Astaxanthin For Graceful Aging

Eye Health & Astaxanthin

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

WATCH THE WORLD WITH CLEAR VISION

with AstaReal Astaxanthin

Aging and eye disease Our eyes sensitive to light and be damaged by ROS produced by UV exposure, which is detrimental to vision performance and eye health.

We experience 80% of the sensory information around us through vision. We can say that our perception, cognition, and most daily activities are mediated through vision.

Eyes are exposed to the outside world and are constantly subjected to ultraviolet rays. Light entering the eye reacts with oxygen in our cells, generating a large amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS damage our eye cells and the optic nerve, and are thought to be a major cause of eye aging and increase likelihood of developing certain eye diseases.

Presbyopia is the most common symptom of aging eyes, appearing around the age of 40. It is caused by prolonged oxidation of the lens which reduces lens flexibility, making it harder to focus on nearby objects. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract (clouding of the lens) or have had cataract surgery according to National Eye Institute.

Astaxanthin for eyes

Only a few antioxidants can reach the eye and protect it from ROS damage.

Your eyes are protected by the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), whose purpose is to prevent toxins and other undesirable things from entering the eye through the circulatory system.

Astaxanthin is one of the rare antioxidants which can both cross the BRB and inhibit ROS damage within our cells, due to its unique molecular structure. Red blood cells carry it into the eye, where it provides both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits, slowing the progression of presbyopia and reducing the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Presbyopia

Astaxanthin slows down progression of presbyopia.

Presbyopia is the normal, progressive loss of the ability to focus on near objects. Most people begin to notice this condition develop around the age of 40, complaining that text appears blurry when viewed up close. This affects the ability to read books or view smartphones, etc.

When you are young, the lens in your eye is flexible and elastic, and can easily change its shape to focus on close and distant objects. The tiny muscles surrounding the lens are called ciliary muscles, and they contract or relax to adjust the thickness of the lens.

With age, oxidative damage to the lens it stiffer and less flexible. At the same time ciliary muscles weaken with age. As a result, your lens can no longer change shape to focus on close images, and these images appear out of focus. More recently however, people in their 20s and 30s are reporting smartphone-induced premature presbyopia.

In 2009, Kajita Eye Clinic investigated the effect of astaxanthin in 22 elderly participants with presbyopia. After supplementing with 6 mg/day AstaReal® astaxanthin for 4 weeks, participants experienced a subjective improvement in their presbyopia symptoms, and found their vision to be less blurry when viewing objects up close. (Kajita M et al., The effects of a dietary supplement containing astaxanthin on the accommodation function of the eye in middle-aged and older people. Medical Consultation & New Remedies. 2009;46:89-93. (IN JAPANESE))

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Astaxanthin benefits for two types of AMD.

Macular degeneration is a progressive disorder affecting the central part of the retina, called the macula. This disorder is due to the gradual loss of photoreceptor cells and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. AMD appears to be related to light-induced oxidative processes within the eye. While cataracts causes our eye lens to become opaque, in AMD, our ability to sense light is directly affected. Light (particularly blue light) entering the eye interacts with oxygen to produce ROS.

Macular degeneration is diagnosed as either wet (neovascular – producing new blood vessels) or dry (non-neovascular).

“Dry AMD" is a vision disorder caused by the loss of photoreceptor cells and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, which form a layer under the macular. Inflammation occurring in RPE cells damage both the RPE themselves and the photoreceptor cells.

In “Wet AMD”, new blood vessels are formed just below the retina, and components leaking out from these fragile blood vessels damage the macula. This abnormal growth of blood vessels is due to the impairment of RPE cells which is variously caused by aging.

The dry form of AMD is more common than the wet form, with about 85 to 90 percent of AMD patients diagnosed with dry AMD. However, the wet form of the disease usually leads to a much more serious loss of vision.

Carotenoids seem to play an important role in nature in protecting tissues against UV-light mediated photo-oxidation and are often found in tissues directly exposed to sunlight. Among the many carotenoids available in our diet, the eye selectively accumulates astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin to protect it, and what is remarkable is that astaxanthin protects the whole retina from ROS. (Nakajima Y et.al. (2008) J Pharm Pharmacol. Oct;60(10):1365-74)

Additionally, research has shown that the abnormal formation of new blood vessels in the eye was suppressed in wet AMD by astaxanthin supplementation. The research also showed that astaxanthin’s strong antioxidant capacity, together with its anti-inflammatory properties also suppressed inflammation in wet AMD. (Izumi-Nagai K et.al. (2008). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. Apr;49(4):1679-85.)

