Microalgal Oil Supplementation Has an Anti-Obesity Effect in C57BL/6J Mice Fed a High Fat Diet

  • Yook, Jin-Seon (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 Plus, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Kim, Kyung-Ah (Department of Food and Nutrition, Songwon University) ;
  • Park, Jeong Eun (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 Plus, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Lee, Seon-Hwa (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 Plus, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Cha, Youn-Soo (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 Plus, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2015.09.08
  • Accepted : 2015.12.04
  • Published : 2015.12.31


This study investigated the impact of microalgal oil (MO) on body weight management in C57BL/6J mice. Obesity was induced for 8 weeks and animals were orally supplemented with the following for 8 additional weeks: beef tallow (BT), corn oil, fish oil (FO), microalgal oil (MO), or none, as a high fat diet control group (HD). A normal control group was fed with a normal diet. After completing the experiment, the FO and MO groups showed significant decreases in body weight gain, epididymal fat pad weights, serum triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels compared to the HD and BT groups. A lower mRNA expression level of lipid anabolic gene and higher levels of lipid catabolic genes were observed in both FO and MO groups. Serum insulin and leptin concentrations were lower in the MO group. These results indicated that microalgal oil has an anti-obesity effect that can combat high fat diet-induced obesity in mice.


  1. Yamanushi TT, Kabuto H, Hirakawa E, Janjua N, Takayama F, Mankura M. 2014. Oral administration of eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid modifies cardiac function and ameliorates congestive heart failure in male rats. J Nutr 144: 467-474.
  2. Yang P, Cartwright C, Chan D, Ding J, Felix E, Pan Y, Pang J, Rhea P, Block K, Fischer SM, Newman RA. 2014. Anticancer activity of fish oils against human lung cancer is associated with changes in formation of $PGE_2$ and $PGE_3$ and alteration of Akt phosphorylation. Mol Carcinog 53: 566-577.
  3. Brown AL, Zhu X, Rong S, Shewale S, Seo J, Boudyguina E, Gebre AK, Alexander-Miller MA, Parks JS. 2012. Omega-3 fatty acids ameliorate atherosclerosis by favorably altering monocyte subsets and limiting monocyte recruitment to aortic lesions. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 32: 2122-2130.
  4. Fiamoncini J, Turner N, Hirabara SM, Salgado TM, Marcal AC, Leslie S, da Silva SM, Deschamps FC, Luz J, Cooney GJ, Curi R. 2013. Enhanced peroxisomal ${\beta}$-oxidation is associated with prevention of obesity and glucose intolerance by fish oil-enriched diets. Obesity 21: 1200-1207.
  5. Simopoulos AP. 2008. The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Exp Biol Med 233: 674-688.
  6. Martins DA, Custodio L, Barreira L, Pereira H, Ben-Hamadou R, Varela J, Abu-Salah KM. 2013. Alternative sources of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in marine microalgae. Mar Drugs 11: 2259-2281.
  7. Tur JA, Bibiloni MM, Sureda A, Pons A. 2012. Dietary sources of omega 3 fatty acids: public health risks and benefits. Br J Nutr 107: S23-S52.
  8. Meesapyodsuk D, Qiu X. 2012. The front-end desaturase: structure, function, evolution and biotechnological use. Lipids 47: 227-237.
  9. Sayanova O, Napier JA. 2011. Transgenic oilseed crops as an alternative to fish oils. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 85: 253-260.
  10. Wu X, Ouyang H, Duan B, Pang D, Zhang L, Yuan T, Xue L, Ni D, Cheng L, Dong S, Wei Z, Li L, Yu M, Sun QY, Chen DY, Lai L, Dai Y, Li GP. 2012. Production of cloned transgenic cow expressing omega-3 fatty acids. Transgenic Res 21: 537-543.
  11. Zhang P, Zhang Y, Dou H, Yin J, Chen Y, Pang X, Vajta G, Bolund L, Du Y, Ma RZ. 2012. Handmade cloned transgenic piglets expressing the nematode fat-1 gene. Cell Reprogram 14: 258-266.
  12. Hong WK, Rairakhwada D, Seo PS, Park SY, Hur BK, Kim CH, Seo JW. 2011. Production of lipids containing high levels of docosahexaenoic acid by a newly isolated microalga, Aurantiochytrium sp. KRS101. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 164: 1468-1480.
  13. Perez-Garcia O, Escalante FM, de-Bashan LE, Bashan Y. 2011. Heterotrophic cultures of microalgae: metabolism and potential products. Water Res 45: 11-36.
  14. Ryckebosch E, Bruneel C, Termote-Verhalle R, Lemahieu C, Muylaert K, Van Durme J, Goiris K, Foubert I. 2013. Stability of omega-3 LC-PUFA-rich photoautotrophic microalgal oils compared to commercially available omega-3 LC-PUFA oils. J Agric Food Chem 61: 10145-10155.
  15. Hong WK, Yu A, Oh BR, Park JM, Kim CH, Sohn JH, Kondo A, Seo JW. 2013. Large-scale production of microalgal lipids containing high levels of docosahexaenoic acid upon fermentation of Aurantiochytrium sp. KRS101. Food Nutr Sci 4: 1-5.
  16. Neff LM, Culiner J, Cunningham-Rundles S, Seidman C, Meehan D, Maturi J, Wittkowski KM, Levine B, Breslow JL. 2011. Algal docosahexaenoic acid affects plasma lipoprotein particle size distribution in overweight and obese adults. J Nutr 141: 207-213.
