I want to talk today about a very potent natural antioxidant, that is 550 times more powerful than Vitamin E, and 6000 times more powerful than Vitamin C…..
It is mostly produced by a microalgae called Haematococcus Pluvialis, in Hawai.
Natural salmon contains some as well (which gives it this bright red color), but you would have to eat at least 16 ounces (about 450g) to get a therapeutic benefit from it….
This potent antioxidant is called Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin belongs to the family of the carotenoids, like beta-caroten, lupein or lycopene. Why is it so much more potent and beneficial than those? Because it reacts slightly differently due to its molecular structure:
- Remains active much more longer than other carotenoids
- Can handle multiple free radicals at a time (they usually handle just one)
- Doesn’t turn into a pro-Oxidant (like they all do due to adverse reactions). Because of its molecular structure, there are no side effects, even at higher dose, besides a slight coloration of the skin that gives you more like a “tan glow” beautiful look
Now that we understand why this antioxidant is so much more powerful than the usual ones, what are the real health benefits that go with it?
1. Strong eye health enhancer
Astaxanthin can pass the blood/retinal barrier and accumulate in the retina. This is a very important point that explains why it provides eye protection and helps managing eye disorders like age-related Macular degeneration or general eye vision quality loss.
2. Potent skin protection
Because Astaxanthin is such a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant, it protects the skin from UVA/UVB damage. But it doesn’t block the UV rays from penetrating the skin (like many sunscreens do unfortunately), and therefore the skin can still produce essential Vitamin D from the sunshine it receives. When the skin receives UV radiation, free-radicals are produced massively as an oxidative stress reaction. They are the cause of sunburns or skin inflammation. Astaxanthin helps neutralizing those free-radicals and that’s how it prevents them from damaging the skin.
On a regular basis, it also helps diminishing wrinkles and helps moisturize the skin.
3. Cardiovascular health enhancer
Astaxanthin helps improve cardiovascular health because of its therapeutic anti-inflammatory properties. It is extremely powerful, even at low levels. It protects against lipid peroxidation that causes plaque formation, therefore decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It improves blood flow, decreases blood pressure, is very therapeutic for heart mitochondria membranes.
4. Brain health
Astaxanthin also crosses the blood/brain barrier. And because it is so anti-inflammatory and such a potent antioxidant, it:
- may protect neurons
- slows down the effects of age-related cognitive decline
- slows down the decline in psycho-motor functions
- may have therapeutic benefits against Alzheimer
5. Athletic performance enhancer
Again, because it is such a potent antioxidant, Astaxanthin protects muscle from damage, especially after workouts. Because it decreases the build-up of lactic acid, it improves considerable the recovery time. Many athletes are experiencing strength, endurance and muscle growth improvement when taking a therapeutic dose of Astaxanthin (8-12mg a day).
6. Other health benefits
- Balances out Cholesterol ratios: lowers LDL, improves HDL and lowers triglycerides level
- Diminishes DNA damage
- Boosts the immune system cells activity and decreases immune response by fighting inflammation
- Enhances Energy Metabolism
- Helps managing stress
- Might help for cancer
- Decreases oxidative damage of cell membranes, body tissues
- Slows age-related functional decline
7. How to get all benefits from Astaxanthin
Because it is fat soluble, it is better to always have it with a great source of fats: grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocados, eggs or just when you are eating.
The normal daily dose is 4mg/day. For a therapeutic impact, have 8-12mg/day.
You have to double-check that the way it is extracted is natural and harmless. Some companies use toxic solvents, and we don’t want that.
Also, make sure it is a 100% natural source, and not an industrial synthesized Astaxanthin made by petrochemicals.
The one I take is the best quality out there, high standards of quality through out the whole chain of production.
If you are in UK/Europe: buy it here
I you are in the US: buy it here
I hope you enjoyed the read. Astaxanthin is definitely one of the rare supplements I would advise anyone to take on a daily basis.
In Health and Happiness,