FOREVER  YOUNG  -  from  chapter  four

The King of Carotenoids


Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful all-natural antioxidants known to science and an irreplaceable key to any successful antiaging regimen. Often referred to as the "king of carotenoids," astaxanthin provides the greatest protection against damage to our bodies by reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen, which can result in lipid peroxidation (oxidation of fat). As we will learn in this chapter, astaxanthin is the key to mitigating the damaging effects of these oxidative assailants in every cell of our body.



What Is Astaxanthin?


Astaxanthin, a member of the carotenoid family of natural pigments, is closely related to beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. This powerful, natural, biological antioxidant is found most abundantly in seafood. It A gives the pink and red color to salmon….. Since we cannot produce astaxanthin ourselves, we have to depend on our diet to obtain it as well as other carotenoids.


Let's take the case of salmon to demonstrate evolution at work. For salmon, the antioxidant power of astaxanthin is indispensable. Having evolved with a unique life cycle that demands more physical exertion than any other fish, salmon require protection against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals, especially singlet oxygen, the most damaging of the ROS, generated during the rigorous journey from the sea back up the rivers and rapids to spawn. Salmon store the astaxanthin in their bodies, and it produces the deep orange, pink, or red color of their flesh as they grow and mature in the ocean, preparing for their final life cycle journey up the river to spawn.



Where Is Astaxanthin Found?


The most abundant source of astaxanthin in nature is the single-cell microalga Haematococcus pluvialis, which accumulates astaxanthin in lipid (fat) vesicles (small, anatomically normal sac or bladderlike structures) during periods of nutrient deficiency and environmental stress. Since H. pluvialis often grows in places that are exposed to intense sunlight, during its dormant phase astaxanthin functions to protect the cell nucleus against free radicals generated by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, thus preventing damage to its DNA and preventing lipid peroxi-dation.


Astaxanthin serves the same purpose for all life forms as it moves up the food chain from a single-celled microalga to krill to salmon to human. This purpose is protection against oxidative damage, whether caused by UV radiation, excess physical exertion, or diabetes-generated glucose toxicity, or by many other sources of oxidative stress.


This astaxanthin-producing microalga is naturally found in arctic marine environments as well as freshwater rock pools all over the world. These are great sources of astaxanthin for aquatic life, flamingos, whose brilliant plumage is also the result of their astaxanthin-rich diet, and other animals, but they are not practical sources of astaxanthin for humans. Fortunately, there is an answer to this challenge. Cultivation facilities have been developed throughout the world to grow this astaxanthin-producing microalga. A leading cultivation technology developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Fuji Chemical Industry employs the concept of fully enclosed biosystems designed for maximum control and purity. The trade name of Fuji's premium all-natural astaxanthin is AstaREAL.


(WELL  SALMON  DOES  THE  JOB….JUST  FINE…..  PEOPLE  ARE  ALWAYS  WANTING  YOU  TO  BUY  PILLS…..THEY  MAKE  GOOD  PROFITS,  GET  RICH,  HAVE  EXPENSIVE  CARS  AND  HOMES,  AT  YOUR  EXPENSE….. JUST  EAT  SALMON  A  FEW  TIMES  A  WEEK  -  Keith Hunt)


Unlocking the Secrets of Astaxanthin


Astaxanthin actually does only one thing well—but that one thing has an impact on all the cells in our body, including all the cells in our organ systems: it provides us with a highly effective defense against oxidative stress, which has a direct impact on damaging cellular inflammation and the inflammatory process.


Here is a brief summary of the benefits of the king of carotenoids


Antioxidant CAPACITY Astaxanthin is a lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) antioxidant that has been shown to provide exceptional protection against lipid peroxidation at the cellular level. Astaxanthin is also a powerful free-radical fighter. As you know, oxygen is a two-edged sword; it sustains life because it is essential for energy production in the mitochondria, but it becomes dangerous when it loses an electron and becomes a free radical, or reactive oxygen species. Astaxanthin has the ability to scavenge singlet oxygen, which is a damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, to put astaxanthin's superior power into perspective, three separate studies comparing astaxanthin with other well-known antioxidants demonstrated astaxanthin to be 1,000 times more effective than vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) against lipid oxidation and 550 times more effective against singlet oxygen.


Cell MEMBRANE POSITIONING Astaxanthin has a unique structure. It is a lipid-soluble polyene chain with a polar region at either end. This structure allows astaxanthin to penetrate the bilayer of the cell membrane, protecting both the lipid center layer and the water-loving outer layers. When the cells undergo oxidative stress, transcription factors are activated, including NF-kB, which migrates to the nucleus and attaches to the DNA, resulting in cellular production of pro-inflammatory cytokines—the so-called serial killers of the cellular world. This ability to protect the cell membrane against oxidative attack is the key to suppressing the activation of NF-kB, which is the signaling compound responsible for the initiation of inflammation.


ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECT Several studies have shown the ability of astaxanthin to reduce inflammation, which could be considered the underlying mechanism for its many beneficial effects. In one study, it was shown to play a role in cytokine regulation by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.


Aging Gracefully


Astaxanthin is the underlying defender of your body, helping to protect and amplify the defense of your cells. It is involved with the major systems of the body, including the skin, the largest organ in the body; the cardiovascular system; and the muscles, the source of your vitality.


