Prior to this study, there was no unified treatment scheme for diabetic cardiomyopathy since its pathogenesis was not yet fully understood. However, pathological changes like glucose and lipid metabolism disorders, inflammation, programmed cell death, and damaged small blood vessels have already been associated with its development. In addition to these, there is evidence that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway contributes to diabetic cardiomyopathy development.
Astaxanthin is a pigment that belongs to the carotenoid family. It is commonly found in trout, shrimp, crabs, microalgae, yeast, and the Pacific salmon, where it is responsible for the fish's pinkish color. This phytonutrient has gained much attention over the years due to its potent antioxidant property. But aside from this, it also has the ability to ability to prevent liver, kidney, and cardiovascular damage. However, there were prior reports of its effects against diabetic cardiomyopathy.
In this study from the CyTA - Journal of Food, the researchers looked at the cardioprotective effects of astaxanthin against diabetic cardiomyopathy in male Sprague-Dawley rats. These animal models were given a high-glucose and high-fat diet for four weeks before they were induced to have diabetes using streptozotocin. After which, the researchers administered them with 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg of astaxanthin daily for six weeks. To determine the extent of the phytonutrient's effects, they used parameters like blood glucose, lipid, and inflammation levels, cardiac function, oxidative stress, and the expression of proteins in the MAPK signaling pathway. All these factors contribute to myocardial damage and the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
The rats treated with astaxanthin exhibited significant improvements in blood glucose and blood lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, inflammation, and cardiac function. They also experienced a reduction in proteins involved in the MAPK pathway, suggesting that it was inhibited.
Overall, these results show that astaxanthin has cardioprotective effects against diabetic cardiomyopathy that can be attributed to different mechanisms. (Related: New research finds astaxanthin may help diabetics by lowering blood pressure and improving glucose metabolism.)
By increasing your intake of astaxanthin, you can also enjoy the following health benefits:
If you'd like to read more news articles on the health benefits of astaxanthin, visit Phytonutrients.news.