Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus both contain unique polyphenols called phlorotannins. Phlorotannins reportedly possess various pharmacological activities. A previous study reported that the activity of phlorotannin is strongly correlated with the normalization of metabolic function, and phlorotannins are extremely promising nutrients for use in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. To date, no study has explored the antihyperlipidemic effects of phlorotannins from A. nodosum and F. vesiculosus in animal models. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the effects of phlorotannins using a rat model of high-energy diet (HED)-induced hyperlipidemia. The results showed that the rats that were fed an HED and treated with phlorotannin-rich extract from A. nodosum and F. vesiculosus had significantly lower serum fasting blood sugar (FBS), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol (TC), triacylglyceride (TG) and free fatty acids (FFAs) levels and hepatic TG level and had higher serum insulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and lipase activity in their fat tissues than in the case with the rats that were fed the HED alone. A histopathological analysis revealed that phlorotannin-rich extract could significantly reduce the size of adipocytes around the epididymis. In addition, the rats treated with phlorotannin-rich extract had significantly lowered interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities than did those in the HED group. These results suggested that the phlorotannin-rich extract stimulated lipid metabolism and may have promoted lipase activity in rats with HED-induced hyperlipidemia. Our results indicated that A. nodosum and F. vesiculosus, marine algae typically used as health foods, have strong antihyperlipidemic effects and may, therefore, be useful for preventing atherosclerosis. These algae may be incorporated into antihyperlipidemia pharmaceuticals and functional foods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4665
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Ascophyllum nodosum
  • Fucus vesiculosus
  • high-energy diet
  • hyperlipidemia
  • phlorotannins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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