- Protect cells from UVA light-induced oxidative stress [pg. 14]
- Works as an internal sunscreen and gives skin a natural (very subtle) red/brown pigment
- Improve skin elasticity
- Reduce visible signs of UV-aging within four to six weeks of use [ pg. 13]
But it gets better.
Science Direct tells us the combination of astaxanthin’s high-potency antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allows it to address a vast array of health concerns. It also contains potent biological activity against cardiovascular diseases, immune system ailments, and cancers (Ambati et al., 2014).
There is a reason astaxanthin is so anti-aging!
Salmon, crab, and lobsters that eat krill gain that lovely pink/red color from this compound. In fact, some scientists believe it is astaxanthin that gives salmon the strength and endurance to make their epic 5-7 day swim to spawn upstream.
They get it from the microalgae haematococcus pluvialis, which is part of their diet. Whenever this algae’s cells are under stress, such as lack of food, water, intense sunlight and heat, or bitter cold, they produce astaxanthin as a defense mechanism. Amazingly, this allows the cells to survive for up to 40 years in a dormant state, until conditions improve and they go back into their green, motile stage.
Many are finding this VERY helpful when they have to fly a lot or are under inordinate stress such as a marathon race or lifestyle.
Astaxanthin is more powerful than other antioxidants
Research has shown that astaxanthin is the most powerful at scavenging free radicals. Like vitamin E and vitamin A, it is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxidation. Astaxanthin’s unique structure is incorporated into the cell wall and serves to potentiate the master cell antioxidant glutathione. Studies have shown that astaxanthin is:
- 14 times more powerful than vitamin E at free radical scavenging
- 65 times more powerful than vitamin C
- 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene
“When we started producing astaxanthin for human consumption, our employees started taking it. Those that surfed came back to us and said, ‘Hey, I’m not getting sunburned anymore. I’m not putting my suntan lotion on. I’m not getting burned. This stuff seems to help protect me from the sun.’ And the sun is more intense in Hawaii. We did a clinical trial, and sure enough, taking astaxanthin – the study we did was only four milligrams, over two weeks… actually did provide significant protection against UV radiation.” ~Dr. Gerald Cysewski, UC Santa Barbara, a leading authority on large-scale production of microalgae, including the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, from which astaxanthin is produced.
Astaxanthin displays protection against UVA-induced DNA damage. It simply protects your skin against damage. It can also can handle multiple free radicals simultaneously. “It does this by forming an electron cloud around the molecule. When free radicals try to steal electrons from the astaxanthin molecule, they’re simply absorbed into and neutralized by this electron cloud, all at once.” Dr. Cysewski continues:
“Astaxanthin can also cross the blood-brain barrier and the blood-retinal barrier, and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to both the brain and the eyes. That’s where you need a carotenoid.”
Some commercial fisheries add synthetically-produced astaxanthin to their fish feed, in order to help give their fish the same appearance as fish caught in the wild. The synthetic form is produced from petrochemicals – the same as you put into your car.
Astaxanthin Works in ALL Cells
“One of astaxanthin’s most unique features is its ability to protect both water- and fat-soluble parts of the cell. Carotenoids are typically divided into water-soluble or fat-soluble, but astaxanthin belongs to an in-between group that can interface between both water and fat.
“This means the astaxanthin molecule can affect and expand the biolipid membrane of ALL cells. It’s not simply floating around in your bloodstream; it actually integrates into the cellular membrane.” (source)
Astaxanthin is not a fad.
I am always looking for ways to strengthen my health. 1 gelcap (12 mg.) of BioAstin/day, taken at a meal with some fat, especially in spring and summer is one supplement I may take forever. Other supplements I’ve taken continually through the years include:
- zinc (the intelligence mineral)
- turmeric in the form of either golden paste or from my bulk tub
- NOW brand NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)(with selenium and Molybdenum which is crucial for detoxification)
- ALA/ALC (this is very anti-aging and helps with cognitive function)
- milk thistle 1-2/day (boosts glutathione and helps liver detox pathways)
- elderberry tincture or elderberry syrup (only when feeling I’m getting a bug or rundown)
- methylfolate for my MTHFR snp/defect (my post on MTHFR here)
- lots of Himalayan pink salt (salt sole for wide spectrum of trace minerals)
At 67, this is my regimen. I’m pretty disciplined about it, and so is my husband. We are not on any medications and eat simply (non-processed, organic whole foods and “clean” pastured meats and eggs). An attitude of thanksgiving and prayer helps. Honestly, we have given up on the traditional medical system, do not get our advice there and haven’t for years. We have a naturopath instead. Our challenges with Lyme’s are over and my high C-reactive protein is a thing of the past.
“Mainstream medicine would be way different if they focused on prevention even half as much as they focused on intervention…” ~Anonymous
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