Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Meet Dr. Joosang Park, PhD, MBA

"With such a wide range of proven healthy aging benefits, BioCell Collagen is the safest and most effective supplement that I have ever encountered in my career. The true potential of Jusuru, containing strongly substantiated ingredients as well as the liquid form of BioCell Collagen offers outstanding bioavailability, and is backed by human clinical trials that demonstrate its efficacy in a league of its own." - Dr. Joosang Park, PhD, MBA 

Joosang Park possesses a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Stanford University and earned his MBA at Cornell University. Additionally, he also served as Research Fellow on cancer vaccine development at Harvard Medical School. As VP of Scientific Affairs of BioCell Technology, LLC, he provides scientific support and research for existing and future products based upon his scientific expertise integrated with business education.

According to Dr. Joosang Park, “The ingredients in this dietary supplement are substantiated by science and offer multi-layered benefits for healthy aging. Jusuru Life Blend™ synergistically supports both joints and skin through replenishing hydrolyzed collagen, HA and chondroitin sulfate in highly bioavailable forms, and is the only liquid nutraceutical to offer BioCell Collagen®.” 

Dr. Park Q&A:

1. What's in Jusuru?

Jusuru Life Blend contains three major health-promoting, functional ingredients. They are multi-patented, clinically-tested, BioCell Collagen®, combined with resveratrol and thirteen globally-selected fruits that are known to contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. They are 100% natural and the safety and efficacy of BioCell Collagen® has been proven in clinical trials. 

2. How does Jusuru Life Blend work?

The key ingredient of Jusuru Life Blend is BioCell Collagen®, a naturally-occurring matrix of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate. Various studies, including clinical trials, have provided growing evidence that BioCell Collagen® is a unique healthy aging ingredient that helps promote healthier joints and younger-looking skin at the same time. Jusuru Life Blend is a proprietary blend of BioCell Collagen® with resveratrol and twelve different fruits enriched with a variety of phytonutrients harboring potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This formulation is constructed not only to augment the dual health benefits of BioCell Collagen® but to help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation that accelerate the aging process. This trio, BioCell Collagen®, resveratrol, and twelve fruits, can synergistically promote overall health of all people to support a more active lifestyle with a youthful appearance. 

3. What does BioCell Collagen® do for joints and skin?

BioCell Collagen® contains three major highly-bioavailable, biologically-active constituents: hydrolyzed type II collagen, depolymerized hyaluronic acid (also called hyaluronan) and chondroitin sulfate. Studies suggest that the patented process to reduce the molecular weight of collagen polypeptides and hyaluronic acids brought about various novel biological properties distinct from undenatured collagen, in addition to remarkable bioavailability of each constituent. More importantly, this hydrolysis step generates more bioavailable building blocks essential not only for the joint cartilage matrix, but for dermal (skin) matrix because macromolecular components-collagen hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate-found in both of the tissues are synthesized by incorporating these building blocks. 

4. How can BioCell Collagen® support joint health? 

1) Replenishing essential components of cartilage matrix and lubricating synovial fluid 

The synovial joint is the most common and the most active joint of the body. The composition of BioCell Collagen® mirrors that of the articular cartilage of human synovial joints. Highly bioavailable form of hydrolyzed collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate helps improve joint health by providing the essential molecules in molecularly optimized forms. 

Type II collagen forms the fibrillar network to provide tensile strength to the cartilage while proteoglycans (PGs) such as aggrecans comprising a core protein linked with hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are immobilized into collagen fibrillar network to provide resistance to compression. The synovial joint has a joint cavity filled with synovial fluid which lubricates the joint in motion. Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in lubricating the joint due to its capability of retaining water to display viscoelastic features. However, the contents of these components and the integrity of the cartilage matrix decrease due to aging or degenerative joint conditions. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of BioCell Collagen® demonstrated safety and statistically significant efficacy in managing all levels of the WOMAC scale, leading to improvement in physical activities. 

2) Deposition of hydrolyzed collagen into the cartilage and cartilage regeneration 

Molecular mechanisms of action for joint health benefits of BioCell Collagen® appear clear. First, a review (2006) published in Current Medical Research and Opinion comprehensively analyzed collagen hydrolysate studies listed in the PubMed database. The authors stated, “According to published research, orally administered collagen hydrolysate has been shown to be absorbed intestinally and to accumulate in cartilage.” Moreover, a recent finding of the ability of hydrolyzed collagen, but not undenatured collagen, to stimulate novel biosynthesis of type II collagen from chondrocytes suggests that hydrolyzed collagen in BioCell Collagen® may directly stimulate the only resident cells in the cartilage to produce its matrix components. This potential regenerative capability would help regain the tensile strength of cartilage, thereby normalizing shock absorption capability of the joint. 

5. How can BioCell Collagen® defy both natural and photo-aging process in the skin?

1) Rebuilding dermal network with highly bioavailable building blocks

As discussed above, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate are also essential for the healthy structure and function of the skin dermis. As one ages, the amounts of these components decrease which leads to the disorganization or collapse of the dermal matrix. Supplementing with highly bioavailable building blocks for these molecules may effectively improve skin health. Hydrolyzed collagen has been shown to support tensile collagen fibrillar network into which ground substances such as hyaluronic acid are interweaved. Additionally, increasing the density of dermal fibroblasts which are responsible for biosynthesis of structural components for the dermal network also contributes to youthful appearance of skin.

2) Enhanced skin hydration and turgidity and inhibition of hyaluronidase

Maintaining a proper amount of hyaluronic acid is critical for healthy skin structure and turgidity because hyaluronic acid is responsible for retaining water in the skin dermis. However, the amount of hyaluronic acid that functions normally decreases in aging skin, resulting in dermal dehydration and eventually in sagging skin and formation of wrinkles. BioCell Collagen® supplies highly bioavailable hyaluronic acid to attenuate the effect of hyaluronic acid loss caused by natural or photo-aging. Human subjects who took daily doses of BioCell Collagen saw hyaluronic acid levels increase 60-fold in their blood during the 28 days of the study period. 

