Tag Archives: CCRES ALGAE

CCRES Microalgae Process Design

CCRES Microalgae Process Design

Join the ranks of hundreds of 
Energy Day organisers across Europe for the 
2015 EU Sustainable Energy Week!

CCRES Microalgae Process Design

The waters of the world house a tremendous variety of microorganisms able to use light as the only source of energy to fuel metabolism. These unicellular organisms, microalgae and cyanobacteria, have the potential to produce energy sources and biofuels, and many other products. To make economical large-scale production of such bulk products possible, the optimal design of bioreactors and cultivation strategies are essential.
Target group
The course is aimed at PhD students, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as well as professionals, that would like to acquire a thorough understanding of microalgal metabolism and photobioreactor design. An MSc level in bioprocess technology, or similar, is recommended.
Course contents
This course provides the essential skills for designing optimal microalgae-based production processes, for both research and commercial purposes.
Through lectures, digital cases and a photobioreactor practical session, the participants will learn:
1) how to describe microalgal metabolism quantitatively;
2) how to apply basic design principles and set up mass/energy balances for photobioreactors;
3) how to cultivate microalgae in fully controlled photobioreactors; and
4) how to integrate all acquired knowledge into optimal production strategies for microalgae biomass or secondary metabolites.
The daily programme is divided into approximately 5.5 hours of lectures and digital cases, and 2.5 hours of practical work. On Saturday and Sunday, 1.5 hours will be spent on practical work (microalgae do not stop growing at the weekends…). Saturday will also feature an excursion to the CCRES research facility, Zadar, Zaton, followed by a barbecue.
The course will be conducted in English and Croatian.
Course coordinators
Mr. Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES
Mrs. Branka Kalle, President of Council CCRES
The course will be conducted in English and Croatian.
Location & accommodation
Lectures and practicals will be given at Croatian Center of Renewable Energy. Participants have to book their own hotel room.
Contact information
More information concerning the course content can be obtained from Mr. Zeljko Serdar (solarserdar@gmail.com).
For organisational matters please contact Mrs. Aleksandra Maradin, phone: +385-91-5475049.
Registration
To be able to fill in the registration form, you need to create an account, please contact solarserdar@gmail.com
The number of participants to the course is limited.
The final registration date is 9 June 2014.
Applicants will receive a confirmation of their registration within one week and will be informed about their acceptance to the course 1 May 2015 at the latest. When accepted to the course they will receive instructions for further course details.
The course is free for all CCRES members (which includes materials, coffee/tea during breaks, lunches one dinner and one BBQ but does not cover accommodation).
More info :
We look forward to collaborating with you.
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FUCOSE

FUCOSE

#Fucose is an essential hexose deoxy sugar the human body needs to optimally communicate from cell to cell. Simply put, it plays an important role in transmitting information in the brain. Research studies show that this sugar stimulates brain development and can also influence the brain to be able to create long-term memories. This is further supported by studies in which doctors inhibited protein containing fucose; amnesia was the result.

Fucose is found in a number of places in the human body. Its location in the male testes suggests that it may play an important role during reproduction. Also found in the epidermis, it may help in maintaining skin hydration. Beyond these locations, this sugar is found at the articulation between each nerve, in the tubules of the human kidney, and in significant quantities in human breast milk.

It’s important not to confuse this with the similar sounding fructose. While both are sugars that can be commonly found in the body, fructose is a simple monosaccharide sugar found in many foods. For example, you can find a high amount of fructose in baby food, salad dressing, blackberries, tree fruits, honey and even some root vegetables. On the other hand, fucose, as previously stated, can be found in the human body naturally.

Studies also show that fucose may play a role in certain diseases, such as cancer and its infection method. Though research is not yet conclusive, there is promise shown for using fucose to inhibit both breast cancer and leukemia, in addition to tumor growth, in general. Some studies have even gone as far as to conclude that this hexose deoxy sugar seems to be among the most effective sugars at attempting to prevent cancer cells from growing.

Research indicates that even taking in fucose in extremely high amounts does not seem to present any real ill side effects, though recommendations are that the average 150-pound (68.2 kg) human adult can safely handle 34 grams of this sugar on a daily basis. During urination, fucose leaves the body, so people who urinate frequently can experience a deficiency in fucose. People with rheumatoid arthritis also generally are deficient in this kind of sugar. Many people opt to take supplements to ensure they have the right amount in their body. Seaweeds such as kelp, beer yeast, and medicinal mushrooms are also a good alternative to supplements and for people who have difficulty taking pills.

#CCRES #ALGAE TEAM

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FUCUS TREATMENTS

Fucus Treatments

Fucus Treatments

Our best source of biological iodine and our best protection against thyroid disruption is to body-load with iodine contained in iodine-rich whole raw seaweeds as regular daily consumption. If our bodies have an ongoing full complement of I-127, we can better resist taking in incidental I-131. This means that eating seaweeds regularly in the diet, especially the big northern kelps, to provide both dietary iodine and protection against the ongoing I-131 hazards.
No land plants are a reliable natural source of iodine. 

Garlic grown near the sea often has relatively high amounts of biological iodine. Besides garlic, root crops, such as turnips, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, are plant sources of iodine. However, the best natural source of biological iodine is seaweed. Any seaweed contains more available dietary iodine than any land plant. The seaweeds with the most available iodine are the giant kelps of the northern hemisphere. The highest concentrations of iodine occurs in Icelandic kelp (8000 ppm), Norwegian kelp (4000 ppm), and Maine and California kelp (1000-2000 ppm). The seaweeds with the least amounts of iodine are nori (about 15ppm) and sargassum (about 30-40 ppm). The amounts of iodine in land plants can be greatly increased by fertilizing food plants with seaweeds applied directly to the soil as topical mulch or tilled into the soil.
The complexity of many thyroid dysfunction cases precludes a simple set of all-purpose formulas. Each thyroid patient has a unique thyroid presentation. I try to compose an individualized functional treatment plan for each, using a few basic methods. Diet and behavior modification also are very important in thyroid case management. What follows are some of my treatment approaches and some general guidelines and notes:

Treatment Guideline 1: Rather uncomplicated seaweed therapy seems to help relieve many of the presenting symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Some of the results are very likely from whole body remineralization (especially potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, selenium, and vanadium), in addition to thyroid gland aid from both sustained regular reliable dietary sources of biomolecular iodine and from thyroxin-like molecules present in marine algae, both the large edible seaweeds and their almost ubiquitous epiphytic micro-algae, predominantly the silica-walled diatoms. Seaweeds provide ample supplies of most of the essential trace elements required for adequate enzyme functioning throughout the body but especially in the liver and endocrine glands.

