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Beyond astaxanthin – AstaPure Arava Powder: 1.5 billion years of resilient evolution

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Here at Algatech, we’re incredibly passionate about the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis. ​But, don't be fooled by its microscopic size: in this tiny cell lies billions of years of evolutionary wisdom - including a potential pathway towards longevity and resilience. ​The marvel of astaxanthin is a major part of this story, but new science conducted by Algatech suggests that this microalgae has yet more to offer.

Astaxanthin: The marvelous carotenoid  

Having survived almost 1.5 billion years, you could say that Haematococcus pluvialis​ is perhaps one of the most resilient organisms in nature.

The way in which it has managed to survive and evolve until now is fascinating - it preserves its own DNA: During dry seasons, when conditions become stressful and ponds begin to dry, the microalga produces natural astaxanthin, allowing it to preserve its DNA perfectly and undamaged, as demonstrated in the studies of the world expert for microalgae, Prof. Sammy Boussiba, one of Algatech’s founders. Even if it takes dozens of years, the microalgae are ready and able to grow again, patiently waiting until the next rains.

The whole algae powder: New complex presented

However, this isn't even the complete story. Recently, Algatech discovered it appears that our Arava strain of microalga had yet more secrets to reveal.

The full benefits of Haematococcus pluvialis​ can only be derived from the whole algae. The organic medium we use to cultivate the microalgae joins forces with the harsh desert conditions, pushing the microalga to its extreme - and therefore ensuring its full potency. Now, thanks to Algatech’s latest innovation, consumers can finally reap the numerous health benefits of the whole alga’s striking survival capabilities.

Astaxanthin is only one major part of this cell’s secret. A recent study from immunology and natural product testing expert, Dr. Gitte Jensen (NIS labs, Oregon USA), identified the Arava whole algae powder properties to include highly potent complexes, synergetic to the natural astaxanthin.

According to the in-vitro cell study, the revealed complex had displayed significant results on the activity of innate immune system, cell regeneration and mitochondria function. This unique complex is probably what enables this microalga to survive through millions of generations, despite competition from other microorganisms, and to become one of nature’s most resilient organism.

Enjoy all the benefits of nature, naturally

AstaPure Arava​, is a new , exciting nutraceutical product, allowing consumers to finally have it all: a whole-food, all-natural nutraceutical supplement, rich in health promoting constituents.

 

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Located in the Arava desert, Algatech goes to every length to ensure the microalga-derived AstaPure Arava is produced entirely naturally - just as it has been for the past 1.5 billion years. By utilizing its proprietary ESL technology, Algatech facilitates the maintenance of the natural form of the microalga through the different process stages, preserving its valuable ingredients in the closest form to nature.

Algatech harnesses the pioneering knowledge and expertise that have been fine-tuned over 20 years, to cultivate microalgae in a patented, eco-friendly, proprietary photobioreactor facility that is free of contaminants and toxins.

We’re incredibly proud to have produced a genuinely ecological crop. AstaPure Arava is aimed at people who seek pure, whole foods, or are looking for vegan solutions. It’s a plant-based, organically cultivated, clean label, non-GMO verified dietary supplement suitable for use in powder applications. Algatech’s R&D team is working on making AstaPure Arava powder’s distinctive array of constituents available by developing new delivery forms.

Astaxanthin:  More than 1,500 peer-reviewed studies and over 1,600 human participants in clinical trials demonstrate that astaxanthin is one of the strongest known antioxidants with health-related benefits. In fact, studies have shown that natural astaxanthin derived from microalgae is over 500 times stronger than vitamin E - and a much more powerful antioxidant than all other carotenoids.[1],[2]​,[3]​ With its rich, dark red pigment, astaxanthin is well-known to provide shrimp, krill and salmon with their distinctive colors. It also contributes to salmon’s ability to swim upstream for up to 2,000 miles and to the eyesight of eagles.

The potential beneficial health effects of astaxanthin​ have been widely studied in both animal and human populations. Studies suggest that astaxanthin:

  • supports the modulation of the immune system and has neuroprotective effects
  • supports cognitive health
  • supports digestive and intestinal health
  • supports the improvement of eye health and visual acuity
  • supports improvements in muscle function and endurance and overall sports performance.

Multiple studies have shown that astaxanthin also supports cardiovascular health, as a result of its potential to improve inflammation, lipid metabolism and glucose metabolism. It’s also been suggested to support maintenance of healthy cholesterol balance in people with normal cholesterol levels and decrease lipid peroxidation.[4]​ Other studies suggested astaxanthin supports skin health in the improvement of moisture content and hydration, skin texture and elasticity, as well as a reduction in the appearance of fine lines.[5],[6]​,[7]

Polysaccharides and dietary fibers: Over half of Haematococcus pluvialis​ cell is comprised of carbohydrates including polysaccharides and dietary fibers.[8]​ Dr. Gitte Jensen recently performed a series of experiments with AstaPure Arava, revealing the potency of the complex which includes a polysaccharides fraction. The study demonstrated activity even in low concentration, suggesting potential significant activity after ingestion.