  17. Geppert J, Kraft V, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B. 2006. Microalgal docosahexaenoic acid decreases plasma triacylglycerol in normolipidaemic vegetarians: a randomised trial. Br J Nutr 95: 779-786.
  18. Sanders TA, Gleason K, Griffin B, Miller GJ. 2006. Influence of an algal triacylglycerol containing docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) and docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-6) on cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women. Br J Nutr 95: 525-531.
  19. Lin S, Thomas TC, Storlien LH, Huang XF. 2000. Development of high fat diet-induced obesity and leptin resistance in C57Bl/6J mice. Int J Obes 24: 639-646.
  20. Bligh EG, Dyer WJ. 1959. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Physiol 37: 911-917.
  21. Azain MJ. 2004. Role of fatty acids in adipocyte growth and development. J Anim Sci 82: 916-924.
  22. Ruzickova J, Rossmeisl M, Prazak T, Flachs P, Sponarova J, Veck M, Tvrzicka E, Bryhn M, Kopecky J. 2004. Omega-3 PUFA of marine origin limit diet-induced obesity in mice by reducing cellularity of adipose tissue. Lipids 39: 1177-1185.
  23. Wade GN. 1972. Gonadal hormones and behavioral regulation of body weight. Physiol Behav 8: 523-534.
  24. Czaja JA, Goy RW. 1975. Ovarian hormones and food intake in female guinea pigs and rhesus monkeys. Horm Behav 6: 329-349.
  25. Czaja JA. 1975. Food rejection by female rhesus monkeys during the menstrual cycle and early pregnancy. Physiol Behav 14: 579-587.
  26. Czaja JA. 1978. Ovarian influences on primate food intake: assessment of progesterone actions. Physiol Behav 21: 923-928.
  27. Jump DB. 2008. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of hepatic gene transcription. Curr Opin Lipidol 19: 242-247.
  28. Sampath H, Ntambi JM. 2004. Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene expression. Nutr Rev 62: 333-339.
  29. McGarry JD, Leatherman GF, Foster DW. 1978. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I-the site of inhibition of hepatic fatty acid oxidation by malonyl-CoA. J Biol Chem 253: 4128-4136.
  30. Miyazawa S, Hayashi H, Hijikata M, Ishii N, Furuta S, Kagamiyama H, Osumi T, Hashimoto T. 1987. Complete nucleotide sequence of cDNA and predicted amino acid sequence of rat acyl-CoA oxidase. J Biol Chem 262: 8131-8137.
  31. Yee JK, Wahjudi PN, Vega J, Lim S, Martin A, Patterson ME, Cohen JN, Mao CS, Lee WN. 2013. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase enzyme 1 inhibition reduces glucose utilization for de novo fatty acid synthesis and cell proliferation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Metabolomics 9: 809-816.
  32. Lu RH, Liang XF, Wang M, Zhou Y, Bai XL, He Y. 2012. The role of leptin in lipid metabolism in fatty degenerated hepatocytes of the grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idellus. Fish Physiol Biochem 38: 1759-1774.
  33. Fernandez Gianotti T, Burgueno A, Gonzales Mansilla N, Pirola CJ, Sookoian S. 2013. Fatty liver is associated with transcriptional downregulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase and impaired protein dimerization. PLoS One 8: e76912.
  34. Ntambi JM, Miyazaki M, Stoehr JP, Lan H, Kendziorski CM, Yandell BS, Song Y, Cohen P, Friedman JM, Attie AD. 2002. Loss of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 function protects mice against adiposity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99: 11482-11486.
  35. Barnard RJ, Roberts CK, Varon SM, Berger JJ. 1998. Diet-induced insulin resistance precedes other aspects of the metabolic syndrome. J Appl Physiol 84: 1311-1315.
  36. Gale SM, Castracane VD, Mantzoros CS. 2004. Energy homeostasis, obesity and eating disorders: recent advances in endocrinology. J Nutr 134: 295-298.
  37. Tsuchida A, Yamauchi T, Takekawa S, Hada Y, Ito Y, Maki T, Kadowaki T. 2005. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)${\alpha}$ activation increases adiponectin receptors and reduces obesity-related inflammation in adipose tissue: comparison of activation of PPAR${\alpha}$, PPAR${\gamma}$, and their combination. Diabetes 54: 3358-3370.
  38. Oh DY, Talukdar S, Bae EJ, Imamura T, Morinaga H, Fan W, Li P, Lu WJ, Watkins SM, Olefsky JM. 2010. GPR120 is an omega-3 fatty acid receptor mediating potent anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects. Cell 142: 687-698.
  39. Hofacer R, Magrisso IJ, Jandacek R, Rider T, Tso P, Benoit SC, McNamara RK. 2012. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency increases stearoyl-CoA desaturase expression and activity indices in rat liver: positive association with non-fasting plasma triglyceride levels. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 86: 71-77.
  40. Nazian SJ. 2001. Leptin secretion from the epididymal fat pad is increased by the sexual maturation of the male rat. J Androl 22: 491-496.
  41. Barr VA, Malide D, Zarnowski MJ, Taylor SI, Cushman SW. 1997. Insulin stimulates both leptin secretion and production by rat white adipose tissue. Endocrinology 138: 4463-4472.

Cited by

  1. Microalgal Oil from Schizochytrium sp. Prevents HFD-Induced Abdominal Fat Accumulation in Mice vol.36, pp.5, 2017,
  2. n-3 PUFA and obesity: from peripheral tissues to the central nervous system vol.119, pp.11, 2018,
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Attenuate Brain Alterations in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity Model pp.1559-1182, 2018,