Treatment Guideline 2: Regular biomolecular seaweed iodine consumption is more than just thyroid food: it can also protect the thyroid gland from potential resident I-131-induced molecular disruption and cell death when the thyroid gland is fully iodized with I-127. The fear of eating seaweed that might be contaminated with I-131 is easily mitigated by allowing the seaweed to be stored for 50 days prior to dietary consumption; this will give enough time for most (99%) of any I-131 to decay radioactively.
A simple folk test for iodine deficiency or at least aggressive iodine uptake is to paint a 2-inch diameter round patch of USP Tincture of Iodine (strong or mild) on a soft skin area, such as the inner upper arm, the inside of the elbow, the inner thigh, or the lateral abdomen between the lowest rib and the top of the hip. If you are iodine deficient, the patch will disappear in less than 2 hours, sometimes as quickly as 20 minutes; if it fades in 2 to 4 hours, you may just be momentarily iodine needy. If it persists for more than 4 hours, you are probably iodine sufficient. Iodine deficiency seems to predispose to thyroid malignancy; this could explain the apparent thyroid cancer distribution “fans” downwind of nuclear facilities in previous ‘goiter belt’ areas. This test is of course easier to use with Caucasians and may not offer sufficient color contrast in brown-skinned people.

Treatment Guideline 3: Many patients with underactive thyroid glands complain of a sense of “coldness” or feeling cold all of the time; often they are over-dressed for warmth according to ‘thyronormal’ people’s standards. They may also present a low basal body resting temperature, as measured by taking their armpit temperature before rising in the morning. (Remember to shake down the thermometer the night before). Other symptoms may include sluggishness, gradual weight gain, and mild depression. For these patients, add 5 to 10 grams of several different whole seaweeds to the daily diet; that is, 5 to 10 grams total weight per day, not 5 to 10 grams of each seaweed. I usually suggest a mix of 2 parts brown algae (all kelps, Fucus, Sargassum, Hijiki) to one part red seaweed (Dulse, Nori, Irish moss, Gracillaria). The mixed seaweeds can be eaten in soups and salads or easily powdered and sprinkled onto or into any food. I recommend doing this for at least 60 days, about two lunar cycles or at least two menstrual cycles; watch for any changes in signs and symptoms and any change in average daily basal temperature.
Note that patients can have a normal 98.6°F temperature and still feel cold and also present many of the signs and symptoms of functional hypothyroidism. Do not insist that all hypothyroid patients must have abnormally low basal resting temperatures. If no symptoms improve or the temperature remains low (less than 98.6°F), continue seaweeds and request a TSH and T4 test. If TSH and T4 tests indicate low circulating thyroxin levels, continue seaweeds for another 2 months. It may take the thyroid that long to respond positively to continual regular presentation of adequate dietary iodine. Powdered whole seaweed may be much more effective than flakes, pieces, or granules. The powdered seaweed is best added to food immediately prior to eating; do not cook the seaweed for best results.
All corticosteroids tend to depress thyroid function. Before trying to fix the thyroid, be sure to inquire about both internal and topical steroid use, including Prednisone and topical creams. These, as well as salicylates and anticoagulants, can aggravate existing mild hypothyroidism.

Treatment Guideline 4: Partial thyroidectomy cases can be helped by regular continual dietary consumption of 3-5 grams of whole seaweeds three to four times a week. By whole seaweed I mean untreated raw dried seaweed, in pieces or powder, not reconstructed flakes or granules.

Treatment Guideline 5: Patients with thyroid glands on thyroid replacement hormone (animal or synthetic) can respond favorably to replacing part or all their entire extrinsic hormone requirement by adding dietary Fucus in 3 to 5 gram daily doses, carefully and slowly. Fucus spp. has been the thyroid folk remedy of choice for at least 5000 years. The best candidates are women who seek a less hazardous treatment than synthetic hormone (after reading variously that prolonged use of synthetic thyroid hormone increases risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, and adverse interactions with many prescribed drugs, particularly corticosteroids and antidepressants).
Fucus spp. contains di-iodotyrosine (iodogogoric acid) or DIT. Two DIT molecules are coupled in the follicular lumina of the thyroid gland by a condensing esterification reaction organized by thyroid peroxidase (TPO). This means that Fucus provides easy-to use-prefabricated thyroxine (T4) halves for a boost to weary thyroid glands, almost as good as T4. European thalassotherapists claim that hot Fucus seaweed baths in seawater provide transdermal iodine; perhaps hot Fucus baths also provide transdermal DIT.
The best results with Fucus therapy are obtained with women who were diagnosed with sluggish thyroid glands and who are or were on low or minimal maintenance replacement hormone dosages. They may remark that they miss, forget, or avoid taking their thyroid medication for several days with no obvious negative short-term sequelae; others claim to have just stopped taking their medication. I do not recommend stopping thyroid medication totally at once. Thyroxin is essential for human life and all animal life; it has a long half-life in the body of a week or more, so that a false impression of non-dependency can obtain for up to 2 months before severe or even acute hypothyroidism can manifest, potentially fatal.
Even though I personally do not recommend it, women regularly stop taking their thyroid replacement hormone, even after years of regularly and faithfully taking their medication. In many cases, their respective thyroid glands resume thyroxine production after a 2- to 3-month lag time with many of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism presenting while their thyroid glands move out of inactivity. This complete cessation of taking thyroid replacement can only be successful in patients who have a potentially functioning thyroid gland. Those who have had surgical or radiation removal of their thyroid glands must take thyroid hormone medication containing thyroxine to stay alive.
Fucus can be easily added to the diet as small pieces, powdered Fucus in capsules, or freeze-dried powder in capsules. Sources of Fucus in capsules are listed under Seaweed Sources at the end of this paper. The actual Fucus is much more effective than extracts. A nice note is that Fucus spp are the most abundant intertidal brown seaweeds in the northern hemisphere. This is of especial interest to those patients who might be trading one dependency for another, as seems to be the case for some. A year’s supply can be gathered in an hour or less and easily dried in a food dehydrator or in hot sun for 10 to12 hours and then in a food dehydrator until completely crunchy dry. Fucus dries down about 6 to 1 (six pounds of wet Fucus dry down to about one pound). It has a modest storage life of 8 to 12 months in completely airtight containers stored in the dark at 50° F. A year’s supply at 4 grams per day is slightly more than 3 pounds dry. Encapsulated Fucus is available from Naturespirit Herbs, Oregon’s Wild Harvest, and Eclectic Institute.

