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Preventive Effects of the Marine Microalga <i>Phaeodactylum tricornutum</i>, Used as a Food Supplement, on Risk Factors Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Wistar Rats

Mayer, Claire, Côme, Martine, Ulmann, Lionel, Chini Zittelli, Graziella, Faraloni, Cecilia, Nazih, Hassan, Ouguerram, Khadija, Chénais, Benoît, Mimouni, Virginie
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.5
Phaeodactylum tricornutum, blood plasma, cardiovascular diseases, dietary supplements, drinking water, eicosapentaenoic acid, erythrocytes, fish oils, fructose, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, high fat diet, human nutrition, hyperinsulinemia, laboratory animals, liver, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, males, metabolic syndrome, microalgae, obesity, rats, risk factors, transaminases, triacylglycerols
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, n-3 series (n-3 LC-PUFA), are known for their preventive effects against cardiovascular disease. In an unfavourable economic and environmental context of fish oil production, marine microalgae could be an alternative source of n-3 LC-PUFA and are of interest for human nutrition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. tricornutum, a microalga rich in eicosapentaenoic acid and used as a food supplement, on the metabolic disorders associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity development. Three male Wistar rat groups (n = 6) were submitted for eight weeks to a standard diet or high-fat diet (HF) with 10% fructose in drinking water, supplemented or not with 12% of P. tricornutum (HF-Phaeo). Supplementation led to n-3 LC-PUFA enrichment of lipids in the liver, plasma and erythrocytes. Plasma transaminases showed no difference between the HF and HF-Phaeo groups. Body weight, fat mass, inflammatory markers and insulinemia decreased in HF-Phaeo rats versus the HF group. Plasma total cholesterol, triacylglycerols and leptine diminished in HF-Phaeo rats, while HDL-cholesterol increased. In conclusion, this study highlights the beneficial effects of P. tricornutum in reducing the metabolic disorders associated with metabolic syndrome.