Microalgae extract can support metabolic wellness, study finds

Published: 9-Apr-2024

Supplementation with microalgae could assist in enhancing aerobic capacity, as well as cardiovascular and bone health

A new clinical study demonstrates PhaeOptim, an extract derived from the microalgae strain Phaeodactylum tricornutum, supports active and healthy lifestyles crucial for weight management. 

The results were published in the peer- reviewed journal, Nutrients. PhaeOptim is a functional ingredient for supplement manufacturers from Microphyt, a company unlocking the power of microalgae for health, wellness and beauty.

Conducted over a 12-week period, the double-blinded, randomised study involved 37 overweight but otherwise healthy women (average BMI of 29.6 kg/m²). Subjects followed a calorie-restricted diet and supervised exercise, including resistance training and walking. 

They were administered either a placebo or 220 mg/day of PhaeOptim, standardised to 4.4 mg of fucoxanthin, a carotenoid and potent antioxidant naturally present in the microalgae. 

PhaeOptim improved exercise capacity and strengthened cardiovascular fitness while preserving bone health

The results, observed at both the six and 12-week marks, showed significant improvements for the PhaeOptim group.

PhaeOptim improved exercise capacity and strengthened cardiovascular fitness while preserving bone health. 

“These promising findings demonstrate PhaeOptim supports a holistic approach to weight management interventions by improving major physiological components that could optimise adherence to a healthy lifestyle,” said Jonathan Maury, Clinical Research Manager of Microphyt. 

“PhaeOptim helped women adhere to weight management intervention goals by improving exercise adaptations creating a more supportive, effective and possibly comfortable experience.”

While the study subjects experienced notable reductions in fat and weight, the differences between the treatment groups were not statistically significant. Nonetheless, the results highlight the multiple benefits of PhaeOptim supplementation in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.


Main trial highlights

  • Better adherence to diet: The PhaeOptim group exhibited greater reductions in total energy and fat intake compared to the placebo group.
  • Enhanced aerobic capacity: PhaeOptim subjects experienced a 2.5-fold improvement in aerobic capacity, quantified by VO2 max measurements.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: PhaeOptim contributed to a reduction in resting heart rate by more than 7 beats per minute after 6 weeks and promoted a more favourable lipid profile by decreasing total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio, thereby bolstering cardiovascular health.
  • Supported bone health: The supplement aided in maintaining bone mineral content and improved bone mineral density, crucial for overall bone health.


“PhaeOptim is a natural, sustainable and clinically proven functional ingredient that can help consumers’ wellness journey by augmenting healthy exercise and dietary choices,” said Dr Maury. “This study demonstrates the efficacy of PhaeOptim in enhancing exercise capacity and cardiovascular health, as well as preventing bone damage.”

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