The Healing benefits of Astaxanthin

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.
Skin – Astaxanthin has powerful UV blocking properties, and has been shown to decrease skin hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles, and increase moisture retention. It also is a powerful antioxidant, and tends to collect in all layers of the skin, providing free radical protection, thus possibly decreasing skin cancer risks.

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.

Cholesterol – Studies have shown that astaxanthin increases HDL, and also decreases oxidation of LDL, the process that contributes to atherosclerosis. It has also been shown to lower triglycerides.

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!


featured photo credit: Robert Claypool via Flickr

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