Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant that promotes longevity for both brain and cardiovascular health. It also promotes relief of pain due to inflammation, eye health and skin health.
What Is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring chemical that is part of group called carotenoids. It is used as a natural and powerful antioxidant, boosting general health and for prevention of cellular aging and more.
Sources of Astaxanthin can be found in krill oil, salmon, trout and crayfish and is the red or pink coloring. The highest concentration of Astaxanthin is actually found in the muscles of a salmon, which is believed to be the reason for their enormous endurance in swimming upstream.
Astaxanthin acts to reduce aging in the cells and may improve overall health. It is a strong, fat-soluble anti-oxidant that is thought to be more effective than Vitamin A, E and C in eliminating free radicals and is also considered a strong anti-inflammatory.
The interest in this supplement has grown dramatically in the last few years. It is currently being studied for it’s potential effects on the immune system, cardiovascular health and the degeneration of the nervous system and neurons in the treatment for many diseases.
Both in human and animal research studies, Astaxanthin has demonstrated benefits in supporting eye health, skin health, pain relief from inflammation and brain health.
It is considered safe to take within the proper dosages and is believed to have a quite a few impressive benefits.
Benefits of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is most well known as a powerful antioxidant, battling oxidative damage in the body that is caused by free radicals which are formed when oxygen interacts with molecules.
Free radicals come from toxins and waste in the body. This is the most common path leading to aging and/or age related diseases and may be one the causes of cancer, heart disease and strokes.
Although the body has enzyme systems that kill free radicals, the main micro-nutrients (vitamins) which includes Vitamin E, beta carotene and Vitamin C, cannot be produced naturally and need to either come from our diet or be supplemented.
Taking a strong quality antioxidant may prevent and protect cellular damage and DNA by breaking the chain reaction that damages imperative molecules.
It is also thought that it might improve the way our immune system functions entirely and may reduce the risk of diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Cancer.
There is even some studies that suggest that Astaxanthin may lower the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which prevents it from clogging the heart. It also may reduce blood pressure and sugar in diabetics.
In studies, Astaxanthin, is thought to be 400 times stronger than taking Vitamin E on its own and thousands of times more effective than Vitamin C or CoQ10 in potentially preventing free radical damage.
Some health experts believe that taking Astaxanthin supplements daily may potentially slow down the aging process of our cells and boost our general health.
Uses for Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin has other potential key benefits other than being a very effective antioxidant. Although more evidence and research is needed, it is thought that taking Astaxanthin can also;
- Be effective in battling the chemicals that induce pain due to inflammation of arthritic conditions.
- May reduce muscle soreness and recovery time after exercise for athletes.
- Reduces skin damage caused by UV light
- May improve the skins elasticity, helping reduce fine lines, wrinkles and adding moisture to the skin when taken twice a day over a 6 week period.
- Research suggests that it may increase HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduce triglyceride for people with high cholesterol. Triglyceride is a fat in the blood that is estimated to affect a third of the US population causing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
- Improve symptoms of AMD (age related macular degeneration)
Best Sources of Astaxanthin
There are many manufacturers of Astaxanthin. In most cases, the product will list the source of the ingredient. Common Astaxanthin sources are green microalgae called haematococcus pluvialis. Other natural sources can be found in salmon, crayfish, shrimp, algae, krill, lobster and red trout.
Wild pacific sockeye salmon has one of the highest concentrations of Astaxanthin, however, you would need to eat up to 5 ounces a day to get approximately a 3 mg dose. However, a diet rich in these proteins is very good for your general health.
Another popular source of Astaxanthin is Krill Oil supplements. In addition, this oil also contains Omega 3 fatty acids which also support brain and cardiovascular health.
Astaxanthin Side Effects & Dosage
Naturally sourced Astaxanthin is considered (GRAS) generally regarded as safe in the US and is found to be well tolerated. It is important to stay within the recommended dosages listed on the bottle you choose.
The general dosage ranges between 4mg-40mg per day. Dosages up to 40mg are well tolerated and are considered likely safe when taken over a 12 week period.
Astaxanthin is a fat soluble vitamin that is recommended to be taken with a meal.
Side effects are rare and mild including stomach aches. Astaxanthin may lower blood pressure. If you are taking medications to regulate blood pressure, consult with your doctor first.
Astaxanthin is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women or children. There is not enough that is fully understood regarding it’s effects and should therefore be avoided.
There are no reported drug interactions while taking Astaxanthin, however, if you are taking herbal aids or other medications, speak to your doctor first to ensure the safety of this supplement.