We investigated the effects of a dietary astaxanthin (ASX-O) on oxidative parameters in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), by determination of the level of nitric oxide (NO) end products nitrite/nitrate (NO2−/NO3−) and lipid peroxidation in ASX-O-treated SHR. Oral administration of the ASX-O significantly reduced the plasma level of NO2−/NO3− compared to the control vehicle (p<0.05). The lipid peroxidation level, however, was reduced in both ASX-O- and olive oil-treated groups. We also analyzed the post-treatment effects of ASX-O on the vascular tissues by examining the changes in the aorta and coronary arteries and arterioles. The dietary ASX-O showed significant reduction in the elastin bands in the rat aorta (p<0.05). It also significantly decreased the [wall : lumen] aerial ratio of the coronary arteries. These results suggest that ASX-O can modulate the oxidative condition and may improve vascular elastin and arterial wall thickness in hypertension.
2006 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan