Astaxanthin Increases FOXO3 Levels, Outcomes on Health Yet to be Determined

As the publicity materials here note, at least one research group is working on ways to enhance the gene expression of FOXO3, seeing this as a way to favorably adjust the operation of metabolism so as to modestly slow the effects of aging. The researchers have demonstrated enhanced gene expression in mice, but have yet to follow up to show that improved health and longevity result from the application of this method. That might be reasonably expected to occur to some degree, based on other investigations of this gene, and of the particular approach used here.

Researchers have announced the results of an animal study evaluating the effectiveness of a naturally-occurring chemical that holds promise in anti-aging therapy. The Astaxanthin compound CDX-085 (developed by Cardax) showed the ability to significantly activate the FOXO3 gene, which plays a proven role in longevity. "All of us have the FOXO3 gene, which protects against aging in humans. But about one in three persons carry a version of the FOXO3 gene that is associated with longevity. By activating the FOXO3 gene common in all humans, we can make it act like the "longevity" version. Through this research, we have shown that Astaxanthin "activates" the FOXO3 gene." Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring compound found in seafood such as shrimp, lobster, and salmon, and is typically sourced from algae, krill, or synthesis. Multiple animal studies have demonstrated that Astaxanthin reduces inflammation, heart and liver damage, cholesterol levels, and risk of stroke. In humans, Astaxanthin also has been shown to lower inflammation and triglycerides.

For those who have a certain gene (the FOXO3 "G" genotype) there is "extra protection" against the risk of death as you get older, compared to average persons. Using data from the Kuakini Hawaiʻi Lifespan Study, a substudy of the 50-year Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program (Kuakini HHP), and the National Institute on Aging's Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) study as a replication cohort, researchers found that people with this FOXO3 gene have an impressive 10% reduced risk of dying overall and a 26% reduced risk of death from coronary heart disease over a 17 year period. Data are based on a 17-year prospective cohort study of 3,584 older American men of Japanese ancestry from the Kuakini HHP cohort study and a 17-year prospective replication study of 1,595 white and 1,056 African-American elderly individuals from the Health ABC cohort.


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