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 120-200mg/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.

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