Saturday, March 30, 2013

Astaxanthin--The New Magic Antioxidant

Astaxanthin is a more recently discovered antioxidant being heralded as the new anti-aging miracle. The studies on astaxanthin that are coming to light are showing how versatile it is and how much of the body it has a positive effect on.

Astaxanthin occurs naturally in nature. It is a carotenoid, a pigment, which means it gives color in the organisms that it appears in. The majority of red, orange and yellow plants, as well as flowers and fruits with red, orange and yellow coloring, derive their color from astaxanthin. Birds, fish and insects who eat foods rich in astaxanthin also derive their coloring from the pigment.

Astaxanthin occurs in photosynthetic plants and plays an important role in the photosynthesis process (the process by which plants ingest carbon dioxide and produce oxygen). It also occurs in some simple bacteria and algae which do not engage in photosynthesis, where it serves to protect these simple organisms from light and oxygen. Most pink or red plants have high levels of astaxanthin, and animals who eat astaxanthin-rich foods also have a pinkish color.

Shrimp, crawfish, crabs, lobsters, krill and other crustaceans are high in astaxanthin. Wild salmon also has high levels of astaxanthin. It is also found in trout.

Commercially produced astaxanthin may be derived from natural sources, such as the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, which is the primary natural source, or the pink yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous. It may also be extracted from byproducts of crustaceans such as krill and shrimp. It also can be chemically synthesized.

The secret that makes astaxanthin such an potent antioxidant is that it is both fat soluble and water soluble.  Most antioxidants are either one or the other, which causes some to be better for your heart, some for your eyes, some for your immune system, etc.  So this antioxidant can go anywhere in your body, and can even go to areas of the body where others can't.  Astaxanthin has up to 500 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E, and 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C.

Though astaxanthin is a carotenoid, like beta-carotene, lutein, and canthaxanthin, its unique structure allows it to work differently than the other carotenoids.  Astaxanthin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, acting on at least 5 inflammatory pathways, and can handle far more free radicals at any given time than other antioxidants.
The combination of its high-potency antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allows it to address a vast array of health concerns, including joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow; protection from UV radiation, improving skin health; improved athletic performance; heart health; brain health, including protection against age-related dementia; and protection against age-related macular degeneration—the most common cause of blindness in the US.
Over the last few years, there have been at least 17 studies on brain health showing that astaxanthin protects neurons, and can slow the effects of age-related cognitive decline, as well as decline in psychomotor functions.  Studies have also shown that it improves blood flow and decreases blood pressure. It’s very beneficial to your heart’s mitochondria membranes, and can have a positive effect on blood chemistry, increasing HDL (the good cholesterol), and decreasing triglycerides.
There seems to be no or very little toxicity associated with astaxanthin.  “We really have not seen any kind of adverse reactions or negative effects on people taking astaxanthin,” Dr. Cysewski, an expert on astaxanthin, says. “There have been some acute toxicity studies done [with] as high as 50 or 75 milligrams dosage per day. No bad effects.”
The most common doses are 2-4 mg per day, though some with chronic inflammation may choose to go higher.
We are very excited to announce the release of our "New" SuperMulti Plus.  We have added 3 mg. of astaxanthin to each serving to create a supreme preventative and anti-aging supplement.  Besides adding astaxanthin, we have also added lutein and zeaxanthin for added eye protection, lycopene for added prostate protection (don't worry ladies, it also has health benefits for you as well), and grape seed extract and CoQ 10 for added heart protection.  We also increased the Vitamin D from 1000 to 2000 IU, and doubled the amount of Vitamin K.
This is added to the already potent ingredients for bone health, tissue health, high level antioxidant power, high levels of B-vitamins, and good levels of minerals and trace minerals.
Our patients keep telling us that once they use SuperMulti Plus they can't use other multivitamins because they don't feel as well.  Many tell us that they never could tell any difference using any other multi, but they can with SuperMulti Plus.  Now with the new ingredients our SuperMulti Plus will be that much more powerful.  And the best is the price, which we have kept below $25, and with multiple purchases the price is even lower.
The goal of creating this supplement was to give a high quality, high potency vitamin at a reasonable cost that most people could afford.  We have worked very hard to find a manufacturer that uses high quality ingredients while keeping the cost down.  The ingredients in this cover a multivitamin, calcium/magnesium supplement, B-complex 50, Vitamin D 2,000 IU, Vitamin C with bioflavinoids, Trace Minerals, Eye supplements, antioxidants and carotenoids.  Buying all of this separate would be much over $100.  Now you can afford to maintain your health for less than $25 a month!
To purchase our new SuperMulti Plus go to
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More Dietary Sugar Increases Diabetes Risk

In what would be considered a "Duh..." to most people but not to doctors and hospital nutritionists, scientists have now shown that eating more sugar increases the risk of diabetes.

Those who have been in the hospital with a diagnosis of diabetes are often surprised that they are served sugary foods.  I was taught in medical school, and the dieticians are taught that a carb is a carb is a carb.  It doesn't matter if it is fruit or a cup of pudding, when it has the same amount of carbohydrates the body treats it in the same way.

Doctors have always considered obesity to be the "only" risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.  They thought it was the amount of calories people were eating that created the problem and not the type of food.  However, in this landmark study, lead author Dr. Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and colleagues examined data on global sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past decade.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, found, after accounting for obesity and a large array of other factors, increased sugar in a population's food supply was linked to higher type 2 diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.

"It was quite a surprise," Basu said in a statement. The research was conducted while Basu was a medical resident at University of California, San Francisco, and working with senior author Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

"We're not diminishing the importance of obesity at all, but these data suggest that at a population level there are additional factors that contribute to diabetes risk besides obesity and total calorie intake, and that sugar appears to play a prominent role," the researchers said.

For every additional 150 calories of sugar available per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes in the population rose 1 percent, even after controlling for obesity, physical activity, other types of calories and a number of economic and social variables, the study found.

With the dramatic addition of sugar and high fructose corn syrup to processed foods over the last fifty years, this finally explains to doctors and scientists the major epidemic of Diabetes Type 2 that has exploded in the last 20 years and continues to rise.  Children and teens are now being diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 at rates that have never been seen before. 
Sugary foods have become so engrained in our society that they are almost impossible to escape.  Sugar cereal for breakfast, a can of soda with lunch, candy bars or sugar laden granola bars for snacks, desserts after dinner, a bowl of ice cream before bed, have become the Standard American Diet (SAD).  It is rare to find any processed food without fairly high levels of sugar in it.  The "Low Fat" craze became the high sugar phase to keep the taste palatable.
Simple sugars when eaten in higher amounts than found in nature have a drug-like effect on the body, and it is easy to become addicted.  It acts as a powerful neurotransmitter to give a high to the brain.  In today's stress-filled world, we often reach for a sugary snack or drink to calm down without really realizing it.
It takes a lot of work and effort to eat a healthy diet low in sugar.  The less processed the food the better, but this is hard in today's society of eat and run, where our young people are no longer taught how to cook homemade, nutritious meals.  But it is amazing how much better most people feel when they cut sugar our of their diet and eat more whole, natural foods.
To learn more about diabetes or pre-diabetes, how to know if you have it, the best diet for prevention and treatment, about the medications and how to treat it more naturally, download my free e-book on this page:
Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi