There’s always a new “miracle supplement” arriving on the market, but many fail to live up to the hype. That’s not the case with Astaxanthin. This carotenoid is making serious waves in the medical community, and it’s easy to see why.
Free radicals are atomic compounds with unpaired electrons, and they have a number of unfortunate health effects. They’ve been implicated in accelerating the aging process, and scientific studies have linked them to more than one hundred diseases. They scavenge electrons from other cells in the body, and can even damage cell DNA, triggering dangerous chain reactions.
Some antioxidants help the body combat the impact of free radicals by sacrificing their own electrons, sparing the body’s cells in the process. Others capture free radicals and neutralize them, or break the chain reactions caused by free radicals. In any case, antioxidants are imperative to rid the body of harmful free radicals, and Astaxanthin has been shown in many experiments to be one of the most powerful antioxidants known to science.
A study presented at the 21st Annual Meeting on Carotenoid Research in Osaka, Japan, showed that Astaxanthin was up to 6,000 times more effective at combating singlet oxygen (a radical generated by UV exposure that damages skin and eyes) than Vitamin C, 800 times greater than coenzyme Q10, 550 times greater than green tea catechins, and 75 times greater than alpha lipoic acid.
Another study showed harmful UV rays take longer to redden the skin (erythema) after just two weeks of Astaxanthin supplementation (Lorenz, T, 2002).
It was once a foregone conclusion that increased exercise recovery times were just a part of growing older. While a certain amount of slowdown is inevitable, studies have shown that Astaxanthin decreases the amount of exercise induced free radical production.
A study done in Sweden in 1998 measured the strength of young males aged 17 to 19. Of the 40 participants, 20 were given a placebo and 20 were given 4mg of Astaxanthin daily. They were measured by repetitions of knee bends at a 90° angle. The results after six months showed the males taking Astaxanthin improved their strength and endurance by 62% compared to the placebo group (Malmsten, 1998).
Improves Cognitive Function
Astaxanthin’s has been shown in various studies to protect neurological functioning and even improve cognition. A study conducted by researchers at Japan’s Juntendo University found that elderly subjects who took Astaxanthin capsules for 12 weeks were able to perform significantly better on learning and cognition testing than those who did not receive the supplement. This is great news for those who find their mental acuity slipping as they reach their golden years (Satoh, et al, 2009).
Promotes Joint Health
Inflammation is a major cause of joint degeneration. In certain cases, the body activates an inflammatory response even when there is no actual reason for it. This inflammatory response in joints causes irritation, swelling, and can ultimately wear down cartilage causing a gradual degeneration of joints. Astaxanthin can support inflammation after strenous exercise.
Astaxanthin has natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to block COX2 enzymes as well as suppressing serum levels of nitric oxide, C Reactive Protein, interleukin 1B, prostaglandin E2 and TNF-alpha.
Because of Astaxanthin’s effect on cognition, joints and various parts of the body that commonly deteriorate when getting older, it is a terrific anti-aging supplement to take to help our bodies stay strong and healthy through the aging process.