COLUMBIA, Md., May 12, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Martek Biosciences (MATK) announced today the preliminary results of a study on the therapeutic effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on lipid profiles, blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in obese, mildly dyslipidemic subjects.
The study found that after 13 weeks, the group assigned to take 1g of DHA per day demonstrated significantly lower triglyceride levels than the placebo group. When tested again at 26 weeks, the same group had significantly lower triglyceride levels as compared to baseline, but the reduction was not statistically significant as compared to the placebo group, which was the study's primary endpoint. The results are consistent with previous studies using comparable low doses of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils.
The multi-center randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study used Martek DHA produced from microalgae or a matching placebo administered over a period of 26 weeks. Subjects were randomly assigned to take 200mg of DHA per day, 1g of DHA per day, or the placebo. Lipid profiles and other markers of cardiovascular risk were measured at baseline (entry) and after 13 and 26 weeks of supplementation.
Study results also showed slight increases in HDL and modest increases in large LDL cholesterol, no effect on blood pressure, and a modest decrease in resting heart rate. These effects were not statistically significant at all time points.
Additional study data show a statistically significant reduction of C- reactive protein (CRP) in the combined 200mg and 1g DHA dosage groups when compared to placebo at 26 weeks. Emerging research suggests that high levels of CRP are associated with vascular inflammation and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
The observed lipid profile effects are consistent with previous studies using similar low doses of fish oil containing the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. This suggests that Martek DHA has cardiovascular attributes comparable to fish oil and supports the use of Martek DHA in dietary supplements and food applications for cardiovascular health.
"This study supports the role of Martek DHA in cardiovascular health. The data on the C-reactive protein is promising and provides direction for future research into the role of Martek DHA and inflammation in the reduction of cardiovascular disease. Additional research will be needed to determine the value of Martek DHA in pharmaceutical applications," said Henry "Pete" Linsert, Jr., Martek's Chairman and CEO.
Martek Biosciences Corporation develops, manufactures and sells products from microalgae. The Company's products include: (1) specialty, nutritional oils for infant formula that aid in the development of the eyes and central nervous system in newborns; (2) nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may play a beneficial role in promoting mental and cardiovascular health throughout life; and (3) powerful fluorescent markers for diagnostics, rapid miniaturized screening, and gene and protein detection.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Martek's products. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause future actual results to differ due to a variety of risk factors, including without limitation those factors set forth in Martek's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.