Natural Astaxanthin: The Immune System Modulator

Pioneering research at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in the 1990s established in a series of eight pre-clinical trials that Astaxanthin has immune modulating properties. This was followed by series of studies at Washington State University that culminated with a landmark human clinical trial. This clinical trial showed that 2mg of Natural Astaxanthin per day resulted in remarkable immune system benefits. Additional human clinical trials and more than 20 pre-clinical trials corroborate this research: Astaxanthin is a capable immune system modulator.


Where It All Began: The Pioneering Work of Dr. Harumi Jyonouchi

Harumi Jyonouchi, M.D. is a medical doctor and a college professor who did most of her work at University of Minnesota School of Medicine. She began exploring the effects of Astaxanthin on the immune response at the onset of the 1990s:

  • Dr. Jyonouchi tested beta-carotene against Astaxanthin in mouse cells and found that, while beta-carotene worked well on immune markers, Astaxanthin was superior in all four parameters tested (Jyonouchi, 1991).
  • Next, she attempted to examine the mechanism of action in Astaxanthin’s enhancement of antibody production. This experiment showed that Astaxanthin may be able to augment antibody production through affecting the initial stage of antigen presentation (Jyonouchi, 1993).
  • A related study that Dr. Jyonouchi took part in was her first animal trial in this area. Again, it pitted Astaxanthin against beta-carotene, finding Astaxanthin to be more effective than beta-carotene in preventing carcinogenesis in autoimmune-prone mice (Tomita, 1993).
  • The following year, Dr. Jyonouchi expanded the carotenoids she was testing and included both beta-carotene and lutein. She demonstrated that Astaxanthin performed better than both of its carotenoid cousins in increasing immune markers in older mice (Jyonouchi, 1994).

This article is available in full in the SupplySide West 2017 issue of Nutraceuticals Now

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