First clinical study to show beneficial effects on ameliorating coagulatory disorders in type 2 diabetic subjects.
In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving type 2 diabetic patients, supplementation with AstaReal® natural astaxanthin markedly improved lipid profiles, reduced inflammatory cytokines and attenuated hemostatic disorders. These findings imply that the natural carotenoid, derived from the Haematococcus pluvialis microalga, helps to prevent or alleviate diabetic coagulatory disorders.
The pathology of diabetes includes hyperglycemia, hypercoagulation, oxidative stress and inflammation. Coagulation disorders often occur in diabetic patients with poor glycemic control. Clinical studies in diabetics have indicated that an increase in activity of coagulation factors and/or a decrease in activity of anticoagulation factors leads to hypercoagulability. This state elevates the risk of thrombosis and promotes the development of cardiovascular complications such as cardiomyopathy and stroke.
In the present study conducted by Kung-Chi Chan, Shih-chueh Chen and Pei-chi Chen of Providence University and Cheng Ching Hospital, Thaichung City (Taiwan), patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned into three groups: placebo, low dose of AstaReal® natural astaxanthin (6 mg/day) and high dose (12 mg/day). Prior to and 8 weeks after the intervention, researchers determined the plasma levels of certain coagulation and anticoagulation factors, plasma lipid profiles and inflammatory factors in the study participants. By measuring glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians were able to assess average blood sugar levels during the previous weeks. They found that astaxanthin supplementation decreased HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose levels. Moreover, a high dose of astaxanthin intake significantly lowered plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, levels of coagulation factors and increased levels of anticoagulation factors compared with the placebo group after 8 weeks. Astaxanthin intake also reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines. Thus, natural astaxanthin seems to be effective against diabetic coagulation disorders.
Dr. Kung-Chi Chan said: “In this clinical study, we observed that Astaxanthin supplementation has beneficial effects on ameliorating coagulatory disorders in type 2 diabetic patients. Our future work will be to investigate the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on the development of microvascular complications in diabetic patients, such as retinopathy and renopathy.”
Owing to its powerful antioxidant activities, astaxanthin has been reported to have protective effects against many oxidation-related chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus. Its unique structure enables it to quench free radicals in the inner and outer layer of the cell membrane unlike other antioxidants, thus protecting our body’s cells from oxidative stress.
Kung-chi Chan, Shih-chueh Chen, Pei-chi Chen: Astaxanthin attenuated thrombotic risk factors in type 2 diabetic patients. Journal of Functional Foods 53 (2019) 22–27.