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Life Sci. 2007 Jan 16;80(6):522-9. Epub 2006 Oct 12.

Astaxanthin ameliorates features of metabolic syndrome in SHR/NDmcr-cp.

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International Research Center for Traditional Medicine, Toyama, Toyama Prefecture 939-8224, Japan.


Glucose and lipid metabolic parameters play crucial roles in metabolic syndrome and its major feature of insulin resistance. This study was designed to investigate whether dietary astaxanthin oil (ASX-O) has potential effects on metabolic syndrome features in an SHR/NDmcr-cp (cp/cp) rat model. Oral administration of ASX (50 mg/kg/day) for 22 weeks induced a significant reduction in arterial blood pressure in SHRcp. It also significantly reduced the fasting blood glucose level, homeostasis index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and improved insulin sensitivity. The results also showed an improved adiponectin level, a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a significant decrease in plasma levels of triglycerides, and non-esterified fatty acids. Additionally, ASX showed significant effects on the white adipose tissue by decreasing the size of the fat cells. These results suggest that ASX ameliorates insulin resistance by mechanisms involving the increase of glucose uptake, and by modulating the level of circulating lipid metabolites and adiponectin.

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