6 Benefits of Astaxanthin on Healthy Aging
The world population is aging and life expectancy is rising. According to a publication by the United Nations, the percent of people over 65 years will increase from 9% in 2019 to 16% in 2050. An increased life expectancy is associated with more illness, disability, and dependency.
Healthy aging and longer periods of good health are associated with maintaining a healthy lifestyle including healthy and balanced nutrition. Thus, the demand for healthier products that are suitable for the elderly population is in constant increase.
Effective antioxidants may assist with the promotion of healthy aging.
The Role of Oxidative Stress in Aging
Human aging is a dynamic and progressive process, associated with biological, physiological, environmental, psychological, and behavioral changes.
Oxidative stress is the imbalance between Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production and antioxidant defenses. Our body produces ROS during normal metabolic functions of the human body.
With age, the efficiency of the antioxidative and repair mechanisms in the body decrease .
Long term exposure to a high amount of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) results in oxidative stress and leads to extended mitochondrial dysfunction. In the elderly, it may affect cardiovascular, brain, eye, immune, muscle, and skin health.
The use of effective antioxidants may assist with the promotion of healthy aging and longevity.
Astaxanthin Benefits for Healthy Aging
Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It is over 500 times stronger than vitamin E, much more potent than other carotenoids, and several thousand times more powerful than vitamin C [2, 3].
The potential health benefits of astaxanthin have been widely studied in more than 500 clinical and pre-clinical studies worldwide.
Due to its unique structure which situates it through the cell membrane, astaxanthin can help protect cells from both internal and external oxidative stressors.
Astaxanthin is bioavailable in many organs and tissues such as muscles, skin, lungs, and heart. It can also cross the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers, – thus achieving a multitude of health-related benefits.
Astaxanthin has been used as a dietary supplement for over 30 years and is considered very safe.
Cardiovascular health depends on the proper functioning of the heart, arteries, and veins. Oxidative stress plays an important role in several processes that can lead to poor cardiovascular health, such as:
- Endothelial dysfunction (an abnormal function of the cells in the artery walls)
- Oxidation of lipids and proteins (which can cause abnormal cell functioning)
- Cholesterol imbalances.
Several recent studies have assessed the ability of astaxanthin to help maintain a healthy cholesterol balance, decrease oxidation of lipids, and improve oxidative status .
The eye is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to its extensive exposure to light, its rich content of mitochondria, and the high metabolic rate of photoreceptors. Antioxidants are the first line of defense for the human eye against these stressors.
The effect of astaxanthin on the eyes was reported in several clinical studies. The beneficial effects were shown against the negative effects of UV radiation and macular degeneration . An additional clinical study showed a beneficial effect on the blood flow to the eye in aging people .
Photoaging is the cause of most age-related changes in the skin. When skin is exposed to sunlight, the UV rays damage the skin through the production of free radicals which can degrade collagen and cause DNA-damage. This can result in sunburn, swelling and inflammation, aging, and even carcinogenesis.
Astaxanthin derived from microalgae was shown to protect the skin from UV radiation and thus have anti photoaging effects .
Clinical studies showed improvement in skin elasticity and moisture and reduction in age spots size and wrinkles following oral consumption of Astaxanthin .
Immune System Function
Astaxanthin helps support a resilient immune system by defending the cells from Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Immune cells produce ROS as part of the anti-pathogen response and thus are particularly prone to induced oxidative stress damage. According to a double-blind randomized trial, the key benefits of natural Astaxanthin to immunity include antibody production, immune cell proliferation, antioxidant activity, and anti-inflammatory effects .
Muscles Strength and Volume
In advanced age, there is a decline in the size and number of skeletal muscle fibers leading to loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. The weakened muscles can cause loss of function, disability, and frailty.
A study with healthy elderly subjects has shown that astaxanthin improves muscle size and strength. The use of Astaxanthin in combination with a functional training program improved muscle strength, endurance, and mobility in the elderly .
Brain and Cognition
Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, which allows for potential beneficial effects on the brain. A pre-clinical study suggests that the powerful antioxidant properties of astaxanthin can slow down brain aging by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the central nervous system .
Clinical studies that evaluated the effects of astaxanthin on cognitive functions in elderly people showed better task performance and improvement in working memory.
Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants which can support optimizing health at the cellular level. Multiple studies support the effectiveness of astaxanthin supplementation for preventing age-related damage to organs such as the heart, brain, eyes, and skin.
AstaPure® natural astaxanthin by Solabia-Algatech Nutrition is derived from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest source of natural astaxanthin.
AstaPure® is manufactured in an eco-friendly closed system cultivation technology fully controlled and exposed to the natural sunlight of the Israeli Arava desert.
Top Astaxanthin Questions Related to Healthy Aging
How can Astaxanthin aid in maintaining youthful vitality as we age?
As people age, the long term exposure to high amount of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production results in oxidative stress and leads to extended mitochondrial dysfunction. Astaxanthin as a very powerful antioxidant can reduce the harmful effects of the ROS molecules to our body and can assist with maintaining healthy aging
The use of effective antioxidants may assist with the promotion of healthy aging and longevity
With age the efficiency of antioxidative and repair internal mechanisms in our body decreases. The excessive free radicals has a negative effect on cardiovascular, brain, eye ,immune, muscle and skin health. Use of antioxidants in food and dietary supplements reduces the amount of the free radicals, assists to the internal process and protect the body cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
In what ways does Astaxanthin defend the skin against the signs of aging?
Astaxanthin protects the skin cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress caused by external factors such as UV and blue light radiation, pollution, extreme weather conditions and internal factors such as stress lack of sleep and physical activity. Clinical studies showed that Astaxanthin increased skin hydration, reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as reduction in the appearance and formation of age spots.
Could Astaxanthin be the key to preserving eye health as we grow older?
The eyes are vulnerable to oxidative stress as they are constantly exposed to external factors mainly sunlight and screens. Astaxanthin can penetrate the retinal blood barrier, reach the eye and protect it from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
How much of this super antioxidant should we consume to reap its aging benefits?
The recommended daily dose is 4-8 mg per day.
Is Astaxanthin a safe and reliable supplement to take for prolonged periods?
Astaxanthin is a very safe ingredient. It has been used in diet (salmon fish, shrimps) for many years as well as a dietary supplement ingredient with known safety and efficacy data provided by hundreds of scientific publication.
Can Astaxanthin enhance physical and mental well-being in older adults?
Astaxanthin cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows for potential beneficial effects on the brain. Human clinical studies evaluated the effects of Astaxanthin on cognitive functions in elderly subjects showed better task performance and improvement in working memory. Additional clinical studies showed that an improvement in muscle strength and muscle mass in elderly subjects that consumed Astaxanthin and perform physical activity.