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Astaxanthin Helps Lung and Heart Health
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
A new study shows that astaxanthin can prevent tissue injury in the lungs, a problem that eventually leads to scarring and compromised health. Considering the large amount of pollutants Americans are exposed to, this study indicates that astaxanthin offers crucial protection. It is of particular importance for people with existing respiratory issues. Maintaining excellent lung health is an important priority for overall well being. If the ability to get oxygen in or carbon dioxide out is reduced or impaired, a health-deteriorating domino effect occurs, especially in the cardiovascular system. Individuals prone to shortness of breath, exercise-induced asthma, asthma in general, respiratory infections, and/or who smoke or who have smoked are at particular risk for lung-related wear and tear. The progression away from healthy lung tissue is an extra effort on the part of the lungs to synthesize new cells and structure. This effort can become misguided, resulting in abnormal collagen deposition, excessive amounts of fibrous connective tissue, and eventual scar formation. Lung damage occurs on a sliding scale, where we see optimal lung health progress all the way down to the excess scarring the medical profession calls pulmonary fibrosis. A key goal is to prevent sliding in the wrong direction, while working to improve existing problems. Exercising your lungs helps. Breathing deeply during exercise or playing a wind instrument are examples. In the study with astaxanthin, researchers used animal and cell models of pulmonary fibrosis. The results showed that astaxanthin significantly improved the structure of the lung cells responsible for oxygen exchange (alveoli), as well as prevented the adverse deposition of collagen that leads to abnormal connective tissue and eventual scarring. Astaxanthin helped regulate multiple gene signals, preventing problems from occurring in the first place, preventing the progression of existing of problems, and even helping to clear out inappropriate cell formations. Due to these multiple mechanisms of protection, the researchers concluded that “astaxanthin could relieve the symptoms and halt the progression of pulmonary fibrosis.” These mechanisms of operation are relevant to any person seeking to improve or maintain optimal respiratory health. About Astaxanthin Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble compound. The challenge to deriving maximum benefits is its normally limited absorption—as low as about 50%. Assimilation of astaxanthin is impeded by limited uptake and intestinal degradation. Astaxanthin with Phospholipids combines 4 milligrams of natural astaxanthin with a proprietary blend of phospholipids. By incorporating phospholipids, scientific research shows that absorption may be enhanced several-fold. Astaxanthin with Phospholipids uses four different phospholipids to facilitate maximum absorption of astaxanthin into the bloodstream, where it is transported to cells throughout the body.
We all have something
called a FOXO3 gene. It helps protect us against aging.
researchers at the University of Hawaii have identified a compound that can
boost the FOXO3 gene. They fed mice either normal food or food containing a low
or high dose of something called CDX-085, a compound being developed by a
for-profit pharmaceutical company.
animals that were fed the higher amount of the compound experienced a
significant increase in the activation of the FOXO3 gene in their heart tissue.
In fact, there was a nearly 90% increase in the activation of the FOXO3
"longevity gene" in the mice fed the higher dose of CDX-085.3
CDX-085, you ask?
fancy code name for a synthetic form of astaxanthin.
the strongest antioxidant in the world, astaxanthin is part of the carotenoid
family of nutrients, including beta-carotene. Pink-colored foods have a huge
antioxidant benefit thanks to this secret nutrient.
may just be the best antioxidant for DNA protection. It's 6,000 times more
effective for that than vitamin C, 800 times more than CoQ10, and 550 times more
than vitamin E or green tea.4
at University of Hawaii studied synthetic astaxanthin that will have to undergo
human trials before it can be sold. But you don't have to turn to synthetic
sources to benefit from the longevity power of astaxanthin.
Sources of Astaxanthin
several nutritional sources of astaxanthin readily available in your grocery
store. Salmon is the best food source. But be sure to look for wild sources of
the pink fish.
salmon contains over 450% more astaxanthin than farmed salmon. Four ounces of
farm-raised salmon contains less than 1 mg of astaxanthin. The same amount of
wild-caught sockeye salmon contains a healthy 4.5 mg.
also find astaxanthin in other pink-colored seafood like lobster, crab, red sea
bream, shrimp and salmon roe.
You can also
take an astaxanthin supplement. I recommend at least 10-12 mg per day, in
divided doses. To get the full benefits, take it with food, or with a tablespoon
of olive oil.