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Astaxanthin & Brain Health

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

NO LIMITS ON LEARNING

Brain health with AstaReal Astaxanthin

What’s happening to your brain when it ages?

Healthy brains do not age?

As we age, our brains shrink and our cognitive functions slow down. It’s thought that the destruction of brain cells, called neurons, is responsible for this loss of function as we age. However, recent computer measurements have revealed that the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex does not decrease in healthy, aging brains, but rather that the neurons themselves are atrophying.

In brain cells, neurons are responsible for processing and transmitting information. In other words, our cognitive function depends on these neurons. A neuron is made up of a cell body with branching dendrites (signal receivers), which form a network of information superhighways. These information ”highways” make up ~90% of all the neuron real estate in the brain. Recent research suggests that a shrinking neuron network is the major factor impacting cognitive function in the aging brain.

But the dendrite networks do not have to decrease as we age. In some special cases, highly intelligent elderly people have a more developed neuron network than the average forty-year-old. New networks may be created between neurons to help maintain brain function.

Additionally, in some areas of the brain, it has also been revealed that new neurons can be created even in older people. That is, if the brain is healthy, it can maintain normal cognitive function by developing new intracerebral networks even as we age.

Why does our cognitive function decline as we age?

ROS damages brain cells and contributes to cognitive problems

If new neuronal networks can be made, why does cognitive function tend to decline as we age, making us forgetful?

This functional decline is thought to be due to brain cell oxidation. Among all of the body’s organs, the brain comprises about 2% of the body’s total weight, but uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen, generating large amounts of radical oxygen species (ROS) as a by-product of the energy conversion process.

Additionally, the brain is made up of delicate fatty membranes that are especially prone to oxidation. This process of fat oxidation is similar to oils becoming rancid and is called “peroxidation.” Peroxidation in the brain triggers chronic inflammation, , that can damage vulnerable neurons over time. Active oxygen increases due to stress, sleep deprivation, ultraviolet rays, air pollution, unbalanced diet etc., putting our brains at risk for peroxidation.

It’s hard for certain nutrients to access the brain because our brains have a defense system called the blood brain barrier (BBR), which is meant to prevent harmful substances in our blood from entering the brain. While this also blocks certain large, water-soluble nutrients, astaxanthin is one of the few antioxidants that can pass through this barrier, and it provides exceptional protection from ROS and peroxidation in the brain.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Astaxanthin improved cognitive impairment in the elderly

MCI is a condition that involves cognitive impairment exceeding that which is typical for the age of the individual. Symptoms include difficulty recalling important information such as appointments, conversations, and recent events. Decision-making and the ability to complete complex tasks may also be affected.

The problems caused by MCI are not severe enough to affect daily life, and thus do not meet the diagnostic guidelines for dementia. Individuals with MCI are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Several clinical studies have shown that astaxanthin improves cognitive functions such as reaction time, working memory, and mid-term memory of healthy adults complaining of age-related forgetfulness.

32 healthy middle-aged and elderly participants who reported age-related forgetfulness took 12 mg/day of natural astaxanthin after 12 weeks. The astaxanthin group in this study showed improvement in choice reaction time, episodic memory (medium-term memory), and multitasking, working memory (short term memory) all which improved significantly. (Katagiri et al., (2012). J Clin Biochem Nutr. Sep;51(2):102-7.)

Stroke and Vascular Dementia

Astaxanthin reduces the risk of developing brain disorders by protecting cerebral blood vessels Good blood flow is vital for brain function. The deterioration of blood vessels can cause vascular dementia, stroke, or other serious cerebrovascular complications.

Astaxanthin helps to keep the brain’s circulatory system in good condition by protecting our blood vessels with its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and reduces the phosphorylation of red blood cells, which improves blood quality and condition. Thus, astaxanthin reduces the risk of developing brain disorders. (Lu et al., (2010). Brain Res. Nov 11;1360:40-8.)

