The effect of spirulina on type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Elaheh Hatami, Samira Sadat Ghalishourani, Ameneh Najafgholizadeh, Makan Pourmasoumi, Amir Hadi, Cain C.T. Clark, Mostafa Assaroudi, Ammar Salehi-sahlabadi, Farahnaz Joukar, Fariborz Mansour-Ghanaei

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of spirulina on lipid profiles and glycemic related markers in type 2 diabetes patients. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched from inception to August 2020. All clinical trials which investigated the effect of spirulina supplementation on glycemic related markers and lipid profile among type 2 diabetes patients were included. Random effects modeling was utilized for pooling analysis to compensate for the between-study heterogeneity. Results: Eight studies (9 arms) were included in the meta-analysis. We found a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose (−17.88 mg/dl; 95% CI: −26.99, −8.78; I2: 25%), triglyceride (−30.99 mg/dl; 95% CI: −45.20, −16.77; I2: 50%), total-cholesterol (−18.47 mg/dl; 95% CI: −33.54, −3.39; I2: 73%), LDL-C (−20.04 mg/dl; 95% CI: −34.06, −6.02; I2: 75%), VLDL (−6.96 mg/dl; 95% CI: −9.71, −4.22; I2: 33%), in addition to a significant increase in HDL-C (−6.96 mg/dl; 95% CI: −9.71, −4.22; I2: 33%), after spirulina administration. No significant effect was observed on HbA1C or post prandial blood sugar following spirulina consumption. Conclusion: The present study suggests that spirulina supplementation can elicit beneficial effects on fasting blood glucose and blood lipid profiles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)883-892
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders
    Issue number1
    Early online date2 Mar 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


    • Arthrospira platensis
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Meta-analysis
    • Spirulina

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Internal Medicine
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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