Health Benefits of Astaxanthin

You may not know the antioxidant astaxanthin, but you are probably more than familiar with some of its natural sources. Astaxanthin is the dark red organic pigment found in algae and is responsible for the natural red color aquatic animals (and great astaxanthin food sources) such as salmon, shellfish, rainbow trout, and some birds, with wild salmon producing the highest concentration.  Most astaxanthin supplements, however, are derived from the freshwater green microalgal strain Haematococcus pluvialis, as it is the richest source for the production of astaxanthin.

History of Astaxanthin

A British organic chemist and professor, Basil Charles Weedon, discovered astaxanthin in 1970 when he used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to map structures of the lipid soluble pigments.

Astaxanthin for Whole Body Health

Superfoods from Baseline Nutritionals

Is astaxanthin safe? While astaxanthin is considered a strong coloring agent, it also has considerable health benefits as well. Research has shown that, due to astaxanthin's potent antioxidant activity, it may be beneficial in cardiovascular, immune, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Astaxanthin as an Antioxidant

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, most similar to beta-carotene, however all evidence indicates that it is a far more powerful biological antioxidant. Astaxanthin exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity and protects against lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage of LDL-cholesterol, cell membranes, and body tissues.

Health Studies on Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin has been the focus of a large and growing number of peer-reviewed scientific publications. Astaxanthin study findings include:

  • Astaxanthin increases strength and endurance (2 - 8 times greater increase over baseline verses placebo in human clinical study).
  • Astaxanthin alleviates symptoms in patients with H. pylori (pre-ulcer indigestion).
  • Astaxanthin protects cells and mitochondrial membranes from oxidative damage, thus protecting the cell from oxidative damage.
  • Astaxanthin will boost a healthy immune system by increasing the number of antibody-producing cells.
  • Astaxanthin prevents the initiation of cancer cells in the tongue, oral cavity, large bowel, bladder, uterus, and breast.
  • Astaxanthin inhibits lipid peroxidation that causes plaque formation, thus reducing risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Astaxanthin alleviates stress and may assist in neurodegenerative conditions such as AMD, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS.
  • Astaxanthin protects the eyes and skin from UV A and B damage by quenching singlet and triplet oxygen.
  • Astaxanthin reduces the number of new and abnormal cells in the liver.

Astaxanthin for Athletes

In addition, according to a study published in Science Links Japan, regular consumption of astaxanthin may even help athletes recover more quickly from workouts and competitions.

How to Take Astaxanthin

It is extremely powerful at even very low levels. In fact, a normal supplemental dose is just 4 mg a day. It can be found in tablet, capsule, or liquid form.


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