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Astaxanthin & Joint Health

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

Joint Aging (Arthritis)

Astaxanthin promotes cartilage health.

Our joints become stiffer and less flexible as we age, with the thickness and elasticity of joint cartilage, and the amount of fluid in the cartilage, decreasing. Arthritis can develop when the cartilage is worn away through aging and high-impact sports such as running or tennis. In particular, free radicals & reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to joint deterioration.

ROS oxidizes the proteins that make up the joints, wearing down the cartilage. This causes cells to produce more ROS, which trigger inflammation, creating a vicious circle of worsening oxidation and inflammation.

By both neutralizing ROS through its antioxidant power and reducing inflammation, astaxanthin supports joint health and addresses some causative agents associated with symptoms of arthritis.

Research confirmed that astaxanthin inhibits the gene expression of inflammatory cytokines in bone cartilage and reduces cartilage degradation. (Huang and Chen (2015) Mod Rheumatol. Sep;25(5):768-71.) Additionally, a clinical research reported that astaxanthin reduced pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. (Nir and Spiller, 2002)

Astaxanthin’s muscle endurance benefits are also believed to synergistically support joint health. Our bones and joints need to be properly aligned in order to minimize daily wear on our joint cartilage, and it is the muscle surrounding joints which plays a vital role in providing joints with physical support, maintaining joint alignment, and reducing pressure on joints.

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Astaxanthin & Bone

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

MAINTAIN MOBILITY

with AstaReal Astaxanthin

What’s happening to your bones, joints and muscles?

Our mobility begins to progressively decline when we reach our 30’s.

Bones shrink, joints stiffen and muscles loose strength.

As we age, ordinary, daily movement such walking, standing and sitting up straight become increasingly difficult: our joints ache, we tire easily and we become weaker. Our mobility is highly dependent on bones, joints and muscles.

Once we reach our 40’s, we lose bone mass and density, our joints become stiffer and less flexible, and our muscles gradually lose strength and flexibility. Muscle, bone, and joint function is interdependent – for instance, when the upper leg muscles around the knee atrophy, our joints cannot be properly aligned, which results in greater pressure on those joints and cartilage, leading to joint pain.

Because of the huge detrimental impact that loss of mobility has on our quality of life, it is important to keep muscles and joints strong and healthy through regular exercise and improving our diets. Because certain important nutrients are hard to obtain in sufficient quantity from diet alone, nutritional supplements are a good way to fill the gap in our nutrition.

Many people in their 30’s or 40's do not take adequate precautions because the early stages of age-related muscle weakening are hard to detect. By the time the symptoms become quite noticeable, this progressive loss of mobility becomes harder to tackle.

Aging of Bones (Osteroporosis)

Astaxanthin restores bone metabolism by its antioxidative effect.

Bones provide support to the body and keep the internal organs in their proper place. As a result of the aging process, we lose bone mass and bone density for a number of reasons, including lack of nutrient such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D & K, and inactive lifestyle causes bone wastage. In women, hormonal changes associated with menopause trigger the loss of minerals in bone tissue and accelerates loss of bone density.

Another major reason for loss of bone strength is a slowing down of bone building. In healthy bones, new bone cells are continuously replacing old ones through a process of bone metabolism. Mature bone cells are reabsorbed, and new bone tissue is formed. When more bone is reabsorbed than is formed, we lose bone mass and density.

The cells involved in bone reabsorption are osteoclasts, and recent research has revealed that reactive oxygen species (ROS) promotes the production of osteoclasts, increasing bone reabsorption.

Research has shown that astaxanthin suppresses the production of bone-reabsorbing osteoclasts through its strong antioxidant power and restores the balance of bone metabolism. This suggests that astaxanthin might play a supportive role in addressing bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Bone density not only decreases with advancing age, but also due to lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking. This is because these activities cause chronic inflammation, excess ROS accumulation, which can reduce bone density Research suggests that chronic inflammation can lead to osteoporosis.

As a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, astaxanthin supports bone health.

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Astaxanthin & Muscle Fatigue

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

Muscle Aging (Sarcopenia)

Maintaining muscle strength & performance with astaxanthin.

