Is Astaxanthin the New Vitamin D?


I was considering the idea of trying a supplement containing astaxanthin, because I heard astaxanthin can help support eye health. Like most baby boomers, I’m growing more concerned with preserving my health, function and activity levels as much as possible.

There’s such a mind-boggling array of supplements out there, so I tend to weigh lots of information before adding a new one to my daily regimen. For one thing, it’s a financial investment in my health, which I take very seriously! I don’t believe in “magic bullets,” but I’ll take a supplement if I think it will be beneficial to me, and if it’s safe, natural and clinically valid studies point to its efficacy.

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You know that “red car” phenomenon: You buy a red car and all of a sudden, you see red cars everywhere? That’s what happened once I started thinking about astaxanthin. People were talking about it like crazy. Wow, this is one supplement that really gets around!

One night, I happened to be watching a popular TV health program featuring a doctor who was breathlessly promoting “The Most Powerful Supplement You Never Heard Of.” He hailed the miracle antioxidant, astaxanthin as “the new Vitamin D” that will come to be recognized and accepted as an essential component of good health.

The TV doc told viewers that astaxanthin is a cousin to beta carotene, but it is much more potent. Then he went on to assign godlike powers to this supplement. (Really a bit over the top, I thought. Right?)

Well, go ahead and Google “astaxanthin” and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The health benefits are fantastic and wide-ranging. Yes, I was very skeptical…but I discovered that, with persistence and some digging, it’s possible to find quite a lot of good research that points to astaxanthin’s anti-aging benefits.

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Unlike other carotenoids that convert to vitamin A, this one does not. (Excessively high doses of vitamin A can actually be harmful to the body.)

It is approved by the FDA as a red food coloring for use in animal and fish foods, and astaxanthin is naturally found in salmon, krill and arctic shrimp. And, it is what gives flamingoes that crazy pink color (without astaxanthin, flamingoes would be white).

Research is ongoing, but well-designed studies indicate that astaxanthin may:

  • Promote reproductive health and fertility
  • Support the body’s immune response
  • Support healthy digestion
  • Help protect against damaging UVA rays from the sun that cause the skin to age prematurely
  • Support vascular and retinal health

On balance, the preliminary research on this seems extremely encouraging. I’m definitely going to give astaxanthin a try, and I hope you will join me too!

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2 responses to “Is Astaxanthin the New Vitamin D?”

  1. Why didn’t you tell people that it Mimics Estrogen! And makes men’s Nipples! Hurt!

    • Don Y says:

      That is false information. I have been taking 8mg daily for several years. It has improved my eyesight so I don’t have to play tennis wearing glasses anymore; I have younger looking skin and am not affected by UV rays; my stamina and libido and heart function has benefited greatly and my joints are pain-free. I am 79 years old going on 80 and healthy – not on any prescription drugs.