Hyaluronic acid levels are maintained by the coordinated action of hyaluronic acid syntheses and hyaluronidases. Hyaluronidase degrades hyaluronic acid in response to a number of normal or pathological stimuli including aging and inflammation. BioCell Collagen® has been shown to inhibit hyaluronidase. Thus, BioCell Collagen® can tackle an important molecular player responsible for aging-associated dehydration as well as replenish the loss of the various essential structural components from skin dermis.

3) Protecting UV-mediated skin damages

A recent study showed that ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen peptides could protect UV-mediated skin damages such as, dehydration, and type I collagen loss. This suggests that collagen peptides contained in BioCell Collagen® would provide similar benefits which are further supported by maintaining healthy levels of hyaluronic acid.

6. How can joint and skin benefits of BioCell Collagen® be augmented in Jusuru? – Synergy with fruit-derived phytochemical compounds

The Joint and skin health benefits of BioCell Collagen® are augmented by various fruit-derived phytochemical molecules as well as resveratrol which possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Research suggests that antioxidants can support normal functions of chondrocytes which appears to be affected by oxidative stress in the joint. First, nitrotyrosine, a marker of oxidative stress, is over-expressed in aging or degrading cartilage. This oxidative stress can lead to growth arrest and senescence of chondrocytes, a manifestation of the loss of their normal function. This causes deterioration in the structure and function of the cartilage. Second, lower antioxidative capacity was observed in degraded regions as compared with the intact regions from the same cartilage. Furthermore, treatment of chondrocytes with reactive oxygen species (RSO) induced genome instability and reduction of replicative capacity and GAG production, whereas treatment with antioxidant, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), prevented the damaging effects. These studies suggest that antioxidants such as vitamins, flavonoids, and polyphenols found in Jusuru Life Blend may work synergistically with BioCell Collagen® for comprehensive joint support. 

In a similar vein, Jusuru Life Blend can augment anti-aging skin benefits of BioCell Collagen® as healthy aging in the skin requires protection against oxidative damage which is closely associated with natural and photo aging process. Insufficient removal of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiates or accelerates skin aging processes by damaging DNA, proteins, and cellular membrane. Our body has endogenous defense mechanisms including enzymatic (superoxide dismutase and catalase, etc) and nonenzymatic molecules (vitamins and glutathione, etc). As one ages, however, these defense mechanisms weaken while the load of oxidative stress increases. Thus, additional and constant supply of antioxidants is essential. Jusuru Life Blend provides a variety of naturally-occurring antioxidants such as vitamins and polyphenols that can help neutralize ROS arising from normal cellular metabolism and from exogenous factors such as UV exposure, smoking, and alcohol consumption. For example, punicalagins and its hydrolysis product ellagic acid, the most abundant polyphenolic compound in pomegranate, have been shown to have potent antioxidant capacity to ameliorate UVA-mediated damages and to protect against the adverse effects of UVB radiation in human epidermal keratinocytes. Similarly, anthocyanin-rich blueberry extract was shown to dampen UVB-mediated toxicity in human dermal fibroblasts through blocking NF-κB and p53 activation and through suppressing ROS-mediated expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that could degrade skin collagen. These results support that polyphenolic compound-rich pomegranate, blueberry, and other fruits in Jusuru Life Blend may be highly protective against UV-induced skin photoaging as well as chronological aging. 

7. What are the twelve fruits in Jusuru Life Blend and what are their health benefits?

They are blueberry, apple, strawberry, cranberry, mangosteen, grape, acai, pomegranate, lycium (gogi berry), noni, nopal, maqui and jujube. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are not restricted to joint and skin health because a number of chronic health conditions appear to be associated with inefficient management of oxidative stress and inflammation. There have been intensive studies on the effect of fruit-derived extracts or phytochemical compounds on the risk of chronic conditions. These studies have demonstrated that the fruit-derived supplements help reduce various risk factors implicated in many cardiovascular and neurological conditions, suggesting that Jusuru Life Blend promotes overall health while particularly effective in promoting joint mobility and in antagonizing the skin’s aging process. The phytonutrients contained in the fruits are fortified further by inclusion of resveratrol which possesses various health-promoting, biological activities (see Resveratrol Q&A). 

8. How do liquid supplements compare to non-liquid supplements?

Typically, liquid supplements have higher bioavailability than a non-liquid form. Bioavailability should be regarded as a more important issue than how much a nutrient is present in a dietary supplement because the nutrient must be absorbed and available at the site of action. Bioavailability is related to the number of steps involved in the absorption process following oral administration. As a liquid form does not require a dissolution step, it results in fast and highly efficient absorption. Bioavailability of a liquid form may be further enhanced by absorption in the mouth via sublingual mucosa (floor of the mouth) and buccal mucosa (sides and top of the oral cavity). 

9. How soon can I expect to begin seeing results?

How soon an individual may get intended health benefits should vary. However, clinical studies of BioCell Collagen® and anecdotal evidence support that consumers can start to observe the results in several weeks although they sometimes see difference surprisingly earlier. In our clinical trial, significant improvement in the joint across the study subjects was observed several weeks after daily ingestion of BioCell Collagen®. 

As discussed above, Jusuru is formulated such that it not only fortifies joint and skin benefits of BioCell Collagen® but promotes overall health by coping with oxidative stress and lessening inflammation. Thus, it will not be surprising if consumers experience improved health in their joints, skin, and other parts of the body quite early. 

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