Skin Health, Age, and Beauty-Regardless of age, most women perceive wrinkles as heralding the loss of the skin's youth and beauty.


Skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous fat layer. The dermis contains collagen, elastin, and other fibers that support the skin's structure. These elements give skin a smooth, youthful appearance. The dermis, our "outer defense" layer, is the part of the skin most readily damaged by UV radiation. As you will learn, taking astaxanthin supplements is of critical importance in keeping the skin youthful and supple.

(AGAIN  SALMON  DOES  THE  JOB  JUST  FINE  -  Keith Hunt)


Antiwrinkle Mechanism


The UV radiation that affects the skin is composed of two types of waves, UVA and UVB. UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays and are the main cause of melanin production. However, it is the UVA rays, with their longer wavelength, that are responsible for much of the damage associated with photoaging. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, where they damage collagen fibers, leading to wrinkle formation.


UV rays induce the production of radical oxygen species (ROSs) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) within the cells of the body exposed to the UV rays. These factors are the root of wrinkle formation because they destroy the collagen matrix in the dermis. Something discussed in chapter 2 bears repeating here. You have heard endlessly that excess exposure to UV radiation is hugely damaging to the skin. UV radiation increases free-radical activity in the cell plasma membrane, which releases arachidonic acid, the precursor of numerous pro-inflammatory chemicals including the prostaglandins and HETEs. This activates transcription factors such as NF-kB and AP-1. These in turn upregulate negative genes that produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage skin cells. When transcription factors such as AP-1 are activated, they produce and release collagen-digesting proteins (matrix metalloprotein-ase), resulting in-microscarring in the deep portion of the skin called the dermis. The multiple microscars lead to macrosczrr'mg, and this is how wrinkles are born.


(KEEP  THE  SKIN  MOISTURIZED  WITH  FACIAL  CREAM -  AND  IT  WAS  PROVED  ON  A  TV  INVESTIGATIVE  PROGRAM [TALKING  TO  SCIENTISTS  AND  THOSE  IN  THE  FACIAL  CREAM  BUSINESS]  THAT  YOU  DO  NOT  NEED  TO  SPEND  MORE  THAT  $25  ON  A  FACIAL  CREAM…..SPENDING  MORE  WAS  THROWING  YOUR  MONEY  DOWN  THE  TOILET  AND  DID  YOUR  SKIN  NO  MORE  BENEFIT  -  Keith Hunt)


The skin's repair mechanism will rebuild the damaged collagen but can be compromised by repeated exposure to uncontrolled levels of ROS and MMP, which then leads to the formation of wrinkles. 


Astaxanthin supports skin renewal by attenuating factors that contribute to wrinkle formation.


Human clinical studies conducted with AstaREAL astaxanthin and performed in Japan and the United States showed significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles as well as the elasticity and moisture content of the skin after only four weeks of supplementation.


(AGAIN  THEY  WANT  YOU  TO  BUY  A  SUPPLEMENT  THAT  IS  USUALLY  EXPENSIVE…..EATING  SALMON [REGULARLY]  AND  USING  A  FACIAL  CREAM [EACH  DAY  -  MORNING  AND  NIGHT  -  $25  OR  LESS]  DOES  THE  JOB  JUST  GREAT  -  Keith Hunt)


Triathletes, Take Your Cue from Salmon!


Another outstanding benefit of astaxanthin relating to our vitality is its ability to increase muscle endurance and recovery. The amazing physical endurance salmon demonstrate on their arduous journey up the rapids and rivers to their spawning grounds led to the investigation of astaxanthin as related to physical endurance in humans. A number of animal and human studies have shown that astaxanthin can increase and improve muscle endurance as well as reduce muscle damage.


All physical activity, whether at work, sport, or leisure, generates reactive oxygen species (ROSs), and the more intense the activity, the greater the number of free radicals produced. For years I have been telling my patients that I do not recommend vigorous activity for more than forty-five minutes, because the free radicals generated overwhelm our endogenous antioxidant protective mechanisms…..


You do not need to be a world-class athlete to benefit from the effect of astaxanthin on muscle endurance. We can all use a bit more stamina,  regardless of age or vocation. Remember: as we age, we gradually lose muscle mass, which weakens our bodies and makes us more prone to falls and injuries as well as age-related illnesses exacerbated by inactivity. Keeping your muscles strong and healthy will sustain the quality of your life.

………………..


TO  BE  CONTINUED


YES  REGULAR  EXERCISE,  SOME  OF  IT  FAST  MAKING  THE  HEART  PUMP,  SOME  OF  IT  WEIGHT  STRENGTH  WITH  BAR-BELLS;  SOME  OF  IT  WITH  FAST  WALKING;  SOME  IT  WITH  STRETCHING  EXERCISES  AND  DYNAMIC  TENSION  AS  CHARLES  ATLAS  WAS  FAMOUS  FOR;  SOME  COULD  BE  YOGA  TYPE;  VARIOUS  SPORTS  THAT  GET  YOU  MOVING [SOCCER,  TENNIS,  BADMINTON,  AND  THE  LIKE].  MIX  IT  UP  IN  YOUR  EXERCISE  PROGRAM……BUT  GET  UP  AND  EXERCISE  IN  SOME  FORM  EACH  AND  EVERY  DAY!!


Keith Hunt