A study recently published in the Journal of Medicinal Food (Jensen et al.) set out to characterize the basic biological properties of Cyactiv, which contains a known anti-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor phycocyanin (PC), as well as a high level of non- phycocyanin bioactive compounds.
While quite a few of the observed effects were attributed to the phycocyanin component of Cyactiv, the results indicate that the non- phycocyanin components were equally important to Cyactiv’s efficacy. The overall conclusions of the study suggest that the natural synergy of the phycocyanin and non- phycocyanin components provide superior nutritional support against chronic inflammatory conditions.
Cyactiv’s antioxidant properties were tested in parallel in the Folin-Ciocalteu assay (chemical antioxidant capacity) and in the cellular antioxidant protection (CAP-e) bioassay, where both the phycocyanin and the non- phycocyanin fractions contributed to the antioxidant capacity and cellular antioxidant protection of Cyactiv. Cyactiv was also tested for its ability to inhibit the inflammatory enzymes COX-2 and Lipoxygenase. Results indicate that Cyactiv offers a synergistic inhibition of both enzymes. The formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was evaluated using polymorphonuclear cells from healthy human donors. The inhibition of ROS formation was observed in both the PC and non- phycocyanin fractions, with the most robust effect being observed by the introduction of Cyactiv.
Interestingly, an important observation pertaining to product safety was made. Other research teams have previously suggested that phycocyanin may have value as a blood thinning agent, as phycocyanin can, under some laboratory conditions, lead to reduced platelet aggregation, platelet activation, and platelet membrane fluidity. NIS Labs researcher, Dr. Jensen, explained, “We feel that this interpretation may be too simplistic of an explanation. Previously reported effects of phycocyanin on isolated blood platelets may possibly be a downstream effect of initial anti-inflammatory events.” The study findings suggest that the presence of Cyactiv and phycocyanin in the Euglobulin fraction when triggering fibrin clotting led to stronger (not weaker) clot formation, whereas the following natural fibrinolytic clot dissolution happened at normal rate.