UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Spirulina Supplementation with High-Intensity Interval Training Decreases Adipokines Levels and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Men with Obesity Supriya, Rashmi; Delfan, Maryam; Saeidi, Ayoub; Samaie, Seyedeh Somayeh; Al Kiyumi, Maisa Hamed; Escobar, Kurt A.; Laher, Ismail; Heinrich, Katie M.; Weiss, Katja; Knechtle, Beat; et al.


Adiposity, a state characterized by excessive accumulation of body fat, is closely linked to metabolic complications and the secretion of specific adipokines. This study explores the potential of exercise and Spirulina supplementation to mitigate these complications and modulate adipokine release associated with obesity. The primary objective of this investigation was to examine the impact of a 12-week regimen of high-intensity training combined with Spirulina supplementation on adipokine concentrations and lipid profiles in male individuals with obesity (N = 44). The participants were randomly distributed into four groups, each consisting of 11 participants: a control group (CG), a supplement group (SG), a training group (TG), and a training plus supplement group (TSG). The intervention comprised a 12-week treatment involving Spirulina supplementation (6 g capsule daily), a 12-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocol with three sessions per week, or a combined approach. Following the interventions, metabolic parameters, anthropometric measurements, cardiorespiratory indices, and circulating adipokines [CRP, Sema3C, TNF-α, IL-6, MCP1, IL-8] were assessed within 48 h of the before and final training session. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences across all measures among the groups (p < 0.05). Notably, post hoc analyses indicated substantial disparities between the CG and the three interventional groups regarding body weight (p < 0.05). The combined training and supplementation approach led to noteworthy reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol (TC), and triglyceride (TGL) levels (all p < 0.0001), coupled with an elevation in high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (p = 0.0001). Furthermore, adipokine levels significantly declined in the three intervention groups relative to the CG (p < 0.05). The findings from this 12-week study demonstrate that Spirulina supplementation in conjunction with high-intensity interval training reduced adipokine levels, improved body weight and BMI, and enhanced lipid profiles. This investigation underscores the potential of Spirulina supplementation and high-intensity interval training as a synergistic strategy to ameliorate obesity-related complications and enhance overall cardiometabolic well-being in obese males.

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