Effect of Spirulina supplementation and aerobic exercise on the level of cortisol and body composition in women with type 2 diabetes

Mohsen Akbarpour, Zahra Samari Ebrahimzadeh


Background: Changes in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and obesity play an important role in the development of diabetes. Aim of this study was to investigate the effect of spirulina supplementation and aerobic exercise on serum cortisol level and body composition in women with high BMI type 2 diabetes.

Methods: In this semi-experimental study, 28 women with type 2 diabetes and overweight with mean age of 48.4 ±7 and body mass index 29.7±3.33, were randomly assigned to aerobic training groups + spirulina, aerobic training + placebo, spirulina and placebo. The aerobic training program included six weeks and running with a severity of 60-72% of maximum heart rate. The recipient groups received three 500 mg capsules of spirulina daily for six weeks before each meal. Blood samples were collected for pre-test and post-test stages in order to study the variables studied in fasting conditions. Data analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA and t-test with a significant level (p≤0.05) and using SPSS software.

Results: Serum levels of cortisol in the aerobic- Spirulina group (p=0.02), aerobic group (p=0.00), and spirulina group (p=0.02) showed a significant decrease from the pre-test to post-test. Also, there was a significant difference in the level of cortisol between aerobic-spirulina group and aerobic group compared to control group (P≤0.05). However, there was no difference between the groups (fat percentage, BMI, WHR) in body composition indicators (P>0.05).

Conclusion: Results of Cortisol Measurement and body composition showed that aerobic training along with supplementation with spirulina has a positive effect on the cortisol reduction in women with type 2 diabetes and can therefore reduce stress and improve the health of patients with type 2 diabetes and overweight.

Keywords: Aerobic Exercise; Spirulina; Cortisol; Body Combination; Type 2 Diabetes; Overweight

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