An astaxanthin-rich algal powder improves memory in mice. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Impact of astaxanthin-enriched algal powder of Haematococcus pluvialis on memory improvement in BALB/c mice.
Environ Geochem Health. 2007 Dec;29(6):483-9. Epub 2007 Aug 25. PMID: 17721823
Research and Development Center of Marine Biotechnology, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao, 266071, China.
The impact of astaxanthin-enriched algal powder on auxiliary memory improvement was assessed in BALB/c mice pre-supplemented with different dosages of cracked green algal (Haematococcus pluvialis) powder daily for 30 days. The supplemented mice were first tested over 8 days to find a hidden platform by swimming in a Morris water maze. Then, for 5 days, the mice were used to search for a visible platform in a Morris water maze. After that, the mice practised finding a safe place--an insulated platform in a chamber--for 2 days. During these animal experimental periods, similar algal meals containing astaxanthin at 0, 0.26, 1.3 and 6.4 mg/kg body weight were continuously fed to each group of tested mice. Profiles of latency, distance, speed and the direction angle to the platforms as well as the diving frequency in each group were measured and analyzed. The process of mice jumping up onto the insulated platform and diving down to the copper-shuttered bottom with a 36 V electrical charge were also monitored by automatic video recording. The results of the Morris maze experiment showed that middle dosage of H. pluvialis meals (1.3 mg astaxanthin/kg body weight) significantly shortened the latency and distance required for mice to find a hidden platform. However, there was no obvious change in swim velocity in any of the supplemented groups. In contrast, the visible platform test showed a significant increase in latency and swim distance, and a significant decrease in swim speed for all groups of mice orally supplemented with H. pluvialis powder compared to the placebo group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Mice supplemented with the algal meal hesitantly turned around the original hidden platform, in contract to mice supplemented with placebo, who easily forgot the original location and accepted the visible platform as a new safe place. These results illustrate that astaxanthin-enriched H. pluvialis powder has the auxiliary property of memory improvement. The results from the platform diving test showed that the low and middle dosage of H. pluvialis powder, rather that the high dosage, increased the latency and reduced the frequency of diving from the safe insulated platform to the electrically stimulated copper shutter, especially in the low treatment group (P<0.05). These results indicate that H. pluvialis powder is associated with dose-dependent memory improvement and that a low dosage of algal powder (