Saturday, February 18, 2012

Phytochemicals in Foods - 16 Health Benefits of Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a phytochemincal in the class of Xanthophylls , belonging to the group of Carotenoids (tetraterpenoids), found abundantly in yeast, krill, shrimp, salmon, lobsters, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Male infertility
In the investigation of the effects of Astaxanthin 16 mg/day (AstaCarox, AstaReal AB, Gustavsberg, Sweden) or placebo for 3 months treatment on semen parameters, reactive oxygen species (ROS), zona-free hamster oocyte test, serum hormones including testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Inhibin B, and spontaneous or intrauterine insemination (IUI)-induced pregnancies, found that ROS and Inhibin B decreased significantly and sperm linear velocity increased in the Astaxanthin group (n = 11), but not in the placebo group (n = 19). The results of the zona-free hamster oocyte test tended to improve in the Astaxanthin group in contrast with the placebo group, though not reaching statistical significance. The total and per cycle pregnancy rates among the placebo cases (10.5 % and 3.6 %) were lower compared with 54.5 % and 23.1 % respectively in the Astaxanthin group (P = 0.028; P = 0.036), according to "Combined conventional/antioxidant "Astaxanthin" treatment for male infertility: a double blind, randomized trial" by Comhaire FH, El Garem Y, Mahmoud A, Eertmans F, Schoonjans F.(1)

2. Functional dyspepsia
In the evaluation of the efficacy of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin in functional dyspepsia in different doses and compared with placebo, found that at the end of therapy (week 4) no difference between the three treatment groups was observed regarding mean Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) scores of abdominal pain, indigestion and reflux syndromes. The same results were observed at the end of follow-up. However reduction of reflux syndrome before treatment to week 4 was significantly pronounced in the higher (40mg) dose compared to the other treatment groups (16mg and placebo, p=0.04), according to "Efficacy of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin in the treatment of functional dyspepsia in patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection: A prospective, randomized, double blind, and placebo-controlled study" by Kupcinskas L, Lafolie P, Lignell A, Kiudelis G, Jonaitis L, Adamonis K, Andersen LP, Wadström T.(2)

3. Anti-aging
In the review of the effects of Astaxanthin, a xanthophyll carotenoid, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits indicated that in preliminary trials it showed promise for sports performance (soccer). In cultured cells, astaxanthin protected the mitochondria against endogenous oxygen radicals, conserved their redox (antioxidant) capacity, and enhanced their energy production efficiency. The concentrations used in these cells would be attainable in humans by modest dietary intakes. Astaxanthin's clinical success extends beyond protection against oxidative stress and inflammation, to demonstrable promise for slowing age-related functional decline, according to "Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential" by Kidd P.(3)

4. Cardiovascular health
In the evualation of the an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties effects and as such has potential as a therapeutic agent in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease of Astaxanthin, a xanthophyll carotenoid present in microalgae, fungi, complex plants, seafood, flamingos and quail, found that No adverse events have been reported and there is evidence of a reduction in biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation with astaxanthin administration. Experimental studies in several species using an ischaemia-reperfusion myocardial model demonstrated that astaxanthin protects the myocardium when administered both orally or intravenously prior to the induction of the ischaemic event, according to "Astaxanthin: a potential therapeutic agent in cardiovascular disease" by Fassett RG, Coombes JS.(4)

5. Antithrombotic and antihypertensive effects
In the examination of the hypothesis that astaxanthin, a red pigment carotenoid found in salmonid and crustacean aquaculture, for its protect on stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) from vascular oxidative damage, hypertension, and cerebral thrombosis, found that the results supported our hypothesis and strongly suggested that the antithrombotic and antihypertensive effects of astaxanthin or vitamin E may be related to an increase in bioavailable NO, possibly mediated by decreased inactivation of NO by reactive oxygen species, according to "Astaxanthin inhibits thrombosis in cerebral vessels of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats" by Sasaki Y, Kobara N, Higashino S, Giddings JC, Yamamoto J.(5)

