Antioxidant Potential of Selected Spirulina Platensis Preparations

Phytother Res. 2008 May;22(5):627-33. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2310.


Recent studies suggest that Spirulina, a unicellular blue-green alga, may have a variety of health benefits and therapeutic properties and is also capable of acting as an antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent. In this study, a cell-free and a cell-based test assay were used to examine the antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties of four selected Spirulina platensis preparations: (1) Biospirulina, (2) SpiruComplex, a preparation with naturally bound selenium, chromium and zinc, (3) SpiruZink, a preparation with naturally bound zinc, (4) Zinkspirulina + Acerola, a preparation with naturally bound zinc and acerola powder. The cell-free test assay used potassium superoxide as a donor for superoxide radicals, whereas the cell-based test assay used the formation of intracellular superoxide radicals of functional neutrophils upon stimulation by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate as a model to investigate the potential of Spirulina preparations to inactivate superoxide radicals. In accordance with the recommended daily dosage, test concentrations ranging from 50 to 1000 microg/mL were chosen. The results showed a dose-dependent inactivation of free superoxide radicals (antioxidant effect) as well as an antiinflammatory effect characterized by a dose-dependent reduction of the metabolic activity of functional neutrophils and a dose-dependent inactivation of superoxide radicals generated during an oxidative burst. The results demonstrate that the tested Spirulina preparations have a high antioxidant and antiinflammatory potential. Especially SpiruZink and Zinkspirulina + Acerola might be useful as a supportive therapeutic approach for reducing oxidative stress and/or the generation of oxygen radicals in the course of inflammatory processes.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell-Free System
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Free Radicals / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Spirulina / chemistry*
  • Superoxides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxides