Astaxanthin is considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants known to mankind. It’s a bright red compound derived from algae and it’s what gives wild salmon flesh a bright red-orange color.
Have you ever wondered what an algae molecule can do for you? Well, come to the right place. And don’t worry. We won’t tell you to resort to a diet of plankton.
Before we understand the benefits of astaxanthin, let’s find out why it’s called the ‘queen of carotenoids’ and where can we find it.
Astaxanthin is dubbed as the queen of carotenoids because it is:
- 12 times more effective than vitamin E.
- 54 times more efficient than beta-carotene (vegetable vitamin A).
- 65 times stronger than vitamin C.
These are some of the reasons why multivitamin supplements have astaxanthin as one of their ingredients.
Where can you find astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is present in algae, lobster, shrimp, and trout. But it’s hard to eat seafood and algae regularly. Therefore, supplements are a good way to get this carotenoid. Nature’s Lab AstaREAL Astaxanthin is one good supplement that delivers the right amount of astaxanthin for your body.
Benefits of Astaxanthin
1. Improves eyesight
We don’t like to wear glasses, do we? Astaxanthin, along with antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, can tackle age-related eye degeneration. They also reduce glare and blur, which balances contrast.
Astaxanthin helps combat inflammation in your eyes. In an animal study, astaxanthin reduced eye inflammation better than anti-inflammatory steroid medication.
It also defends your eyes against blue light. The blue light emanating from your screened devices is very harmful to the eyes. Astaxanthin deposits in the eyes absorb blue light and protect your eye cells from oxidative stress.
2. Protects the brain and nervous system
Research on the human brain is restricted as sampling brain tissue is way too risky in living subjects. Also, it’s difficult to isolate causes and effects in the brain after death due to many reasons.
Animal studies have helped researchers isolate the effects of astaxanthin on brain cells in several scenarios. Here are some of the findings:
- It slows cognitive decline in the brain.
- Increases BDNF, a growth factor that grows new brain cells and helps in the survival of the existing ones.
- Prevents brain swelling post head injury.
- Prevents oxidative damage from a drop in blood supply and oxygen to the brain.
- Improves mental performance after suffering a stroke.
- Improves blood flow to the brain in dementia patients.
3. Reduces wrinkles
Astaxanthin helps you feel and look like a young person. In human cell samples, astaxanthin blocks a cascade of reactions caused by UV-A rays, which shows that it keeps skin tight and reduces wrinkles. You can either consume it internally or apply topical astaxanthin on your skin.
This substance works like an inside-out sunscreen, especially if your skin is prone to sunburns. Astaxanthin accumulates in your skin’s layers and protects it from burns and sun damage.
In animal studies, astaxanthin has prevented skin tumors and collagen breakdown from UV light. After 8 weeks of supplementation, astaxanthin:
- Decreased the appearance of wrinkles
- Improved moisture retention
- Decreased the size of age spots
- Improved skin’s elasticity
4. Supports the cardiovascular system
Your heart and lungs work better when fueled with antioxidants. Oxidative stress and inflammation lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, and astaxanthin supplements combat both of these problems.
- Improves blood flow.
- Improves lipid counts.
- Protects against blood clotting.
- Decreases blood pressure.
- Improves LDL cholesterol.
- Decreases oxidative stress.
In animal studies, an astaxanthin-derived compound has protected the heart from heart attacks
5. Energy booster
Remember High School biology class? Mitochondria are the microscopic power plants present in each of your cells. They produce energy in the form of ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) and your body uses it to carry out the biological functions.
Astaxanthin boosts overall mitochondrial energy production and improves other important functions in your body. Not only does it help your mitochondria work better but it also protects them. Astaxanthin strengthens cell membranes and locks out harmful free radicals. If reactive oxygen species (ROS) do cross the membrane, astaxanthin continues to protect mitochondria by reducing oxidative stress. These protective properties help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease as well.
Astaxanthin cannot replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, it does increase the chances of staying healthier. Here are some types of supplements you can consume:
- Krill oil: It is marketed as an omega-3 source, but also has astaxanthin.
- Astaxanthin tablets: This is a popular form of taking supplements.
- Carotenoid complexes:Astaxanthin is often bundled with other carotenoids to create a powerful antioxidant punch. Again, check the source of astaxanthin to make sure it’s not synthetic.
Whatever supplement you buy, always purchase from genuine wholesalers or retailers. Take care.