ASTAXANTHIN - The Strongest Antioxidant

Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin) is claimed as the nature’s most strongest antioxidant produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. It is a fat-soluble, pigment called a xanthophyll, which belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids - crucial for maintaining good health. Carotenoids are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) produced by plants as part of their survival mechanisms. Carotenoids are well known for their therapeutic benefits in the aging process and various diseases, because of their antioxidant properties.

Astaxanthin is produced by the algae as a defense mechanism when its water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation which converts its pigment from green to a bright red colour. Algae plants are then dried and the astaxanthin is extracted for use in supplements.

Sea animals with a red or pinkish color, such as salmon, lobster, shrimp and crab get their vibrant colour from an astaxanthin-rich diet. Flamingos get their bright pink color from a similar diet, also rich in astaxanthin. One of the most powerful demonstrations of the benefits of astaxanthin is best illustrated by salmon which goes without food for days, drawing on their own reserves of astaxanthin while making their way upstream for hundreds of miles.

There are actually over 700 naturally occurring carotenoids. Astaxanthin has been shown to be 10 times more capable of destroying free radicals than any other carotenoid. All well-known carotenoids and antioxidants like vitamin C, E, D, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, alpha-tocopherol, lycopene, selenium, astaxanthinor and pycnogenol fall short in front of astaxanthin which has been measured to be many times more potent than them with high ORAC scores. It can handle many different species of free radicals simultaneously, be it singlet oxygen free radical, nitric oxide free radical, or peroxyl free radical — a quality rare among antioxidants as many of them can only handle one type of free radical each. Additionally, astaxanthin does not oxidize after it does its job, like many other antioxidants do, all of which defines astaxanthin in a class by itself.

Astaxanthin has been shown to be a very effective clinically validated remedy for all types of tendon, joint and muscle pain including arthritis and tennis elbow - eye, brain and skin health and provides numerous overall health benefits for athletes and others who seek a competitive edge.

Astaxanthin can reach into every part of the cell, inside out and works in every part of your body, organs and skin. It crosses the blood/brain and blood/retinal barrier effectively and provides powerful oxidative protection for the nervous system (eyes, brain, nerve tissues, etc.) This reduces your risk of neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration which can result in blindness.

Astaxanthin has well-documented anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. Astaxanthin is reportedly one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients in the world. Chronic inflammation has commonly been associated with with asthma and arthritis, but now is thought to be an underlying cause of atherosclerosis, strokes, ulcers, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes and more. One of the main reasons why inflammation occurs in the body is due to reactive oxygen species (ROS). These are molecules in the body which contain oxygen. Large amounts of ROS in the body leads to cell damage and increased inflammation. Astaxanthin can inhibit the production of ROS, therefore reducing inflammation in the body.

Many studies have shown numerous health benefits of astaxanthin. Below listed are few prominent ones -

Heart Disease
In a 2009 report published in Future Cardiology, for instance, researchers note that astaxanthin may help fight oxidative stress and inflammation (two key factors in the development of cardiovascular disease). The authors of these studies cited eight other clinical studies that had been conducted in over 180 humans using astaxanthin. These studies have demonstrated reduced markers of oxidative stress and inflammation and improved blood markers.

Immune System
In 2010 another study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, found that astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans. They found that dietary astaxanthin decreases a DNA damage biomarker and acute phase protein, and enhances immune response.

In 1995 in the journal Carcinogensis, Tanaka, et al found that astaxanthin protected rats from colon cancer. Their conclusions were that astaxanthin is a possible chemopreventer for carcinogenesis of the colon, and that such effects may be partly due to suppression of cell proliferation. They have conducted other studies with urinary bladder and oral cavity cancers in rats and have come to the same conclusions.

Conclusion: Astaxathin is an important nutrient for human health as it has the ability to ease systemic inflammation, protect the eyes and brain from oxidative damage, prevent cancer, protect the body from daily toxins, enhance skin health and even protect the skin from excessive UV sun exposure.

Since astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid, the best way to maximize its circulation in your body is to take it with some healthy fats.

Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy