Astaxanthin: a naturally occurring corotenoid pigment produced by micro-algae, and is responsible for the pink hue of the marine life that eats it, like krill, salmon, lobster, and even flamingos. It is currently considered one of the most powerful antioxidants humans can consume. So what’s all the fuss about?
Fast forward to 7:35 for Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s rundown on Astaxanthin.
Endurance & Recovery – For athlete’s astaxanthin provides a two-fold benefit. Because of it’s highly effective antioxidant properties, astaxanthin is especially good at neutralizing free radicals that are naturally produced when mitochondria are called on to produce energy (the process is highly reactive and produces a lot of trash). With these free radicals neutralized, muscles get less sore and recover faster.
Eyesight – Astaxanthin has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier, thus making itself available to your brain and your eyes. This powerful antioxidant increases circulation in your eyes, eradicating free radicals and flushing them out faster.
Inflammation & Immunity – Because astaxanthin is such an effective antioxidant that is easily absorbed into the body, and is both fat and water soluble, it resides in cell membranes, readily available to neutralize free radicals. Because it mitigates cellular damage quickly, less inflammation occurs. Plus, antioxidants are critical in the control process of the free radicals created when white blood cells attack invading organisms.
Cardiovascular Disease – Studies in animal subjects showed that supplementing with astaxanthin several days prior to induced heart attack resulted in much milder cardiac events. The studies also showed supplementation lowered blood pressure, and reduced incidence of thrombosis.
Nuerodegeneration – Again, since astaxanthin can cross the blood brain barrier, it can collect in brain cells and provide powerful antioxidative affects. In 2009 researchers at a university in Japan pre-treated human brain cells with astaxanthin and discovered it provided significant protection to the cells, and inhibited the generation of free radicals.
Just another reason to eat salmon!
- Wikipedia – Astaxanthin
- Mercola.com – Astaxanthin
- WebMD – Astaxanthin
- Nutrex-Hawaii – Benefits of Astaxanthin
- NCBI – Astaxanthin: A Potential Therapeutic Agent in Cardiovascular Disease
- Life Extension Magazine – Astaxanthin Provides Broad Spectrum Protection
- Cyanotech – Neuroprotective Effects of Astaxanthin
- The Institute for Natural Healing – The Nutrient that Improves Your Eyesight in 10 Days
- Wikipedia – Carotenoid
- NCBI – Singlet molecular oxygen-quenching activity of carotenoids: relevance to protection of the skin from photoaging
featured photo credit: Robert Claypool via Flickr