Treatment Guideline 6: Aggressive attempts to replace thyroid replacement hormone with Fucus involve halving the dose of medication each week for 4 weeks while adding 3 to 5 grams of dried Fucus to the diet daily from the beginning and continuing indefinitely. If low thyroid symptoms appear, return to lowest thyroid hormone maintenance level and try skipping medication every other day for a week, then for every other 2 days, then 3 days, etc. The intent is to establish the lowest possible maintenance dosage by patient self-evaluation and/or to determine if replacement hormones can be eliminated when the patient ingests a regular reliable supply of both biomolecular iodine and DIT. Thoughtful, careful patient self-monitoring is essential for successful treatment.

Treatment Guideline 7: A more conservative replacement schedule is similar to the aggressive approach, except that the time intervals are one month instead of one week, and the Fucus addition is in one gram increments, beginning with one gram of Fucus the first month of attempting to halve the replacement hormone dosage, and increasing the amount of Fucus by a gram each succeeding month to 5 grams per day. The conservative schedule is urged with anxious patients and primary caregivers.
There is some concern that excess (undefined) kelp (species either unknown or not mentioned) consumption may induce hypothyroidism. It seems possible. The likely explanation is an individual’s extreme sensitivity to dietary iodine: Icelandic kelp can contain up to 8000 ppm iodine; Norwegian kelp can contain up to 4000 ppm iodine. Most kelps contain 500 to 1500 ppm iodine.
The only definitive study I have seen is a report from Hokkaido, Japan, where study subjects, at a rate of 8% to 10% of total study participants, presented with iodine-induced goiter from the consumption of large amounts of one or more Laminaria species (Kombu) of large kelps, known to be rich (more than 1000 ppm) in available iodine. Reduction of both total dietary iodine and/or dietary Kombu led to complete remission of all goiters. The apparent iodine-induced goiters did not affect normal thyroid functioning in any participants. Two women in the study did not care if they had goiters and refused to reduce their Kombu intake. Note that the Japanese have the world’s highest known dietary intakes of both sea vegetables and iodine.
Reduction or elimination of seaweeds from the diet is indicated for at least a month in cases of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, to ascertain if excess dietary iodine is a contributing factor to a disease condition. Other dietary iodine sources, particularly dairy and flour products, should also be reduced and or eliminated during the same time period. Some individuals do seem to be very dietarily iodine-extraction efficient and iodine sensitive simultaneously.

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CCRES FUCUS

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Fucus vesiculosus, may be an effective alternative treatment for hypothyroidism for some people as it contains iodine found naturally in the sea. Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, is a condition where the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. This results in one’s metabolism falling outside of the desired range. There are a wide range of thyroid medications available, both natural and pharmaceutical. As with all medicines, Fucus can occasionally cause side effects, so always consult your healthcare practitioner before starting treatment.

#Hypothyroidism

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common form of hypothyroidism. It is considered to be an autoimmune disease as the body mistakes the thyroid gland for a foreign body and sends antibodies to attack it which eventually destroy it over time. This leaves the body without essential thyroid hormones that are required for controlling body temperature, appetite and rate of metabolism. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to serious health disorders that could prove fatal.

Symptoms

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include tiredness, reduced heart rate and pulse, weight gain, dry skin and hair, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, confusion, anxiety, depression, joint pain, headaches, numbness in the extremities and menstrual problems. However, as these symptoms can be attributed to any number of health problems they are often overlooked. If you are experiencing a combination of the aforementioned symptoms without any obvious cause, contact your doctor immediately for a check-up.

#Iodine

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, those who experience hypothyroidism due to a iodine deficiency may be able to treat their condition with kelp. Iodine, found naturally in kelp, is required to enable the thyroid gland to function correctly. The majority of people in the western world use iodized salt and therefore do not need to supplement with iodine unless they suffer from hypothyroidism.

#Fucus

Fucus is rich in iodine and is available in many different forms including tinctures and standardized extracts. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, fucus is often referred to as kelp as it is present in a large number of kelp tablets. However, kelp is not considered to be the same as fucus as it is actually a different form of seaweed. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dose of 600mg fucus one to three times per day to stimulate thyroid activity. It is not recommended to self-treat hypothyroidism with fucus.

