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A combination of flaxseed oil and astaxanthin alleviates atherosclerosis risk factors in high fat diet fed rats

Jiqu Xu12, Hui Gao3, Li Zhang4, Chang Chen56, Wei Yang3, Qianchun Deng12, Qingde Huang12 and Fenghong Huang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Product Processing and Nutriology, OilCrops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2 Xudong Second Road, Wuhan 430062, P.R. China

2 Hubei Key Laboratory of Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition, OilCrops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2 Xudong Second Road, Wuhan 430062, P.R. China

3 Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 13 Hangkong Road, Wuhan 430030, P.R. China

4 Department of neurology, Hubei Xinhua Hosipital, 11 lingjiaohu Road, Wuhan 430015, P.R. China

5 Department of Gastroenterology, The First People's Hospital of Yichang, The People's Hospital of China Three Gorges University, 2 Jiefang Road, Yichang 443000, P.R. China

6 Department of Gastroenterology, The People's Hospital of China Three Gorges University, 2 Jiefang Road, Yichang 443000, P.R. China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:63  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-63

Published: 4 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Atherosclerosis is the most common pathologic process underlying cardiovascular disease. Both flaxseed oil (FO) and astaxanthin (ASX) are believed to benefit cardiovascular system. The combined effect of FO and ASX on the atherosclerosis risk factors in rats fed a high-fat diet was investigated.

Methods

Astaxanthin was dissolved in flaxseed oil to a final concentration of 1g/kg (FO + ASX). Male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a rodent diet contained 20% fat whose source was lard (HFD) or 75% lard and 25% FO + ASX (50 mg ASX/kg diet) or 50% lard and 50% FO + ASX (100 mg ASX/kg diet) or FO + ASX (200 mg ASX/kg diet) for 10 weeks.

Results

The combination of FO and ASX significantly increased the antioxidant defense capacity and decreased lipid peroxidation in plasma. Evident decreases in the levels TG, TC and LDL-C contents, as well as IL-6 and CRP were also observed in plasma of FO and ASX fed rats.

Conclusion

The combination of FO and ASX can improve oxidative stress, lipid abnormalities and inflammation, providing evidence that the combination of FO and ASX could be a promising functional food in cardiovascular health promotion.

Keywords:
Flaxseed oil; Astaxanthin; Atherosclerosis; Oxidant stress; Plasma lipids; Inflammation