Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, June 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 57 JUNE 2018 powerful than beta-carotene in its ability to trap energy from singlet oxygen. 7 In practice, this means that a higher dos- age of these other antioxidants is required per serving—around 1000 mg of vitamin C, and 20-40 mg of lutein, for example—to equal the antioxidant capacity of astaxanthin. 8 Antioxidants like astaxanthin help to counteract the damaging ef ects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), promoting a healthy oxidative balance. Simply put, an antioxi- dant is a molecule stable enough to donate an electron to a ROS and neutralize it, thus reducing its capacity for damage. Due to its ability to combat ROS, astaxanthin can play an important role in support of cardiovascu- lar health. The Link Between Oxidative Stress and CVD T e overproduction of ROS can have harm- ful ef ects on many important cells and tis- sues in the body. It is estimated that each cell in the body forms more than 20 trillion of ROS per day through normal metabolism, and each cell in the body is believed to be attacked by these reactive molecules 10,000 times per day. 9 While the body produces its own antioxidants to keep ROS under control, this natural defense system grows weaker as we age and may also be compromised due to certain nutritional and lifestyle choices. T e damage caused by ROS is called oxida- tive stress and it is a key contributor to CVD. 2 In particular, oxidative stress has emerged as a common mechanism in atherosclerosis 10 , a disease in which plaque builds up inside blood vessels. Atherosclerotic plaque rup- ture is a common reason for CVDs such as stroke and myocardial infarction. 11 A recent review of oxidative stress–mediated athero- sclerosis 12 concluded that avoiding elevated ROS levels or increasing antioxidant capacity are considered key strategies for the preven- tion and treatment of atherosclerosis. How Astaxanthin Supports Cardiovascular Health Research has shown that astaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress and inf ammation, improve lipid prof les, and promote better blood f ow. 13-16 Supplementation with astaxanthin has been shown to support a healthy oxida- tive balance in groups at elevated risk of CVD. A 2014 study with postmenopausal women 13 , for example, concluded that this group could benef t from supplementing with astaxanthin. Additionally, research has demonstrated the benef ts of astaxan- thin in f ghting obesity-induced oxidative stress in overweight young adults 14 and in women with an increased oxidative stress burden. 15 BEAUTY FROM WITHIN Toll Free: 866.262.6699 Twitter: @aidpinc #S718

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