Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease and has a high prevalence. Until now, there is no approved drug for treatment although the using traditional remedies might be effective. Spirulina, a filamentous microalgae, has hypolipidemic effect with an unclear mechanism. This study was aimed to investigate the hypolipidemic action of Spirulina and its effect on the serum adiponectin level in NAFL rats model induced by a high-fat diet.
Fifty rats were divided into five equal groups: Group 1, normal control group, rats were maintained on regular diet for 14 weeks. In remaining four groups, NAFL was induced by feeding rats high-fat diet for 14 weeks. Group 2, untreated NAFL group. Groups 3, 4, and 5, Spirulina-treated, rats were given oral aqueous Spirulina suspension during the last 4 weeks in a dose of 100, 200, and 500 mg/kg, respectively. Liver function tests and lipid profile were carried out. Serum levels of non-esterified fatty acids, glucose, and insulin were determined, and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance was calculated. Also, the serum adiponectin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Liver histopathology and its triglycerides contents were investigated.
The NAFL rats showed elevation in hepatic markers, lipid profile, non-esterified fatty acids, and TNF-α while marked decrease in adiponectin serum level. The treatment of NAFL rats with Spirulina corrected these alterations in a dose-dependent manner.
Spirulina treatment of NAFL rats showed antisteatotic properties; effects that could be attributed at least partially to modulating serum adiponectin and TNF-α levels.