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How algae extract could lower heart disease risk

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Algae extract could help fight heart disease.

Boosting levels of ‘good’ cholesterol levels is challenging, but now researchers have found a natural way to raise good HDL cholesterol levels with algae extract. The finding could be boon for helping people control heart disease. Statin drugs lower bad cholesterol but do little to raise HDL levels. In hamster studies, ProAlgaZyme raised good cholesterol levels and also changed genes involved in cholesterol transport.

Animal studies show algae significantly raises HDL cholesterol

For the study, researchers used animal models to study the potential of the algae extract ProAlgaZyme that was added to the drinking fluid of hamsters for 4 weeks.

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The results, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements, showed the algae extract increased HDL cholesterol levels in addition to changing gene expression related to the reverse cholesterol transport mechanism that helps lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

Smiti Gupta, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University explained in a press release, "The cholesterol mechanism is crucial to heart disease. Very few agents increase good cholesterol, 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."

More studies are needed to understand the long-term and toxic effects of algae for fighting heart disease Gupta says. The finding showed how algae extract could fight heart disease by raising HDL cholesterol levels and changing genes involved in the reverse cholesterol transport mechanism. The study was funded by Health Enhancement Products of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

“ProAlgaZyme and its subfractions increase plasma HDL cholesterol via upregulation of ApoA1, ABCA1, and SRB1, and inhibition of CETP in hypercholesterolemic hamsters”
Andreea Geamanu, Nadia Saadat, Arvind Goja, Monika Wadehra, Xiangming Ji, Smiti V Gupta
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NDS.S30450
June, 2012