In the study, researchers from China and Japan investigated the preventative effects of astaxanthin on ageing using an accelerated model, where mice were chronically treated with a combination of D-galactose and jet lag.
The mice were divided into three groups: control, one treated with a combination of daily sterile D-galactose injection and jet lag, and the treatment group, which was supplemented with a diet containing 0.01% astaxanthin, as well as subjected to the D-galactose injection and jet lag.
The jet lag was carried out by a 12-hour reversal of the light / dark cycle once every three days.
After six weeks of treatment, astaxanthin administration was found to have protected liver weight loss in aged mice.
"It is probably by up-regulating the mRNA expression of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase, which contribute to the enhancement of D-galactose metabolism," noted the researchers.
Astaxanthin supplementation also improved muscle endurance of aged mice in a swimming test.
"These results were associated with reduced oxidative stress in serum and increased anti-oxidative enzymes activities and mRNA expression in vivo," they added.
Moreover, astaxanthin reversed the dysregulation of ageing-related gene expression caused by the combination of D-galactose and jet lag in the livers and kidneys of the mice.
The researchers concluded: "In summary, this study demonstrated that astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant carotenoid, inhibited D-gal and jet lag-induced the progression of ageing by enhancing hepatic D-gal metabolism, improving muscular function and preventing liver weight loss.
"The beneficial effects of astaxanthin were attributable in part to decreased oxidative stress in the serum and peripheral tissues, as well as the improvement of dysregulation of ageing-related gene expression.
"Further studies focusing on the therapeutic effects and detailed molecular mechanism would contribute to a better understanding of the novel action of astaxanthin on ageing and ageing-related diseases. Taken together, astaxanthin might be a novel and promising anti-ageing agent."
Source: Endocrine Journal
"Protective effects of astaxanthin on a combination of D-galactose and jet lag-induced aging model in mice"
Authors: Yinhua Ni, et al.
Astaxanthin's healthy ageing properties will be examined in detail by Dr Vincent Wood from AstaReal at our upcoming Healthy Ageing APAC summit in Singapore. Find out more here.