#CCRES #ALGAE TEAM

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2015年の総市場規模は16億ドルを超える見通し

CCRES ALGAE TEAM
㈱グローバル インフォメーションは、米国の市場調査会社SBI Energy (aka Specialist In Business Information)が発行した報告書「藻類バイオ燃料技術:世界市場および製品動向(2010年~2015年)」の販売を開始しました。

2005年から2007年までの藻類バイオ燃料産業への企業の参入は、原油の高値および環境上の懸念から拍車がかかり、550%と記録的に跳ね上がりました。しかしそれ以来、原油価格は下落し、先頃の金融危機が多くの産業の障害となっています。同レポートによれば、「藻類バイオ燃料への関心は現在も維持されています。しかし同時に、産業は期待の先走りに苦しめられてもいます。」と報告されています。藻類によるバイオ燃料製造技術の現在の市場は、相当量の開発活動と規模を縮小した試験で構成されています。今後はデモンストレーションと商業利用が進められ、藻類によるバイオ燃料製造の各種新技術が2015年には総市場の3分の1を占めるに至るでしょう。

なぜ 藻類なのか?

藻類は原料油としての使用が可能です。つまり、藻類はバイオディーゼル、再生可能ディーゼル、再生可能ジェット燃料、藻油、航空用バイオ燃料、バイオガソリン、エタノール、バイオメタン、ブタノール、水素など、実に多くのバイオ燃料の製造用に加工が可能ということであり、これはすばらしいメリットです。また、藻類によるバイオ燃料製造は、ケイソウ類・ラン藻類・緑ソウ類の遺伝子組み換え、養殖用オープンポンドまたは光バイオリアクター、燃料処理用リファイナリー・ダイジェスター・ファーメンター、抽出用プレスおよび遠心分離機といった幅広い技術を必要とします。

藻類バイオ燃料の製造技術市場の今後の展望とは?

藻類バイオ燃料の製造技術市場は、養殖技術の売上が大半を占めると予測されています。残りの市場は採取、抽出、燃料製造設備の区分が占める見通しですが、これらは2015年には、合計で16億ドルを超える市場規模に成長すると予測されています。同レポートによれば、「2010年には推計2億7,100万ドルとされる同市場のこの成長は飛躍的なもので、約43%との年間成長率の予測もあわせ、この数値は同産業が急速に変化を遂げ、進化する産業であることを明確に示すものです」と報告されています。

市場調査レポート: 藻類バイオ燃料技術:世界市場および製品動向(2010年~2015年)Algae Biofuels Technologies – Global Market and Product Trends 2010-2015

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The Effects of Astaxanthin – Weight Control

The Effects of Astaxanthin – Weight Control

 

 

Physical Endurance and Muscle Recovery

Physical Endurance and Muscle Recovery 

Work, Sport, Leisure – in fact all physical activity will generate reactive oxygen species (ROS); the more intense the activity the greater number of free radicals. ROS are shown to have damaging effects on muscle performance and recovery. Published and on-going research, focused on improving endurance and reducing recovery time, are showing dramatic benefits linked to the potent carotenoid – astaxanthin. These findings are bringing astaxanthin to the forefront as a dietary supplement for professional athletes and physically active people.

Important to physical activity are our mitochondrial cells, often referred to as the “power stations of the cell” , which provide as much as 95% of our body’s pure energy (primarily by the burning of muscle glycogen and fatty acids). Unfortunately, a portion of this energy produces highly reactive and damaging ROS. ROS damage cells by triggering peroxidation of the cell membrane components, and oxidation of DNA and proteins. Furthermore, ROS continue to affect muscles even after the strenuous exercise has ceased. ROS activate the inflammation response whereby monocytes migrate into the muscle tissue causing additional cell damage. Often we will notice the onset of muscle damage during recovery in the form of tiredness and soreness. In addition to improving muscle performance through devised exercise regime, the sports research community is looking at other methods, such as nutrition to fuel and protect the body under extreme physical conditions. In the past, Vitamins E and C helped make the use of antioxidants a popular tool against oxidative damage during intense physical activity. Today, informed by current research we can point to astaxanthin as the antioxidant of choice for sports performance. Astaxanthin demonstrated 3 important physical benefits in clinical trials and supporting studies. Astaxanthin increased endurance, reduced muscle damage and improved lipid metabolism.

Did you know?

Astaxanthin Boosts Endurance

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study on healthy men supplemented with 4 mg astaxanthin per day for up to 6 months at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, standardized exercise tests demonstrated that the average number of knee bends performed increased only in the astaxanthin treated group at 3 months, and by the 6 month significant improvements were observed (Figure 1) (Malmsten & Lignell, 2008).

Figure 1. Increase in strength/endurance (Malmsten & Lignell, 2008)
  Figure 1. Increase in strength/endurance (Malmsten & Lignell, 2008)  
Astaxanthin improved strength/endurance at 3 and 6 months determined by the average number of knee bends per person.
Figure 2. Effect of astaxanthin on swimming time (Ikeuchi et al., 2006) Figure 2. Effect of astaxanthin on swimming time (Ikeuchi <em>et al.</em>, 2006)  
Astaxanthin improves endurance in a dose-dependant manner.

Astaxanthin Boosts EnduranceIn another study, Aoi et al., (2008) demonstrated that astaxanthin may modify muscle metabolism by its antioxidant property and result in improved muscle performance and weight loss benefits. After 4 weeks the mice running time to exhaustion had significantly improved by up to 20 % , (2002) of Juntendo University, Japan, demonstrated by using 1200 meter track athletes, that a daily dose of 6 mg per day for 4 weeks resulted in their bodies accumulating lower levels of lactic acid (Figure 3). Ikeuchi et al., (2006) also reported the same findings and furthermore, astaxanthin efficacy had a dose-dependent response (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Reduction of lactic acid build-up after astaxanthin supplementation in track subjects (Sawaki et al., 2002) 
Figure 3. Reduction of lactic acid build-up after astaxanthin supplementation in track subjects (Sawaki <em>et al.</em>, 2002)
Figure 4. Effect of astaxanthin on blood lactate during swimming for 15 minutes (Ikeuchi et al., 2006) Figure 4. Effect of astaxanthin on blood lactate during swimming for 15 minutes (Ikeuchi <em>et al.</em>, 2006)  
Astaxanthin reduced build-up of lactic acid in a dose-dependant manner.

