Everything You Need to Know About Astaxanthin
What is Astaxanthin?
Are you unsettled by the effects of aging on your body and looking for a powerful natural supplement to slow the process? If so, you're not alone. No one wants to get older! In this article, we explore a naturally occurring anti-aging compound that's backed by over 1000 scientific studies.
Astaxanthin – pronounced asta-zan-thin – is a natural reddish pigment that's part of the carotenoid family of compounds. Sometimes called the "king of carotenoids", it's one of nature's most powerful antioxidants and is estimated to be 50 times stronger than beta-carotene (1).
Astaxanthin is produced by oceanic microalgae such as Haematococcus pluvialis in response to stressful conditions (think harsh sunlight) as a protective mechanism. Marine animals like krill, salmon, shellfish, crab, and shrimp feed on the algae and astaxanthin accumulates in their tissue – it's how they obtain their pinky-red color!
Now, astaxanthin has been isolated from H.pluvialis and is available as an anti-aging health supplement that's popular for promoting joint, skin, eye, brain, heart, and muscle health.
How Astaxanthin Works
Astaxanthin's powerful health benefits are due to its antioxidant and longevity-promoting properties.
In this modern world, your body is constantly bombarded with free radical compounds that lead to oxidative cell damage, chronic inflammation, signs of premature aging, and even chronic disease. Astaxanthin can minimize these effects by donating electrons to unstable free radicals, neutralizing them and protecting your cells from damage. Research has shown that supplementing with astaxanthin daily reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body (2).
Astaxanthin is unlike any other antioxidant on the market due to its unique lipophilic and hydrophilic structure. This means it's soluble in both water and fat, allowing it to become part of the cell membrane and protect your cells from the inside and outside. This gives you extra antioxidant coverage! Fat-soluble astaxanthin also passes through the blood-brain barrier easily where it defends your delicate brain structures.
Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
Let's explore the well-researched benefits of this natural anti-aging supplement.
Promotes Glowing Skin
Loading up on antioxidants like astaxanthin may help you feel more confident by improving your appearance as you age. Used topically and internally, astaxanthin promotes healthy, glowing skin by protecting it from the effects of aging, environmental pollution, and UV-damage.
An interesting 2018 study found that taking 4 mg of astaxanthin daily protected the skin from damage and reduced moisture loss from sun exposure (3).
Other clinical studies have found using topical astaxanthin in conjunction with taking a 6 mg daily supplement results in (4):
- Fewer crow's feet wrinkles
- Minimized age spots on the cheeks
- Better skin elasticity and skin texture
- Improved moisture levels and skin condition
Enhances Eye Health
The retina of the human eye is packed with antioxidant carotenoids that absorb harsh sunlight, fluorescent lighting, and blue light from screens – protecting your eyes against these daily assaults.
By reducing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, consuming extra carotenoids – like astaxanthin – may support the health of the eyes and preserve your eyesight as you age (5).
Supports Cardiovascular Health
Astaxanthin is a potent heart-protective antioxidant. It quenches oxidative stress and inflammation and inhibits the oxidation of "bad" LDL cholesterol – all precursors to blood vessel damage and hardening of the arteries (6).
Adding astaxanthin to your daily routine may also help to lower levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol in your blood while improving levels of the "healthy" HDL cholesterol (7).
Boosts Physical Performance
The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin make it invaluable for athletes and people engaging in intense exercise. It allows you to get the most out of your workout by supporting joint mobility and muscle recovery. Plus, taking astaxanthin regularly may help you stay active as you get older.
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine looked at the impact of consuming 4 mg of astaxanthin daily on competitive cyclists. Promisingly, there was an overall improvement in performance during a 20-km time trial in those who consumed the astaxanthin (8). Another study on soccer players discovered that supplementing with astaxanthin improved their antioxidant reserves and sped up recovery by reducing exercise-induced oxidative damage (9).
Make Astaxanthin Part of Your Daily Diet
Okay you knew it was coming... time for a shameless plug. Do you think the benefits of adding astaxanthin to your daily diet could help? Create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes astaxanthin and any other vitamins, minerals or supplements you think could help. Start by adding astaxanthin to your Kit here!