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J Med Food. 2010 Apr;13(2):420-6. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.1215.

Spirulina improves antioxidant status by reducing oxidative stress in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


The beneficial effect of Spirulina (Spirulina platensis) on tissue lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage was tested in the hypercholesterolemic New Zealand White rabbit model. After hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding a high cholesterol (0.5%) diet (HCD) for 4 weeks, then HCD supplemented with 1% or 5% Spirulina (SP1 or SP5, respectively) was provided for an additional 8 weeks. Spirulina supplementation significantly reduced the increased lipid peroxidation level in HCD-fed rabbits, and levels recovered to control values. Oxidative stress biomarkers such as glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase were significantly improved in the liver and red blood cells of rabbits fed SP1. Furthermore, SP5 induced antioxidant enzyme activity by 3.1-fold for glutathione, 2.5-fold for glutathione peroxidase, 2.7-fold for glutathione reductase, and 2.3-fold for glutathione S-transferase in liver, compared to the HCD group. DNA damage in lymphocytes was significantly reduced in both the SP1 and SP5 groups, based on the comet assay. Findings from the present study suggest that dietary supplementation with Spirulina may be useful to protect the cells from lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage.

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