Protective effect of Spirulina on lead induced deleterious changes in the lipid peroxidation and endogenous antioxidants in rats

Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):330-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1135.


The present study aims to investigate the protective effect of Spirulina on lead-induced changes in the levels of lipid peroxidation and endogenous antioxidants in liver, lung, heart, kidney and brain of rats. Levels of elemental lead were also measured in the organs of rats in all experimental groups. In the liver, lung, heart and kidney of lead-exposed animals, there was a significant (p < 0.001) increase in the lipid peroxidation and a decrease in the levels of endogenous antioxidants. Although, Spirulina did not affect the deposition of lead in organs apart from the brain, simultaneous administration of Spirulina to lead exposed animals significantly (p < 0.001) inhibited lipid peroxidation and restored the levels of endogenous antioxidants to normal. To conclude, Spirulina had a significant effect on scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting the organs from damage caused by the exposure to lead. Further more, Spirulina showed a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in the deposition of lead in the brain.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / enzymology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spirulina
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Plant Extracts
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • lead acetate