Astaxanthin benefits and side effects

Astaxanthin is widely considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature, and is found in a lot of marine animals and plants.

It is commonly referred to as “The King of Carotenoids” and the best part is that it doesn’t cause harmful oxidation in the body.

It gives the red-pink pigment in different seafoods, and is also seen in the feathers of quails and flamingos. While it is similar in structure to beta-carotene, it is very much safer than the latter.

Astaxanthin has risen to prominence, particularly due to the fact that it has different blood parameters, which are great for people with heart disease. It can reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent artery clogging as well.

It has also been known to reduce blood pressure in hypersensitive rats, increase general blood, and also reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. It also provides more anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than vitamin A. 

What are the medicinal uses for astaxanthin?

There have been over 500 different studies conducted on astaxanthin and its medical uses and benefits.

A research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, stated that astaxanthin could reduce stress and inflammation while strengthening the immune system. Different studies have also stated that astaxanthin can be as much as:

  • 6000 more potent than Vitamin C
  • 800 times more powerful than CoQ10
  • 550 times stronger than Vitamin E

Astaxanthin was also found to be at least 500 times stronger than the catechins that are found in green tea.

There are lots of health benefits and medicinal uses of astaxanthin, here are a few of them:

  • Support joint health
  • Reduce wrinkles and age spots
  • Reduce signs of aging
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increase energy
  • Improve vision
  • Improve skin and reduce sun damage
  • Improve focus and ADHD
  • Improve endurance and exercise recovery

It is truly the king of all carotenoids, and has a long list of amazing health benefits. There are very few supplements that offer the range of health benefits offered by astaxanthin. So let’s take a more detailed look at its many amazing health benefits.

Benefits of astaxanthin

Astaxanthin has got a lot of antioxidant properties that help slow down the aging process.

It also stops your cells from aging faster, and researchers at Washington State University, tested the impact of an astaxanthin supplement on slowing down the aging process. It also helped them gain glowing clear skin.

Another study backed up the findings of the research, and animals that were given 20mg of astaxanthin on a daily basis for 4 months, showed enhanced cellular function in white blood cells, and higher glutathione levels [1].

Scientists also found that it helped repair damage to the DNA and protein of animals, which is closely linked to the aging process in the body.

Astaxanthin was considered as a food supplement in the 1990s, and there wasn’t much research available on its beta carotene or carotenoids properties. After numerous hundred studies, were conducted on it, did the anti-inflammatory properties gain more exposure.

In a study conducted in Japan, scientists gave 3mg of astaxanthin to 30 women, who were between the ages of 20 and 55 at the end of dinner and breakfast [2].

These women had to apply 1ml of the supplement on their face two times a day, after they washed their face in the morning. They had to do this for 8 weeks. The researchers found that astaxanthin actually improved the women’s skin by removing wrinkles, age spots, and making the texture better.

Astaxanthin has shown that it delays aging and is highly effective in removing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity and texture.

Other studies have found that astaxanthin may actually be the most powerful anti-aging antioxidant found in the world [3] and has a whole host of other benefits such as improved endurance and energy.

One of the best ways to find out if a supplement will work on athletes is by testing it on free radicals and then checking the antioxidant levels in the body after a workout.

Exercise is considered to be the best producer of free radicals, and the faster the body can eliminate free radicals, the faster the athlete will be able to recover from the workout session.

Researchers tested astaxanthin on soccer players, who were given the supplement for 90 days, and it produced excellent results. Exercising improved all the players’ oxidative stress and free radical production, but the group that was given astaxanthin didn’t have a higher count of free radicals.

This clearly indicated that astaxanthin could help athletes recover faster from workouts, as they had more athletes and energy to burn.

Side effects of astaxanthin

The best part about astaxanthin is that there isn’t a study today that has anything bad to say about it.

Remarkably, it is completely safe to be consumed as a supplement, and has been taken safely in doses ranging from 4 to 40mg on a daily basis for around 12 weeks. It has also been used safely with other carotenoids, minerals, and vitamins as well.

Special precautions & warnings:

Women that are pregnant or breast-feeding need to be careful about taking the astaxanthin supplement, since there is not enough research conducted on the effects of astaxanthin during breast-feeding or pregnancy.

This is why it is recommended that women experiencing those conditions should avoid it, for safety purposes.

People that are taking special medication are also advised to discuss with their medical practitioner before taking any supplements for their own safety.

Summary: Astaxanthin is rightfully considered to be the king of carotenoids, since it has some absolutely remarkable health benefits. There are very few supplements that don’t have any negative side effects attached to them, which makes it perfect for everyone.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23100599
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22428137
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219323
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