5 Reasons You Should Boost Your Astaxanthin Intake
Credited for being the most powerful of all antioxidants, astaxanthin (pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin”) plays a significant role in promoting human health and protecting against various diseases, according to increasing scientific evidence.
Abundant in certain aquatic life, such as sockeye salmon, red trout, algae, shrimp and crabs, astaxanthin is the pigment that creates their pinkish-red tone.
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Top 5 Astaxanthin Benefits
Here are five reasons why you should consider including this “miracle” antioxidant workhorse to your diet:
1. Improve Look and Health of Skin
Many who take astaxanthin for its powerful antioxidant benefits have reported that the carotenoid has also dramatically improved their skin. In a study in which subjects got astaxanthin both orally and topically, the antioxidant helped promote smoothness, even out wrinkles, shrink age spots and retain moisture. Discover more about the skin health-boosting properties of astaxanthin, as well as other top skin protecting nutrients in our article The 10 Best Nutrients For Skin Health, Inside and Out.
2. Promote Healthy Vision
Shown to nearly five times more powerful than the vision friendly antioxidant Lutein, astaxanthin has a unique capability to cross the blood brain barrier and flood your eyes with impressive antioxidant support. Studies have found that astaxanthin can help improve visual acuity — perhaps by strengthening the intraocular muscles — and potentially curb vision-damaging conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
3. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is known to be a contributor to many diseases and chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), carpal tunnel syndrome, and even acne. With it’s natural powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving abilities, astaxanthin can provide relief without the side affects common in some over-the-counter and prescription medications.
4. Protect Against Sun Damage
In nature, astaxanthin protects salmon eggs from dangerous UV rays. Taken orally, it can act as a natural sunscreen, and reduce damage caused by the UV radiation. For more foods that can function as natural suncreen, check out our article 6 Foods That Boost Skin’s Natural “Sun Block”.
5. Rev-Up Energy and Stamina
Believe it or not, one of the biggest causes of low energy and fatigue is oxidative stress and free radical damage to the “energy power plants” in your cells known as mitochondria. But astaxanthin has been shown to help combat this stress and protect the mitochondria you rely on power every cell in your body.
One study at the Karolinska Institute in Gustavsberg, Sweden found a clear link between astaxanthin, and improved muscle strength when they administered either astaxanthin or a placebo to a group of 40 study participants. At the conclusion of the study period, participants who took astaxanthin has three times the muscular strength as the placebo group. In fact, the energy boosting effects of astaxanthin are so powerful that many endurance athletes credit the antioxidant for helping them to power through plateaus and reach energy levels that they have never experienced in their life before.
Scientists are just beginning to understand the many ways in which consuming more astaxanthin can promote human health, but findings are promising. Include it in your diet both by eating pink seafood and by taking it in supplement form. If you are currently taking prescription medications, check with your doctor before adding it to your regimen.
Debbie Swanson is a freelance writer, published in numerous national and local outlets. An avid vegetarian, animal lover and reader, she loves learning about healthy eating and finding natural cures for everyday ailments.