From around the age of 30, we all progressively lose muscle mass and function, and this degeneration accelerates once we reach our 50’s. This loss can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity or a sub-optimal diet.

Astaxanthin enhances muscle strength and performance by neutralizing ROS produced as byproducts by our energy-producing mitochondria in muscle. Mitochondria are tiny, intracellular organelles, which produce most of our cells’ energy and are especially prevalent in muscle. As an unwanted byproduct of the energy producing process, mitochondria also create free radicals (ROS). Astaxanthin is positioned in mitochondria, providing advanced protection from ROS, and enhancing energy production efficiency for longer lasting energy and vitality.

Abnormal muscle loss "Sarcopenia"

However, muscle mass and muscular strength decrease even in healthy adults as a result of aging. The progressive loss of muscle function compounded by the loss of muscle mass, is known as sarcopenia. Loss of mobility resulting from sarcopenia leads to increased frailty, loss of independence, increased risk of falling, and reduced quality of life. Sarcopenia can have as great, if not a greater, effect on our mobility than either osteoporosis or arthritis.

Research shows that sarcopenia can be managed through exercise, nutritional support (a diet with 25-30 grams of protein, low in carbohydrate, and more dairy and egg consumption). It is also important to obtain a sufficient quantity of a good antioxidant using a nutritional supplement.

Maintaining muscle mass with astaxanthin

Muscle mass and quality is associated with protein metabolism – the balance of protein synthesis (anabolism) and protein degeneration (catabolism) within our muscles. As we age, muscle synthesis decreases and muscle degeneration increases, causing an imbalance which leads to muscle loss.

Astaxanthin promotes muscle health by protecting muscles from age-related ROS accumulation and pro-inflammatory processes which accelerate loss of muscle mass. Pre-clinical studies using astaxanthin have also shown that astaxanthin can help to inhibit the loss of muscle, or muscle atrophy, associated with inactivity associated with bed rest or reduced mobility.

Furthermore, AstaReal has submitted for publication a new clinical study, which was conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington, examining muscle function in 41 participants aged 65 to 85. Initial results have shown significant improvements for muscle strength, muscle endurance and an increase in muscle mass – which was visible in scans as an increase in muscle cross section.

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Astaxanthin & Aging Skin

Research provided by: AstaReal USA
You can slow down the clock of your skin.

The physiological degradation is not the main cause of the skin aging. We can delay the progression of skin aging by understanding the mechanism.

Why does skin look so different even among individuals of the same age?

The causes of skin aging such as wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and appearance of age spots, are all consequences of skin aging and photoaging. It is said that 80% of skin aging is caused by UV exposure, and natural physiological aging of skin cells accounts for just 20%. In other words, whether or not we can successfully prevent photoaging caused by UV exposure makes a big difference on the appearance of our skin.

Physiological skin aging occurs over the whole body and is a result of decreased cellular metabolism. Photoaging occurs in ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated areas of the skin, especially on the face and hand.

Normally melanocytes activity that generates melanin slows down as we age. But with photoaging, UV-B causes inflammation in the epidermal layer increases melanocytes and enhances melanin production. UV-A induces reactive oxygen production that oxidizes melanin, which form sage spots. (Homma M., 1987 Skin 29(2))

UV-A reaches the deeper layer of skin, called the dermis, where it generates singlet oxygen that degrades collagen and elastin, and compromises skin elasticity.

Furthermore, the epidermis becomes thinner as we age, but photoaging thickens and hardens the epidermis, contributing to formation of deep wrinkles. (Lavker RM et al., J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995. Jan; 32(1):53-62.)

That is to say, protection of the epidermis and dermis from ultraviolet ray induced singlet oxygen is key to preventing premature skin aging. While, topical cosmetics are good for protecting the surface layer of skin, they do not reach the deeper layers of skin such as the epidermis and dermis. That’s why taking an oral dose of astaxanthin to supply this nutrient internally is an effective alternative to topical applications.

The antioxidant power of Astaxanthin

Studies have confirmed that astaxanthin has superior free radical quenching abilities, especially against singlet oxygen. Oxygen free radicals are primary causative agents of UV-induced photoaging. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that can protect skin cells, known as fibroblasts, from free radical damage. Fibroblasts play a critical role in producing collagen and hyaluronic acid to support smooth skin and skin hydration. This is why astaxanthin is an important nutrient that help support smooth skin and helps to lock in moisture.

