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Vaccination is therefore a favourable method of defence against a new pathogen.


Support the immune system Numerous studies show that a balanced lifestyle, sufficient exercise, sunlight and fresh air, as well as a varied, balanced diet, play an important role in strengthening the immune system and improving the body’s natural response to infections. A balanced diet with natural, seasonal foods – such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – provides the body with an ideal supply of important micronutrients and strengthens the immune system.


Micronutrients play a crucial role in the reproduction of the immune system’s fighter cells. The studies for many vitamins, minerals or secondary plant substances are very extensive in this context. This is reflected in the use of the official health claims permitted in the EU in the food supplement sector.


You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs


The defence mechanisms of the immune system (immune reactions) can produce so-called free radicals, which cause chain reactions and attack our cells. The excess of oxidative substances and the increased formation of free radicals is called oxidative stress. This chemical imbalance has been shown to accelerate the ageing process and is involved in the development of various diseases.


and infected cells; an increase in the activity of T and B cells, defence cells of the immune system; the reduction of DNA damage; and a useful anti- inflammatory effect.


Astaxanthin scavenges free radicals more effectively than other members of the carotenoid family.


antioxidants, carotenoids have become the focus of interest in food supplements. Among them is astaxanthin – the most powerful naturally occurring antioxidant. Natural astaxanthin is industrially extracted mainly from the green alga haematococcus pluvialis.


The alga produces the red pigment astaxanthin in stress situations (for example, high salt content in the water, nitrogen deficiency, high temperatures and UV light) for its own protection. This natural form represents the highest- quality astaxanthin with the highest antioxidant potential. Studies show that astaxanthin scavenges free radicals much more effectively than other members of the carotenoid family or vitamin E. Numerous human health benefits result from its potent antioxidant activity,


“It often seems unbelievable when such a multitude of possible effects is listed in connection with natural active substances such as astaxanthin.”


Antioxidants therefore play a special role because they ensure the maintenance of a desirable oxidative balance. The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B2, as well as zinc, selenium, copper and manganese contribute to the protection of the cells against oxidative stress. As a new, highly effective group of


Ingredients Insight / www.ingredients-insight.com


including strengthening the immune system. Experimental trials and human studies have demonstrated numerous positive effects, including immunomodulatory; an increase in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies; an increase in the activity of natural killer cells, which fight viruses


Acute inflammations are crucial components of healing. They are an important indicator that our immune system is fighting a ‘troublemaker’, which should eventually lead to recovery. However, if inflammations turn into a chronic state, this is a sign of an imbalance in the body. The causes can be, for example, constant stress, an unfavourable diet, poor intestinal health, and a constant lack of antioxidants. Chronic inflammation can lead to serious tissue damage


throughout the body, with harmful manifestations such as arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease or glaucoma. Astaxanthin has a strong anti- inflammatory effect by reducing the activity of many inflammatory messengers in the body. It can therefore be an enormous help in chronic inflammatory diseases – not as the sole remedy – but rather as a side-effect-free component of holistic therapy.


Miracle weapon astaxanthin? It often seems unbelievable when such a multitude of possible effects is listed in connection with natural active substances such as astaxanthin. How can a single substance be able to help with such different ailments as eye complaints, joint pain, cardiovascular problems and sunburn? The explanation lies in the fact that many diseases have different symptoms, but one and the same cause – oxidative stress and/or inflammation. Joints, organs and senses are all made up of tiny cells that are very similar in function and therefore all react negatively to oxidative stress – they are therefore threatened by inflammation. It is a logical conclusion that all our cells react positively to a protective substance that can reduce and/or eliminate oxidative stress and inflammation. The answer? Astaxanthin. ●


www.bdi-biolifescience.com 23


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