Astaxanthin is an antioxidant or even more correct to say a red carotenoid pigment, but it’s unique due to its structure and properties.Carotenoids are phytochemical compounds synthesized by plants and some animals, as part of their protective mechanism from sunlight. The largest amount of Astaxanthin in nature is found in the green microalga Haematococcus pluvialis.
Why red?Have you ever wondered why trout is red inside? Because it eats tiny seafood (krill), which, in its turn, eats microalgae, rich in this antioxidant. And the pinkish color of shrimps and other marine creatures is also due to this unique pigment. By the way, their delicate pink shade of flamingos is also obtained from a diet rich in Astaxanthin. That’s a natural food chain. According to the latest data, Astaxanthin is 500 times stronger than Vitamin E and 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C! Our body is not capable of synthesizing it and we can only get it from food.
What makes Astaxanthin so different from other antioxidants?Its mechanism of action is different. First, most other antioxidants are able to neutralize only one free radical, while Astaxanthin has the ability to fight up to nineteen at the same time! Secondly, Astaxanthin remains active much longer than other antioxidants. Many studies confirm that this unique antioxidant strengthens overall health, improves well-being and physical appearance and prolongs life.
Useful properties of Astaxanthin
- For the skin. It is an internal protection against solar radiation and inflammation; has the ability to accumulate in our skin and protect from negative UVR rays; reduces appearance of wrinkles, smoothes the skin, prevent skin dehydration, and rejuvenate it.
- For the immune system. Astaxanthin stimulates substances in our body that fight not only with infections, but also with cancer cells; calms hyperactive immune response that occurs in autoimmune diseases, allergies and inflammation; has antifungal properties.
- Anticancer properties. Reduces the risk of cancer development; defines and destroys cells that divide too fast; blocks rapid replication in malignant tumors.
- For cardiovascular system. Reduces blood pressure, increases the content of “good” HDL cholesterol; reduces chronic inflammations in the body; reduces cardiovascular events and mortality.
- For eyes. Prevents and effectively fights with already existing degenerative changes, cataracts, glaucoma, caused by both age and diabetic changes.
Where to find and how to take?Seafood such as salmon, trout and any other red fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters are the perfect natural sources of Astaxanthin. For example, 100 gr of wild salmon contains about 5 mg of this unique carotenoid. It’s better not to buy and not to eat farm-raised fish, as they contain the minimum amount of not only Astaxanthin, but also other useful nutrients. Always buy the “wild” fish! There is also a variety of dietary supplements, with much more concentrated content of this antioxidant. The microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis is the main source for food supplements. So, when you buy it, make sure that yours was obtained from a natural source, not synthetic, which is certainly much cheaper. This pigment is absorbed much better with oil, so most manufacturers sell it in capsules with a base oil. To get a pronounced therapeutic effect, this antioxidant should be taken continuously 4-8 mg per day. Important! Astaxanthin is not advised to take during pregnancy and breast-feeding and by people who take medicine for hypertension, since it has the ability to lower blood pressure.
Antioxidants are vitally important for the whole body and protect it against many negative factors, the most common source of free radicals is oxidized vegetable oils. Astaxanthin, being one of the strongest substances of this class, is great to cope with all the environment negative consequences, inflammatory processes in the body and harmful substances in food.