Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that occurs naturally in a number of plants and animals. In addition to being an antioxidant, it also has anti-fatigue and anti-inflammatory properties and many other health benefits. Astaxanthin belongs to a group of micronutrients called carotenoids and is a red pigment that gives salmon, lobster and flamingo feathers their color.
Antioxidants protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that have the capacity to harm cellular structures leading to heart disease, cancer, and more. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving electrons that stabilize the molecules. Free radicals may come from normal metabolic processes in the body or from external sources such as X-rays, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and industrial chemicals.
Working as an antioxidant, it helps to reduce oxidation in the body, which is often at the root of inflammation which, if not treated, can cause long-term irreversible damage to one’s health. This inflammation is at the root of early aging, mental conditions such as dementia, as well as a host of other diseases and conditions including eye problems, heart disease, arthritis, and more.
The History of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin was first identified and isolated from lobster in 1938 by Richard Kuhn in Germany, making it one of the first carotenoids to be examined by researchers and scientists. Following the finding that astaxanthin worked to improve the health and vitality of animals, it was subject to further investigation and scientific study. Today there are over a thousand peer-reviewed papers that have been published in scientific journals looking at astaxanthin and its health-promoting effects.
Uses and Benefits of Astaxanthin
It is an antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidation in the body which is associated with a number of diseases. Also, unlike other antioxidants such as vitamin E, C, and D, astaxanthin doesn’t become pro-oxidant in the body. The wide-ranging benefits mean that astaxanthin can be used as a preventative, as well as a proactive food supplement.
Astaxanthin is also able to remove excess light energy from cells (singlet-oxygen quenching) and has been proven to be far stronger than other popular antioxidants such as vitamin C (6000 times stronger), CoQ10 (800 times stronger), green tea catechins (550 times stronger) and alpha-lipoic acid (75 times stronger). With these figures in mind, it becomes clear that astaxanthin is an excellent source of antioxidants.
Astaxanthin can be used for:
Sun Protection and Optimum Skin Health
Studies have shown that astaxanthin protects the skin helping to improve moisture levels and smoothness, increase skin elasticity as well as reducing spots, freckles, and fine lines. It reduces sun damage and helps repair damage caused by sunburn as it penetrates the skin cells to promote internal healing.
Astaxanthin and Eye Health
Astaxanthin protects your eyes from diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Studies show that supplementing with astaxanthin reduces eye fatigue, improves far visual acuity(clarity of vision), and accommodation time (the eye’s ability to change focus from near to distant objects, and vice versa). Astaxanthin can also help protect against complications from diabetes that affect the eyes such as diabetic retinopathy.
Endurance and Muscle Recovery
Salmon are among the animals that have naturally occurring high levels of astaxanthin, and it is thought that this contributes to their amazing upstream swimming capabilities. As humans, we can harness this benefit as natural astaxanthin helps promote muscle recovery, improves endurance and energy levels, and enhances strength.
Relief from Pain and Inflammation
Astaxanthin works to relieve pain, as well as being an effective anti-inflammatory supplement. As a completely natural product, it is nonetheless similar in efficacy to prescription anti-inflammatories but without the side effects. Astaxanthin blocks COX 2working in a similar way to Celebrex the drug used for arthritis, it also reduces CRP(c-reactive protein made in your liver and sent into the bloodstream in response to inflammation) which is an indicator of heart disease, as well as a number of other levels to bring your body back into homeostasis.
In non-human studies, astaxanthin has been shown to reduce inflammation working similar to the way that steroids works, but it is far safer with little to no side effects.
Heart Disease and Blood Pressure
Astaxanthin can help to keep your heart healthy as it has been shown to affect a significant reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides and at the same time raises good cholesterol (HDL-C). It also enhances blood flow and circulation by improving the thickness and elasticity of the walls of your arteries as well as reducing oxidative stress in blood and delaying blood clotting. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and antioxidant defenses.
High cholesterol can clog arteries, which contributes to high blood pressure. As astaxanthin reduces bad cholesterol, it can, along with other lifestyle changes, help to prevent hypertension.
Ongoing inflammation can inhibit your body’s immune response, which is your protection against viruses and bacteria. Oxidative stress caused by raised levels of free radicals in the body affects your immune response. Therefore, as astaxanthin naturally reduces oxidative stress, it can help to ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally.
Ulcers are wounds that develop in the body. They’re typically painful, take a long time to heal and may reoccur if the underlying cause is not treated. Stomach ulcers are the most common type, although there are others, including the mouth, venous, arterial, and genital ulcers.
Ulcers are most often causes by bacterial infections and can be treated with antibiotics. However, oxidative stress in the gut and other areas of the body creates a conducive environment for the bacteria, making it likely that the ulcers will return unless the underlying oxidative stress is treated. A natural treatment for this oxidative stress is astaxanthin, which helps to protect the lining of your intestines.
As a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin is in a league of its own when it comes to working on the body. This is because of its unique hydrophilic (water-soluble) and lipophilic (fat-soluble) properties that allow the molecules to filter into every cell of the body. This means that the astaxanthin molecule is on one side able to protect the fat-soluble part of the cell, and on the other side, protect the water-soluble part of the cell.
According to the CDC, more than a third of adults in the United States are pre-diabetic, while over 30 million people have diabetes. Diabetes is caused when beta cells in the pancreas become inflamed or damaged, causing the pancreas to produce little to no insulin, which is needed to regulate the storage and consumption of sugars and fats in your body.
One of the causes of damage to beta cells is oxidative stress caused by high blood sugar. Astaxanthin can help protect pancreatic beta cells by reducing sugar toxicity in the blood. And, for those who have diabetes, astaxanthin can reduce blood pressure and improve sugar metabolism.
How to Use Astaxanthin, Dosage, and Instructions
Our bodies are not able to produce astaxanthin, which means that it needs to be ingested either through food or dietary supplements. It is possible to get astaxanthin naturally from foods such as certain types of marine algae and algae is used as a source of astaxanthin in supplements. However, in most cases, it is difficult to get enough astaxanthin from food and as such supplements are a better form.
Research suggests the amount of astaxanthin will vary depending on what it is being used for, with most studies using between 2mg and 24mg per day. The correct dosage depends on your age and health, and if you have any conditions that need to be taken into account. Determining the correct dose should, therefore, be done in consultation with your physician. In most cases, astaxanthin supplements are taken as a capsule in the mornings with food.
Getting Started with Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is one of the most popular carotenoids with its powerful antioxidant benefits that help to keep a wide range of health conditions at bay. By curbing oxidative stress in the body as a result of neutralizing free radicals, astaxanthin can help prevent disease.
In addition to a number of different benefits, astaxanthin can help with skincare and UV protection, eye health, muscle endurance and recovery, pain and inflammation, heart disease prevention, ulcers, osteoarthritis, your immune response, diabetes, cell health and more.
Ingredients: Organic Astaxanthin Algae
Parts Used: Algae
Forms: 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Capsules: Take 1-2 capsules a day with water or a favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all-natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.