2006 Volume 52 Issue 6 Pages 457-466
Effects of Chlorella regularis (dried cell powder)—cultured axenically under heterotrophic conditions, and provided as a dietary supplement—and its fractions on the blood pressure, cerebral stroke lesions, and life-span of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP/Izm) were investigated. When SHRSP were fed on diets with supplemented Chlorella to a commercial diet (Funabashi SP), elevation of blood pressure was significantly lower in the Chlorella groups than in the control group. At 21 wk of feeding, serum total cholesterol was significantly lower in the Chlorella groups than in the control group. Histopathological examination revealed cerebral vascular accidents in the brains of the control group, but those of Chlorella groups showed apparently low incidence compared to the control group. The average life-span of the Chlorella groups were significantly longer than that of the control group (p<0.001). Chlorella powder was fractionated into three fractions, lipid-soluble, hot water-soluble, and residual fractions. The diets supplemented with lipid or residual fractions equivalent to 10% Chlorella significantly suppressed elevation of blood pressure in SHRSP, and then decreased the incidence rate of cerebral vessel lesions compared to the control group. Chemical analysis revealed that the lipid fraction contained large quantities of antioxidants, including carotenoids (especially lutein) and others, and phospholipids involved in aorta collagen and elastin metabolism; the residual fraction contained high concentrations of arginine, enhancing the function of blood vessels. The control diet contained only a little these substances. These experimental results suggest that the beneficial effect of Chlorella on SHRSP is caused by the synergistic action of several ingredients of Chlorella, which play a role in sustention of a vascular function of rats.