The microalgae used is Tetraselmis chuii (TC), a unicellular green microalga discovered in the 1950s, and is commercialized as TetraSOD by Spanish marine biotech company Fitoplancton Marino.
The range of benefits were observed for a daily dose of 25 mg, with no additional improvements recorded for a higher dose (200 mg per day), according to findings published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
“The data obtained provide a physiological approach that could determine the potential use of this microalgae in both the sports and health fields although most of the endocrine-metabolic mechanisms underlying the effects of TC remain unknown at present,” wrote scientists from the School of Sport Sciences at the University of Extremadura in Spain.
As reported previously by NutraIngredients-USA, Tetraselmis chuii is part of the diet of mussels, oysters, clams, scallops and corals.
The microalgae is a good source of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
TetraSOD is reportedly composed of 100% lyophilized TC marketed for food and nutraceutical applications. In 2017, the European Union gave approval to Fitoplancton Marino to market its lyophilized TC for use in dietary supplements at levels of up to 250mg/day.
Fitoplancton Marino provided the microalgae used in the new study but did not fund the research.
The Spain-based scientists recruited 45 health young men to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The men were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Placebo, 25 mg per day of TC, or 200 mg per day of TC.
After 60 days, the researchers found that both groups receiving the Tetraselmis chuii displayed increases in percent muscle mass, erythropoietin (EPO – a glycoprotein hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells), insulin-like growth factor 1, free testosterone, leukocytes, neutrophils and lymphocytes with some reaching statistical significance.
“One of the most interesting endocrine phenomena revealed in this investigation was the significant increases in EPO concentrations (p < 0.05) only in the supplemented groups,” wrote the researchers. They added that the mechanism of action in boosting EPO levels remains unclear, but similar effects have been reported for other microalgae, including Spirulina and some cyanobacteria.
The microalgae groups also exhibited decreases in a range of measures, including the fat mass percentage, platelets, hematocrit, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin.
“The results obtained in the present work indicate that daily supplementation with 25 mg of TC (TetraSOD®) for sixty days could optimize hematological, hormonal, biochemical and anthropometric parameters in healthy male students,” wrote the researchers.
“Future research is needed to clarify the pathways of action of TC in the human body,” they concluded.
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
2022, 19(10), 6060; doi: 10.3390/ijerph19106060
“Effects of Tetraselmis chuii Microalgae Supplementation on Anthropometric, Hormonal and Hematological Parameters in Healthy Young Men: A Double-Blind Study”
Authors: A. García et al.