Dr. Jensen states that: “In the study, we found complex, highly potent and synergistic effects across multiple parameters. This newly discovered biological activity was shown to positively stimulate immediate immune responses as well as biomarkers involved in reparative and regenerative functions. These positive effects were observed even in the cell mitochondria​.”

One of the most interesting results in the study points at the potential ability of AstaPure Arava’s unique complex to promote regeneration-related growth factor G-CSF. This factor is known to help in resolving normal, healthy inflammation as a part of an immune defense, thus facilitating the return to homeostasis, and avoiding a chronic inflammatory state. Additionally, it also may induce post-trauma or injury tissue reparation.

Furthermore, the study indicated the effect of this unique complex on innate immunity and mitochondria improvement. These results indicate that AstaPure Arava whole algae powder has the potential to support health activity synergistically to the activity of the astaxanthin. Algatech’s scientific team intends to delve even deeper into these findings in future clinical studies.

Lipids: A key input to the overall health benefits of Haematococcus pluvialis​ whole algae powder is its high-quality fatty acid profile. Featuring 30% lipids, the astaxanthin-rich whole algae powder has a fatty acid composition of nutraceutical value:

  • ~24% of the oil is composed of the essential omega-6 fatty acid linoleic

acid (LA). LA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid used in the biosynthesis of arachidonic acid (AA) and a variety of health-relevant compounds. It is an essential fatty acid that has to be consumed for proper health.

  • ~16% of fatty acids in the oil consist of the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which is known to be one of the essential fatty acids required for human well-being. Studies suggest that a well-balanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is essential for human well-being.

 In addition, AstaPure Arava powder also contains phospholipids, which are known for their ability to improve the absorption of the lipids.

Vitamins and Minerals: Haematococcus pluvialis​ whole algae powder contains six essential vitamins and four minerals that support the physiological function of enzymes, cellular processes, cellular communication or act as precursors for functional molecules. These vitamins are B2​, B5​, B6​, B8​, B12​ and D3​.

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Bioavailability of whole algae powder

Algatech commissioned a pilot clinical study led by principal investigator late Dr. Rafael Bitzur, the former Secretary of the Israeli Society for the Treatment and Prevention of Atherosclerosis. In this study, the levels of astaxanthin in the plasma of 10 healthy volunteers were measured by HPLC during a 24-hour follow-up period, after the intake of a single dose of AstaPure Arava.

The findings show that astaxanthin from the whole algae was bioavailable in levels as high as in oleoresin.

 

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How can something so tiny be so huge?

For conclusion, AstaPure Arava condenses the natural wisdom and resilience of over 1.5 billion years of powerful evolution.

At Algatech, we’ve been fascinated by these microscopic life forms for the past two decades. And the more we’ve discovered about them, the more we can see that we’ve only just scratched the surface. Infinitesimal though they are, their world offers nearly endless opportunities for exploration. We may be the experts and more familiar with them than any other commercial company on earth, yet we always come back to one basic question: How can something so tiny be so huge?

References

 

[1]​ Beutner S, Bloedorn B, Frixel S, Blanco IH, Hoffmann T, Martin H-D, Mayer B, Noack P, Ruck C, Schmidt M, Schulke I, Sell S, Ernst H, Haremza S, Seybold G, Sies H, Stahl W, Walsh R (2001) Quantitative assessment of antioxidant properties of natural colorants and phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols and indigoids. The role of beta-carotene in antioxidant functions. J Sci Food Agric 81:559–568.

 

[2]​ Boussiba S (2000) Carotenogenesis in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis​: cellular physiology and stress response. Physiol Plant 108:111–117.

 

[3]​ Guerin M, Huntley ME, Olaizola M. Haematococcus astaxanthin: Applications for human health and nutrition. Trends Biotechnol 2003; 21:210–216.

Hix LM, Lockwood SF, Bertram JS. Bioactive carotenoids: Potent antioxidants and regulators of gene expression. Redox Report 2004;9:181–191.

 

[4]​ Chew BP, Park JS. Carotenoid action on the immune response. J Nutr 2004;134:257S–261S.

 

[5]​ Kidd, Parris. "Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential." Altern Med Rev​ 16.4 (2011): 355-364.

 

[6]​ Yang, Yue, Bohkyung Kim, and J. Young Lee. "Astaxanthin structure, metabolism, and health benefits." J. Hum. Nutr. Food Sci​ 1.1003 (2013): 1-1003.‏

 

[7]​ Davinelli, Sergio, Michael Nielsen, and Giovanni Scapagnini. "Astaxanthin in skin health, repair, and disease: A comprehensive review." Nutrients​ 10.4 (2018): 522.‏

 

[8]​ Montsant, A., Zarka, A. and Boussiba, S. (2001) Presence of a non-hydrolysable biopolymer in the cell wall of vegetative cells and astaxanthin-rich cysts of Haematococcus pluvialis​ (Chlorophyceae). Mar. Biotechnol. 3: 515-521.

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