Studies show that the antioxidant capacity of astaxanthin is approximately 3000 times stronger than resveratrol and 6000 times stronger than vitamin C.

Recent clinical studies conducted in Japan showed that 6 or12 mg/day astaxanthin prevented skin deterioration throughout the seasonal changes between August and December, when environmental factors, such as UV and dryness tend to exacerbate skin deterioration. While wrinkles and dryness worsened in the control group, the astaxanthin group were more resilient and maintained their healthy skin condition throughout the seasons. This result suggests that that long-term prophylactic astaxanthin supplementation may inhibit age-related skin deterioration and maintain skin conditions associated with environmentally induced damage via its anti-inflammatory effect. (Tominaga et al.,2017. J Clin Biochem Nutr. Jul;61(1):33-39.)

Astaxanthin and Age-spots

An in vitro study using human epidermis models showed astaxanthin can suppress inflammation in melanocytes and inhibited melanin production by 21.1%. (Tominaga et al., 2009) In addition, strong antioxidant protection is thought to inhibit the oxidation of existing melanin and prevent melanin deposition.

Another clinical study showed, astaxanthin supplementation (6 mg /day) combined with topical application (2 mL / day) for 8 weeks, reduced the appearance of age spots on cheeks.

Astaxanthin and Wrinkle & Elasticity

Collagen is considered one of the best nutrients to reduce or prevent wrinkles, since it is the primary structural component of our skin. Collagen helps improve skin structure and reduce wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid helps promote collagen synthesis, and helps skin retain moisture, contributing to skin vitality and health. But, the human fibroblast responsible for production of collagen and hyaluronic acid is sensitive to singlet oxygens produced by UV exposure. UV exposed skin loses its ability to produce collagen even if you supplement with collagen.

This is why fibroblasts need to be protected from singlet oxygen. Using sun block is one solution but, a recent study reveals that when ultraviolet rays reach the nerves of the eyes, the brain sends a command to the skin to produce melanin to protect the skin, even if the skin is not directly irradiated by the UV.

Oral supplementation using astaxanthin, protects fibroblasts from singlet oxygen damage.

An in vitro study using human fibroblasts showed that almost all fibroblast cells died after exposure to singlet oxygen, whereas 95% of fibroblast treated with astaxanthin survived the same singlet oxygen insult. (Tominaga et al., 2009)

In the same study, it was also confirmed that fibroblast cells pre-treated with astaxanthin could recover 80% of the collagen genesis that was otherwise lost in untreated cells exposed to singlet oxygen damage.

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Videos About Astaxanthin

AstaReal: Quality, Safety, & Stability

AstaReal® Astaxanthin is Made In the USA

Astaxanthin Benefits Discussion With Dr. Mark Miller & Dr. Robert Corish

Astaxanthin Health Benefits For Your Eyes

Dr. Robert Corish Talks About Astaxanthin

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Astaxanthin = Astaxanthin...Right?

Research provided by: AstaReal USA

You might think that all astaxanthin is created equal. When we go shopping for supplements, we expect that they are all held under the same scrutiny that the food we eat and water we drink is held under. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Knowing the country of origin for your astaxanthin is extremely important. Some countries do not regulate or have nearly the scrutiny that the United States of America has in regards to natural astaxanthin supplements.

Since astaxanthin is a usually found in nature, it, like many other natural products, is affected by its environment. When the air and water that the astaxanthin is grown in is contaminated by external factors such as airplane exhaust and environmental pollutants it degrades the astaxanthin quality.

How do I know that the astaxanthin I’m taking is free of these carcinogens?

Some astaxanthin manufactures claim they are “Made in the USA” whereas in fact they import their raw astaxanthin material from overseas. They do extract their astaxanthin in the USA, but since there is very little regulation in the quality control from overseas raw astaxanthin, pollutants remain. There is no way to remove the pollutants completely in the end product for the consumer.

We encourage all astaxanthin users to know where their astaxanthin is produced from the beginning to end. There are only a handful of companies that produce, cultivate, and manufacture astaxanthin 100% in the USA.

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