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AstaReal And University Of Tsukuba, Japan Awarded Patent On Astaxanthin And Exercise Therapy For Improving Cognitive Function


BURLINGTON, N.J., Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- AstaReal, pioneer and global leader in the production of natural Astaxanthin announced a new patent and research showing astaxanthin modulates genes in the brain that are involved in learning, memory, and neuron formation. This is exciting news for formulators of supplements, functional foods, and functional beverages looking to tap into the growing consumer demand for ingredients that support cognition and mood.

AstaReal astaxanthin modulates genes in the brain that are involved in learning, memory and neuron formation.

The formation of new neurons in the adult brain is known as Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis (AHN), which was discovered in the 1960's. Neurons can form throughout a person's lifetime in the hippocampus; the brain's gateway to learning and memory. However, adult neurogenesis decreases with age and with a sedentary lifestyle. One way to promote AHN is through exercise. Exercise therapy has been shown to stimulate AHN, as well as enhance and help maintain cognitive function. This new patent from AstaReal ( US 11,116732) shows that astaxanthin combined with exercise can improve the effects of exercise on AHN, learning, and spatial memory by modulating genetic expression in the hippocampus.

Human clinical studies have shown that natural astaxanthin helped promote reaction time, memory, and spatial reasoning (Katagiri et al). Pre -clinical studies led by Prof Hideaki Soya at the University of Tsukuba, showed Astaxanthin combined with exercise improved cognitive function better than either exercise or astaxanthin treatments alone. Combining astaxanthin with exercise increased the number of new neurons in the hippocampus (+130% from baseline), and improved performance of mice in a Morris Water Maze that was designed to challenge their ability to learn and to remember the location of a hidden platform in an opaque swimming pool (Yook et al).

AstaReal's new patent shows data that re-capitulated this earlier study on AHN, memory and learning functions in mice. It adds new information about how astaxanthin modulates gene expression in the hippocampus. Among a number of mouse protein coding genes in the hippocampus that were differentially expressed only in mice treated with both mild exercise and astaxanthin, Igf1r and Igf1 stood out. The IGF1R protein is a tyrosine kinase type receptor using IGF-1, IGF-2, and insulin as protein ligands. IGF-1 transfers from blood into the brain and promotes AHN in response to exercise, and improves spatial memory controlled by the hippocampus. The AHN and spatial memory improvement observed with mild exercise and astaxanthin may be the downstream effect of IGF-1 binding to IGF1R.

AstaReal's Scientific Affairs Manager, Dr. Karen Hecht added, "Exercise is a multi-system intervention, meaning that it can benefit multiple organs and biological functions at once. Our capacity for exercise adaptation declines with age, and nutrigenomic interventions that help boost the effect of exercise may tip the scales towards better mobility and cognition throughout life." 

"This new patent validates the benefit of combining mild exercise with a daily intake of Astaxanthin in improving memory and learning, which is the key for improving healthspan and quality of life. AstaReal will continue its effort to investigate and elucidate the mechanism of action of Astaxanthin so that our partners can back their label claims with utmost confidence," said Arun Nair, CEO AstaReal.

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SOURCE AstaReal Inc.