Algal DHA Found to Lower Triglycerides and VLDL-c

Algal DHA

Research from New York’s Rockefeller University has determined that DHA sourced from microalgae lowers serum triglycerides and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in overweight adults, and reduces VLDL particle size. This conclusion was confirmed by a new meta-study from the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, which found that algae-derived DHA lowers serum triglycerides in healthy persons.

In the Rockefeller University study, 35 overweight or obese adult volunteers took either two grams of algal DHA per day or a placebo. The DHA group had significantly lower triglyceride levels, and lower levels of VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Furthermore, the particle sizes of all the cholesterol types within the DHA group were greater, including their HDL-, LDL- and VLDL-cholesterol. Other research has found that smaller sized cholesterol particles are associated with cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis – the hardening of the arteries.

Meta-study shows algal-DHA reduces bad cholesterol

The newer meta-study from the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the results of eleven clinical studies that included 485 healthy volunteers. In these studies, triglyceride levels were significantly lower in the algal-DHA groups, and HDL/LDL levels were higher among healthy persons.

Other research has established that the DHA derived from algae has the same beneficial effects and safety as DHA derived from fish oil. The body stores this long-chain fatty acid in the form of DHA, and converts DHA to EPA as needed.

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Microalgae species Crypthecodinium cohnii, Nitzschia laevis and Schizochytrium spp. all produce algal DHA.



Bernstein AM, Ding EL, Willett WC, Rimm EB. A Meta-Analysis Shows That Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algal Oil Reduces Serum Triglycerides and Increases HDL-Cholesterol and LDL-Cholesterol in Persons without Coronary Heart Disease. J Nutr. 2012 Jan;142(1):99-104.

Neff LM, Culiner J, Cunningham-Rundles S, Seidman C, Meehan D, Maturi J, Wittkowski KM, Levine B, Breslow JL. Algal docosahexaenoic acid affects plasma lipoprotein particle size distribution in overweight and obese adults. J Nutr. 2011 Feb;141(2):207-13.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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