The effects of Panax ginseng and Spirulina platensis on hepatotoxicity induced by cadmium in rats

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009 Jan;72(1):231-235. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.02.021. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


Cadmium is an environmental and industrial cumulative pollutant that affects many organs, specially the liver. The protective effect of Spirulina platensis and Panax ginseng on cadmium-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity was evaluated in adult female Wistar albino rats. At the end of the 1-month experimental period, all animals were fasted for 12h and liver samples were taken for the determination of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and nitric oxide (NO) levels. S. platensis and P. ginseng treatments showed marked decrease lipid peroxidation and increase of the endogenous antioxidants levels. The cadmium-induced histopathological changes were also minimized with the tested extracts. These results suggest that S. platensis and P. ginseng might play a role in reducing the toxic effect of cadmium and its antioxidant properties seem to mediate such a protective effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitoxins / pharmacology*
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Rats
  • Spirulina / physiology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antitoxins
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Panax notoginseng extract
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cadmium
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione