Astaxanthin: The Little Known Supplement with Huge Benefits

By Ali Wetherbee

astaxanthin

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from the sun. Maybe you live somewhere where it’s sunny year round, in which case sun protection is always at the forefront of your mind. But even those of us who are out enjoying cooler weather at the apple orchard or the local pumpkin patch need to take sun precautions. No matter the temperature outside, the sun’s rays can be just as strong and damaging as in the height of summer, putting you at risk of UV and free-radical damage. Fortunately, there is an all natural supplement that can counteract this damage.

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid produced by algae in response to stress. This carotenoid, called the “king of carotenoids,” is red in color and is responsible for the pink or reddish hue of sea creatures such as salmon, lobster, and shrimp. Astaxanthin is thought to reverse cellular damage and reduce free radicals in the body. Wild Atlantic sockeye salmon is the best food source of astaxanthin, but you’d need to eat 6 ounces every day to get a therapeutic dose.

Benefits

Astaxanthin is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. It can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain nervous system, cross the blood-retinal barrier to protect the eyes, enter every part of a cell, and combat multiple types of free radicals at the same time. It can aid in the prevention of diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other disorders.

Astaxanthin may:

Lower your risk of heart disease

A report in Future Cardiology stated that astaxanthin may help fight oxidative stress and inflammation, two key risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Astaxanthin also normalizes blood pressure.

Support the immune system

A Nutrition & Metabolism study found that those taking astaxanthin had better immune responses, lower levels of  C-reactive protein, and fewer signs of DNA damage.

Protect against sun damage

Astaxanthin has been called “Nature’s Sunscreen” because it protects against damage from ultraviolet rays, and many people report being able to stay out in the sun longer without burning. It can also reverse signs of damage such as sun spots, freckles, and wrinkles.

Reduce joint pain

Astaxanthin can ease the pain of tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-exertional joint pain. According to a survey by Nutrex-Hawaii, astaxanthin improved back pain or arthritis pain in more than 80% of those taking it.

Improve stamina and endurance

Astaxanthin supports the body at the mitochondrial level and counteracts the free radicals generated during exercise. This gives you more energy, greater endurance, and a quicker recovery. It can also reduce lactic acid build up, decreasing post-workout muscle and joint soreness.

Protect vision

This supplement has a protective effect against macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Reduce signs of aging

Astaxanthin reduces wrinkles and age spots and leaves skin more moist, elastic, smooth, and supple.

Combat cognitive decline and memory issues

A recent study found that middle-aged and elderly people who took 12mg of astaxanthin a day improved scores related to memory, cognition, and learning.

Correct low testosterone and low sperm count in men

A study by Angwafor and Anderson showed that astaxanthin raised low testosterone levels and improved related symptoms such as a decline in sex drive, depression, weakness, and poor energy. Research by Adams found that astaxanthin significantly improved sperm motility, count, and quality, for better fertility.

Mercola Astaxanthin

Mercola Astaxanthin is made from all-natural marine microalgae grown in Hawaii and is manufactured without chemical solvents or preservatives. It contains ALA and omega-3 to optimize absorption, since astaxanthin is fat-soluble and thus more bioavailable when combined with high-quality oils.

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