Beta-cryptoxanthin is a new carotenoid obtained from the satsuma variety of Japanese mandarin. Part of the well-known xanthophyll family, beta-cryptoxanthin is present in small amounts in oranges, mandarins and papaya. Once ingested, it is converted into vitamin A via a specific metabolic pathway.
Recent studies have highlighted beta-cryptoxanthin’s benefits in treating and preventing chronic disease, due to its ability to fight oxidative damage to DNA. In addition to its pro-vitamin activity, the key benefits identified are as follows:
An anti-inflammatory effect in the lungs
Regular consumption of beta-cryptoxanthin lowers the risk of lung cancer, particularly for smokers in whom it reduces squamous metaplasia caused by smoking and inflammation.
It also significantly reduces levels of TNFα. (tumour necrosis factor alpha) in bronchial alveoli and in mucus of the epithelial glands, and has been shown to benefit those at higher risk of pulmonary inflammation.
An effect against periodontal infection
Beta-cryptoxanthin is beneficial in cases of simple gum inflammation and helps strengthen the soft and bone tissue supporting the teeth. It has been shown to suppress the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) responsible for the formation of osteoclasts, and bone resorption in the jaw (in vitro).
Finally, it restores alveolar bone loss and can thus be considered an important adjunct treatment for those at proven risk of periodontal disease.
A possible effect against diabetes
In research conducted by Japanese scientists, oral administration of beta-cryptoxanthin protected against bone loss in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. After two weeks, researchers noted increases in calcium levels, alkaline phosphatase activity and DNA content in femoral shaft tissues (the central part of the femur).
An effect against age-related cognitive decline
A study has shown that when mice were fed a diet enriched with beta-cryptoxanthin, their capacity for learning improved. In addition, there was a notable decrease in oxidative damage to DNA in the cerebral cortex of this group of mice compared with those not given the beta-cryptoxanthin-enriched diet.
The two most significant areas of activity, however, remain the prevention of cancer and the treatment of obesity.
The role of beta-cryptoxanthin in cancer prevention
Beta-cryptoxanthin has proven to be beneficial in subjects at risk of developing certain forms of cancer. In a study of 344 rats, high-dose beta-cryptoxanthin reduced the likelihood of developing colon cancer. In addition, a large number of epidemiological studies suggest it may act as a preventive agent against lung cancer.
Furthermore, Professor Miarazawa and his colleagues from Ishikawa School of Medicine in Japan showed that a 25ppm dose of beta-cryptoxanthin administered to a selected mouse model was successful in significantly reducing the development of bladder cancer.
In another study, conducted in vitro, supplementation with beta-cryptoxanthin increased survival chances when compared with controls. This study suggests it could potentially act as a preventive agent against emphysema and lung cancer by interfering with the tumour suppressor gene, SIRT 1.
The role of beta-cryptoxanthin in obesity
A study published in 2014 in the journal Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity demonstrates how beta-cryptoxanthin can help tackle obesity, particularly abdominal obesity which is generally more difficult to address.
This study conducted on both mice and humans, revealed that oral administration of satsumas (containing beta-cryptoxanthin) reduced visceral fat, total bodyweight and abdominal girth. The continuation of this study showed that beta-cryptoxanthin impeded the development and accumulation of fat cells (adipocytes).
The researchers concluded that beta-cryptoxanthin was an effective supplement for preventing obesity and offered benefits for addressing metabolic symptoms as a whole, particularly so given the absence of harmful side effects recorded following its administration.
The Japanese have thus proved to be both pioneers and benefactors by giving us this variety of mandarin which they have been consuming for more than 400 years.
adults. Take 1 capsule a day.