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Originally published September 9 2008

Cyanotech's Astaxanthin Can Now Legally Make More Health Claims

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Microalgae products company Cyanotech has announced that the FDA has approved its use of 17 different structure and function claims for its astaxanthin supplement, marketed under the name BioAstin.

"Finally, we can advertise the benefits of BioAstin to consumers in the USA," said Cyanotech Chief Executive Gerry Cysewski.

Structure and function claims are regulated less stringently by the FDA than health claims. While health claims purport that a product can be used to prevent or cure a disease and must be pre-approved by the FDA based on clinical studies, structure and function claims merely refer to the functions that a supplement or product performs in the body.

Cyanotech is seeking European Union approval for six further nutritional health claims.

Among the claims approved for BioAstin are that it supports joint health, supports healthy skin, supports increased energy levels and supports eye health.

The Cyanotech Web site reads: "BioAstin's benefits derive from its superior antioxidant activity and from its ability to support and maintain natural inflammatory response, enhancing skin, muscle and joint health. Human and animal studies have shown that natural astaxanthin can protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, enhance the immune system [and] enhance energy metabolism."

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid compound that is produced by a species of microalgae to protect itself against ultraviolet solar radiation when its habitat dries up. It is consumed by fish and crustaceans, leading to the characteristic pink color of salmon and shrimp.

According to Cyanotech, astaxanthin functions as a potent natural antioxidant, with up to 10 times the antioxidant activity of the related chemical beta-carotene and 550 times the activity of vitamin E.

The company also announced that it has signed a deal with OceanGrown International for BioAstin to be added to OceanGrown skin care products to help "protect, build and nourish the skin."

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