In a double blind controlled placebo study, healthy women (n= 32; age-23-60) who ingested 12 mg of astaxanthin for 6 weeks significantly reduced their body fat (4%) when conducting routine walking exercise, compared to a placebo group. In addition, while control group increased their lactic acid by 31% compared to the astaxanthin group – only 13%

The Mechanism

The mechanism behind muscle endurance is based on several findings. Generally, astaxanthin protected the skeletal muscle from the increased damage of oxidative stress generated by physical activity. Furthermore, astaxanthin increased the metabolism of lipids as the main source of energy production by protecting the carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) involved in fatty acid transport into mitochondria. Aoi et al., (2003) of Kyoto Prefecture University used mice models that may partially explain the efficacy of astaxanthin; they compared control, exercise placebo, and astaxanthin treated exercise groups after intense physical activity. 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified-protein (4-HNE) stain analyses of the calf (gastrocnemius) muscles revealed significantly lower peroxidation damage (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Effect of astaxanthin on 4-HNE-modifed proteins in leg muscle before and after exercise (Aoi et al., 2003) Figure 5. Effect of astaxanthin on 4-HNE-modifed proteins in leg muscle before and after exercise (Aoi <em>et al.</em>, 2003)

Other biochemical markers for oxidative damage and inflammation such as DNA, (2003) also explained that astaxanthin directly modulates inflammation caused by the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators. In vivo and in vitro tests demonstrate that astaxanthin inhibits the IκB Kinase (IKK) dependant activation of the Nuclear Factor-kB (NF-κB) pathway, a key step in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators. Aoi et al., 2008 also demonstrated increased lipid metabolism compared to carbohydrate as the main source of energy during strenuous activity (Figure 6). Furthermore, analysis of the mitochondrial lipid transport enzyme known as carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) revealed increased fat localization (Figure 7) and reduction of oxidative damage in the presence of astaxanthin (Figure 8). CPT I is important because it regulates fatty acyl-CoA entry into the mitochondria in the oxidation of fatty acids in muscle. Exercise-induced ROS may partly limit utilization of fatty acid via diminishing CPT I activity.

Figure 6. Fat substrate utilization increased with astaxanthin (Aoi et al., 2008)
  Figure 6. Fat substrate utilization increased with astaxanthin (Aoi <em>et al.</em>, 2008)  

 Calculated from the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and oxygen consumption. Values are means ± SE obtained from 8 mice.

Figure 7. Increased amount of FAT/CD36 that coimmunoprecipitated with CPT I skeletal muscle after a single session of exercise at 30 m/min for 30 min (Aoi et al., 2008) Figure 7. Increased amount of FAT/CD36 that coimmunoprecipitated with CPT I skeletal muscle after a single session of exercise at 30 m/min for 30 min (Aoi <em>et al.</em>, 2008)  
Values are means ± SE obtained from 6 mice.
Figure 8. Astaxanthin reduced the amount of HEL-modified CPT1 in skeletal muscle after a single session of exercise at 30m/min for 30min (Aoi et al., 2008) Figure 8. Astaxanthin reduced the amount of HEL-modified CPT1 in skeletal muscle after a single session of exercise at 30m/min for 30min (Aoi <em>et al.</em>, 2008)  
Values are means ± SE obtained from 6 mice.

Outlook

Outlook 

Strenuous physical activity generates high levels of ROS which affect muscle performance and metabolism of lipids. New research shows that astaxanthin can modify muscle metabolism via its antioxidant effect, resulting in the improvement of muscle function during exercise. Therefore, astaxanthin is expected to be useful for physically active people as well as athletes.

References

  1. Aoi W, Naito Y, Sakuma K, Kuchide M, Tokuda H, Maoka T, Toyokuni S, Oka S, Yasuhara M, Yoshikawa T. (2003). Astaxanthin limits exercise-induced skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in mice. Antioxid Redox Signal, 5(1):139-144.
  2. Aoi W, Naito Y, Takanami Y, Ishii T, Kawai Y, Akagiri S, Kato Y, Osawa T, Yoshikawa T. (2008). Astaxanthin improves muscle lipid metabolism in exercise via inhibitory effect of oxidative CPT I modification. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Com., 366:892–897.
  3. Fukamauchi, M. (2007). Food Functionality of astaxanthin-10: Synergistic effects of astaxanthin-10 intake and aerobic exercise. Food Style 21, 11(10). [In Japanese]
  4. Ikeuchi M, Koyama T, Takahashi J, Yazawa K. (2006). Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on exercise-induced fatigue in mice. Bio. Pharm. Bull., 29(10):2106-2110.
  5. Lee SJ, Bai SK, Lee KS, Namkoong S, Na HJ, Ha KS, Han JA, Yim SV, Chang K, Kwon YG, Lee SK, Kim YM. (2003). Astaxanthin Inhibits Nitric Oxide Production and Inflammatory Gene Expression by Suppressing IκB Kinase-dependent NF-κB Activation. Mol. Cells, 16(1):97-105.
  6. Malmsten C, Lignell A. (2008). Dietary supplementation with astaxanthin rich algal meal improves muscle endurance – a double blind study on male students. Carotenoid Science 13:20-22.
  7. Sawaki K, Yoshigi H, Aoki K, Koikawa N, Azumane A, Kaneko K, Yamaguchi M. (2002). Sports performance benefits from taking natural astaxanthin characterized by visual activity and muscle fatigue improvements in humans. J Clin.Therap. Med., 18(9):73- 88.


