Natural Astaxanthin's Health Benefits
Natural astaxanthin has a number of important health advantages. The following benefits were presented in a scientific review prepared by Algatechnologies in 2015:
- Antioxidant balance: Astaxanthin’s distinct chemical structure makes it an outstanding antioxidant. Because it is lipid soluble (lipophilic), natural astaxanthin is active in biological elements with high lipid content, such as cell membranes and organelles, including mitochondria. Studies comparing the antioxidant potential of several other antioxidants, including other carotenoids, have consistently shown that astaxanthin is the most potent when tested in solutions, membrane models and cell cultures.
- Anti-Inflammation: Inflammation is a first-response defense and healing function activated before our immune system response is triggered. Even though astaxanthin is not as powerful as anti-inflammatory drugs, studies have found it to be one of nature’s strongest anti-inflammatories. According to findings from double-blind, placebo-controlled animal and human clinical trials, astaxanthin naturally inhibits many known inflammation mediators, which can ease inflammation and pain without negative side effects.
- Sports Nutrition (mitigating effects on endurance, sports performance and heat stress): Research in the emerging sports nutrition field has shown a correlation between strenuous exercise and both the over-production of free radicals and oxidative stress. These responses can reduce antioxidant system efficiency and damage muscles, which can delay workout recovery time. With this, studies have been conducted to analyze astaxanthin’s ability to decrease post-exercise oxidative stress, muscle damage and heat stress, and to improve performance.
- Skin Health: Photoaging causes most age-related skin changes. When skin is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet rays damage the skin through the production of free radicals, which degrade the collagen. Studies of astaxanthin's properties as a free-radical neutralizer showed its ability to boost skin moisture and elasticity and decrease the appearance of fine lines and age spots.
- Cardiovascular Health: In addition to the proven benefits of astaxanthin as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, studies have shown that astaxanthin may prevent oxidative stress and slow atherosclerosis progression. Astaxanthin also increases HDL cholesterol levels (the "good cholesterol") and lowers LDL levels (the "bad cholesterol"), preventing free radicals and improving oxidative capacity.
- Brain Health: Astaxanthin belongs to the xanthophylls carotenoid family. Therefore, in addition to its double-bond conjugated chain, astaxanthin also has oxygen-containing moieties in its molecular structure. These hydroxyl and keto moieties are responsible for some of its unique features, such as higher antioxidant activity. Astaxanthin’s molecular structure has a huge effect on its mechanism of action, including superior position in the brain cell membrane and the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Brain cells can be damaged easily by oxidative stress. Several scientific studies indicate that astaxanthin plays a role in protecting the brain from reactive oxygen species (ROS), chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen.
- Eye Health: The eye’s function is to receive and interpret light as the visual signal that enables us to see. Because of their delicate nature, parts of our eyes are extremely light sensitive. Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage these delicate structures by producing destructive reactive oxygen species, causing visual impairment. Eye-related studies show astaxanthin’s ability as an antioxidant to neutralize the singlet oxygen ROS and other free radicals. Singlet oxygen is an active oxygen species generated by exposure to UV radiation that can cause eye damage.
For additional health benefit information on Algatechnologies’ AstaPure® line of astaxanthin products, please contact us.