Alcohol & Astaxanthin

Alcohol & Astaxanthin

Last month the World Heart Organization put out a statement that no amount of alcohol was good for the heart.   We are not here to lecture anyone on alcohol consumption but if you do imbibe then it is best to do so informed as to what is going on inside your body and how astaxanthin can help. 

What are we drinking? 

The form of alcohol we drink is ethanol.  Ethanol has 7 calories per gram,  which is just below pure fat which has 9 calories per gram.  Depending on your choice of beverage,  you may or may not be also consuming additional sugars in the form of carbohydrates.

How does our body process alcohol?

There are two pathways at work here. 

Ethanol is responsible for the intoxicating effects associated with too much consumption. The work of removing ethanol falls on the liver.  Using enzymes, the liver breaks ethanol down initially into a  short lived carcinogenic compound (acetalhehyde) then acetate. Acetate is subsequently broken down to carbon dioxide and water outside the liver. 

The second pathway is simply processing calories.  If you drink a bottle of wine with dinner you are getting 600 calories or 25% of the recommended daily calorie intake for an adult man.  Hello wine and beer gut. 

What is ethanol doing to us prior to being eliminated by the liver? 

In previous blogs we have covered the role mitochondria plays using oxygen plus sugar to make energy and that process emits a toxic side product Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).  

While we are under the influence, ethanol metabolism interferes with mitochondria energy production chemistry,  elevating ROS production as well as elevating reactive nitrogen species (RNS).  (1)  The elevated ROS and RNS levels interfere with normal cellular functions and cause damage throughout our bodies. 

Can we have our cake and eat it too? 

Not exactly.

If you are going to drink and you know you are elevating your ROS levels then you can do something about that.  

Astaxanthin was invented 700M years ago to protect cells from surplus ROS.  If you get astaxanthin in the right form and deliver it to the right place then you can can mitigate the destruction associated with excessive ROS. 

In 2020, Yang et. al (2) reached the same conclusion finding "astaxanthin may be used for the prevention of alcohol-induced cell damages" 

So next time you pick a bottle of wine, pair it with with Adjuvia Astaxanthin

(1)  "Alcohol-Induced Oxidative Stress"  Das et.al. Life Sci 2007 Jun 27;81(3):177-87.

doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.05.005
(2)  "Astaxanthin inhibits alcohol-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in macrophages in a sirtuin 1- depended manner". Yang et. al. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 85, November 2020, 108477. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2020.108477