CCRES special thanks to 
  Mr. Mitsunori Nishida, 
 
President of Corporate Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES) 

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CCRES ALGAE TEAM

With oil prices reaching $105 a barrel for the first time since 2008, the biofuel industry is looking more attractive every day. As global demand rises and petroleum supplies diminish, countries are turning to algae for energy security.
 In smaller countries, like Croatia, where oil demand is low, and emission standards are poor, algae biofuel has the potential to significantly reduce reliance on foreign oil.
 CCRES ALGAE TEAM
works on
 
Biodiesel from MicroalgaeThe oil from the algae can be used for any combustion process. An even wider range of use for algae oil is obtained by the transesterification to biodiesel. This biodiesel can be blended with fossil diesel or can be directly driven as pure biodiesel B100.

Biodiesel from microalgae has a comparable quality as rapeseed methyl ester and meets the standard EN 14214. At biodiesel production about 12% glycerin is produced as a by-product. This glycerin is a valuable resource for the production of algae in closed ponds, the heterotrophic processes. Thus, the entire algae oil can be used as fuel.

Fish FoodAlgae provide a natural solution for the expanding fishing industry:

High-protein fish food
Replacement for existing fish meal production
Algae have nutrients of many young fishes available

The fishing industry recorded an annual growth of over 10% and, according to experts, will beat the global beef consumption in 2015.

The Technology developed by CCRES offers the opportunity to deliver part of the needed proteins for fish farming on the resulting algal biomass.

Protein for the food industryThe demand for high-quality protein for the food industry has been growing rapidly over the years.

The big growth opportunities are:

Weight control
Fitness and Sports Nutrition
Food supplements

The market volume in the protein sector is continously growing and at the rate of US $ 10.5B in 2010 and according to experts, will steadily increase to approx. $25B until 2030.

“There is intense interest in algal biofuels and bioproducts in this country and abroad, including in US,Australia, Chile, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and others,” says Branka Kalle, President of Council Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES).
Advantages algae has over other sources may make it the world’s favored biofuel. Algae could potentially produce over 20 times more oil per acre than other terrestrial crops.Algae avoids many of the environmental challenges associated with conventional biofuels.Algae does not require arable land or potable water, which completely avoids competition with food resources.
 “The Asia Pacific region has been culturing algae for food and pharmaceuticals for many centuries, and these countries are eager to use this knowledge base for the production of biofuels,”says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES.Without sustained high prices at the pump, investment in algae will likely be driven by demand for other products. In the short term, the growth of the industry will come from governments and companies seeking to reduce their environmental impact through carbon collection.

CCRES ALGAE TEAM
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BIOGORIVO TREĆE GENERACIJE

Bazeni za uzgoj algi

Proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi

Ovisnost svijeta o neobnovljivim izvorima energije, uglavnom fosilnim gorivima, trn je u oku mnogih znanstvenika i aktivista za zaštitu okoliša diljem svijeta. Samim time ne iznenađuju globalna nastojanja da se smanji ovisnost o fosilnim gorivima i pronađu ekonomski prihvatljiva alternativna goriva i da se time znatno smanje emisije štetnog ugljičnog dioksida u atmosferu. Jedna od alternativa o kojoj se najviše priča su biogoriva. Biogoriva su zbog svoje sličnosti s naftnim derivatima poprilično dobra alternativa fosilnim gorivima i korištenje biogoriva rezultira s manjim emisijama CO2 u atmosferu. Zbog toga su biogoriva ekološki puno prihvatljivija od konkurentskih fosilnih goriva. Manje ukupne emisije ugljičnog dioksida iz biogoriva rezultat su zatvorenog ugljičnog kruga – biljke i alge uzimaju iz atmosfere ugljični dioksid da bi mogle rasti, a kad se biogoriva upotrebljavaju taj isti ugljični dioksid se vraća natrag u atmosferu. Ugljični otisak fosilnih goriva ide u samo jednom smjeru – iz zemlje u atmosferu, tj.u niti jednom koraku proizvodnje i korištenja fosilnih goriva ne smanjuje se količina CO2 u atmosferi.

