Spirulina versicolor improves insulin sensitivity and attenuates hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress in fructose-fed rats

J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jan 5;5(1):57-64. doi: 10.5455/jice.20151230055930. eCollection Jan-Feb 2016.


Aim: The current study aimed to investigate the anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic and insulin sensitizing effects of the cyanobacterium Spirulina versicolor extract in fructose-fed rats.

Materials and methods: Rats were fed 30% fructose solution in drinking water for 4 weeks. Animals exhibited hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia were selected for further investigations. Diabetic and control rats were orally supplemented with 50 mg/kg body weight S. versicolor extract for 4 weeks.

Results: At the end of 8 weeks, fructose-fed rats showed a significant increase in serum glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, cardiovascular risk indices and insulin resistance. Treatment of the fructose-fed rats with S. versicolor extract improved this metabolic profile. Fructose feeding produced a significant increase in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha and a decrease in adiponectin levels. In addition, fructose-fed rats exhibited a significant increase in liver, kidney and heart lipid peroxidation levels, and declined antioxidant defenses. Supplementation of the fructose-fed rats with S. versicolor extract reversed these alterations.

Conclusion: S. versicolor attenuates hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress and inflammation, and is thus effective in improving insulin sensitivity in fructose-fed rats.

Keywords: Diabetes; Spirulina; fructose; inflammation; insulin resistance; oxidative stress.