Mount Laurel, N.J., August 17, 2005 - Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. of Toyama, Japan, the parent company of Fuji Health Science, Inc. of Mount Laurel, NJ, recently hosted the inaugural symposium of the Japanese Society for Astaxanthin (JSA), where scientists, health professionals, and journalists gathered to hear the latest developments concerning the clinical research, safety, and future work for the highly potent carotenoid, Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin, one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature, is naturally produced as part of the life cycle of Haematacoccus pluvialis – a fresh water, green microalgae. Fuji Chemical produces astaxanthin of the highest quality at its facilities in Maui, Hawaii and Gustavsberg, Sweden.
The purpose of this opening symposium was to attract new members for the JSA. The first official meeting is scheduled for November 2005 at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. JSA’s chairman, Professor Toshikazu Yoshikawa of Kyoto Medical University heads the world’s leading platform for fundamental and applied research of astaxanthin and hopes to attract one thousand members. “Japan leads the world in research for astaxanthin, but, the majority of people have not heard of its health benefits even with the increasing number of scientific publications,” declared Professor Yoshikawa.
Seven Japanese medical researchers presented their published clinical results to a capacity audience of 250 at the Tokyo Prince Hotel. Professor Shigeaki Ohno of Hokkaido University, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, described that astaxanthin supplementation in randomized double-blind placebo controlled studies led to a reduction of visual asthenopia (eye fatigue symptoms) and higher accommodation levels (switching focus between two fixed distances). Associate Professor Yuji Naito of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Department of Medical Proteomics, investigated diabetic animal models treated with astaxanthin. By employing the latest gene-chip analysis (in-press), he revealed at the gene expression level the mechanisms of reduced diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage) and improved insulin to glucose response (blood sugar control).
Another notable speaker was Professor Keisuke Sawaki, University of Juntendo, Sports & Health Science Department, and current president of the Japan Athletic Society. His past achievements include participating in the 5000m and 1000m track events at both the Mexico City and Munich Summer Olympic Games, Olympic track coach at Seoul and Athens, and a string of successes as a Japanese marathon coach. In his presentation, Professor Sawaki reported that in randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials, athletes supplemented with astaxanthin experienced improved visual acuity and reduced lactic acid levels. Other topics presented at the symposium included astaxanthin’s positive effects on blood pressure and consumption safety.
At a press conference held after the symposium, Fuji Chemical Industry’s president and CEO, Mitsunori Nishida, remarked that, “in May 2005, Fuji submitted an astaxanthin dossier to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Labour to obtain FOSHU (Foods for Specific Health Uses). Pending a successful approval, it will eventually allow Fuji Chemical Industry to market a specific health claim for astaxanthin to reduce eye fatigue at a 6 mg daily dose.”
Charles DePrince, president of Fuji Health Science, Inc. added, “There is much excitement coming out of Japan, the leading country in astaxanthin research and market development. I see the new Japanese Society for Astaxanthin as an impetus to more science and an opportunity to globalize the awareness of this exceptional carotenoid.” DePrince continued, “I would like to see the society expand to an international level. To further this idea and the awareness of astaxanthin, Fuji Health Science would like to sponsor a similar symposium next year in North America.”
For more information,
contact: Yasuko Kuroda
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