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Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(11):1573-6. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509993758. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against D-galactosamine--and acetaminophen-induced liver injuries.

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Laboratory of Food and Nutrition, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Chiba University, Matsudo, Chiba, Japan.


Increasing attention has been paid to Spirulina for its potential clinical uses. The present study investigated the protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against d-galactosamine (d-GalN)- and acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatitis in ICR mice. Mice in each group (n 6) were fed with a standard diet (American Institute of Nutrition (AIN)-93G), a positive control diet containing 0.5 % butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or a diet containing 3, 6 or 9 % S. platensis for 1 week. On the last day the mice were treated with d-GalN (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) or APAP (150 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and 24 h later the mice were killed. The doses of both 6 and 9 % S. platensis were found to significantly alleviate the increase of serum glutamate oxaloacetoacetate transaminase (GOT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) activities in d-GalN- or APAP-intoxicated mice. The observation was very similar to that of the positive control groups. Two more experiments were carried out to investigate the involvement of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and IL-18 in the suppression of 6 % S. platensis on d-GalN- and APAP-induced hepatitis. The significant increase of GOT and GPT activities was found to be accompanied with the elevation of hepatic TBARS level, IL-18 mRNA expression and serum IL-18 concentration, and was significantly alleviated by supplementation with 6 % S. platensis in diets. These results showed that dietary S. platensis could provide a significant protection against d-GalN- and APAP-induced liver injuries, and IL-18 and lipid peroxidation might be involved in the protective influence of S. platensis.

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