Lipid peroxidation inhibitor
Source of vitamin A Anti-cacer
Anti-oxidant/radical scavenging Precursor of prostaglandin
FIGURE 6.3 Effects of Spirulina on the promotion of health.
administration of C-phycocyanin (200 mg/kg body weight) 3 h prior to treatment with carbon tetrachloride and R-(+)-pulegone substantially reduced the hepatotox-icity and the serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) activity, and lower levels of toxic intermediates formed (haloalkane free radicals and menthofuran).44 Furthermore, the activities of microsomal cytochrome P450, glucose-6-phosphatase, and aminopyrine-jty-demethylase were restored.44 This protection effect may come from either the inhibition by phycocyanin of cytochrome P450-mediated reactions that are involved in converting toxic metabolites or scavenging reactive metabolites. Another investigation demonstrated that the hepatoprotective effect of Spirulina derives primarily from its radical scavenging ability.13
Phycocyanin has been reported to be able to scavenge hydroxyl, alkoxyl, and peroxyl radicals71,72 with IC50 values of 0.91 mg/mL, 76 ^g/mL, and 5 ^M, respectively, as determined by CL assay, as described earlier.25 The free radical scavenging capacity reduces the generation of lipid peroxides, disrupting the membrane structure and the biochemical functions. Pycocyanin markedly reduces the peroxidation of lipids that is induced by the Fenton-type reaction25 and amount of peroxyl radicals13 on rat liver microsomes. The addition of phycocyanin to isolated microsomes in the Fe+2-ascorbate and azo-initiated lipid peroxidation resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in the concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), an index of lipid peroxidation, with IC5o values of 327 and 11.35 ^M, respectively.13'25 The scavenging of reactive radicals therefore reduces hepatotoxicity caused by carbon tetrachloride.13 The chromophore (bilin), rather than the apoprotein of phycocyanin, is primarily responsible for the scavenging of reactive radicals.73 The chromophore of phycocyanin is phycocyanobilin, which is an analog of biliverdin and can be reduced by NaBH4 to a bilirubin-like structure.74 The native and the reduced forms of phycocyanin had similar scavenging abilities.13 Apart from its scavenging effect, phycocyanin inhibits lipid peroxidation by chelating metal ions, such as the ferrous ion, in the Fenton-type reaction.
A more beneficial effect of Spirulina has been discussed.75-80 Several studies75-79 have demonstrated that Spirulina possesses the metalloprotective effects. As is well established, heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, impact the cellular growth, diminish cellular productivity, and induce toxicity in cells by accelerating iron dependent lipid peroxidation, ultimately leading to cellular death.75-80 Heavy metal decreases DNA synthesis. Microalgae, including Spirulina, was found to increase the DNA synthesis and repair.81 Heavy metals by microorganisms can be removed through several mechanisms, such as adsorption, enzymatic synthesis, or through the production of extracellular polymers.77 Japanese researchers found the modulatory effect of Spirulina, which significantly reduced kidney toxicity caused by heavy metal mercury.82 Kumar et al. (20 05)80 also demonstrated the protection of S. fusiformis extract against mercury in Swiss albino mice. The modulatory effects of lead toxicity by S. fusiformis (Oscillatoreaceae) were observed as well on the testes of Swiss albino mice at a dose level of 800 mg/kg body weight.78 In this study, the survival time was significantly enhanced in the pre- and post-treated Spirulina group over that of the control (lead treated) group. According to previously reported results, lead-induced toxicity was reduced with respect to testes weight, animal weight, and tubular diameter in the pre-Spirulina treated group. The modulatory effects may be owing to the antioxidants, j-carotene, and SOD enzyme in Spirulina. Collective evidence further suggested that Spirulina benefits human, especially those inflicted with heavy metal poisoning.
Air pollution endangers a growing number of areas, as evidenced by exposure of the air, water, and food supply to several toxic chemicals. Humans require a mechanism for continuously eliminating such accumulated toxins. Spirulina possesses a unique combination of phytonutrients, including phycocyanin, poly-saccharides (Ca-Sp), Vitamin A and E, and essential GLA. Such nutrients can not only help cleanse human bodies, but also provide antioxidant, radical scavenging, anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammation, hepatoprotection, and immunomodulation capabilities.
Was this article helpful?
All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.