Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E!


Last Updated August 23rd, 2019

Why is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin carotenoids are naturally occurring in plants and animals. Astaxanthin is by far the most powerful antioxidant found and is around 550 times more powerful than vitamin E.  The uniqueness of this antioxidant is because they do not create harmful oxidation when present in the body. Due to the antioxidant property of Astaxanthin, there are several health benefits associated with them such as to treat Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, eye problems, etc.

 It is helpful in promoting exercise tolerance, as well as reducing muscle soreness and muscle damage after strenuous exercise.  It is useful to promote sleep, as well as relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and menopause.  It can also be used topically for sunburn, wrinkles, and widely used in several cosmetic products.  It is used in the food industry for artificial coloring.

What are the top health benefits of astaxanthin?

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances which help in the reduction of oxidation. Oxidation is an imbalance of producing free radicals and the body’s inability to flush them.  Due to the presence of a large number of free radicals in the body, there is stress caused on many internal organs including the heart, lungs, liver, and the gallbladder, which may lead to several other complications.  As discussed earlier, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, which is around 550 times more powerful than vitamin E. It is helpful in promoting improved blood flow and reduces oxidative stress. This helps in promoting a stable environment for the adequate production of healthy cells and improves the immune system.

Brain Health

Maintaining a healthy brain is essential for the normal functioning of the body.  If there is any irregularity in the process of brain function, it can lead to serious neurological issues.  Some of the diseases related to the brain include Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, dementia, etc. It is natural for people to have lower neurological coordination in old age. Astaxanthin is effective in maintaining brain health due to its antioxidant effects.  

As people get old, the antioxidant levels are reduced and this can cause oxidative stress on the brain leading to several brain issues. Studies have indicated that astaxanthin is able to reduce brain cell damage as well as increase the blood flow to the brain.  This helps in maintaining a healthy brain function. 

Cancer

Cancer is the abnormal growth of tissues called tumors, which is uncontrollable.  One of the main reasons for the development of a cancer tumor is due to the increase in free radicals in the body.  Reduced level of antioxidant may cause increased levels of free radicals as well as oxidative stress. The powerful antioxidant present in astaxanthin is helpful in reducing oxidative stress and promoting the production of healthy immune cells.  

Another main function is stopping the process of carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis is a process of forming new cancer cells. Since it is helpful in stopping this process by inducing T cells, there is a substantial improvement in the prevention of cancer cell growth.  A regular supplement of Astaxanthin has shown a positive effect in reducing the malignant tumor size.  Due to this, there are numerous studies being conducted on the effects of Astaxanthin to treat cancer.

Diabetes

Diabetes can be defined as the abnormal levels of glucose present in the bloodstream.  A general cause of the high level of blood sugar may be due to the decreased levels of beta cells.  This is caused due to the toxicity of blood sugar. Astaxanthin is known to protect the beta cells and promote the reduction of oxidative stress.  It helps in decreasing the toxicity caused by an increased amount of blood sugar. 

Immune system

A healthy immune system is directly linked to the health of the person.  An active immune system is necessary to fight the pathogens affecting the body.  Studies have indicated that astaxanthin helps in the restoration of antibody production.  Since it does not contain vitamin A, it is effective in increasing immunoglobulin production.  Finally, it can efficiently decrease interferon gamma production.  This is effective in promoting the function of the immune system to fight against various viruses and bacteria.  Studies have shown that it is even helpful in preventing the damage caused by a highly resistant bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.  This makes astaxanthin to stand out among other antioxidants and is considered to be more beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system.

Eye Health

Generally, the eyesight slowly deteriorates with old age.  Other factors may cause irritation in the eye as well as a feeling of fatigue in the eyes.  Studies have shown that astaxanthin is helpful in promoting the restoration of eye cells and reducing the feeling of fatigue in the eyes.  Studies have also shown that due to adequate blood circulation provided by it, the eyesight can be maintained for a longer period of time even in older age.  It is useful to prevent retinal damage because of its neuroprotective effects.

