Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. It occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red color in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood.
Scientists theorize astaxanthin helps provide the endurance salmon need to swim upstream. For humans, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with broad health implications and unlike other antioxidants, such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, C, D and selenium, astaxanthin never becomes pro-oxidant in the body.
Astaxanthin is taken by mouth for treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, high cholesterol, age-related macular degeneration (age-related vision loss), and preventing cancer. It is also used for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is also used for improving exercise performance, decreasing muscle damage after exercise, and decreasing muscle soreness after exercise. Also, astaxanthin is taken by mouth for carpal tunnel syndrome, dyspepsia, male infertility, symptoms of menopause, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Beauty and anti-aging properties
Astaxanthin has been shown to protect skin, the body’s largest organ. The studies show excellent results for helping with skin moisture levels, smoothness, elasticity, fine wrinkles, and spots or freckles. It reduces damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In fact, if you get a sunburn, which causes inflammation, astaxanthin penetrates the skin cells and reduces UVA damage like an internal sunscreen. Other than skin benefits, it relieves my minor aches and pains from exercise.
Astaxanthin health benefits
1. Relieving pain and inflammation
Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, reducing the inflammatory compounds that cause many chronic diseases. Even though it’s 100 percent natural, astaxanthin works like some prescription analgesics, but without the risk of addiction. More specifically, astaxanthin blocks COX 2
Natural astaxanthin not only affects the COX 2 pathway, it suppresses serum levels of nitric oxide, interleukin 1B, prostaglandin E2, C Reactive Protein (CRP) and TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor alpha.
2. Fighting fatigue
Astaxanthin provides excellent recovery from exercise. Pure natural astaxanthin is indicated for recovery of muscles, better endurance, enhanced strength and improved energy levels.
3. Supporting eye health
It has the unique ability to cross through a barrier and reach the retina. Well-designed clinical trials have shown that astaxanthin helps diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, eye strain and fatigue and seeing in fine detail.
4. Cleaning cells
Astaxanthin has strong antioxidant coverage, because it filters into every cell of the body. Its unique molecular lipophilic and hydrophilic properties allow it to span the entire cell, with one end of the astaxanthin molecule protecting the fat-soluble part of the cell and one end protecting the water-soluble part of the cell.
Natural astaxanthin is exceptionally powerful in singlet-oxygen quenching. Astaxanthin is 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.
5. Supporting male fertility
In a 2005 study, astaxanthin showed positive results for male fertility. Over the course of three months, the double-blind study examined 30 different men who were previously suffering from infertility.
The researchers saw improvements in sperm parameters, like count and motility, and improved fertility in the group who received a strong dosage of astaxanthin. As this was a relatively small-scale study, more evidence and research is needed to support this claim.
Other main ingredients
DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, is an unsaturated fatty acid contained in fish fat, especially in tuna, yellow tail, mackerel, and sardine. DHA is also present in mother's milk, and at low levels in meat and eggs. This fatty acid that cannot be produced in the body, consequently it needs to be taken from dietary meals.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants. DHA is also required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability.
Epidemiological studies have shown a strong correlation between fish consumption and reduction in sudden death from myocardial infarction. DHA reduces triglycerides in the blood and decrease thrombosis, preventing cardiac arrhythmias. A daily intake of 200mg reduced infarction risk by approximately 50%.
DHA also has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, adult-onset diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, and some cancers.
Reduced Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound produced naturally in our body. Found in nearly every cell in the body, CoQ10 is concentrated in organs that require the most energy such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys. CoQ10 is concentrated in these organs because it is essential to the process of producing cellular energy from the food we eat.
CoQ10 exists in two forms in our body, either in its oxidized form, ubiquinone, or in its reduced form, ubiquinol. Coenzyme Q10 is not highly absorbable in the body but Ubiquinol is. The amount of absorption will vary based on a person's age and state of health. Ubiquinol is the form that is most preferred by the body for transport in the blood. In a healthy adult, more than 95% of the total coenzyme Q10 in the blood is in the Ubiquinol form. If coenzyme Q10 is ingested, the body quickly transforms it into Ubiquinol. Some people cannot perform that transition very efficiently, and therefore receive very little benefit if they take coenzyme Q10 as opposed to Ubiquinol.
Ubiquinol is very important because it acts as an antioxidant in the body giving his two extra electrons to free radicals and neutralizing them. Ubiquinol also protects the mitochondria and their lipid membranes from attack and supports the whole antioxidant network in the body by recycling vitamin E and vitamin C.
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