Astaxanthin is a supplement that has super-antioxidant properties. It’s a substance derived from a micro-algae. It may have health benefits including reducing the signs of aging, helping eye health and protecting brain health from degeneration. There has not been enough human studies for strong evidence but it looks promising. It does seem to help blood parameters that could be beneficial for heart disease. Astaxanthin is becoming more readily available in Canada and the Unites States.
Here’s a Few Astaxanthins to choose from
So what is Astaxanthin and what is it good for? Astaxanthin is the substance that gives salmon and flamingos their pink coloration (after they eat foods rich in this substance). It is a super-carotenoid more powerful than beta-carotene. Carotenoids are the substances that give green, orange and red fruits and vegetables their coloring (such as beets, carrots and peppers).
Benefits of Astaxanthin: may do the following although most research is in early stages
- it is anti-inflammatory in the body
- decreases triglycerides (depends upon dose) and increases serum HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin (a protein hormone associated with fat burning and increased insulin sensitivity) both at higher doses of 12 and 18mg/day so it may not be very feasible
- protect the brain from oxidation and neurodegredation (it has been suggested it may be a good supplement for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients)
- reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots
- protect eye health
- promote healthy joints and skeletal system
- improve recovery, stamina, endurance and strength for athletes
- boost immune system
- researchers are excited to test its effects on conditions such as macular degeneration, ulcers, carpel tunnel syndrome
How it works
Astaxanthin is in a special class of carotenoids called xanthophylls. It is 10 times more effective than beta carotene and 500 times more effective at reducing oxidative stress than vitamin E. Astaxanthin has a unique chemical structure which allows it to stop free-radicals, but also to stop the chain reactions that free radicals cause in the body that lead to disease.It has two additional groups of oxygen molecules compared with beta carotene, that give it this extra antioxidant potency.
How you can get the benefits
To benefit from the health promoting properties of Astaxanthin, a good supplement is required and you must take it with food as it is fat-soluble. Traditionally the only way to ingest this super-antioxidant was eating foods such as salmon, krill and shrimp but the levels in foods may too low to provide much benefit but with this supplement more readily a available in Canada and the United States it’s easily accessible. By taking a good quality supplement you an enjoy the benefits every day at doses around 4mg once or twice a day.
Keep an eye out for this super-antioxidant to become increasingly popular as it’s health benefits are further investigated and more people are benefiting.
“Studies Related to Blood Glucose and Astaxanthin.” Examine.com, examine.com/rubric/effects/view/d397ee9c62eea530e3ce60da3ea37070/e8f018bff5e6657ea23b74fa68f76de0/all/.