Algae extract increases good cholesterol levels, research finds

July 6, 2012

A Wayne State University researcher has found that an extract from algae could become a key to regulating cardiovascular disease.

In a study funded by Health Enhancement Products of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Smiti Gupta, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has found that dietary intake of ProAlgaZyme increased the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in an animal model.

While medications for the control of high plasma cholesterol levels such as statins and numerous primarily function by lowering levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or "," Gupta's research explores the effects of raising levels of HDL, or "good cholesterol," which work in part by carrying cholesterol out of the arterial wall.

Results of her study, titled "ProAlgaZyme and its Sub-fractions Increase Plasma HDL-Cholesterol via Up Regulation of ApoA1, ABCA1 and SRB1 and Inhibition of CETP in Hypercholesterolemic Hamsters," were published recently in the and Dietary Supplements.

"The cholesterol mechanism is crucial to heart disease," Gupta said. "Very few agents increase , but we found that this algae extract does. The ratio of total to HDL cholesterol improved significantly. This result, if replicated in humans, would be consistent with a decreased risk of heart disease."

ProAlgaZyme, a clear liquid, was administered as part of the drinking fluid over four weeks. In addition to increasing HDL levels, the group found that it also changed the expression of genes involved in the reverse cholesterol transport mechanism. And while they don't know exactly how it will function in humans, Gupta said other research suggests a similar outcome.

"Its over time and toxic effects, if any, need to be further investigated in a long-term study in an before testing its effects in humans," she said. "But this is a step in the right direction, since increased HDL is considered an important therapeutic target for improvement of the lipid profile and thus reduction of the risk for cardiovascular disease."

Explore further: Some HDL, or 'good' cholesterol, may not protect against heart disease

Related Stories

Some HDL, or 'good' cholesterol, may not protect against heart disease

May 7, 2012
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers has found that a subclass of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the so-called "good" cholesterol, may not protect against coronary heart disease (CHD) ...

'Good' cholesterol function as important as its levels

June 23, 2011
High levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) are associated with a decreased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) -- a disease of the major arterial blood vessels that is one of the major causes of heart attack and ...

Raising 'good' cholesterol levels reduces heart attack and stroke risk in diabetes patients

October 7, 2011
Increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins, better known as HDL or "good" cholesterol, reduced the risk for heart attack and stroke among patients with diabetes. That's according to a new study appearing online today ...

Recommended for you

'Man flu' may be real

December 11, 2017
The much-debated phenomenon of "man flu" may have some basis in fact, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Full moon linked to increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes

December 11, 2017
The full moon is associated with an increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Social media trends can predict tipping points in vaccine scares

December 11, 2017
Analyzing trends on Twitter and Google can help predict vaccine scares that can lead to disease outbreaks, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Study suggests being proud may protect against falls in older people

December 11, 2017
Contrary to the old saying "pride comes before a fall", the opposite appears to be true, according to a study published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Peppa Pig may encourage inappropriate use of primary care services

December 11, 2017
Exposure to the children's television series Peppa Pig may be contributing to unrealistic expectations of primary care and encouraging inappropriate use of services, suggests a doctor in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Women's sexual orientation linked to (un)happiness about birth

December 11, 2017
Unhappiness about a pregnancy or birth has been associated with negative health outcomes for mothers and babies. Yet, unhappiness about a pregnancy or birth has been understudied, particularly among sexual minority (non-heterosexual) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.