Dietary supplementation with blueberries, spinach, or spirulina reduces ischemic brain damage

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 06/2005; 193(1):75-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2004.12.014
Source: PubMed


Free radicals are involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as ischemia and aging. We have previously demonstrated that treatment with diets enriched with blueberry, spinach, or spirulina have been shown to reduce neurodegenerative changes in aged animals. The purpose of this study was to determine if these diets have neuroprotective effects in focal ischemic brain. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with equal amounts of diets (blueberry, spinach, and spirulina) or with control diet. After 4 weeks of feeding, all animals were anesthetized with chloral hydrate. The right middle cerebral artery was ligated with a 10-O suture for 60 min. The ligature was later removed to allow reperfusional injury. Animals were sacrificed and brains were removed for caspase-3 enzymatic assays and triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 8 and 48 h after the onset of reperfusion. A subgroup of animals was used for locomotor behavior and biochemical assays. We found that animals which received blueberry, spinach, or spirulina enriched diets had a significant reduction in the volume of infarction in the cerebral cortex and an increase in post-stroke locomotor activity. There was no difference in blood biochemistry, blood CO2, and electrolyte levels among all groups, suggesting that the protection was not indirectly mediated through the changes in physiological functions. Animals treated with blueberry, spinach, or spirulina had significantly lower caspase-3 activity in the ischemic hemisphere. In conclusion, our data suggest that chronic treatment with blueberry, spinach, or spirulina reduces ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis and cerebral infarction.

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    • "Spirulina is now attracting even more attention from medical scientists as it can be used as a nutraceutical and is a potential source of pharmaceuticals due to its ability to inhibit viral replication, strengthen both the cellular and humoral arms of the immune system, and aid in the regression and inhibition of cancer [16]. In addition to this, certain studies have reported that a dietary supplementation of Spirulina may reduce ischemic brain damage and provide a neuroprotective effect in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injuries [17, 18]. This study is an initial attempt to investigate the effects of Spirulina supplementation on behavioral and morphological changes in traumatic injured rat spinal cords. "
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating disease that leads to permanent disability and causes great suffering. The resulting neurological dysfunction and paralysis is proportional to the severity of the trauma itself. Spirulina is widely used as a nutritional supplement due to its high protein and antioxidant content. In the present study, the protective effect of the Spirulina treatment on locomotor function and morphological damage after SCI was investigated. Seventy Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into three groups: Sham (laminectomy alone), Control (laminectomy with SCI), and Experimental (laminectomy with SCI +180 mg/kg per day Spirulina platensis ). A laminectomy was performed at T12 and an Inox No.2 modified forceps was used to perform a partial crush injury on the spinal cord. The rats were then perfused at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after injury for morphological investigations. The injured rat spinal cord indicated a presence of hemorrhage, cavity, and necrosis. Pretreatment with Spirulina significantly improved the locomotor function and showed a significant reduction on the histological changes. The experimental results observed in this study suggest that treatment with Spirulina platensis possesses potential benefits in improving hind limb locomotor function and reducing morphological damage to the spinal cord.
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    • "Animals treated with blueberry showed a significantly reduced caspase-3 activity in the ischemic hemisphere. Chronic treatment with blueberry reduces ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis and cerebral infarction (Wang et al., 2005). Stromberg et al. (2005) show that blueberry causes a rapid but transient increase of OX-6-positive microglia in the striatum and the globus pallidus of normal F344 male rats. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation/cell survival and enhancing neuroplasticity. The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin. In this review, we made an attempt to clearly describe the beneficial effects of various types of berries as promising neuroprotective agents.
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    • "Several studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables exerts protective effects against infectious diseases and age-related diseases such as neural degeneration, diabetes, and cancer [1] [2] [3]. One such dietary agent with a beneficial impact is the blueberry and its constituent phytochemicals. "
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