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Minato-ku, Japan

Yamashita E.,AstaReal Co.
PharmaNutrition | Year: 2015

Astaxanthin is known as a "marine carotenoid" and occurs in a wide variety of living organisms such as salmon, shrimp, crab, and red snapper. Astaxanthin antioxidant activity has been reported to be more than 100 times greater than that of vitamin E against lipid peroxidation and approximately 550 times more potent than that of vitamin E for singlet oxygen quenching. Astaxanthin exhibits no pro-oxidant activity and its main site of action is on/in the cell membrane. To date, various important benefits suggested for human health include immunomodulation, anti-stress, anti-inflammation, LDL cholesterol oxidation suppression, enhanced skin health, improved semen quality, attenuation of eye fatigue, increased sports performance and endurance, limiting exercised-induced muscle damage, and the suppression of the development of lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Recently, there has been an explosive increase worldwide in both the research and demand for natural astaxanthin in human health applications. Japanese clinicians are especially using astaxanthin extracted from the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, as add-on supplementation for patients who are unsatisfied with conventional medications or cannot take other medications due to serious symptoms. For example, in heart failure or overactive bladder patients, astaxanthin treatment enhances patient's daily activity levels and QOL. Other ongoing clinical trials and case studies are examining chronic diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, diabetes, diabetic nephropathy and CVD, as well as infertility, atopic dermatitis, androgenetic alopecia, ulcerative colitis and sarcopenia. In the near future, astaxanthin's role may be stated as, "Let astaxanthin be thy medicine". © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Kuroki T.,Kyoto University | Ikeda S.,Kyoto University | Okada T.,ASKA Pharmaceutical Co. | Maoka T.,Research Institute for Production Development | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics | Year: 2013

Purpose: The effects of astaxanthin (Ax) on the in vitro development of bovine embryos cultured under heat stress were investigated in combination with the assessment of its cellular accumulation and action on mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). Methods: Bovine ≥8-cell embryos were collected on day 3 after in vitro fertilization and exposed to single (day 4) or repeated (day 4 and 5) heat stress (10 h/day at 40.5 C). Ax was added into culture medium under the repeated heat stress and blastocyst development was evaluated. The cellular uptake of Ax in embryos was examined using bright-field and confocal laser-scanning microscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography. The relationship between Ax and mitochondria localization was assessed using MitoTracker dye. The effects of Ax on ΔΨm were investigated using JC-1 dye. Results: Blastocyst development in the repeated heat stress treatment decreased significantly (P < 0.05) compared with those in single heat stress or normal thermal treatment. The addition of Ax into culture medium did lead to a significant recovery in blastocyst development in the repeated heat-treated group. Ax was detected in cytoplasm of embryos and observed to colocalize with mitochondria. Ax recovered ΔΨm in embryos that was decreased by the heat treatment. Conclusions: Ax ameliorated the heat stress-induced impairment of blastocyst development. Our results suggest that the direct action of Ax on mitochondrial activity via cellular uptake is a mechanism of the ameliorating effects. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Ishiki M.,University of Toyama | Nishida Y.,AstaReal Co. | Ishibashi H.,AstaReal Co. | Wada T.,University of Toyama | And 6 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Because oxidative stress promotes insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes, it is crucial to find effective antioxidant for the purpose of decreasing this threat. In this study, we explored the effect of astaxanthin, a carotenoid antioxidant, on insulin signaling and investigated whether astaxanthin improves cytokine- and free fatty acid-induced insulin resistance in vitro.Weexamined the effect of astaxanthin on insulin-stimulated glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation, glucose uptake, and insulin signaling in cultured rat L6 muscle cells using plasma membrane lawn assay, 2-deoxyglucose uptake, and Western blot analysis. Next, we examined the effect of astaxanthin on TNF- and palmitate-induced insulin resistance. The amount of reactive oxygen species generated by TNF or palmitate with or without astaxanthin was evaluated by dichlorofluorescein staining. We also compared the effect of astaxanthin on insulin signaling with that of other antioxidants, -lipoic acid and -tocopherol. We observed astaxanthin enhanced insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake, which was associated with an increase in insulin receptor substrate-1 tyrosine and Akt phosphorylation and a decrease in c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and insulin receptor substrate-1 serine 307 phosphorylation. Furthermore, astaxanthin restored TNF- and palmitate-induced decreases in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation or glucose uptake with a concomitant decrease in reactive oxygen species generation. -Lipoic acid enhanced Akt phosphorylation and decreased ERK and JNK phosphorylation, whereas -tocopherol enhanced ERK and JNK phosphorylation but had little effect on Akt phosphorylation. Collectively these findings indicate astaxanthin is a very effective antioxidant for ameliorating insulin resistance by protecting cells from oxidative stress generated by various stimuli including TNF and palmitate. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

Serrano G.A.,AstaReal Co. | Narducci M.,AstaReal Co.
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2014

Astaxanthin, strong free radical scavenging activity carotenoid, protects cells structures, such as lipid membrane and mitochondria against lipid peroxidation. Experimental studies and abundant clinical trial results have shown that the oral supplementation of natural astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis has a health benefits on heart, liver, kidney, stomach and also on eye function. In this paper some of the most important clinical study results are shown, these studies supported Astaxanthin's protective action and efficacy on eyes from free radicals.

Serrano G.A.,AstaReal Co. | Nishida Y.,Fuji Chemical Industry Co. | Wood V.,AstaReal Co.
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2014

Natural astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant with health benefits. Natural astaxanthin neutralizes free radicals by accepting or donating electrons and without being destroyed or becoming a pro-oxidant. Numerous study results have shown natural astaxanthin supplementation contributes to circulatory benefits and protective effects against atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Abundant evidence has shown natural astaxanthin supplementation improved blood vessels function and blood fluidity. The blood pressure decreasing mechanism may be in part explained by the changes of vascular reactivity and blood flow. Natural astaxanthin can restore the Nitric Oxide (NO) dependent relaxation and sensitivity to constriction mechanisms. However, additional studies should be performed to provide new insights about natural astaxanthin's antioxidant effects on blood rheology.

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