Astaxanthin is derived from a word meaning “yellow leaves” and belongs to carotenoids; it is a lipid-soluble pigment that has a bright color, just like other carotenoids. Astaxanthin is among the most powerful antioxidants that provide health benefits in a wide range.
Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, salmon, trout and shellfish. It gives the vibrant red color of salmon meat and cooked shellfish such as shrimp. Currently, the primary natural source for Astaxanthin is microalgae, which seems to have the higher levels of natural Astaxanthin.
Research shows that Astaxanthin has potent antioxidant activity, which may be beneficial in cardiovascular, immune, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Based on an animal study in 2007, it suggested that Astaxanthin inhibits the elevation in body weight and improve cholesterol profile.
- Pain reliever: Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory pain reliever; it blocks a broader range of inflammatory compounds. It reduces tumor necrosis factor and other pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation and pain; therefore, it is very effective in reducing chronic inflammation such as arthritis.
- Manage diabetes and obesity: Astaxanthin reduces the process of glycation and decreases inflammatory responses. Protein and lipid glycation causes increased oxidative stress, high levels of chronic inflammation and extensive tissue damage. Astaxanthin suppresses dangerous lipid peroxidation and stimulates healthy immune defenses in the body.
- Support eye health: The human retina naturally contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which is closely related to Astaxanthin in molecules. Astaxanthin crosses the blood-retina barrier and brings anti-inflammatory protection to the eyes. Clinical studies have shown that Astaxanthin helps improve diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye fatigue.
- Skin protection: Astaxanthin accumulates in the skin and protects against ultraviolet radiation and reduces the risk of skin cancer. It protects your skin from the sun and reduces the signs of aging.
- Anti-aging effect: Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier and protects the brain tissue, which makes Astaxanthin a “Natural Brain Food”. Studies show that beta-amyloid, a toxic protein that reduces oxygen delivery to tissues, found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, and also found on red blood cells. Supplementation with Astaxanthin helps decrease the accumulation of amyloid-beta of red blood cells.
- Improve physical performance: Astaxanthin has a positive effect is on mitochondria, it is a powerful agent to clean free radicals from muscle tissue and helps reduce oxidation stress.
Astaxanthin-rich food sources: shellfish, trout, salmon, fish eggs, red pigmented fruits and vegetables such as carrots and red peppers. Wild salmon has relatively high Astaxanthin, but you have to eat about 6 ounces (165 grams) of salmon in order to get 3.6 mg of Astaxanthin, a dietary supplement may offer sufficient amount to benefit health.
What to look for in Astaxanthin dietary supplement?
- Look for Astaxanthin products made from marine microalgae with no chemical solvents or preservatives added.
- Look for an Astaxanthin formula that contains oil or fatty acid, which will help maximize the absorption in the gestational tract, because Astaxanthin is a fat soluble carotenoid.
- Look for at least a 4 mg minimum serving size, currently daily dosages of Astaxanthin now range from 4-12 mg. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, it is recommended that you consult your health care provider to take a higher dose of Astaxanthin supplement.
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