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Administration of natural astaxanthin increases serum HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin in subjects with mild hyperlipidemia

Background

Astaxanthin has been reported to improve dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome in animals, but such effects in humans are not well known.

Methods

Placebo-controlled astaxanthin administration at doses of 0, 6, 12, 18 mg/day for 12 weeks was randomly allocated to 61 non-obese subjects with fasting serum triglyceride of 120–200 mg/dl and without diabetes and hypertension, aged 25–60 years.

Results

In before and after tests, body mass index (BMI) and LDL-cholesterol were unaffected at all doses, however, triglyceride decreased, while HDL-cholesterol increased significantly. Multiple comparison tests showed that 12 and 18 mg/day doses significantly reduced triglyceride, and 6 and 12 mg doses significantly increased HDL-cholesterol. Serum adiponectin was increased by astaxanthin (12 and 18 mg/day), and changes of adiponectin correlated positively with HDL-cholesterol changes independent of age and BMI.

Conclusions

This first-ever randomized, placebo-controlled human study suggests that astaxanthin consumption ameliorates triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol in correlation with increased adiponectin in humans.