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Potentially Beneficial Effects on Healthy Aging by Supplementation of the EPA-Rich Microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum or Its Supernatant—A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial in Elderly Individuals

ORCID
0000-0002-6767-4101
Affiliation
Institute of Clinical Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 12, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Stiefvatter, Lena;
Affiliation
Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Frick, Konstantin;
ORCID
0000-0003-4416-531X
Affiliation
Institute of Food Chemistry, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Lehnert, Katja;
Affiliation
Institute of Food Chemistry, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Vetter, Walter;
ORCID
0000-0003-1465-0322
Affiliation
Department of Food Biofunctionality, Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Montoya-Arroyo, Alexander;
ORCID
0000-0002-7548-5829
Affiliation
Department of Food Biofunctionality, Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Frank, Jan;
ORCID
0000-0002-4961-6039
Affiliation
Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Schmid-Staiger, Ulrike;
ORCID
0000-0003-2614-5948
Affiliation
Institute of Clinical Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 12, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Bischoff, Stephan C.

Dietary supplements that promote healthy aging are mostly warranted in an aging society. Because of age-related risks, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents such as microalgae are potential candidates for intervention. In a randomized controlled trial, we tested Phaeodactylum tricornutum (PT), a microalgae rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), carotenoids, vitamins, and β-glucans, cultured in bioreactors. In this pilot trial, 19 healthy elderly received supplements for two weeks based on either the whole PT ( A ), the β-1,3-glucan-rich PT supernatant ( SupB ), the combination thereof ( A+SupB ), or a Comparator product ( Comp ). The primary outcome variable plasma interleukin-6 was reduced after treatment with A+SupB compared to the Comp group ( p = 0.04). The mobility parameters 5 s sit-to-stand test ( p = 0.04 in the A group) and by trend gait speed ( p = 0.08 in the A+SupB diet) were improved compared to Comp . No treatment effects were observed for fatty acids, compared to Comp but omega-6 to -3 fatty acid ratio ( p = 0.006) and arachidonic acid/EPA ratio ( p = 0.006) were reduced within group A+SupB . Further, the SupB study product reduced faecal zonulin ( p = 0.03) compared to the Comp . The data revealed an anti-inflammatory and potentially anti-oxidative effect of particular PT preparations, suggesting that they might be suitable for effects in healthy elderly.

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