Alge u laboratoriju Hrvatskog Centara Obnovljivih Izvora Energije (HCOIE)
Biogorivo može biti čvrsto, tekuće ili čak plinovito gorivo koje je proizvedeno iz biološkog materijala. Kod organizama koji obavljaju fotosintezu, kao na primjer kukuruz ili soja, biljke koriste energiju sunca i vodu da bi pretvorile dostupni ugljični dioksid u ugljikohidrate, tj. da bi pohranile energiju. Ovakav proces je zapravo dvostruko koristan: ne samo da je proizvedeno gorivo, nego je za to potrošena određena količina ugljičnog dioksida pa ovakva proizvodnja goriva ima pozitivni učinak i s energetske i s ekološke točke gledanja. Iako se biogoriva mogu proizvoditi od bilo kakvih izvora ugljika, danas se uglavnom koriste razne vrste ratarskih biljaka diljem svijeta. Postoji mala razlika između različitih biljaka u smislu goriva koje se od njih proizvodi. Na primjer etanol se proizvodi od biljaka koje sadrže puno šećera (šećerna trska, kukuruz), a za proizvodnju biodizela koriste se biljke koje sadrže više ulja (soja, kanola, uljana repica).
Biogoriva imaju mnoge prednosti, ali postoje i nedostaci. Uzgajanje biljaka za proizvodnju biogoriva zahtjeva kvalitetna poljoprivredna zemljišta a to naravno povećava potražnju za takvim zemljištima i diže cijenu. Najveći problem s biogorivima je zapravo činjenica da je proizvodnja biogoriva pretvaranje hrane u gorivo, a to loše utječe i na cijenu i na dostupnost hrane diljem svijeta, a već sad postoji gotovo milijarda ljudi koji žive na rubu gladi. Prema tome pretvaranje hrane u gorivo ne izgleda kao logičan izbor za rješavanje energetskih problema.
Prednosti korištenja algi za proizvodnju biogoriva 
Proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi ima mnoge prednosti koje taj postupak čine gotovo savršenim izvorom goriva. Alge rastu 50 do 100 puta brže od tradicionalnih kultura za proizvodnju biogoriva. Dodatna velika prednost je to što su alge jednostanični organizmi koji ne zahtijevaju svježu pitku i zemljište da bi rasli, a to znatno pojednostavnjuje proizvodnju. Prema nekim stručnjacima proizvodnja goriva iz algi je najbolja alternativa fosilnim gorivima i uz dobru podršku ta bi biogoriva u budućnosti mogla u potpunosti izbaciti fosilna goriva iz upotrebe.
Gdje se mogu uzgajati alge?
 Alge se mogu uzgajati u odvojenim vodenim površinama, čak iako voda nije dovoljno kvalitetna za piće. Alge se također mogu uzgajati i u slanoj vodi. Uzgajajući alge na površinama koje nisu pogodne za proizvodnju hrane, više zemljišta i kvalitetne vode ostaje za proizvodnju hrane. Veća količina proizvedene hrane može se onda upotrijebiti za borbu protiv gladi, a ne za proizvodnju biogoriva kao do sada. Odemo li tridesetak godina unatrag, ili da smo precizniji u 1978 godinu, možemo primijetiti da je čak i američko ministarstvo za energiju (Department of Energy – DOE) pokrenulo „Aquatic Species Program“ s ciljem istraživanja moguće proizvodnje energije i biogoriva iz algi. Prema tome, proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi nije nova ideja kao što misli većina ljudi. Usprkos dobroj ideji, ovo istraživanje nije bilo produktivno, uglavnom zbog padajućih cijena sirove nafte i činjenice da je DOE bilo prisiljeno smanjivati troškove. Sve ovo rezultiralo je gašenjem programa 1996 godine.
Usprkos gašenju, istraživanja unutar tog programa dala su vrlo važne rezultate, a najvažnije od svega je zaključak da bi proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi svakako mogla dostići željene razine. U ono doba studije su pokazale i jedan veliki nedostatak: zaključeno je da postupak ne bi bio financijski opravdan sve i da se cijena sirove nafte udvostruči. Ovaj zaključak imao je solidnu potporu sve do 2006 godine u kojoj se cijena nafte gotovo utrostručila u odnosu na prošlu dekadu, a cijena nafte je i dalje rasla. Uz trenutne probleme globalnog zatopljenja i visoke cijene sirove nafte stvorile su se idealne prilike za ponovnu evaluaciju ovog izvora energije.
Tehnologije za uzgoj algi (Algal Growth System)
 
Prozvodnja biogoriva u Hrvatskom Centru Obnovljivih Izvora Energije (HCOIE)
Proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi vrlo je zanimljivo područje istraživanja mnogim znanstvenicima diljem planeta, ja jedan on vodećih centara za takova istraživanja je laboratorij za pogone i konverziju energije (The Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory – EECL) na sveučilištu Colorado State University. Ovaj laboratorij usmjeren je prema tehnologijama koje bi omogućile industrijska rješenja za energetske i ekološke izazove. Glavni projekt laboratorija fokusiran je na proizvodnju biogoriva iz algi i trebao bi rezultirati skalabilnom i cjenovno prihvatljivom tehnologijom za proizvodnju goriva. Jedan od glavnih igrača na tom polju svakako je tvrtka Solix Biofuels, kompanija koje je usavršila nekoliko generacija sustava za uzgoj algi (Algal Growth System – AGS), tehnologije koja je sad operativna na pokaznom polju Coyote Gulch u jugozapadnom Coloradu.
Tvrtka Solix Biofuels je vodeća u proizvodnju tehnologija za kreiranje iskoristive energije iz algi. Njihova tehnologija usmjerena je na omogućavanje velike komercijalizacije goriva temeljenih na mikroalgama i dodatnih koprodukata. Alge se mogu uzgajati na dva osnovna načina – sustav otvorenog bazena (prirodnog ili umjetno napravljenog) ili umjetni zatvoreni sustav. Alge moraju biti vrlo otporne na nametnike za uzgoj u otvorenim sustavima jer su to uvjeti koje nije lako kontrolirati.
Bez kontroliranih uvjeta teško je održavati rast željene vrste algi, odnosno održati rast na optimalnoj razini za proizvodnju biogoriva. Ovo je glavni razlog zašto Solix Biofuels uglavnom razvija zatvorene sustave za uzgoj algi. Zatvoreni sustavi imaju nekoliko prednosti: ne samo da zatvoreni sustavi omogućavaju uzgoj određene kulture, nego se alge u tim sustavima mogu direktno hraniti visoko koncentriranim ugljičnim dioksidom iz industrijskih procesa, a to naravno maksimizira količinu „ulovljenog“ ugljičnog dioksida koji bi inače bio ispušten u atmosferu. Prvi prototip AGS sustava napravljen je 2006 godine. Od onda kompanija radi na usavršavanju tehnologije i znatno je proširila površinu na kojima uzgaja alge. Posljednji veliki uspjeh dolazi iz srpnja 2009 kad su instalirali veliki sustav za proizvodnju biogoriva na pokaznom polju Coyote Gulch.
Što su zapravo postigli? 
Započeli su s velikim izazovom: prvo je trebalo razviti procese za skupljanje podataka i kontroliranje rasta ta automatizirani AGS. Željeli su jedinstvenu tehnološku platformu koja bi podržavala i prirodne i industrijske operacije. U prirodnim uvjetima sustav treba biti prilagodljiv pa je bilo potrebno mnogo kemijskih i fizičkih senzora te kontrola protoka. Za operacije u industrijskom okruženju glavni je naglasak bio na stabilnoj, pouzdanoj i jednostavnoj platformi koja ima sučelja prema industrijskoj instrumentaciji i kontrolama. Industrijska okruženja također moraju imati sustave skupljanja podataka u zajednički repozitorij da bi se informacije mogle jedinstveno prezentirati svim zainteresiranim stranama: menadžerima, operativi i odjelu za istraživanja i razvoj. Zbog toga je kreiran cijeli sustav za nadzor i skupljanje podataka (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) uključujući i sučelje za monitoriranje i kontrolu rasta algi.
Pokusna energana uključuje raznovrsne sustave izgrađene za proizvodnju plina i tokova vode, sam sustav za uzgoj algi, sustave za skupljanje algi i konačno sustave za proizvodnju biogoriva. Svi ovi sustavi omogućuju im vrlo precizno skupljanje podataka i ispitivanje odaziva različitih vrsta algi na različite uvjete uzgoja.
Zaključak 
Alge u procesu HCOIE
Biogoriva temeljena na algama definitivno imaju potencijala pokrenuti revoluciju u energetskoj industriji i mogla bi igrati vodeću ulogu u borbi protiv stakleničkih plinova i klimatskih promjena. Naravno, da bi se došlo do toga morat će se pokrenuti još mnoga istraživanja i biti će potrebna znatna financijska sredstva. Kompanije poput Solix Biofuels su pioniri koji bi mogli pogurati ovaj energetski sektor u jedan od najkompetitivnijih na energetskom tržištu. Lobiji iza fosilnih goriva su još uvijek prejaki, ali s rastućim problemom globalnih klimatskih promjena ti lobiji bi uskoro mogli u određenoj mjeri oslabiti, čime bi se širom otvorila vrata alternativnim gorivima. Jedna od alternativa koja svakako zaslužuje pažnju u godinama koje dolaze su biogoriva iz algi. Njihov energetski potencijal, činjenica da ne pretvaramo hranu u gorivo i znatno smanjene ukupne emisije stakleničkih plinova trebali bi im osigurati dovoljna financijska sredstva za daljnja istraživanja.
Potražnja za energijom neće se smanjivati u godinama koje dolaze nego će rasti i biti će potrebna alternativna goriva bez obzira koliko će dominantna ostati fosilna goriva. Proizvodnja biogoriva iz algi mogla bi biti jedna od iznenađujućih takmaca na polju alternativnih goriva u ne tako dalekoj budućnosti, osobito ako cijene fosilnih goriva budu rasle. A u međuvremenu bi kompanije i udruženja poput američke Solix Biofuels ili hrvatskog HCOIE trebale nastaviti svoja istraživanja i ukazivati na prednosti koje ovakav proces ima. Ovime bi se svijest o toj alternativi znatno proširila i implementacija proizvodnje na globalnoj razini postala bi moguća kad za to dođe vrijeme.
Hrvatski Centar Obnovljivih Izvora Energije (HCOIE)
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Astaxanthin carotenoid

