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Carrageenans from the red seaweed Sarconema filiforme attenuate symptoms of diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats
journal contributionposted on 15.06.2020, 00:00 by Ryan du PreezRyan du Preez, N Paul, P Mouatt, ME Majzoub, T Thomas, SK Panchal, L Brown
Carrageenans are thickening and gelling agents that may provide health benefits. Iota (ι)-carrageenan, a linear sulfated polysaccharide, is produced by the red seaweed, Sarconema filiforme. This study investigated the potential of this seaweed as a functional food for the reversal of metabolic syndrome and possible mechanisms. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups in a 16-week protocol: corn starch diet-fed rats (C); C rats supplemented with 5% S. filiforme for the last 8 weeks (CSF); high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-fed rats (H); and H rats supplemented with 5% S. filiforme for the last 8 weeks (HSF). S. filiforme was produced in tank-based aquaculture yielding 27 g dry weight/day/m2 of culture area. H rats developed obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, glucose intolerance, fatty liver and increased left ventricular collagen deposition. S. filiforme supplementation decreased body weight, abdominal and liver fat, systolic blood pressure, plasma total cholesterol concentrations, and plasma activities of alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase. S. filiforme supplementation modulated gut microbiota without changing the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. S. filiforme improved symptoms of high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Possible mechanisms include a reduced infiltration of inflammatory cells into organs as well as prebiotic actions in the gastrointestinal tract.