UH Med Now
Research: University of Hawaii reports Astaxanthin can activate the FOX03 “Longevity Gene” in mammals
Pictured: L-R: David Watumull, President and CEO, Cardax, Inc; Bradley Willcox, MD, JABSOM-Kuakini; Richard Allsopp, PhD, JABSOM-Institute for Biogenesis Research.
The Astaxanthin compound CDX-085 (developed by Cardax) showed the ability to significantly activate the FOXO3 gene, which plays a proven role in longevity.
“All of us have the FOXO3 gene, which protects against aging in humans,” said Dr. Bradley Willcox, MD, Professor and Director of Research at the Department of Geriatric Medicine, JABSOM, and Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded Kuakini Hawaiʻi Lifespan and Healthspan Studies. “But about one in three persons carry a version of the FOXO3 gene that is associated with longevity. By activating the FOXO3 gene common in all humans, we can make it act like the “longevity” version. Through this research, we have shown that Astaxanthin “activates” the FOXO3 gene,” said Willcox.
Multiple animal studies have demonstrated that Astaxanthin reduces inflammation, heart and liver damage, cholesterol levels, and risk of stroke. In humans, Astaxanthin also has been shown to lower inflammation and triglycerides. But this study is a first.
“This preliminary study was the first of its kind to test the potential of Astaxanthin to activate the FOXO3 gene in mammals,” said Dr. Richard Allsopp, PhD, Associate Professor, and researcher with the JABSOM Institute of Biogenesis Research.
In the study, mice were fed either normal food or food containing a low or high dose of the Astaxanthin compound CDX-085 provided by Cardax. The animals that were fed the higher amount of the Astaxanthin supplement experienced a significant increase in the activation of the FOXO3 gene in their heart tissue.