6. Cholesterol

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to investigate the effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight and obese adults in Korea, found that all four biomarkers were not significantly different between the two groups. Compared with the placebo group, MDA and ISP were significantly lower, but TAC was significantly higher in the astaxanthin group at 12 weeks. These results suggest that supplementary astaxanthin has positive effects by improving the LDL cholesterol, ApoB, and oxidative stress biomarkers, according to "Positive effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight subjects" by Choi HD, Youn YK, Shin WG.(6)

7. Immune system
In the testing astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant carotenoid and its role in modulating immune response in cats, found that there was a dose-related increase in plasma astaxanthin concentrations, with maximum concentrations observed on wk 12. Dietary astaxanthin enhanced DTH response to both the specific (vaccine) and nonspecific (concanavalin A) antigens. In addition, cats fed astaxanthin had heightened PBMC proliferation and NK cell cytotoxic activity. The population of CD3(+) total T and CD4(+) T helper cells were also higher in astaxanthin-fed cats; however, no treatment difference was found with the CD8(+) T cytotoxic and MHC II(+) activated lymphocyte cell populations. Dietary astaxanthin increased concentrations of plasma IgG and IgM. Therefore, dietary astaxanthin heightened cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in cats, according to "Astaxanthin stimulates cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in cats" by Park JS, Mathison BD, Hayek MG, Massimino S, Reinhart GA, Chew BP.(7)

8. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
In the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in full-spectrum antioxidant therapy featuring astaxanthin coupled with lipoprivic strategies and salsalate, indicated that Astaxanthin and spirulina appear to have considerable potential for controlling the oxidative stress associated with NAFLD - the former because it may help to prevent the mitochondrial damage that renders mitochondria a key source of superoxide in this syndrome, the latter because it is exceptionally rich in phycocyanobilin, a phytochemical inhibitor of NAPDH oxidase, according to "Full-spectrum antioxidant therapy featuring astaxanthin coupled with lipoprivic strategies and salsalate for management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease" by McCarty MF.(8)

9. Diabetic complications
In the examination of whether astaxanthin (ASX, 3,3-dihydroxybeta, beta-carotene-4,4-dione, CAS 472-61-7), a dietary antioxidant carotenoid that is naturally present in algae, crustaceans, and fish, has a protective effect on endothelial dysfunction of aortas in diabetic rats and the possible molecular mechanism involved, indicated that ASX could ameliorate diabetic endothelial dysfunction by inhibiting the ox-LDLLOX-1-eNOS pathway. Treatment with ASX might be clinically useful for diabetic complications associated with endothelial dysfunction, according to "Ameliorative effect of astaxanthin on endothelial dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in male rats" by Zhao ZW, Cai W, Lin YL, Lin QF, Jiang Q, Lin Z, Chen LL.(9)

10. Colon Health
In the investigation of the possible inhibitory effect of AX against inflammation-related mouse colon carcinogenesis and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in male ICR mice, found that the dietary AX suppresses the colitis and colitis-related colon carcinogenesis in mice, partly through inhibition of the expression of inflammatory cytokine and proliferation. Our findings suggest that AX is one of the candidates for prevention of colitis and inflammation-associated colon carcinogenesis in humans, according to "Dietary astaxanthin inhibits colitis and colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis in mice via modulation of the inflammatory cytokines" by Yasui Y, Hosokawa M, Mikami N, Miyashita K, Tanaka T.(10)

11. Anti cancers
In the investigation of the pharmacological roles of carotenoids in the prevention and reduction of cancer incidence, found that carotenoids up-regulated the expression of PPARγ and p21 and down-regulated the expression of cyclin D1 in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, β-carotene, astaxanthin, capsanthin and bixin also up-regulated the expression of Nrf2, an important transcription factor in Keap1-Nrf2/EpRE/ARE signaling pathway. It appears to us that PPARγ signaling pathways and Keap1-Nrf2/EpRE/ARE signaling pathway were involved in the inhibition of K562 cell proliferation by carotenoids and the up-regulation of PPARγ expression at least partly contributed to the antiproliferative effects of β-carotene, astaxanthin, capsanthin, and bixin on K562 cells, according to "Carotenoids inhibit proliferation and regulate expression of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in K562 cancer cells" by Zhang X, Zhao WE, Hu L, Zhao L, Huang J.(11)

