Astaxanthin could help stave off sarcopenia in seniors

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10 Oct 2018 --- A formulation containing AstaReal natural astaxanthin can provide a 40 percent increase in endurance and significantly improves muscle function in sarcopenia sufferers. This is according to a study by AstaMed investigating muscle loss and functional decline in older adults with the disease. Sarcopenia affects nearly a quarter of adults older than 60. Researchers published the findings in The Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle on the effectiveness of a new medical protocol to improve muscular function.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass associated with aging. It starts at about age 40 and, for most people, progressively accelerates after age 65, affecting muscle size, strength and performance. It can diminish a person’s ability to do everyday activities such as lifting objects and climbing stairs.

Click to Enlarge
The nutritional intervention
product AstaMed MYO.

The four-month study of individuals ages 65-82 investigated two groups. The first group was provided AstaMed MYO, a natural astaxanthin medicinal formula, and an interval exercise training protocol. The control group was prescribed the exercise training protocol only.

According to the researchers, over a four-month span, treatment recipients experienced a 40 percent increase in endurance, 14 percent increase in muscle strength and 8 percent increase in mobility.

There was no improvement of muscle strength in the group that undertook exercise alone.

“We saw improvement in strength, endurance and mobility among our study participants who took astaxanthin medicinal formula with a moderate exercise plan,” says Kevin Conley, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator and a professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

In the study, Conley disclosed that he has received research funds from, and is a scientific adviser to, Astavita Inc., which owns the AstaMed brand.

“This gives clinicians an option for their patients who cannot make the substantial lifestyle changes required to halt the crippling impact of muscle loss,” Conley said.

“We are extremely pleased this new research clearly indicates a viable new option to manage sarcopenia. This study is the first of its kind that shows such a significant improvement in muscular strength and endurance using AstaMed MYO along with exercise that can make a difference in the lives of millions of aging Americans facing the debilitating effects of sarcopenia,” says Dan Mueller, General Manager of AstaMed.

The nutritional intervention product AstaMed MYO is produced in a FDA-regulated facility in Central Washington and has no reported side effects.

Commenting on the study, Andie Long, Marketing Manager at AstaReal, says: “This study is incredibly exciting as it shows that natural astaxanthin has the ability to make a real difference in the quality of life of individuals suffering from conditions such as sarcopenia.”

“Astaxanthin’s popularity is increasing quickly, not only due to its antioxidant potential. It offers clinically validated benefits that consumers can feel working in their bodies. Astaxanthin can be used in many different formulas targeted at sports and recovery, skin health, eye and brain health, cardiovascular support and immunity,” she tells NutritionInsight.

“Most of current natural astaxanthin use is in supplements. But besides tablets and capsules, also innovative products formats such as functional foods are possible. In Japan, for instance, astaxanthin-enriched yogurt, coffee and energy drinks are already well established. Other possibilities include baked goods, chocolate, gummies and candies, sports nutrition beverages and bars,” she adds.

At the recent Vitafoods Asia in Singapore, AstaReal Pte. Ltd. launched AstaReal CLEAR 100, an emulsified extract of 1 percent natural astaxanthin from microalgae. With its “unrivaled solubility, transparency and clarity,” AstaReal CLEAR 100 is promoted as ideal for use in RTDs, nutrition shots, and functional foods. This functional liquid is also an innovative formulation featuring enhanced “body ready” absorption to deliver the health effects. AstaReal has launched AstaReal CWS25, a spray-dried, water-soluble powder containing 2.5 percent natural astaxanthin plant extract. This functional powder is specifically designed for use in powdered drinks and functional foods. Its excellent powder properties and extremely mild flavor and odor offer unsurpassed compatibility and it fully dissolves in just 30 seconds. 

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At Vitafoods Asia, AstaReal highlighted several trends in
astaxanthin application based on new product trends.

At the show, AstaReal highlighted several trends in astaxanthin application based on new product trends. “I see tremendous opportunities in Asia-Pacific. Innova Market Insights data has allowed us to great insight into APAC. The number of new astaxanthin launches in the region has been growing at a phenomenal rate with 19 percent CAGR between 2011 and 2016. By market share, APAC represents 21 percent of this new product development. That tells us that it is a hotbed of activity and especially in the areas where people are interested in, we have discovered that skin health is number one, followed by general health & wellness and eye health. That gives us a tremendous opportunity to leverage the portfolio that we have to create value-added products,” says Vincent Woods, who heads up the company’s Asian business. 

There is potential applications across the board, he notes. “We are showcasing a water so have soluble astaxanthin in a powder form called CWS25 with no algae taste. This is great as the delivery format is liquid and taste is everything,” he says. 

To illustrate that, the company has developed three different concepts in a partnership with dairy ingredient supplier Ingredia. MoveMe is a milk pudding containing AstaReal natural astaxanthin with clinically proven ability to improve muscle endurance and performance. It is also known to reduce inflammation and age-related muscle wastage. Combined with Prodiet protein, MoveMe serves as a superior nutritional solution for seniors and people with active lifestyle to maintain muscle mass throughout the years. The pudding format makes MoveMe easy to take anytime, anywhere. 

AstaReal also presented SoothMe, a protein drink containing AstaReal natural astaxanthin with clinically proven ability to reduce physical and mental fatigue. Combined with the stress management efficacy of Lactium protein, SoothMe is promoted as a perfect recipe for professionals and busy mums to help them better manage their hectic lifestyle, maintain work performance and improve sleep quality. 

“The APAC region has the highest aging society and it will represent about 60 percent of the world’s population over 60 by 2050. To address this we will need to address muscle health and mobility which are top of mind for these generations. We created some products to address them. ToneMe combines Astareal with ToneDiet Fluid from Ingredia, which is the highest micellar casein product on the market. It has excellent viscosity with a high protein content and all the benefits of astaxanthin for muscle mass. New clinical data show that astaxanthin can help retard and even improve the condition known as sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass from age 40 and above. MoveMe, which is made with this ingredient and Prodiet addresses that in a friendly format of a pouch. The pudding format may also help those in this age group who may have swallowing difficulties too,” he explains. 

A video interview with Vincent Woods can be seen here:

By Lucy Gunn and Robin Wyers

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