Posted on Nov 13, 2018, 3 a.m.
Astaxanthin is a rather powerful antioxidant that is said to carry many health benefits and has been linked to healthier skin, endurance, joint pain, heart health, brain, eyes, promote healthy circulation and blood flow, boost the immune system, lower inflammation, and is being looked at for possible cancer treatments.
Astaxanthin stands to show that fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids aren’t the only thing from the ocean that can help to improve bodily functions. This antioxidant is a carotenoid pigment that occurs in trout, yeast, microalgae, and shrimp, among other sea creatures which is most commonly found in Pacific salmon giving fish their pinkish colour.
Astaxanthin’s antioxidant properties are responsible for the health claims and benefits it provides. Astaxanthin has been linked to helping to improve blood flow and lowering oxidative stress in those who are overweight and in smokers. Astaxanthin has been shown to display the highest antioxidant activity against free radicals in a comparison study of carotenoids.
There has been a lot of research conducted on how it may help to treat various cancers due to its impressive antioxidant properties. One study found long and short term benefits with it use in the treatment of breast cancer which included reducing growth of cancer cells, however, purified astaxanthin is costly and has limited its use in further studies.
Combining topical and oral doses of the antioxidant was shown to help smooth wrinkles, make age spots smaller, and help to maintain skin moisture with positive results in both men and women promoting healthy skin.
Astaxanthin has been found to affect endurance and fatigue levels after exercise, studies show it can help to boost the body’s use of fatty acids to help endurance and prevent muscle and skeletal damage.
Astaxanthin may benefit heart health, animal hypertension study results suggest it may help to improve elastin levels and arterial wall thickness. It may even help to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol, but more research needs to be done to get enough evidence to support these claims more firmly. One 12 week randomized double blind controlled study suggests 6 mg daily improved lipid profiles by supporting healthy levels of HDL.
Studies using astaxanthin thus far have had mixed results in its use for joint pain treatment such as rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, but more studies are needed to be conducted to support these claims.
There has been positive results in the use of astaxanthin for male fertility; over 3 months in a double blind study with men suffering from infertility showing improvements in sperm parameters such as count and motility, and improved fertility, however it was a small study and additional studies are needed to add weight to its findings.
A double blind, randomized trial showed significant improved oxidative stress biomarkers when taken daily for 3 weeks. A 4 week study using daily doses was observed to improve eye focus, and visual acuity to improve vision sharpness.
Astaxanthin appears to support cellular health in amazing ways. Combined with eating right, exercising and taking the right nutritional supports you can protect your cells from the effects of aging. Astaxanthin is fat soluble and will be carried directly into cells and tissues where it is needed to protect against free radicals and oxidation, it can even cross blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers.
To get the most from the antioxidant properties it is recommended to eat salmon twice a week if you choose to get it from whole food content. Whole foods should always be the first choice for getting required nutrients, but supplements are a great option to fill in voids and provide boosts. Astaxanthin seems to be a strong free radical, oxidative stress squashing antioxidant acting as a powerful molecular armor to protect cells.
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