12. Anxiolytic effects
In the study of study of the combined effect of ASTA and fish oil on the redox status in plasma and in the monoaminergic-rich anterior forebrain region of Wistar rats with possible correlations with the anxiolytic behavior, found that ASTA properly crosses the brain-blood barrier, our data also address a possible indirect role of ASTA in restoring basal oxidative conditions in anterior forebrain of animals: by improving GSH-based antioxidant capacity of plasma. Preliminary anxiolytic tests performed in the elevated plus maze are in alignment with our biochemical observations, according to "Astaxanthin limits fish oil-related oxidative insult in the anterior forebrain of Wistar rats: putative anxiolytic effects?" by Mattei R, Polotow TG, Vardaris CV, Guerra BA, Leite JR, Otton R, Barros MP.(12)

13. Antioxidants
In a randomized, double-blind study was performed to investigate the effect of astaxanthin (ASX), which is known to be a potent antioxidant, on oxidative stress in overweight and obese adults in Korea, found that compared with baseline, the MDA (by 34.6% and 35.2%) and ISP (by 64.9% and 64.7%) levels were significantly lowered, whereas SOD (by 193% and 194%) and TAC (by 121% and 125%) levels were significantly increased in two dose groups after the 3 week intervention. This study revealed that supplemental ASX for 3 weeks improved oxidative stress biomarkers by suppressing lipid peroxidation and stimulating the activity of the antioxidant defense system, according to "Effects of astaxanthin on oxidative stress in overweight and obese adults" by Choi HD, Kim JH, Chang MJ, Kyu-Youn Y, Shin WG.(13)

14. Anti inflammatory effects
In the examination focused on the antioxidant effect of Astaxanthin (AST) and investigation of the efficacy of AST in endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU) in rats, found that AST suppressed the development of EIU in a dose-dependent fashion. The anti-inflammatory effect of 100 mg/kg AST was as strong as that of 10 mg/kg prednisolone. AST also decreased production of NO, activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and production of PGE2 and TNF-alpha in RAW264.7 cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, according to "Effects of astaxanthin on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo" by Ohgami K, Shiratori K, Kotake S, Nishida T, Mizuki N, Yazawa K, Ohno S.(14)

15. Neuroprotective effect
In the study, carried out to further investigate the neuroprotective effect of AST on oxidative stress induced toxicity in primary culture of cortical neurons and on focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion induced brain damage in rats, found that the neuronal injury was significantly improved by pretreatment of AST at 80mg/kg. Taken together, these results suggest that pretreatment with AST exhibits noticeable neuroprotection against brain damage induced by ischemia-reperfusion and the antioxidant activity of AST maybe partly responsible for it, according to "Neuroprotective effect of astaxanthin on H(2)O(2)-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and on focal cerebral ischemia in vivo" by Lu YP, Liu SY, Sun H, Wu XM, Li JJ, Zhu L.(15)

16. Dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol levels
In a clinical study of clinically, 42 healthy males ages 37 to 70 years were divided into two groups of twenty-one and dosed with either 800 mg/day or 2000 mg/day of Alphastat(R) (Mytosterone(trade mark)) for fourteen days, found that both dose groups showed significant (p = 0.05) increases in T and decreases in DHT within three days of treatment with Alphastat(R) (Mytosterone(trade mark)). Between group statistical analysis showed no significant (p = 0.05) difference, indicating the effect was not dose dependent and that 800 mg/per day is equally effective as 2000 mg/day for increasing T and lowering DHT. Blood levels of ES however, decreased significantly (p = 0.05) in the 2000 mg/day dose group but not in the 800 mg/day dose group indicating a dose dependant decrease in E levels, according to "An open label, dose response study to determine the effect of a dietary supplement on dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol levels in healthy males" by Angwafor F 3rd, Anderson ML.(16)

Recommended E books
Dr. Joseph Mercola's Complete Guide
To Weight Loss, Preventing Diseases, Premature Aging,
And Living Healthy And Longer

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