Astaxanthin: The Anti-Aging Antioxidant

Antioxidants are the saviors of health and wellness, and each has specific jobs to do in the human body. Consumers now understand how beneficial antioxidants are, and that some are targeted, such as lycopene for prostate support and lutein for vision support. Those who want to increase their overall vitality and energy as well as workout/team play post-recovery should be directed to astaxanthin.

Astaxanthin is a colorful, lipid-soluble pigment, that is now believed to be the most potent antioxidant. According to research, astaxanthin is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E. The astaxanthin we at Cactus Botanics provide exhibits very strong free-radical scavenging activity and protects cells, organs and tissues from oxidative damage by working throughout the entire body. It supports a healthy oxidative balance, which leads to better overall health. Our astaxanthin is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene at neutralizing singlet oxygen.

Astaxanthin’s unique “anti-oxidative artillery” provides for an impressive array of health benefits, including supporting healthy blood sugar, boosting the immune system, supporting healthy inflammation response, supporting eye health — and also helps protect against sunburn.

An exciting benefit of our astaxanthin is its ability to enhance athletic performance through accelerating post-workout recovery.

Cactus Botanics, as an expert in extracting natural ingredients, now provides natural astaxanthin extracted from algae. We can ensure outstanding quality of astaxanthin in both powder and oil forms and with favorable pricing.

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Introducing Isatis indigotica: Botanical Immunity

Isatis indigotica powder extract, also known as “woad” is available from Cactus Botanics, because demand for more immune-support ingredients for innovative supplements addressing healthy immunity continues to grow fast. This botanical, native to Central and Western Asia, has long-standing roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine specifically for support against symptoms stemming from viral conditions.

According to Chang, S-J, et al, in the abstract for their published study, “Antiviral Activity of Isatis indigotica Extract and Its Derived Indirubin against Japanese Encephalitis Virus,” (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012; doi:10.1155/2012/925830), “Accumulated experimental evidence indicates it and related components as associated with antiviral activity…. Among natural compounds identified from I. indigotica—for example, indican, isatin, indirubin, and indigotin —indirubin exhibits multiple immunomodulatory and antiviral effects.”

This most recent research shows that medical experts continue to seek powerful and effective immune-support natural ingredients that may be used to keep populations healthy through the immune system’s ability to functional optimally. The study shows that Isatis indigotica may be an attractive defense weapon for consumers seeking immune-bolstering supplements.

Cactus Botanics provides Isatis indigotica powder extract in both 5:1 and 10:1

CACTUS BOTANICS

Sometimes, we like to take a little break from writing about our ingredients, and instead want to invite you to learn about who we are and why we do what we do. We have developed a corporate guiding principle of 7 tenets, as follows:

Pursue inner unity

The history of Cactus Botanics is one marked by sincere cooperation, unity and progress. From two partners starting up a business together, to one going to the USA alone for development, from company employees and members working hard together, to frontline staff having a close cooperation with headquarters, these all reflect the spirit of solidarity and collaboration.

Seek every opportunity

Innovative and high-value product development is the cornerstone of our company. Continual advancement is part of our core mission; we firmly believe that stagnation is to be avoided. Pursuing product innovation based on market changes, developing new markets, building stable customer groups and earning a bigger market share, are our themes in attaining harmonious and sustainable business development.

Optimize management

The profound influence of rapidly changing markets and scientific and technological progress motivates us to constantly strive to become stronger, and to reform when necessary and innovate. For this reason, Cactus Botanics’ management adopts positive attitudes, abandons conformity, prioritizes responsibility and innovative spirit, constantly reviews operation and strategies, improves management systems when necessary, builds a clear division of power and responsibility, and fosters a winning team atmosphere, to create a more competitive and energetic enterprise.

Strengthen service

High quality service not only includes considerate and polite hospitality, solid professional knowledge and outstanding communication skills, but also exemplifies efficient operation procedures. We will continue to strengthen our service consciousness, and implement the concept of “customer first,” by honoring all our customers, to ensure that superior quality products and service exemplify the brand value in Catcus Botanics.

Value the talent

As in any industry and company, talent is the developmental power source and key factor of sustainable success. We execute a successful human resource strategy: attract talent, cultivate talent, make good use of talent, and treat talent well – along with creating a favorable atmosphere of concern and value of our talent.

