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The acidophilic microalga Coccomyxa onubensis and atorvastatin equally improve antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic protective effects on rats fed on high-fat diets


Biomass of the acidophilic green alga Coccomyxa onubensis may be used as a food source for animals without collateral toxic effects, as diet supplemented the microalga has significant hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects on healthy animals. Rats were fed for 108 days with a high-fat diet, and at the end of the experiment, they were overweight and had significantly increased serum levels of glucose (2.0-fold), total cholesterol (1.6-fold), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (7.7-fold). The supplement of C. onubensis powder (6.25% w/w dry weight) in the high-fat diet significantly protected the rats against cardiovascular risks by reducing the serum levels of glucose (38.47%), total cholesterol (22.65%), and LDL-cholesterol (26.70%). The protective effects of the microalga were comparable with that of 10 mg/kg body weight per day of atorvastatin. The high-fat diet decreased both ω–3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in the brain tissue of rats; however, C. onubensis powder could not restrict these changes. Simultaneously, the high-fat diet increased the levels of both palmitic and arachidonic (ω–6) acids in the telencephalon tissue of rats; this was prevented when microalga biomass was used in the diet of rats.

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This study is funded by the University of Huelva and Andalusian Government (research project BIO–214).

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Correspondence to Francisco Navarro.

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Navarro, F., Toimil, A., Ramírez, S. et al. The acidophilic microalga Coccomyxa onubensis and atorvastatin equally improve antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic protective effects on rats fed on high-fat diets. J Appl Phycol 32, 3923–3931 (2020).

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