Effect of Spirulina on Arsenicosis Patients in Bangladesh

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


A double -blind randomized clinical trial was carried out among Arsenicosis patients of Sonargaon thana of Narayanganj district, to see the effect of Spirulina on Arsenicosis disease resulting from drinking arsenic contaminated ground water through hand pump tubewells in many parts of Bangladesh. Spirulina is a microscopic blue green algae, used as a food supplement but it has some therapeutic value in treating some ailments. It is rich in protein, amino acid, beta-carotene, vitamins etc. 50 arseni cosis patients has been identified through simple random sampling from 185 arsenicosis patients of three villages, who had been diagnosed as cases of arsenicosis by the physicians, depending on the presence of visible signs. The patients included male and female of different age. A double blind method was followed during the drug distribution. It was found after distribution that 33 patient got Spirulina and 17 patient got placebo. 3 gm Spirulina per day per person and same dose of placebo was used as drugs for three-month duration and consumption of arsenic free safe water was ensured for both the group (Spirulina and placebo) during the total duration of study. Physical examinations of these patients were done carefully at every fifteen days interval dur ing the intervention using a structured checklist. After three month it was found that 27 (81.81%) patient showed evidence of improvement by diminishing the visible manifestation among 33 patients who got Spirulina. Statistical analysis showed significant correlation between Spirulina intake and diminishing of visible skin manifestation of chronic arsenicosis (P

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Full-text available
Continuation of prolonged treatment against arsenicosis with conventional chelating therapy is a global challenge. The present study was intended to evaluate the defensive effect of arjunolic acid against arsenic induced oxidative stress and female reproductive dysfunction. Wistar strain adult female rats were given sodium arsenite (10mg/Kg body weight) in combination with arjunolic acid (10mg/Kg body weight) orally for two estrous cycles. Electrozymographic analysis explored that arjunolic acid co-treatment counteracted As3+ induced ROS-production in uterine tissue by stimulating the activities of endogenous enzymatic antioxidants. Arjunolic acid was able to enhance the protection against mutagenic uterine DNA-breakage, necrosis; and ovarian-uterine tissue damages in arsenicated rats by improving the ovarian steroidogenesis. The mechanisms might be coupled with the augmentation of antioxidant defense-system, partly through the elimination of arsenic with the involvement of SAM pool where circulating level of vitamin B12, folic acid and homocysteine play critical roles as evidenced from our present investigation.
Full-text available
2012). Environment and public health hazard of arsenic and their remedies-A review. Bangladesh Res. Pub. J. 7(1): 69-79. Retrieve from Abstract In world, millions of people drink polluted natural occurrence of arsenic on groundwater. Over 200 million people are estimated to be at risk of high arsenic exposure from drinking water in the Asian region. It is the key environment health problem of the 21 st century. To improve the knowledge base and access to existing knowledge by compiling a comprehensive overview of strategies and combat on risk management are the aims of this study. In Bangladesh higher levels of Arsenic have been detected in ground water of tube-wells in a vast region including 61 districts out of 64. Filters, deeper boreholes and surface water used as a replacement for the arsenic contamination are not sustainable solution. Antioxidant vitamins, nutritious diet protein and symptomatic treatment are helpful to risk management. Moreover, the existing and newly developed strategies in mitigating the arsenic problem can be improved by knowledge management.
A total number of 40 patients affected with arsenicosis were selected and clinically examined prior to feeding trials. The interrelatedness between improvement respondents following spirulina intake in respect of age, sex, nutrition and social condition of patients exposed to arsenic contaminated water was evidenced. Among sex- wise respondents about 62% females showed improvement in comparison to 58.3% males. The spirulina intake caused more improvements in age group 15-35 years (66.66%) than patients of 35 to 55 years (50%). The impact of spirulina improvement showed a different vulnerability of social taboos. It occurred 71.42% in middle class, while in poor class this was 69.29%. The greatly vulnerable poverty related malnourished arsenicosis patients responded to therapy equally as attained by well nourished patients. The overall response revealed that 60% patients showed improvement with spirulina treatment which was statistically highly significant (x2 = 8.64 at P< 0.01). The viability of spirulina to offer health benefits to arsenicosis patients proved considerably satisfactory, because there was significant improvements of general health in all patients who received spirulina during the experimental period. Although 60 to 70% recovery has been recorded with spirulina intake in arsenicosis patients, but it is still interesting to note that the drug assisted remedy from malnutrition and might have boosted up the immune system. The present research study evidenced that arsenic, which induces cellular toxicity, could be prevented by treatment with known supportive treatment, such as spirulina along with other antioxidants.
Human cancer risks are inversely correlated with (a) blood retinol and (b) dietary beta-carotene. Although retinol in the blood might well be truly protective, this would be of little immediate value without discovery of the important external determinants of blood retinol which (in developed countries) do not include dietary retinol or beta-carotene. If dietary beta-carotene is truly protective--which could be tested by controlled trials--there are a number of theoretical mechanisms whereby it might act, some of which do not directly involve its 'provitamin A' activity.
Arsenic contamination of ground water in Bangladesh. A briefing paper. Arsenic contamination Mitigation Project Office
  • A Z M Hussain
  • Iftikhar
Hussain, A Z M Iftikhar (1998). Arsenic contamination of ground water in Bangladesh. A briefing paper. Arsenic contamination Mitigation Project Office. NIPSOM Building, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh.
Earth food Spirulina, Ronor Enterprises
  • H Robert
H.Robert (1989). Earth food Spirulina, Ronor Enterprises, Inc. Laguna Beach,California,USA.
Presentation to Polysaccharides from micro algae workshop
  • Ben Amotz
Ben Amotz.(1987) Presentation to Polysaccharides from micro algae workshop, Duke University,USA.
Study on the effect of Spirulina in the treatment of chronic arsenicosis in Bangladesh population
  • M Karim
Karim, M.A et. al.(1999) Study on the effect of Spirulina in the treatment of chronic arsenicosis in Bangladesh population. Abstracts: 1st International conference of Dermatology Monograph, Dhaka, Bangladesh. May 8-10, Article no 13.
The effect of Spirulina on nephrotoxicity in rats, presented at annual Symposium of the
  • Y Yamane
Yamane, Y. (1988) The effect of Spirulina on nephrotoxicity in rats, presented at annual Symposium of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. April 15, Pharmaceutical Dept. Chiba Univ. Japan.