Could algal food-derived astaxanthin protect against sun exposure?

Research conducted by FujiFilm, using Algatech’s natural astaxanthin, shows the chemical compound enhanced innate sun protection and UV damage

Research by FujiFilm’s research team in Japan has found that chemical compound astaxanthin can help in reducing UV damage and protect skin from sun exposure.

Over the 10 week study, placebo-controlled study two groups of volunteers received either 4mg of algal food-derived astaxanthin or an inert placebo, using Haematococcus pluvial cultivated and produced by biochemistry company Algatech.

The results were determined by measuring the minimal erythema dose (MED) - the minimal dose of UV light that induces any visible reddening - analysing UV-induced changes in moisture and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Subjects taking the supplement showed increased MED compared with those taking the placebo; meanwhile the astaxanthin group had reduced loss of skin moisture in areas exposed to light.

Authors of the study, Naoki Ito, Shinobu Seki and Fumitaka Ueda, said: “These results demonstrated the protective role of dietary supplementation with astaxanthin against UV-induced stimuli and its usefulness for the maintenance of healthy skin.”

Tair Lapidot, Algatech’s CSO, said: “Subjective skin conditions for improvement of rough skin and texture in non-exposed areas also were significantly improved by supplementation with astaxanthin, demonstrating astaxathin’s ability to help protect skin from UV-induced deterioration, while helping to maintain healthy skin in healthy people.”

UV exposure is linked with increasing the appearance of ageing including skin wrinkles, dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

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