Dietary algae and HIV/AIDS: Proof of concept clinical data

Journal of Applied Phycology (Impact Factor: 2.56). 06/2012; 24(3):575-582. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-011-9766-0
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Mohammad R Irhimeh, Apr 19, 2014
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    • "Interestingly, as marine macroalgae are consumed by humans on a regular basis in large parts of Eastern Asia, the relatively low rates of HIV infected individuals in these areas may be correlated with the consumption of algae [9]. In fact, a recent proof-of-concept clinical study with two dietary algae indicated improvement of clinical outcomes of HIV-1 infection in terms of CD4 cell count and HIV-1 viral load [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, marine algae have emerged as a rich and promising source of molecules with potent activities against various human pathogens. The widely distributed brown alga Lobophora variegata that is often associated with tropical coral reefs exerts strong antibacterial and antiprotozoal effects, but so far has not been associated with specific anti-viral activities. This study investigated potential HIV-1 inhibitory activity of L. variegata collected from different geographical regions, using a cell-based full replication HIV-1 reporter assay. Aqueous L. variegata extracts showed strong inhibitory effects on several HIV-1 strains, including drug-resistant and primary HIV-1 isolates, and protected even primary cells (PBMC) from HIV-1-infection. Anti-viral potency was related to ecological factors and showed clear differences depending on light exposition or epiphyte growth. Assays addressing early events of the HIV-1 replication cycle indicated that L. variegata extracts inhibited entry of HIV-1 into cells at a pre-fusion step possibly by impeding mobility of virus particles. Further characterization of the aqueous extract demonstrated that even high doses had only moderate effects on viability of cultured and primary cells (PBMCs). Imaging-based techniques revealed extract effects on the plasma membrane and actin filaments as well as induction of apoptosis at concentrations exceeding EC50 of anti-HIV-1 activity by more than 400 fold. In summary, we show for the first time that L. variegata extracts inhibit HIV-1 entry, thereby suggesting this alga as promising source for the development of novel HIV-1 inhibitors.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e103895. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103895 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Cell culture and animal studies with Spirulina have described antioxidant and antiretroviral activity, as well as an enhancement of immune defense [27,28,29]. Since the algae have been proposed to have antiretroviral activity, more research is required in order to clarify their effect and implementation [30,31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary supplements are often used to improve the nutritional status of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). Arthrospira platensis (Asp), also known as Spirulina, is a cyanobacterium rich in proteins and micronutrients. Cell and animal trials described immune-modulating, antiretroviral and antioxidant activities. This pilot study describes the effects of the supplementation of 5 g/day of Asp on a pre-highly-active antiretroviral therapy (pre-HAART), HIV-infected, adult female population. It was conducted as a three-month randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared a cup supplementation of five grams/day of Asp with a placebo of equal protein content and energy. The study included 73 HIV-infected women. The immediate outcome variables were CD4 T-cells, viral load and immune activation by CD8 T-cells expressing CD38. The antioxidant status was assessed by way of the total antioxidant capacity of the serum (TAOS). The renal function was documented by way of creatinine, urea and the calculated glomerular filtration rate. Statistical analyses were carried out with non-parametric tests, and the effect size of each interaction was calculated. No differences in the immunological and virological markers between the Asp and the placebo group could be observed. In the placebo group, 21 of 30 patients (70%) developed concomitant events, while in the Asp group, only 12 of 28 patients (43%) did. Both groups registered a significant weight increase; 0.5 kg (p < 0.05) in the Asp group and 0.65 kg (p < 0.05) in the placebo group. The antioxidant capacity increase of 56 (1-98) µM for Asp was significantly different from the decrease observed in the placebo group (p < 0.001). A slight increase in the creatinine level of 0.1 g/dL (p < 0.001) was observed in the Asp group, and no effect was observed in the urea levels. The improvement of the antioxidant capacity under Asp, shown for the first time on PLHIV, could become a focus for future research on the nutritional and health effects of Spirulina. The observed slight, but significant increase of serum creatinine needs further evaluation, especially with varying doses of Asp.
    Nutrients 07/2014; 6(7):2973-86. DOI:10.3390/nu6072973 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    • "These sporophylls consistently contain 8 % fucoidan/dry weight and are also low in iodine (approximately 80 μg g−1), and 5 g day−1 would be well under the tolerable upper intake level of 1,100 μg/day (National Research Council 2001). In addition, no adverse effects have been recorded in our previous studies using this 5 g day−1 dose of Undaria sporophylls (Teas et al. 2009; Teas and Irhimeh 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Daily consumption of seaweed has been proposed as a factor in explaining lower postmenopausal breast cancer (BC) incidence and mortality rates in Japan. This clinical trial assessed the impact of introducing seaweed- to non-seaweed-consuming American postmenopausal women. Fifteen healthy postmenopausal women were recruited for a 3-month single-blinded placebo controlled clinical trial; five had no history of BC (controls) and ten were BC survivors. Participants ingested ten capsules daily (5 g day(-1)) of placebo for 4 weeks, seaweed (Undaria) for 4 weeks, then placebo for another 4 weeks. Blood and urine samples were collected after each treatment period. Urinary human urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor concentrations (uPAR) were analyzed by ELISA, and urine and serum were analyzed for protein expression using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS). Urinary creatinine standardized uPAR (in pg mL μg(-1) creatinine) changed significantly between groups, decreasing by about half following seaweed supplementation (placebo 1, 1.5 (95 % CI, 0.9-2.1) and seaweed, 0.9 (95 % CI, 0.6-1.1) while placebo 2 returned to pre-seaweed concentration (1.7 (95 % CI, 1.2-2.2); p = 0.01, ANOVA). One SELDI-TOF-MS-identified urinary protein (m/z 9,776) showed a similar reversible decrease with seaweed and is reported to be associated with cell attachment. One serum protein (m/z 8,928) reversibly increased with seaweed and may be the immunostimulatory complement activation C3a des-arginine. uPAR is higher among postmenopausal women generally, and for BC patients, it is associated with unfavorable BC prognosis. By lowering uPAR, dietary seaweed may help explain lower BC incidence and mortality among postmenopausal women in Japan.
    Journal of Applied Phycology 06/2013; 25(3):771-779. DOI:10.1007/s10811-012-9931-0 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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