Activation of ‘longevity gene’ could lead to promising anti-aging therapy


The University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine believes new research could lead to the fountain of youth.

Previous studies have shown that we all have what’s called the FOXO3 gene, which protects us against aging.

One in three have a version of that gene that provides “extra protection” — specifically, a 10-percent reduced risk of dying overall and a 26-percent reduced risk of death from coronary heart disease over a 17-year period.

In a new study done with Cardax, a private, Honolulu-based life sciences company, the school found that a certain compound, Astaxanthin compound CDX-085, can activate this longevity gene.

In the study, mice were fed either normal food or food containing a low or high dose of the compound. The animals that were fed the higher amount experienced a significant increase in the activation of the FOXO3 gene in their heart tissue.

“It is possible that we could have a very significant impact, but we have to demonstrate that yet I think in humans. In animals, we do see a pretty intriguing extension of life, up to 30 percent or so in animal models,” said David Watumull of Cardax. “We have some more work to do, but the work done so far is very intriguing. It’s exciting and I think demonstrates we have a real opportunity, for the first time, to actually impact aging in humans.”

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring compound found in seafood such as shrimp, lobster, and salmon, and is typically sourced from algae, krill, or synthesis. 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.

Astaxanthin is the active ingredient in CDX-085, Cardax’s patented second generation compound.

Researchers hope to start human trials soon.

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