Cherish the business reputation

We view our business and brand reputation as our most precious intangible assets. A successful business reputation comes from customers’ trust in our products, employees’ honesty and considerate service, and engagement in public welfare undertakings

Hard work

Hard work is the basic work attitude for our employees. Success is achieved by a team that is goal-oriented and loyal. All Cactus Botanics employees have pledged to move forward with unyielding and indomitable spirit.

Ensuring Chondroitin Sulfate Purity

When it comes to nourishing aging joints, chondroitin sulfate is the most recognized supplement consumers seek, along with glucosamine. Because awareness and trust remain so high, it is incumbent upon brand marketers to ensure that your chondroitin source is safe and proven pure. Unfortunately, there have been some suppliers that adulterate their chondroitin, and you may be none the wiser.

In 2014, it was discovered that some chondroitin was adulterated with sodium hexametaphosphate, which is normally used as an industrial chemical and is easily available at a very low price. Although it is used appropriately in detergent and as water treatment agents, it is unsafe as a food additive for human ingestion.

Chondroitin sulfate is typically derived from animal cartilages, such as chicken, bovine, shark, etc. Our experts employ four test methods to determine the quality of our chondroitin sulfate material and its purity.

1) HPLC: High Performance Liquid Chromatography, is a qualitative test method. Chondroitin sulfate is dispersed evenly by acetonitrile and dissolved in water. After the liquid chromatography separation, 192 mm wavelength is in the determination of external standard method.

2) CPC: CPC is a test method for purity. This method is based on the formation of turbidity reactions with organic anions such as sulfate or carboxylate ions under slightly basic conditions. The key is organic anion. Further, the principle behind this method is the binding of the cationic CPC molecules with the negatively charged chondroitin sulphate to form insoluble ion pairs seen as a precipitate. The absorbance of the solution is monitored and by comparing with a chondroitin standard solution of known concentration, the amount of chondroitin in the test solution can be determined. 

3) Specific Rotation: In chemistry, specific rotation ([α]) is a property of a chiral chemical compound. The variance of specific rotation with wavelength — a phenomenon known as optical rotatory dispersion — can be used to find the absolute configuration of a molecule. The specific rotation of chondroitin sulfate is -20°~-30°.

Cactus Botanics supplies local stock that reaches the standard of 90% tested by CPC, and also provides a variety of chondroitin sulfate materials in the standard of 90% tested by HPLC.

 

Panax Ginseng: Stress Buster!

Panax ginseng is a known adaptogen and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for millennia to help provide balance and the ability to withstand stress. Panax ginseng has been shown to help relieve stress through two actions. One, it can lessen physical and mental fatigue; it has an energizing effect, which is attractive during times of stress, when stress saps energy. Equally as important, it can help support mood.

Further, studies have shown that it can support cognitive function and healthy immunity, two more aspects of well-being that are often inhibited during stressful times.

Panax ginseng’s content of ginsenosides are what phytochemical researchers believe are responsible for these, and other related stress-busting actions. In some studies, researchers have suggested that Panax ginseng may elevate neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, all which are linked to sustained healthy mood.

Ginseng has been shown to lower stress hormone levels, such as corticosterone by inhibiting activity of adrenocorticotropic hormone on the adrenal glands. It also helps relieve oxidative stress via ginsenosides’ antioxidant capability.

One study investigated the viability of Panax ginseng (400 mg with 4% ginsenosides) on mental fatigue during cognitive performance stress. In the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 27 volunteers took either 200 mg or 400 mg Panax ginseng (or placebo) before taking six cognitive performance tests. The results showed that those who took the ginseng supplement reported enhanced cognitive ability and less mental fatigue.

A detailed, excellent research review, published in the Journal of Ginseng Research (January 24, 2017) discusses the benefits of Panax ginseng on stress-related depression, anxiety and the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis. In the review, the authors write, “Ginseng shows superior regulation of stress, as compared with that shown by other adaptogens. This efficacy as an antistress agent has been demonstrated using various behavioral conditioned stress tests, such as swimming and immobilization tests. In vivo studies have also shown that ginseng has excellent antistress effects, as compared to appropriate controls.”

Cactus Botanics offers Panax ginseng, and we believe it is a valuable addition for any anti-stress formula.

The Power of Plant Proteins

Protein powders are enjoying the spotlight among consumers more than ever before. It wasn’t too long ago when protein powders were aimed at, and used by, male bodybuilders and competitive athletes. They are now used by people of all ages and in all states of physical shape. The goals are health, vitality, and nutrition, to help achieve one’s personal best health and fitness status. Protein powders are no longer just for competition and extreme muscle building.

