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The Hepatoprotective Effects of Spirulina on Fatty Liver in Laboratory Animals



Wistar rats (male)


1% cholesterol diet

High-fructose diet (68%)

Wistar rats 60% of fructose



CD-1 mice (female, male)

Spirulina dose

Carbon tetrachloride (i.p. 1 mL/kg, single dose) Carbon tetrachloride (i.p. 1 mL/kg)

Alloxan induced diabetes

Hypercholesterol diet, ethanol and simvastatin


Hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic effects; reduced arterioscelerosis and fatty liver Hypolipidemic effect; increased lipoprotein lipase activity Hypocholesterolemic effect; reduced liver triacylglycerol

Reduced liver triacylglycerol

Reduced liver total lipids, triacylglycerol, cholesterol; increased HDL; restored VLDL, LDL, and TBARS Hypoglycemic, hypotriacylglycerolemic, hypolipidemic effects; restored VLDL + LDL; improved HDL, TBARS Reduced liver cholesterol and triacylglycerol; hypotriacylglycerolemic effect; increased HDL


Kato and Takemoto, 1984

Iwata et al., 1990

Gonzalez de Rivera et al., 1993 Torres-Duran et al., 1998

Torres-Duran et al., 1999

Rodriguez-Hernandez et al., 2001

Spirulina also attenuates alcohol-induced fatty liver through ALDH activity, which is inactive in subjects intoxicated by alcohol, especially in Asian populations.131,132 In an experimental model, the Km value of ALDH decreased from 0.91 to 0.70 mM after treating with Spirulina. However, the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) did not change.133 Apparently, Spirulina facilitates alcohol metabolism through enhanced clearance of accumulated aldehyde, which may increase susceptibility to alcoholic liver disease (ALD), such as fatty liver and fibrosis. Summary of numerous reports, which studied the effect of Spirulina on fatty liver, is listed in Tables 6.1 and 6.2.

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