The researchers from The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University and The Affiliated Wuxi People’s Hospital in China have come up with research that declares Astaxanthin to protect against diabetes-related myocardial damage. The study was published in the CyTA – Journal of Food.
The mortality incidences related to diabetes can be attributed to its complication. Diabetic cardiomyopathy is one of them. It is a serious consequence of diabetes that may progress into congestive heart failure if left untreated.
Following pathological changes are associated with the development of the condition,
- Glucose and lipid metabolism disorders
- Programmed cell death
- Damaged small blood vessels
Evidence proving that the signaling pathway of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) contributes to the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
How does Astaxanthin protect your heart?
Astaxanthin is a pigment from the carotenoid family, commonly found in trout, shrimp, crabs, microalgae, yeast, and the Pacific salmon. It is responsible for imparting a pinkish color to the fish. It is potentially antioxidant in nature. Moreover, it possesses the ability to prevent liver, kidney, and cardiovascular damage.
This specific research evaluates the cardioprotective effects of Astaxanthin against diabetic cardiomyopathy in male Sprague-Dawley rats. The rat models were fed a high-glucose and high-fat diet for four weeks. Later on, they were induced to have diabetes using streptozotocin.
The researchers then administered the animal models with 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg of astaxanthin daily for around six weeks. The extent of the phytonutrient’s effects was judged using the parameters like,
- Blood glucose
- Lipid levels
- Inflammation levels
- Cardiac function
- Oxidative stress
- Expression of proteins in the MAPK signaling pathway
All of these factors were accounted because they contribute to the myocardial damage and pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
The Astaxanthin-treated rats exhibited significant improvements in blood glucose and lipid metabolism. Moreover, they demonstrated positive progress regarding oxidative stress, inflammation, and cardiac function as well. Astaxanthin also caused a reduction in the proteins of the MAPK pathway.
Thus, the study concludes that Astaxanthin has cardioprotective effects against complications like diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Some other beneficial effects of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin comes with many health benefits like,
It lowers the risk of cancer. The potent antioxidant properties of the pigment help to prevent and treat different types of cancer, conventionally. Astaxanthin has short- and long-term benefits for treating cancer like reduced growth of breast cancer cells.
The carotenoid promotes healthier skin. Astaxanthin can smooth the wrinkles, reduce age spots, and keep the skin moisturized. It may serve the purpose of topically or orally.
It reduces post-workout fatigue. For this purpose, athletes and health buffs use Astaxanthin as a pre-exercise supplement. Moreover, it improves endurance by boosting the use of fatty acid and preventing muscle and skeletal damage.
Astaxanthin can work as a pain relief for joints. It improves inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. Moreover, it effectively alleviates joint pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
It can improve male fertility. Astaxanthin works for males who suffer from infertility. It enhances the sperm count and motility, as well as their overall fertility.