A Wayne State University researcher has discovered that an algae extract can play an important role in fighting cardiovascular disease. The study found that dietary intake of ProAlgaZyme increased the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in an animal model.
Cholesterol is an essential fat that your body needs. For it to get around in your bloodstream, it has to travel in little containers called lipoproteins. The most commonly known lipoproteins that you hear about at your doctor are Low Density Lipoproteins(LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins(HDL). LDL is often referred to as the bad guy because it is generally attributed to being the main cause of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. HDL is often called the good guy because it tends to keep the arterial walls cleaned up and free of inflammation. Raising the levels of HDL in your blood is a positive thing to do for heart health. Unfortunately, most treatments for high cholesterol focus mainly on lowering LDL instead of raising HDL.
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 found that ProAlgaZyme raised the level of HDL in an animal model. ProAlgaZyme is produced by a company called Health Enhancement Products which funded this research. HEPI’s website describes ProAlgaZyme as “an infusion of algal metabolites diluted in purified water”. The study used this infusion as drinking water for the animals throughout the study. “The cholesterol mechanism is crucial to heart disease,” Gupta said. “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 long term study needs to be done before this is administered in humans, but it is an encouraging first step. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements.