What is Astaxanthin and Why is it Important?
Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid and is known as a super antioxidant. Considered to be 6000x more effective than Vitamin C, Astaxanthin is the new age of preventive wellness. Most often it derives from marine microalgae, its most readily available source. Small amounts of this antioxidant can be found in various foods such as orange and red fruits, vegetables, shellfish like shrimp, krill and crab as well as salmon. It is what gives the fruit and vegetables their orange and red colouring and the seafood their pink colour. While you do get some Astaxanthin through the foods you eat, to get enough of this very important antioxidant, you need to take supplements containing natural astaxanthin.
The super-hero antioxidant
What makes astaxanthin so unique is its activity as an antioxidant. Like other antioxidants it scavenges free radicals, which damage the body’s cells and their DNA, in a way that triggers numerous diseases. Unlike other antioxidants, astaxanthin is capable of targeting multiple free radicals at once. Antioxidants work by neutralising radicals and donating electrons. Astaxanthin can do this repeatedly, continuing to work where other antioxidants would become depleted, because it has a surplus of electrons, making it the superhero we need!
Many researchers are now calling it the most powerful antioxidant available. It is without any harmful side effects regardless of the dose. Unlike most other antioxidants, which can actually cause oxidation (the process that creates free radicals) if you take too much of them, astaxanthin is unable to function as a ‘pro-oxidant’.
Dozens of studies have demonstrated the antioxidant effects of astaxanthin on many different areas of human health. Here are some of the key benefits of this miracle herb:
Protects the skin from ultraviolet damage, without blocking out vitamin D. This is because, rather than blocking UV, it instead reduces its effect, by preventing UV-induced cell death. This is further evidence of its super-antioxidant activity. A Japanese study showed that 12mg of Astaxanthin daily improves skin elasticity and moisture content. It prevented the production in the outer layers of skin.
Essentially it’s protecting your body’s genetic integrity and ability to regenerate itself without the interference of ‘normal’ aging processes that corrupt cell regeneration and cause malignancies. This is often most visible on the skin, but astaxanthin is of course working below the surface too, protecting pretty much every system in the body.
Because astaxanthin is able to get right into the cell membranes, it even protects the membranes of heart mitochondria from damage. According to a 2017 study, astaxanthin reduces cardiotoxicity and inflammation “by inhibiting mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage”. It also improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure and improves the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol in the blood. In an earlier study, a daily 12 mg dose of astaxanthin reduced levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) by 20 percent after eight weeks. CRP is a marker of heart disease and also chronic inflammation, so reducing it helps protect against a number of inflammatory diseases.
Astaxanthin seems to be a particularly good anti-inflammatory agent for protecting the joints from most inflammatory diseases and joint problems caused by wear and tear. It’s often recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Mental & Physical fatigue
Another Japanese study administered astaxanthin to people who reported that they experienced fatigue in daily routines. A daily 12 mg dose of astaxanthin for 8 weeks reduces mental and physical fatigue, compared to a placebo. Lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol came up in saliva tests, and other effects included improved concentration and overall mood, and reduced feelings of irritation.
Numerous studies show astaxanthin’s ability to protect neurons from degeneration associated with aging, and to reduce brain inflammation and oxidation. In one study it improved memory, cognition and physical coordination in elderly people after just 12 weeks. Tests showed a decrease in chemical indicators of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases. There is other evidence it can also limit damage caused by strokes, if taken regularly before a stroke.
Astaxanthin prevents a multitude of eye diseases relating to the retina and macula of the eye, as well as protecting against many age-related causes of blindness, including glaucoma and cataracts. It improves blood-flow to various parts of the eye, reduces clots and blockages in veins and arteries, and can prevent edema. Astaxanthin is related to lutein and zeaxanthin, which occur naturally in our retina, but is a more powerful antioxidant than both of these carotenoids, and complements their anti-inflammatory effect.
A single source, with multiple benefits - Astaxanthin has shown itself to be a superhero supplement. Which is why you’ll find it in YourHappy Collagen - helping you achieve that youthful beautiful skin.