Potential combo: Spirulina supplement with resistance training could prevent obesity, trigger weight loss in men
In the study titled “The Combinatory Effect of Spirulina Supplementation and Resistance Exercise on Plasma Contents of Adipolin, Apelin, Ghrelin, and Glucose in Overweight and Obese Men”, scientists analysed plasma levels of biochemical compounds adipolin, apelin, ghrelin and glucose in 60 overweight and obese men over eight weeks.
The subjects were tested using a single-blind, quasi-experimental design with the spirulina supplement or a placebo capsule. The spirulina was supplied to subjects in 500mg pills twice daily, whereas the placebo group consumed 500mg of starch.
For the circuit resistance training, subjects were instructed to exercise in three 80- to 90-minute sessions weekly. These include knee extensions, bench presses, deadlifts, and hamstring and arm curls.
“Given the high prevalence of obesity and its detrimental consequences on human health, nutritional diets and physical activities have been recently postulated as effective weight management interventions. Resistance training is an effective strategy for losing weight and improving obesity-related disorders.
“Lately, herbal supplements have been used as a strategy in weight management. Spirulina is a species of microalgae that contains minerals, vitamins such as B12, protein A (β-carotene), phenolic acids, γ-linoleic acid and tocopherol. The herb is found to lower fatty liver, chances of cardiovascular disease, and serum lipid levels in diabetic and obese patients.
“To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no studies have examined the effectiveness of circuit resistance training and spirulina as measures to treat inflammatory factors in overweight and obese men,” said the researchers.
The scientists found significant differences in the adipolin and ghrelin levels, as well as the weight between the groups. However, there was no difference for apelin.
Discrepancies could be due to several factors, such as duration and intensity of the training periods, protocols, and subject race and gender. Nonetheless, the present study showed that the body weight of the exercising groups was significantly reduced.
Complementing the benefits of resistance training, spirulina supplementation could exhibit an antioxidant role and restore equilibrium to obesity-induced oxidative stress. It is also an influential factor in lipid metabolism and casts a more substantial impact when coupled with resistance training than the impact of exercise alone.
Based on the findings of this study, spirulina supplementation is effective on body composition and physical fitness factors of overweight and obese people. It contributes to a reduction in visceral fat and the prevention of liver fat accumulation.
“Further research is required to confirm the results of this research. Besides, since the subjects were human, the role of diet control in achieving different outcomes should not be overlooked.
“The results of this study faced limitations, such as the length of the training period. The researchers tried to control the participants’ diet and avoid regular exercise other than the study exercise program. Nonetheless, it is hardly possible to accurately control these cases in humans,” the team concluded.
Source: Mediators of Inflammation
“The Combinatory Effect of Spirulina Supplementation and Resistance Exercise on Plasma Contents of Adipolin, Apelin, Ghrelin, and Glucose in Overweight and Obese Men”
Authors: Malekaneh Mohammad et al.