Squalene may lower key marker for renal disease in type 2 diabetes patients, study shows


A newly published study found that squalene lowered proteinuria, one of the key markers for renal disease, in type 2 diabetes patients.

Photo © AdobeStock.com/ 6okean

Photo © AdobeStock.com/ 6okean

Proteinuria is a condition in type 2 diabetes patients in which levels of protein in the urine are elevated—which can then become an indication of kidney damage and renal disease. A new study published in Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease1 found that the bioactive compound squalene may help reduce proteinuria.

Squalene’s health benefits are attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Science, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of California–San Diego recruited 150 patients for the study. The subjects were separated into five groups for 84 days, with 14-day interval assessments:

  • Group 1: 30 healthy patients – healthy control group
  • Group 2: 30 diabetic patients – diabetic control group
  • Group 3: 30 type 2 diabetic patients consumed 200 mg/day of squalene (extracted from shark liver)
  • Group 4: 30 type 2 diabetic patients consumed 400 mg/day of squalene
  • Group 5: 30 type 2 diabetic patients consumed 600 mg/day of squalene

The squalene subjects—Groups 3, 4, and 5—showed a reduction in proteinuria level, with groups 3 and 4 showing a 10.83% and 16.14% reduction, respectively. Group 5 saw the highest reduction: 25.81% compared to the diabetic control group. A higher dose of squalene serum consumption was associated with a greater level of decrease in proteinuria.

Additionally, there were substantial changes in other health-related parameters, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), albumin, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta1), and creatinine levels.

The results were lauded by squalene ingredient supplier PhytoGaia (New York City). “I am encouraged by this study where supplementation of squalene may potentially help us maintain overall health and well-being,” says PhytoGaia President Bryan See in a press release. “It adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that squalene holds a myriad of unique health benefits. In this regard, I look forward to working with brand owners in formulating products with our STGaia, a natural plant squalene with tocotrienols/tocopherol complex, the first of its kind in the market to address such overall health.”


  1. Mirmiranpour H et al. “The effect of squalene on proteinuria in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease, vol. 5, no. 6 (2002): 117-135
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