Mislabeled synthetic astaxanthin for sale

Mislabeled synthetic astaxanthin for sale

Cyanotech Corp. claims that illegal, untested and potentially unsafe synthetic astaxanthin will be for sale at SupplySide West.

The largest nutraceutical ingredient show in the USA, SupplySide West is this month, and Cyanotech Corp. has confirmed that illegal, untested and potentially unsafe synthetic astaxanthin will be for sale there. The real kicker: It's being marketed as natural astaxanthin from microalgae. “This is what happens when an ingredient gets hot,” said Gerald Cysewski, PhD, chief scientific officer and founder of Cyanotech. “Some companies will do anything to make money, and we've definitively confirmed that some astaxanthin products entering the U.S. and world markets are synthetically produced from petrochemicals.”

There are major efficacy and safety concerns about both synthetic astaxanthin and astaxanthin made from genetically mutated yeast. “Synthetic astaxanthin is not approved for direct human consumption in any country in the world to our knowledge” Cysewski said. “And the yeast-derived variety is approved in some countries, but with restrictions on duration of consumption and dosage levels. In the U.S., for example, yeast-based astaxanthin is only allowed to be sold at 2 mg per day dosage and not recommended for long-term use or for children. If you compare algae-based astaxanthin to the synthetic or yeast-based varieties, you find that they have the same chemical formula, but the molecules are shaped completely differently; plus natural astaxanthin is esterified with fatty acids attached to one or both ends of the molecule. Finally, with the algae-based astaxanthin, you get a naturally occurring blend of mixed carotenoids from the algae—with lutein, beta-carotene and canthaxanthin combined with astaxanthin—just the way nature intended it. Even though they all have the same chemical formula, the three forms of astaxanthin are totally different products.”

Analytically, it is not easy to distinguish between natural astaxanthin and synthetic or yeast-based Astaxanthin. Cyanotech did preliminary tests, and then sent out to two independent labs that are highly specialized in carotenoids to verify. Cysewski concluded: “There are only three companies in the world that have been consistently growing natural astaxanthin since before all the favorable publicity hit in early 2011. Many before have tried and failed—it's an incredibly difficult plant to grow. For any company considering sourcing from a supplier other than the original three, it's extremely important to do your homework and make sure you're getting what you think you are. Otherwise you'll not only be violating laws, but may also be putting consumers at risk.”

For more information please contact Cyanotech at [email protected]

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