Posted on Jan 06, 2011, 6 a.m.
Spirulina, a blue-green algae and ancient foodstuff, may exert neuroprotective effects, in a laboratory model of ALS.
Previous studies have suggested certain nutritional approaches may have therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases. Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, from the University of South Florida (Florida, USA), and colleagues studied a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Explaining that spirulina decreases the markers of oxidative damage and inflammation, the team fed spirulina to presymptomatic aged rats. After 10 weeks, the spirulina-fed ALS mice showed reduced inflammatory markers and motor neuron degeneration. Commenting that: ”These findings provide initial evidence supplementation with spirulina has a neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons,” the researchers conclude that: "A spirulina supplemented diet may be a potential alternative or adjunctive treatment for ALS.”
Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, Paula C. Bickford. “Short Communication: Neuroprotective Effect of Spirulina in a Mouse Model of ALS.” The Open Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Journal, volume 3, 2010, pages 36-41.