How Astragalus Plant Extracts Help Manage High-Fat Diet-Induced Lipid Issues

Jim Crocker
26th May, 2024

How Astragalus Plant Extracts Help Manage High-Fat Diet-Induced Lipid Issues

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Jimei University, Xiamen, China, studied the effects of Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharides (AMP) on lipid metabolism disorders in spotted sea bass
  • High-fat diets caused significant lipid metabolism disorders in the fish, including elevated serum lipids, oxidative stress, and liver damage
  • Adding AMP to the high-fat diets reduced liver damage, oxidative stress, and improved lipid metabolism by lowering LDL cholesterol and regulating key genes
Lipid metabolism disorders, often exacerbated by high-fat diets (HFD), are a significant concern in aquaculture, impacting fish health and the sustainability of the industry. A recent study conducted by researchers at Jimei University, Xiamen, China, evaluated the regulatory effects of Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharides (AMP) on lipid metabolism disorders in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus)[1]. In this study, 375 spotted sea bass were divided into five groups, each housed in separate tanks. The fish were fed different diets over 56 days: a normal diet containing 10% lipids, a high-fat diet containing 15% lipids, and three experimental diets that combined the HFD with varying levels of AMP (0.06%, 0.08%, 0.10%). The researchers aimed to determine whether AMP could mitigate the negative effects of the HFD on lipid metabolism. The findings revealed that the HFD induced significant lipid metabolism disorders in the fish, evidenced by elevated serum lipids, increased malonaldehyde levels (a marker of oxidative stress), and severe liver damage. However, the addition of AMP to the HFD showed promising results in alleviating these disorders. Specifically, AMP reduced the severity of liver lesions and malonaldehyde levels, indicating less oxidative stress and liver damage. Additionally, AMP lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and modulated the expression of key genes involved in lipid metabolism, such as down-regulating fatty acid synthase (FAS) and up-regulating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α). These results are significant because they suggest that AMP could be a valuable dietary supplement in aquaculture to counteract the adverse effects of high-fat diets, thus improving fish health and potentially enhancing the sustainability of aquaculture practices. This aligns with previous research highlighting the importance of managing lipid metabolism in aquaculture species. For instance, a study on Acanthopagrus schlegelii demonstrated that fenofibrate, another lipid-regulating agent, reduced fat deposition and inflammation caused by HFD by up-regulating PPAR-α and silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1)[2]. The current study supports these findings by showing that AMP similarly influences lipid metabolism through the regulation of PPAR-α. Moreover, the study's focus on oxidative stress and liver health is consistent with earlier findings on the impact of high-fat diets on aquatic species. Research on Macrobrachium rosenbergii indicated that high-fat diets induce oxidative stress and liver damage, which can be mitigated by dietary antioxidants like vitamin E[3]. The current study expands on this by demonstrating that AMP, a natural polysaccharide, can also reduce oxidative stress and liver damage in fish. The potential economic and environmental benefits of using AMP in aquaculture are substantial. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and related metabolic disorders are a growing concern in both humans and animals, representing a significant economic burden due to the lack of inexpensive and reliable diagnostic methods[4]. By improving fish health and reducing the need for costly medical interventions, AMP could contribute to more sustainable and cost-effective aquaculture practices. In conclusion, the study by Jimei University highlights the potential of Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharides as a dietary supplement to mitigate lipid metabolism disorders induced by high-fat diets in aquaculture. By reducing oxidative stress, liver damage, and modulating key lipid metabolism genes, AMP offers a promising solution to enhance fish health and support the sustainability of the aquaculture industry.

MedicineHealthMarine Biology


Main Study

1) Regulatory effects of Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharides on lipid metabolism disorders induced by a high-fat diet in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus).

Published 23rd May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Dietary fenofibrate attenuated high-fat-diet-induced lipid accumulation and inflammation response partly through regulation of pparα and sirt1 in juvenile black seabream (Acanthopagrus schlegelii).

3) High-Fat-Diet-Induced Oxidative Stress in Giant Freshwater Prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) via NF-κB/NO Signal Pathway and the Amelioration of Vitamin E.

4) Global epidemiology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: What we need in the future.

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