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Astaxanthin: Could It be 500 times
more powerful than Vitamin E?

I would like to introduce you to an amazing nutrient called astaxanthin. It is a powerful antioxidant that could be up to 550 times more powerful than Vitamin E, and produces at least 10 times the activity of beta-carotene.

In the class of phytonutrients known as carotenoids, the best known is beta-carotene. Other carotenoids include lutein (found in spinach) and lycopene (primarily from tomatoes). Astaxanthin is another significant and potent carotenoid.

Carotenoids give plants and fruits their bright colors. Although animals are incapable of synthesizing carotenoids, many animals will incorporate carotenoids from their diet. Lobster and salmon are two of many examples that derive their colors from carotenoids. In fact, the distinctive orange/red color in lobsters and the healthy pink color of wild salmon and shrimp is due to the astaxanthin in their systems. Carotenoids, as a class, are extremely important. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid known as pro-vitamin A and is utilized by the body to produce Vitamin A when necessary. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants and can counter the unwanted stress on our bodies as we age caused by free radical damage.

Astaxanthin is one of the leading and versatile carotenoids available.

It has been shown in laboratories studies to be of benefit against cancer cells in rats and mice. In one study conducted by one of Japan's leading cancer researchers at the Gifu University School of Medicine, mice were protected from development of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by feeding them astaxanthin in their diets.

In another study out of Washington State University, researchers compared the anti-tumor activity of various carotenoids against the growth of transplantable mammary tumors in mice. The carotenoids that were evaluated included astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene. All three of these carotenoids inhibited tumor growth-although astaxanthin showed the highest anti-tumor activity. Other studies in animals have confirmed the anti-tumor activity of astaxanthin.

Cancer cells are not the only concern where astaxanthin has shown potential. In a 2004 study, researchers examined whether chronic administration of astaxanthin could prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy (a kidney disease).... The lab mice were divided into three groups: non-diabetic, diabetic and diabetic treated with astaxanthin. After 12 weeks of treatment, the astaxanthin-treated group showed a lower level of blood glucose compared with the non-treated group. The results suggested that the antioxidative activity of astaxanthin reduced the oxidative stress on the kidneys and prevented renal cell damage.

There have been several animal and lab studies-primarily conducted at the University of Minnesota-which demonstrated that astaxanthin enhances antibody production. Follow-up studies on human blood cells in-vitro have demonstrated enhancement by astaxanthin of immunoglobulin production to T-dependent stimuli. In laymen's terms this means astaxanthin could stimulate very important immune cells in your body.

Another very encouraging finding has demonstrated that astaxanthin has been found to easily cross the blood brain barrier (unlike beta carotene) and, theoretically, could have antioxidant effects in the brain. The results indicate that astaxanthin might exert beneficial effects in protection against hypertension and stroke, and could improve memory in vascular dementia.

There also is abundant evidence that certain carotenoids can help protect the retina from oxidative damage. The results of a study several years ago suggested astaxanthin was one of those important carotenoids and might be beneficial for nerve damage associated with age-related macular degeneration. It's a fact that age-related macular degeneration affects 1 in 3 of every one of us over the age of 75 with some degree of blindness. We use other powerful carotenoids (like lutein and lycopene) in our patented NSI formula called OcuPower, which has proven to be an effective formula for people losing their vision with age-related macular degeneration in a landmark Veteran's Administration study. It continues to produce more satisfied repeat customers and is our best-selling supplement. However, the studies on astaxanthin would suggest that you consider adding this powerful carotenoid to the mix as well.

Finally, with summer finally here, we'll be spending more time out in the sun and hopefully engaged in some physical activities. I want you see you all outside gardening, walking on the beach, taking a nature hike or whatever activities motivate you to get out and about. There have been several studies indicating that astaxanthin might be the perfect "Summer Supplement," as it may protect against the harmful effects of the sun's UV radiation. Plus, it also reduces the oxidative damage (often felt as pain and inflammation) induced by exercise. You'll be able to get outside, exercise and feel great about it. I suggest that you consider adding astaxanthin as we increase our outdoor activities over the next few months.

NSI has recently released an astaxanthin soft gel product. Each soft gel contains 4 mg of natural astaxanthin. It is the finest, all-natural source of astaxanthin in the world, derived from microalgae. The accumulation of astaxanthin in these natural algae can be 1,000-3,000 times higher when compared to salmon fillets. This product is quite reasonably priced: 60 soft gels cost less than $10.

Based on an article by Dr. Allan Josephs, Neurologist and Internist.



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