Although whey proteins are still a top choice as these products have been widely available for several decades, there have become more choices of plant-based proteins for consumers who don’t want whey or have problems digesting whey. Additionally, for many with sensitivities whey may cause indigestion, abdominal distention or lactose allergy.

An early plant-protein that is also widely available now is soy protein; and while soy protein is suitable for vegans, it is also a common allergen and can also cause indigestion and flatulence. Additionally, soy contains phytoestrogens – genistein and daidzein – which men may want to stay away from.

Vegetable protein possesses some unique characteristics compared to animal protein. First, it is abundant in various amino acids (protein building blocks) and key nutrients including antioxidants in a balanced content. Secondly some studies have suggested vegetable proteins support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol profiles. Also, vegetable protein is much more easily absorbed than animal protein.

Our new Pumpkin Protein Powder and Hemp Protein Powder are rich in health-building and fitness-shaping amino acids, as follows: glutamic acid, arginine, aspartic acid, leucine, glycine, serine, phenylalanine, valine, alanine, lysine, proline, isoleucine, tyrosine, threonine, histidine, methionine, tryptophan and cystine.

Potential label and marketing claims for Pumpkin Protein Powder include:

  1. Supports serotonin production (via its tryptophan content)
  2. Naturally improves mood balance
  3. Magnesium and zinc play roles in enzyme reactions and muscle growth
  4. Supports recovery of impaired tissues and cells
  5. Offers an attractive macro-nutrient profile (monounsaturated fat, carbohydrate and fiber), making it a perfect fitness powder

Potential label and marketing claims for Hemp Protein Powder include:

  1. Hypoallergenic protein, suitable for people who are allergic to egg, milk, gluten and soybeans
  2. Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 EFAs, vitamins, minerals and fiber
  3. Promotes muscle growth and recovery
  4. Supports thermogenesis and reduces catabolism
  5. Easily digested and absorbed.

Myricetin: a crucial role in inflammation management

Aging is responsible for exacerbating many habits held onto for years. One such example is years of unhealthy diet combined with sedentary lifestyle or intermittent exercise, which lays the foundation for unhealthy inflammatory response. And in recent years, medical research has revealed that uncontrolled, or poorly managed inflammatory response spurs a number of ill health conditions. So, therefore, it is crucial to try to encourage your body to control inflammatory response.

Myricetin is a naturally occurring flavonol that has various pharmacological effects, and it is known to be a powerful antioxidant. It is a naturally occurring compound in vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries tea and in red wine; and in China, it is typically obtained from Myrica Rubra Sieb. Et Zucc leaves. It has numerous biochemical effects, and one we are excited about is its role in inflammation control. In fact, traditionally, foods containing myricetin were used to help control fever.

The cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a cytokine is known to generate inflammatory response and is thus involved in inflammatory health issues. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in TNF-alpha-mediated diseases.

According to the online journal Phytochemicals, researchers found that myrecetin inhibited TNF-alpha-induced VEGF expression in cultured mouse epidermal cells by targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase 4 (MKK4) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase 1 (MEK1).

Researchers in another study looked at the anti-inflammatory effect of a form of myrectin (myricetin glucuronide), rat paw edema [3]. They found that the myricetin inhibited expression of inflammatory compounds lipoxygenase 5-LOX, COX-1 and COX-2. They also found that small changes in the molecular structure of myricetin resulted in a lower anti-inflammatory activity.

Beginning with myricetin 80% tested by HPLC, Cactus Botanics has focused on the research and development of myricetin for more than 12 years. We offer high-potency myricetin up to 90%.

Immune-Support Botanicals

OK, so many people don’t really consider their immune health during the summer, but they should. Bugs still abound and are passed around. Summer colds, say many, are “nasty.” So, immune support should be considered all year around, and creating supplements marketed as year-round, overall immune support is an attractive concept. For decades, immune health products have always been the most important category of various traditional medicine and nutritional supplements.

Also remember that consumers are increasingly looking at immune health products as an option to maintain good health, as opposed to just seasonally. Vitamin C and zinc, plus the herb Echinacea have been and remain the top-of-mind “immune friendly” ingredients, and they most certainly are. That said, the marketplace is quite crowded with those supplements, either singularly or in combination.

Besides Echinacea, which many still feel need to be cycled (some days on, some days off) and thus may be a hindrance for many people, there are several other core and long-standing botanicals for immune health, such as ginseng, astragalus, and reishi. There are numerous clinical trials on these herbs and immune function, performed in China and published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, validating why Chinese people have used these herbs to enhance the immune system for thousand years.

