Background/Aims: This study was designed to examine the antioxidative capacity of chlorella in rats oxidatively stressed with dietary cadmium (Cd). Method: Sixty male Sprague-Dawley rats (14 weeks old) were fed diets containing 0, 3 or 5% chlorella, and 0 or 160 ppm Cd for 10 weeks. Activities of antioxidant enzymes and xanthine oxidase (XO), lipid peroxide concentration and superoxide radical generation were examined in blood and liver. Results: Erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase activities were not different among the groups. Cd treatment significantly lowered liver SOD and GPx activities; however, there were no differences induced by the chlorella content. Dietary Cd markedly increased XO activities in plasma and liver. Five percent chlorella-containing diets significantly lowered plasma XO activity, 3% chlorella-containing diets significantly lowered liver XO activity. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration of the Cd-3% chlorella group was significantly lower than that of the Cd-0% chlorella group. Liver MDA concentration of the Cd-5% chlorella group was significantly lower than that of the Cd-0% chlorella group. Increased serum and liver superoxide radical generation by Cd was significantly attenuated by chlorella intake. Conclusion: Chlorella could be applied as potential substance for reducing oxidative stress, since XO activity, MDA concentration and superoxide radical generation were decreased by chlorella intake.

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