How does astaxanthin protect cell and mitochondrial health?  

Astaxanthin is one of natures most powerful anti-oxidants with an ORAC value of 2.8M. Once embedded into a cell or mitochondrial wall it hangs with one end inside and one end outside the cell membrane.  Oxygen Radicals are picked up and bonded with /extracted from the cell interior, passed to blood/water soluble anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and ultimately disposed by our liver. 

Our mitochondria is our energy source for the body.   8-10% of the time the mitochondria 'misfires" creating an oxygen radical. Long term stress  (physical, environmental, dietary deficiencies, toxicity) increases the odds of misfiring which unaddressed can lead to cascading problems with animal wellness. 

Oxygen radicals are highly reactive.  Enzymes such as CQ10 that is used by our mitochondria to make ATP/energy are also mild anti-oxidants. Other enzymes and minerals found inside the cells such as CBD, Taurine and Selenium are also antioxidants.  Without astaxanthin oxygen radicals attack these enzymes and minerals depleting our ability to make energy and fight off disease.  Astaxanthin protects these enzymes from being oxidized. 

Where does your Astaxanthin come from? 

We extract astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis (HP)  algae. 

How is your astaxanthin different than astaxanthin extracted from HP using the super critical carbon dioxide method? 

HP encysts astaxanthin to protect itself during winter hibernation.  The encysted molecule is by nature's design not bioavailable if ingested.  Any extraction process has to remove the proteins used to encyst the molecule.  Our process for removing these proteins is much more complete  vs. the super critical carbon method. 

Removing the cysts to expose astaxathin is only the first step.  The challenge is deliver astaxanthin, a hydrophobic molecule,  through the digestive track/blood stream into the cell and mitochondrial walls where it takes up residence.  

Our patented extraction process uses mechanical forces not found in chemical extraction to allow the proteins/starches/lipids in HP form a micelle,  effectively surrounding astaxanthin with hydrophilic shell that can shuttle the astaxanthin to the right place.  

What is a micelle? 

Micelles are lipid molecules that arrange themselves in a sphere containing both hydrophilic regions and hydrophobic regions. This structure enables the body to absorb molecules that are insoluble in blood/water. The hydrophobic astaxanthin ultimately is released from the micelle when it finds/embeds into the cell wall.

What is the difference between synthetic astaxanthin and yours? 

Astaxanthin can be synthesized from petrochemical feedstocks (or using yeast). This process is lower cost but produces a variant isomer of astaxanthin that has a much lower Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) value plus that isomer has an affinity for binding to muscle protein.  The combination of the lower ORAC and the losses associated with binding to muscle vs. cell & mitochondrial walls means the vast majority of synthetic astaxanthin is unavailable to protect  enzymes inside the cell.  

Synthetic astaxanthin is, however, widely used in the Salmon/Char fish industry as  a coloring agent responsible for the orange color you see in farmed salmon. Wild-caught salmon get their astaxanthin from the marine food chain which in addition to protecting cellular health, colors the flesh deep red. 

Do you partner with University Researchers? 

Sustainable Nutrition often collaborates with academic partners in conducting research at their sites. Sometimes SN provides funds for these research activities, including salaries, fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, equipment, rental costs, and scholarships. SN typically awards funds to cover only direct research costs rather than indirect costs. However, in recognition that certain administrative costs may accrue to research projects, SN may award up to 15% of the direct project costs for administrative activities.