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

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

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.