Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, June 2018

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INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 58 JUNE 2018 Like oxidation, inf ammation is an estab- lished process contributing to CVD. 2 In both in vitro and animal studies, astaxanthin has been shown to reduce markers of inf amma- tion. 2 A 2013 study on human vein cells found that astaxanthin inhibits the production of the inf ammatory biomarkers involved in en- dothelial dysfunction and CVD. 16 Elevated levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol combined with low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol increase the risk of CVD. 13 For in- stance, research shows that the oxidation of LDL in the blood has a signif cant role in the development of atherosclerosis. 13 Astaxanthin has been shown to help sup- port a healthy lipid prof le. A 2010 human study on the ef ect of astaxanthin on dyslip- idemia (an excess of LDL and other lipids in the blood) found that supplementation de- creased levels of triglycerides, a lipid that has been shown to increase the risk of CVD. T e same study also demonstrated that astax- anthin signif cantly increased levels of HDL cholesterol. 17 Astaxanthin also of ers additional support for cardiovascular health. For example, its antioxidative and anti-inf ammatory prop- erties can signif cantly shorten blood transit times. 18,19 Several studies have also indicated potential to lower blood pressure 2 , and a re- cent meta-analysis concluded that it has a minor glucose-lowering ef ect. 2 Supporting Healthy Aging As populations continue to live longer, new strategies to support healthy aging become increasingly important. Astaxanthin's scien- tif cally proven benef ts mean it has enor- mous potential in the maintenance of car- diovascular health. T ere is a solid scientif c foundation sup- porting the case for astaxanthin as an ef ective ingredient for heart health supplements. Stud- ies continue to consistently indicate positive results for astaxanthin's ability to reduce oxi- dative damage and inf ammation as well as to provide additional heart health benef ts such as improved blood f ow. Furthermore, it is safe, natural and can be sustainably produced, add- ing to its consumer appeal globally. References 1. World Health Organization (2017). "Cardiovas- cular Diseases (CVDs) Fact Sheet." 2. Visioli F et al. "Astaxanthin in cardiovascular health and disease: mechanisms of action, ther- apeutic merits, and knowledge gaps." Food and Function, vol. 8, no. 1 ( January 25, 2017): 39-63 Tryggvi Stefánsson, PhD, is science man- ager for algae-ingredients supplier Algalif (Reykjanesbaer, Iceland). Stefánsson has a PhD in microbiology and genetics from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He joined Algalif in early 2014 and, since 2015, has led the com- pany's R&D and scale-up department as sci- ence manager. Among other responsibilities, Stefánsson's department oversees the con- tinuous optimization of algae-cultivation parameters.

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