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Open AccessArticle

Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats

1
Functional Foods Research Group, Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
2
School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
3
Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111261
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
The red seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii, was evaluated for its potential to prevent signs of metabolic syndrome through use as a whole food supplement. Major biochemical components of dried Kappaphycus are carrageenan (soluble fiber ~34.6%) and salt (predominantly potassium (K) 20%) with a low overall energy content for whole seaweed. Eight to nine week old male Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups and fed for 8 weeks on a corn starch diet, a high-carbohydrate, high-fat (H) diet, alone or supplemented with a 5% (w/w) dried and milled Kappaphycus blended into the base diet. H-fed rats showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome including increased body weight, total fat mass, systolic blood pressure, left ventricular collagen deposition, plasma triglycerides, and plasma non-esterified fatty acids along with fatty liver. Relative to these obese rats, Kappaphycus-treated rats showed normalized body weight and adiposity, lower systolic blood pressure, improved heart and liver structure, and lower plasma lipids, even in presence of H diet. Kappaphycus modulated the balance between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut, which could serve as the potential mechanism for improved metabolic variables; this was accompanied by no damage to the gut structure. Thus, whole Kappaphycus improved cardiovascular, liver, and metabolic parameters in obese rats. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolic syndrome; red seaweed; obesity; inflammation; carrageenan; Kappaphycus alvarezii; potassium; salt metabolic syndrome; red seaweed; obesity; inflammation; carrageenan; Kappaphycus alvarezii; potassium; salt
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Wanyonyi, S.; Du Preez, R.; Brown, L.; Paul, N.A.; Panchal, S.K. Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1261.

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