Prevention and amelioration of erythrocyte instability observed under deficiency of vitamin B12 alone or combined with micronutrient limitation through dietary supplementation with Chlorella and Spirulina

Neenu, Ravikumar ; Madhubalaji, Chegukrishnamurthi ; Rashmi, Venkatasubbaiah ; Chauhan, Vikas Singh; Dharmesh, Shylaja M; Sarada, Ravi


Micronutrient rich microalgae, Chlorella and Spirulina, could be natural food supplements to overcome the micronutrient deficiency, increasingly recognised as a global health issue. In two independent experiments, the Spirulina and Chlorella were evaluated as prophylactic and ameliorative dietary supplements of vitamin B12. Erythrocyte stability (relative osmotic fragility and haemolysis percentage), haematological parameters, micronutrient deficiency (serum levels of iron, zinc), plasma vitamin B12 and vitamin B12 biomarker (methylmalonic acid) were analysed. The deficient groups receiving Spirulina and Chlorella as prophylactic dietary supplements showed a 1.34 to 1.41 folds increase in serum iron and a 2.13 to 2.19 folds increase in plasma vitamin B12, compared to B12 deficient group. Supplementation of Spirulina to ameliorate vitamin B12 deficiency combined with micronutrient limitation showed an increase of 1.14 folds and 1.2 folds in serum iron and zinc respectively and 1.51 folds in plasma vitamin B12 compared to the deficient group. The relative osmotic fragility of erythrocytes in deficient experimental animals was 17 to 45% higher compared to the control. The osmotic fragility and deformation in the morphology of erythrocytes observed under vitamin B12 deficiency, alone or in combination with micronutrient limitation, were prevented and ameliorated on dietary supplementation with the microalgal biomass.


Microalgae; Micronutrients; Relative osmotic fragility; RBC stability

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