Study Suggests DHA May Improve Cholesterol Particle Size in At-Risk Children

COLUMBIA, Md., April 5, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) causes beneficial changes in blood cholesterol measurements in children with high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease, according to the results of a recent study published in The American Journal of Cardiology this month. The study used Martek DHA(TM), which is produced from microalgae.

"Children with high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease are at increased risk for heart disease as adults. The exciting news is that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, may improve the quality of cholesterol in these children. The small size of the 'bad LDL cholesterol' shifted to the large, fluffier type which floats easier in the blood stream without being taken up by the artery wall. This may prevent plaque build-up in the artery and heart disease in these high risk children. These results add to our other recent research which showed that DHA increases the ability of blood vessels to dilate or increase blood flow," said Dr. Marguerite Engler, the study's lead investigator and professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

The study funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved twenty children (between the ages of 9-19) with inherited high cholesterol. The children were stabilized on a low-fat diet for 6 weeks and then randomized to receive 1.2 grams per day of Martek DHA(TM) or a placebo for 6 weeks. Supplementation with DHA significantly increased the amount of the large, buoyant LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and large HDL (high-density lipoprotein) particles and decreased the amount of small dense LDL particles associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Developed by a process that extracts DHA from algae under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions, Martek DHA(TM) is free of chemical pollutants and toxins that may be present in certain fish oils. Martek DHA(TM) is available to consumers through Neuromins(R) DHA dietary supplement and fortified foods including eggs, nutritional bars and milk alternatives.

Martek Biosciences Corporation (MATK) 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.

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