Astaxanthin Protects The Whole Body

shabir-jan-18-astaxanthin

Astaxanthin, pronounced Asta-Zan-Thin, is a powerful antioxidant belonging to the group of natural pigments, called xanthophylls, a subcategory of the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are produced by both plants and animals and are antioxidants that are part of the survival mechanisms.

Sea animals such as lobster, crab and salmon get their colour from their diet of krill and other small organisms that eat plankton and algae which are rich in astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, used is supplements, is usually derived from the algae, Haematococcus pluvialis, which manufactures this antioxidant as a protective mechanism to shield itself from the harmful UV rays.

Astaxanthin has been shown to be one of the nature’s most powerful antioxidant nutrient. It has been shown to be many more times potent than vitamins C or E, beta carotene, lutein or pycnogenol which is why it is often referred to as a super-antioxidant.

Why is astaxanthin good for you?

In laboratory tests, astaxanthin has been shown to exhibit impressive antioxidant properties when compared to some of the more established nutrients and herbs. Astaxanthin may be:

  • 6000 times more powerful than vitamin C.
  • 800 times more powerful than CoQ10.
  • 500 times more powerful than green tea.
  • 75 times more powerful than alpha lipoic acid.

But that’s not all. Astaxanthin:

  • Crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect the nervous system.
  • Has the ability to cross the blood-retinal barrier offering protection to our eyes.
  • Can enter each and every cell offering its remarkable antioxidant properties.
  • Protects every part of your body including organs, joints and skin.

Additionally, most antioxidants neutralise free radicals by donating an electron from their molecule rendering them thereafter ineffective. Astaxanthin on the other hand has a massive number of electrons which means that it can remain active for longer periods of time.

Carotenoids like many other compounds are either water soluble or oil soluble. Astaxanthin is unique in that it can interact with both oil and water meaning that it is not just circulating in the bloodstream but the molecule can attach itself to the cell membrane, which is composed of oil-like structure, meaning that it can neutralise free radicals in all parts of the body.

Astaxanthin also exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties and since inflammation is one of the leading causes of ageing, this nutrient helps protect the body against ageing.

The benefits of astaxanthin

Because astaxanthin quenches inflammation and is soluble in every part of our bodies, it is easy to understand that it provides multiple benefits to the body. Some of its benefits include:

  • Cardiovascular protection: Numerous studies indicate that astaxanthin helps protect the heart and its mode of action appears to be reducing C-reactive protein. This protein is a marker of inflammation within the body and lower levels are linked to reduced risk of heart disease and other diseases too. Additionally, astaxanthin appears to integrate with the mitochondrial membranes of the heart muscle cells helping to protect these.
  • Nerve protection: Several studies point to astaxanthin’s ability to protect the nerve cells and therefore slow down cognitive decline and other nerve related diseases. This makes astaxanthin very useful for preventing the loss of brain function.
  • Eye Health: We have known that eating foods rich in carotenoids may be of benefit in protecting our eye sight. The most notable carotenoids for the eyes include lutein and zeaxanthin which are often recommended for preventing age-related macular degeneration. However astaxanthin is in a different league when comparing its antioxidant properties to other carotenoids. Studies indicate that astaxanthin prevents damage to most of the eye tissues and structures and could be useful in preventing age related eye concerns such as retinopathy, glaucoma and neuropathy.
  • Skin Health: Astaxanthin has been shown to of benefit for skin health helping to protect skin against UV radiation, improving skin elasticity, improving firmness and ameliorating fine lines. Astaxanthin has been shown to prevent UV damage to the cells. Even more interesting is that it does not block UVB rays; these are the rays that help with the manufacture of vitamin D from the sun.

Astaxanthin has been implicated as being of value in preventing numerous other concerns including supporting the immune system, protecting gum health and enhancing reproductive health.

How safe is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is not suitable for use during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding, but other than that is has been shown to be safe even at dosages of 500 mg per day with the only side effect at these dosage being one of skin developing a slightly more redder appearance.

What are the best astaxanthin supplements?

There are many astaxanthin supplements on the market. It is important that you ensure that the astaxanthin supplement you purchase is derived from the algae and not from fungus and also ensure that the supplement contains some sort of oil or essential fatty acid within the formulation since this enhances absorption.

Life Extension’s Astaxanthin with Phospholipids delivers 4 mg of astaxanthin in a blend of four phospholipids. Phospholipids are molecules which are a major component of cell membranes and thus this form of astaxanthin offers not just maximum absorption but it ensures that the astaxanthin is actually delivered to the cells of the body where it can perform its protective role.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya | , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Samina Jafree

    why the appearance of redness? Is ut because it is part of the carotenoid family?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Samina, Astaxanthin,a member of the carotenoid family, is present in microalgae called Haematococcus Pluvialis and is what gives salmon and krill their distinctive pinkish colour. Astaxanthin used in supplements is derived from the algae species. Shabir

  • Alena Kamenarova

    Is the 4mg/8mg (if taken twice daily) an effective enough dose if 500mg can be taken?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Alena, the 500mg sentence was referring to its safety – the recommended daily dose is between 2mg and 8mg however the Astaxanthin mentioned here is highly efficient because of the phospholipids which means that it can even enter the cells. I would stick to 4mg of this particular brand of astaxanthin.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Alena Kamenarova

    Thank you, sounds like an excellent supplement.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    It is a great supplement. Shabir

  • Susan

    Hi Shabir

    I find your articles very interesting. I am already taking Krill Oil and Lysine (purchased through VH) and wondered if there would be any further benefit for me to take Astaxanthin. Would you mind advising please?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Dear Susan, krill oil capsules normally contain under 2mg of astaxanthin and ideally the minimum I would recommend is 4mg so it would be beneficial to take the additional Astaxanthin with Phospholipids for all the benefits that this powerful antioxidant offers.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Lance, as a carotenoid, astaxanthin is known to reach the eye tissues where it provides multiple benefits of curbing inflammation and of protecting the eyes from ageing. I don’t think it would harm to take this antioxidant nutrient at all for iris nevi since inflammation due to sun exposure is the most common cause of freckles on the skin and theoretically inflammation may be the cause of freckles in the eye.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Susan.

  • Hayley Sebbage

    Hi shabir. I have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Do you think this supplement would help with that? The constant pain in my feet and legs is so tiring and getting me down. Can you suggest anything else that might help? Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Hayley, I have no doubt that astaxanthin due to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties will offer some benefits. You might wish to investigate Agmaset, a unique supplement from a company that specialises in nerve health.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hayley Sebbage

    Thanks shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Hayley.

  • Carolyn Coverdale

    Hi would it be suitable to take for me, I am on IV antibiotics for bone infection in my hip, I am on Daptomycin and Ciprofloxin, i take vitd3, magnesium, multi vit, any more ideas please? i am pretty desperate to get this under control this is the 3rd timex

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Carolyn, astaxanthin can be taken alongside antibiotics without fear of side effects. It does display powerful antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties which may be of benefit. As always please check with your GP if they have any reservations.
    Shabir

  • Carolyn Coverdale

    Thank you,shall give it a go

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Please keep us posted if you can Carolyn.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Carolyn, a large percentage of our immunity arises out of the gut with these beneficial bacteria producing immune enhancing compounds. Mega Probiotic ND is a multistrain supplement which may be an idea to add to your current regimen.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Carolyn Coverdale

    Thank yo so much, i really appreciate all the help i can get do you think i should double the dose of the astaxathin?x

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Carolyn, astaxanthin is a very safe carotenoid compound and hence you may wish to start with one capsule three times a day for the first week or two followed by one capsule twice a day.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir