Astaxanthin – the King of Carotenoids and Antioxidants

Sunscreen in a pill? Have you heard of this amazing, powerful carotenoid called astaxanthin?

Asta – what?

Big word for a carotenoid that comes from a tiny microscopic alga with a big name, Haematococcus pluvialis. When its water source dries up it produces increased amounts of astaxanthin to protect itself from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. That allows it to survive.

And what’s a carotenoid?

Carotenoids give food color and help protect the plant from the sun’s radiation effects. Essential for photosynthesis and plant growth, they produce a beautiful array of colors in vegetables and fruit.

When we eat these healthy colorful vegetables and fruit we in turn receive the benefit of these carotenoids. You know about beta carotene in carrots that converts to vitamin A to protect your eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin also protect the retina of the eye.

And of course lycopene from tomatoes has practically become a household word because it helps prevent prostate and other cancers, cardiovascular disease and cataracts.

The carotenoids act as antioxidants, support immune function and help grow and repair tissue.

So there are a lot of carotenoids (over 600 have been identified), what’s the big deal about astaxanthin?

Simply put, it’s mighty powerful:
Sixty-five times more potent than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta carotene and 14 times more potent than vitamin E in neutralizing those highly reactive and highly damaging free radicals that tear up your tissue.

Astaxanthin penetrates the blood-brain and blood-retinal barrier. That means it reaches your brain and retina to protect them from damage and decrease your risk for developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and blindness.

On top of that it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Reduced inflammation means tissues can heal and pain and disability decrease.

It absorbs UVB rays to help prevent DNA damage.

The cell walls incorporate it in their structure. Life and death occurs at the cell membrane. Many modern lifestyle habits and exposures cause deterioration of the cell membrane. If nutrients cannot get into the cell and toxins out of the cell, the cell slowly dies. And so do you. Astaxanthin helps protect these vital cell membranes from oxidative damage.

Several studies  demonstrated that astaxanthin helps prevent and reverse skin damage and the production of wrinkles, age spots, freckles and dry skin. By taking a supplement of astaxanthin you protect your skin from the inside out, like taking sunscreen in a pill, in the same way that it protects that tiny alga from dying due to sun exposure when its water source dries up.

Sounds good to me, where do I get some?

Only two sources in the world contain astaxanthin – the microalgae and the animals that eat them. Salmon, flamingos and shrimp get their pink color from the astaxanthin in the algae. Baby flamingos remain white until they start eating shrimp and other food containing astaxanthin.

The rich color of wild salmon comes from the astaxanthin. This powerful antioxidant concentrates in the salmon muscles giving it the great endurance for swimming long distances upstream.

Farm raised salmon are pasty pale unless they’re given artificial coloring. Some salmon farmers are getting smart though and feeding their salmon astaxanthin.

Unfortunately, they started this addition to the diet with synthetic astaxanthin derived from petroleum products. But some aquaculture companies switched to the natural kind from the microalgae when they realized that their animals were much healthier when ingesting it. They grew better, had better immunity, improved fertility, reproduction and survival.

So take a lesson from the fish, only ingest astaxanthin derived from the microalgae. Dr. Mercola recommends 2 to 8 milligrams per day. Check his article for more fascinating information about astaxanthin:

Dr. Jo

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

Similar Posts

Post a Comment