Heart Health

A healthy heart can really make wonders in the overall health since heart diseases are contributing to the maximum deaths in recent times.  There are several types of heart diseases namely coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease, stroke, and congenital heart disease.  

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of astaxanthin is useful for promoting a healthy heart.  This is helpful in reducing oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory effect prevents diseases such as atherosclerosis.  Studies have also shown that it is helpful in reducing blood pressure and avoiding hypertension, which may be the root cause of several heart diseases.  There are extensive studies conducted to formulate a standard dosage, especially for cardiovascular problems.

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Male infertility

Male infertility is a medical condition caused by low sperm production as well as inadequate sperm transport. Male infertility can be caused due to many factors such as chronic disease, medication side effects, as well as other psychological problems such as depression and stress.  Increased levels of free radicals leading to oxidative stress also play a role in male infertility. Astaxanthin is helpful in reversing this process, by decreasing free radicals and increasing the levels of antioxidants, which in turn reduces the oxidative stress.  It also helps in the reduction of hypertension, which may aggravate stress and depression causing male infertility.     

Inflammation

The natural process of the immune system is to act against any foreign body invasion.  The main reason for the inflammation is because of the release of lipids such as COX-2 as well as PGE-2.  These lipids, when secreted in large amounts, can suppress the function of the immune system and not allow them to function properly.  Astaxanthin is effective in reducing the levels of COX-2 as well as PGE-2 and substantially reduce pain and inflammation.  This property of astaxanthin is helpful in treating several anti-inflammatory effects.   

Skin Health

Acne and other skin problems may lead to scar formation on the skin.  Even exposure to harmful rays of the sun can also cause harmful effects to the skin.  Astaxanthin is effective in promoting healthy skin by reducing the pigmentation, tightening the skin, and reducing the wrinkles.  It is also helpful in retaining the moisture in the skin and keeping the skin hydrated.

How safe are astaxanthin supplements?

It is considered to be one of the safest supplements to use and causes no side effects.  The only side effect reported was the change in the color of the stool to red. High doses may also cause abdominal pain.  It is always advised to consume astaxanthin only in the prescribed doses and not to exceed the dose.

How to naturally add astaxanthin to your diet?

It is considered to be one of the most powerful carotenoids among the 700 known to us.  Appropriate consumption can provide several health benefits. Algae seem to be the best source of astaxanthin.  Seafood contains high concentrations and includes salmon, lobsters, shrimp, etc.  

There seems to be an issue with getting an adequate amount of astaxanthin. It should be noted that consuming seafood in large quantities provide only a little astaxanthin, so it becomes unrealistic to consume large quantities of seafood every day.  There are several supplements available which seem to help and are available in the forms of Krill oil, synthetic astaxanthin, astaxanthin tablets, carotenoid complexes, etc.

What dosage of astaxanthin is best suited for you?

The exact dosage for consumption is still not determined.  It should be noted that research related to the benefits of astaxanthin is still under early stages and further studies are required to determine the exact dosage.  The various trials conducted were between 1 mg and 40 mg. It should be noted that the safest dosage was estimated to be around 6 mg.

Astaxanthin: A few thoughts

The beautiful pink color of the flamingo is due to the presence of astaxanthin.  It should be noted that flamingo is born grey in color, but the diet of a flamingo involves mainly astaxanthin rich food and hence they develop this beautiful pink color.

The uniqueness of this antioxidant is they do not create harmful oxidation when present in the body.  These properties make them the first choice to use them as a supplement to treat several health problems. 

They are also used in various cosmetic products to protect the skin from sunburn. Consuming them through natural food source provides absolutely no side effects.  Consuming them in the form of supplements seems to be more realistic as it provides adequate levels.

It should be noted that the Food and Drug Administration does not monitor the production of herbs and supplements. Caution is advised when consuming any supplement and it is always advised to obtain a medical consult to know the preferred dosage.  

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