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Effect of spirulina and chlorella alone and combined on the healing process of diabetic wounds: an experimental model of diabetic rats

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Using chemical agents to cure diabetes mellitus and its complications may be accompanied by complications. New natural agents, such as spirulina and chlorella, could be used as alternative choices in this case.


65 male Wistar rats were allocated to 5 groups: A (healthy control), B (diabetic rats with a normal diet), C (diabetic rats supplemented with 50 g/kg/day spirulina), D (diabetic rats supplemented with 50 g/kg/day chlorella) and E (diabetic rats supplemented with 25 g/kg/day chlorella and 25 g/kg/day spirulina). After 21 days, wounds were inflicted on the back of rats. Assessment of blood sugar (BS), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), granulation tissue formation, vascularization, epithelialization, and percentage of wound healing were determined along with macroscopic examinations.


The microscopic changes at days 3, 7, 14, and 21 showed significant evidence of improved angiogenesis, epithelial proliferation, and granulation tissue formation in the spirulina and chlorella treated rats compared with the controls (p˂0.05). Both spirulina and chlorella treatments of diabetic rats resulted in a significant reduction in BS and weight (p˂0.05), but VEGF and hs-CRP levels did not significantly change (p > 0.05). Percentage of wound healing was 100% on day 21 in all groups, except the control group B (97.8 ± 1.15%).


The results of this study showed that supplementation with spirulina and chlorella alone and combined could improve wound healing indices in diabetic rats and could therefore be recommended for the management of diabetic ulcer.

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We would like to express our appreciation towards distinguished personnel of the Center for Experimental Studies of the Institute of Nutritional Research and Food Industry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. We also thank the Vice Chancellor for Research of Iran University of Medical Sciences for funding this research (grant number 31474).

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Naeim Mehdinezhad, Naheed Aryaeian, and Mohammadreza Vafa designed this research, Atoosa Saeedpour and Naeim Mehdinezhad conducted research, Reza Fahimi provided essential materials and visualization, Abdolali Ebrahimi and Tofigh Mobaderi performed statistical analysis, Zohreh Sajadi Hezaveh did the original draft preparation, and Naheed Aryaeian had primary responsibility for final content. All authors have revised and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Naheed Aryaeian.

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Mehdinezhad, N., Aryaeian, N., Vafa, M. et al. Effect of spirulina and chlorella alone and combined on the healing process of diabetic wounds: an experimental model of diabetic rats. J Diabetes Metab Disord 20, 161–169 (2021).

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