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Hypocholesterolemic Effects of Nutraceuticals Produced from the Red Microalga Porphyridium sp. in Rats

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Author(s): Irit Dvir | Aliza Hannah Stark | Reuven Chayoth | Zecharia Madar | Shoshana Malis Arad

Journal: Nutrients
ISSN 2072-6643

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 156;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: red microalgae | nutraceuticals | hypocholesterolemic agents | dietary fiber | foodomics

ABSTRACT
Red microalgae contain functional sulfated polysaccharides (containing dietary fibers), polyunsaturated fatty acids, zeaxanthin, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Studies in rat models support the therapeutic properties of algal biomass and isolated polysaccharides. Algal products incorporated into rat diets were found to significantly improve total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, hepatic cholesterol levels, HDL/LDL ratios and increased fecal excretion of neutral sterols and bile acids. Morphological and metabolic changes were induced by consumption of algal products. These results suggest that red microalgae can be used as potent hypocholesterolemic agents, and they support the potential use of red microalgae as novel nutraceuticals.
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