Background & objectives: Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycaemia. Several natural products have been isolated and identified to restore the complications of diabetes. Spirulina maxima is naturally occurring fresh water cyanobacterium, enriched with proteins and essential nutrients. The aim of the study was to determine whether S. maxima could serve as a therapeutic agent to correct metabolic abnormalities induced by excessive fructose administration in Wistar rats.
Methods: Oral administration of 10 per cent fructose solution to Wistar rats (n = 5 in each group) for 30 days resulted in hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Aqueous suspension of S. maxima (5 or 10%) was also administered orally once daily for 30 days. The therapeutic potential of the preparation with reference to metformin (500 mg/kg) was assessed by monitoring various biochemical parameters at 10 day intervals during the course of therapy and at the end of 30 days S. maxima administration.
Results: Significant (P<0.001) reductions in blood glucose, lipid profile (triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL, VLDL) and liver function markers (SGPT and SGOT) were recorded along with elevated level of HDL-C at the end of 30 days therapy of 5 or 10 per cent S. maxima aquous extract. Co-administration of S. maxima extract (5 or 10% aqueous) with 10 per cent fructose solution offered a significant protection against fructose induced metabolic abnormalities in Wistar rats.
Interpretation & conclusions: The present findings showed that S. maxima exhibited anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-hyperlipidaemic and hepatoprotective activity in rats fed with fructose. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms.