High cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, is when a person has too much fat in their blood. This condition is a risk factor for other diseases, especially heart and blood vessel diseases.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Indonesia. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia has strengthened primary healthcare services to address this issue.
According to the Ministry of Health’s report, in 2022, the number of people with high cholesterol in Indonesia reached 28% of the total population. One source of cholesterol comes from food, such as meat.
Five students from Universitas Gadjah Mada researched feed to reduce cholesterol levels in Peking duck meat using an innovative spirulina supplementation.
The five students are Dinda Rahmasari (Animal Sciences 2022), Muhammad Wisnu Sasongko (Animal Sciences 2020), Muhammad Rizky Zulfahmi (Animal Sciences 2022), Aulia Arifa Abdan (Veterinary Medicine 2022), and Billie Daffa Hananditya Rohadi (Animal Sciences 2022).
This research was conducted through the Student Creativity Program in Exact Sciences Research, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The research on spirulina as a feed supplement to reduce cholesterol levels was conducted from July to September 2023 with the guidance of Dr. Moh. Sofiul Anam, a lecturer at the UGM Faculty of Animal Sciences.
This research was conducted at the Research Farm, Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory, Integrated Research and Testing Laboratory of UGM, and the Tropical Livestock Research Center Laboratory.
The spirulina used in this research is a young green-blue algae in almost all of Indonesia’s waters.
“Spirulina is believed to have phenolic compounds in the form of antioxidants and flavonoids, which can improve lipid profiles by reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol,” said Aulia Abdan.
Aulia Abdan mentioned that the spirulina used in this research is dried spirulina powder. Different doses were added to duck feed: 2% and 4%.
“The Peking ducks used as samples were one day old and were raised for six weeks, with treatment given from the fourth to the sixth week of raising,” she explained.
The research found 66.55mg/100g cholesterol in Peking duck meat fed without spirulina.
The cholesterol content of Peking duck meat supplemented with 2% spirulina was 66.32mg/100g, while that of Peking duck meat supplemented with 4% spirulina was 55.48mg/100g.
“These results indicate that 4% spirulina supplementation causes a 16.63% reduction in cholesterol levels in Peking duck meat compared to ducks that were not given spirulina in their feed,” said Dinda Rahmasari.
According to Rahmasari, spirulina supplementation in feed has been proven to lower cholesterol levels in Peking duck meat.
Through these results, it is hoped that in the future, there will be more use and exploration of algae to be reexamined as feed supplements for livestock to produce low-cholesterol meat.
Author: Gusti Grehenson