Astaxanthin carotenoid

photo by CCRES ALGAE Team
 Astaxanthin
 Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. It provides the red color of salmon meat and the red color of cooked shellfish.
photo by CCRES ALGAE Team
Astaxanthin, unlike several carotenes and one other known carotenoid, is not converted to vitamin A (retinol) in the human body. Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin has self-limited absorption orally and such low toxicity by mouth that no toxic syndrome is known.
 
photo by CCRES ALGAE Team
 It is an antioxidant with a slightly lower antioxidant activity in some model systems than other carotenoids. However, in living organisms the free-radical terminating effectiveness of each carotenoid is heavily modified by its lipid solubility, and thus varies with the type of system being protected.

photo by CCRES ALGAE Team
While astaxanthin is a natural nutritional component, it can also be used as a food supplement. The supplement is intended for human, animal, and aquaculture consumption. The commercial production of astaxanthin comes from both natural and synthetic sources.
CCRES ALGAE TEAM
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CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)
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Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis

 Astaxanthin
President & CEO of CCRES
 Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin, a member of the carotenoid family, it is a dark red pigment and the main carotenoid found in algae and aquatic animals. It is responsible for the red/pink coloration of crustaceans, shellfish, and the flesh of salmonoids. Algatechnologies produces astaxanthin from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest known natural source for astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin however, is more than just a red pigment, it is primarily an extremely powerful antioxidant. It has the unique capacity to quench free radicals and reactive species of oxygen and to inhibit lipid peroxidation. Studies have shown astaxanthin to be over 500 times stronger than vitamin E and much more potent than other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene and β-carotene.
Astaxanthin was found to have beneficial effects in many health conditions related to the Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, skin health, joint health, muscle endurance, as well as to the cardiovascular, immune, eye and other systems.

Natural astaxanthin – molecule properties

Astaxanthin (3,3’-dihydroxy-β-β-carotene-4,4’-dione) is a xanthophyll  carotenoid,  commonly found in marine environments where it gives an orange-pink coloration to several sea-species.



CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
Astaxanthin has two chiral centers, at the 3 and 3′ positions. The main astaxanthin stereoisomer (3S, 3S’) found in the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is the main form found in wild salmon.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
 Astaxanthin consists of geometric isomers (trans and cis). the cis isomers display higher bioavailability and potency in humans This isomer is abundant (up to 20%) in the natural astaxanthin complex produced by the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

The astaxanthin in Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae occurs in the esterified form, which is more stable than the free astaxanthin form.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin cannot be synthesized by animals and humans and must be provided in the diet. Natural astaxanthin has been part of the human diet for thousands of years.


CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin, unlike most carotenes is not converted to vitamin A (retinol) in the human body.


CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Natural astaxanthin has no “pro-oxidant” activity – It does not become an exhausted oxidant thanks to its unique molecule structure that is able to release the excess of energy as heat.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
 Astaxanthin has been shown to actually cross the blood-brain and blood-retina barriers, meaning it can positively impact disorders related to brain and the central nervous system.
 
 Astaxanthin
CCRES ALGAE PROJECT
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CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)
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