liver retinoid levels at low concentrations. Spirulina platensis has been shown to stimulate the in vitro growth of lactic acid bacteria, which may explain the use of spirulina as a digestive aid (72). An animal study showed that gastric intubation with spirulina suspension for 15 days led to a decrease in the hepatic content of cytochrome P450 enzymes and an increase of glutathione S-transferase activity (46).
  • HypoglycemicsHypoglycemics: Preliminary human data in type 2 diabetics found beneficial effects on lipids and fasting blood sugars after two months of oral spirulina treatment (50).
  • ImmunostimulantsImmunostimulants: Based on animal study, spirulina displayed immunostimulatory effects and when used with other immunostimulants may have additional effects (64).
  • ImmunosuppressantsImmunosuppressants: There is evidence from an animal study that spirulina may have an immune-enhancing effect and theoretically may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy (64).
  • Nephrotoxic agentsNephrotoxic agents: Spirulina fusiformis provided a protective effect against mercury-induced nephrotoxicity in mice (73) and demonstrated protective effects against cyclosporine and cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats through its antioxidant properties (17; 74; 41).
  • Neurologic herbs and supplementsNeurologic herbs and supplements: Spirulina maxima may have a neuroprotective role as evidenced by its ability to partially prevent the dopamine-depleting effect of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and block oxidative stress in a model of Parkinson's disease (44).
  • Osteoporosis herbs/supplementsOsteoporosis herbs/supplements: Spirulina decreased bone mineral density in the trabecular bone of rodents under estrogen-deficient conditions; however, the exact mechanism is unclear (65).
  • VitaminsVitamins: Spirulina may have additive effects when taken with certain vitamins, including iron, gamma-linolenic fatty acid, carotenoids, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, and vitamin e. In theory, spirulina may increase blood calcium to unsafe levels if calcium supplements are also used.

Spirulina/Food Interactions:
  • Phenylalanine-containing foodsPhenylalanine-containing foods: The phenylalanine content of blue-green algae may exacerbate the condition phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • ProteinProtein: Spirulina may increase levels of protein.

Spirulina/Lab Interactions:
  • Alkaline phosphataseAlkaline phosphatase: In a weight-loss study of 15 volunteers receiving 200mg spirulina tablets for four weeks, small statistically significant increases in alkaline phosphatase were detected (53). These individuals had also been on a reduced-calorie diet. Follow-up was not documented.
  • Blood glucoseBlood glucose: Preliminary human data in type 2 diabetics found beneficial effects on lipids and fasting blood sugars after two months of oral spirulina treatment (50).
  • Coagulation panelCoagulation panel: C-phycocyanin is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation, which may be associated with mechanisms including the inhibition of thromboxane A2 formation, intracellular calcium mobilization, and platelet surface glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression accompanied by increasing cyclic AMP formation and platelet membrane fluidity (18).
  • Lipid panelLipid panel: Based on animal studies, spirulina may decrease serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels (67; 68; 19; 69). Preliminary positive results from a small number of methodologically flawed trials suggest possible efficacy in humans (50; 19).
  • Serum calciumSerum calcium: In a weight-loss study of 15 volunteers receiving 200mg spirulina tablets for four weeks, small statistically significant increases in serum calcium were detected (53). These individuals had also been on a reduced-calorie diet with unclear constituents. Follow-up was not documented.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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