Each category of active ingredients of the plant is different. For example, the phytochemicals in ginseng that support immune health are ginsenosides. And the phytochemicals in astragalus that enhance immune health are polysaccharides. At Cactus Botanics, we analyze various different active ingredients carefully and investigate the different mechanisms in different metabolic pathways in the body, and then mix a variety of ingredients from various botanical extracts together into a formula to make its function more comprehensively.

With the ascension of scientific research, many new ingredients have been found to improve immune health, such as fucoidan from brown seaweed, this is also a key product for us in recent years.

Fucoidan, extracted from brown seaweed is another nutrient we carry. Now, for a PhD-level summary of how it works: Fucoidan is a complex sulfated polysaccharide with a wide variety of biological actions for modulating immune cell functions. Fucoidan increases the viability of dendritic cells (DCs). Fucoidan-treated DCs showed decreased antigen uptake and increased proliferation of allogeneic splenocytes. A study suggests that fucoidan induces immature DCs maturation and drive their differentiation towards a Th1-polarizing phenotype. Moreover, data suggest that DCs appear to be a potential target for the immunomodulatory capacity of fucoidan and fucoidan may be used on DC-based vaccines for cancer immunotherapy.

Summer Skin Glows with HA

You may have heard of hyaluronic acid (HA, also called hyaluronan), notably for joint health, but it is a powerful nutrient for skin support, notably during the summer when sun exposure is more potent and constant, despite excellent suncare practices. Further, synthetic ingredients slathered on skin, environmental toxins that land upon skin, and even poor nutrition can affect how skin looks and feels.

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, and is the primary glycosaminoglycan found in skin. One of its attributes is that it is extremely hydrophilic – it loves water – so it holds onto moisture, adding plumpness. It has been shown that one gram of HA can retain as much as six liters of water.

This is very attractive for middle-agers who are beginning to see loss of plumpness, firmness, elasticity and more dryness, typically caused by lessening stores of HA.

A more elegant explanation of HA’s role in skin health comes from Wikipedia, which explains that HA is highly involved in tissue repair in the skin. “When skin is exposed to excessive UVB rays, it becomes inflamed, (sunburn) and the cells in the dermis stop producing as much hyaluronan, and increase the rate of its degradation. Hyaluronan degradation products then accumulate in the skin after UV exposure. While it is abundant in extracellular matrices, hyaluronan also contributes to tissue hydrodynamics, movement and proliferation of cells, and participates in a number of cell surface receptor interactions.”

Call or email us to find out about our different grades of HA, and how we can help you develop a successful skincare product.

Maintain Energy with Eleuthero

Energy drinks and supplements are hotter than ever – it’s because Americans are busier than ever, and thus consistently want more and better energy. There are many products that purport to do that — but eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) — also known as Siberian ginseng — remains one of the best-studied, effective and safe natural energy-promoting herbs.

If your company is thinking about launching a natural energy product, consider using Siberian ginseng. Siberian ginseng is native to the Taiga region of the Far East (southeastern part of Russia, northern China, Korea, and Japan). Note that it is completely different from Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), and has different active chemical components. A bonus: Eleuthero is much less expensive than Panax Ginseng.

Eleuthero contains remarkable compounds known as eleutherosides (eleutherosides B and eleutherosides E), which stimulate mental and physical vigor. Numerous published human trials on Eleuthero have demonstrated anti-fatigue effects, improved stamina and performance, increased alertness and learning ability.

In Asia and elsewhere around the world, eleuthero has been a popular self-medication among people who are convalescing, under excessive stress or strain, and overworked, as well as those who want to achieve peak physical and mental performance.

In addition, there are also many reports about eleuthero’s ability to support the immune system, healthy blood pressure, circulation, normalization of disturbances in sugar and fat metabolism, and anabolic effects in the liver, testes, bone marrow and other vital organs.

Eleuthero is frequently used in dietary supplements, such as tablets, capsules and powders. It is also used in foods, but is mainly used in beverages to enhance energy and immunity and marketed often as “anti-aging.”

Cactus Botanics has abundant Siberian Ginseng Powder Extract raw materials both in our China and USA warehouses.

Eleutherosides B+Eleutherosides E=0.8%
Eleutherosides B:Eleutherosides E≈3:5

Depending on your special requirements, Cactus Botanics, as a senior supplier in the raw materials market, may provide tailored formulations to meet your needs. Please contact us at: info@cactusbotanics.com.