Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Mussels linked to obesity, cholesterol control

By Yu Chao-fu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kong Zwe-ling, right, chair of National Taiwan Ocean University’s Department of Food Science, gestures as a research colleague holds a tray of mussels in Keelung on Tuesday.

Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times

Mussel consumption could help control obesity, reduce cholesterol, boost antioxidant enzymes and improve male reproductive health, National Taiwan Ocean University researchers have found.

While the high nutritional value and low cholesterol of the common mussel is well known, research indicates that eating mussels could have other health benefits, the university said on Tuesday.

Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy is to publish its paper on the subject in January, the university said.

The Matsu archipelago is the only source of farmed mussels in Taiwan, it said.

The research team said cellular tests and animal trials showed that glycoprotein in mussels could help with weight loss and reducing inflammation, said Kong Zwe-ling (龔瑞林), a coauthor of the paper and chair of the university’s Department of Food Science.

In cellular tests, glycoprotein from mussel extracts were found to inhabit lipid accumulation in rat cells, and reduce triglyceride and cholesterol accretion, Kong said.

When obese rats were fed mussel extract, they lost weight and exhibited reduced levels of triglyceride, cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins in their blood plasma, he said.

The research team reported a reduction of inflammatory agents and insulin resistance in the rats, while there were boosts to superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase enzyme activation, he said.

Animal trials showed that mussel glycoprotein appears to increase testosterone, making male rats more fertile, he said.

The university’s Matsu campus is home to the newly founded departments of marine biotechnology, marine business management, and ocean engineering and technology, university president Chan Ching-Fong (張清風) said.

The university works closely with the Lienchiang County Government and local businesses to improve the value of Matsu fish farming, food industry and tourism, with mussel research being part of the effort, he said.

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