Astaxanthin The Most Powerful Antioxidant
What is Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin)?
Nature has revealed a truly exciting and powerful antioxidantfrom her rainbow palette.
Hailed as an ‘advanced antioxidant’ in the US (some even claiming it to be the ultimate antioxidant)....it is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment, and a powerful biological antioxidant.
It is also a strong free radical scavenger.
The three best known carotenoids: lycopene, lutein and beta carotene, which all derived from plant sources, have high antioxidant activity, however astaxanthin, which comes from marine sources, is thought to have more than these.
Astaxanthin, which is synthesized (formed) by algae, is found in marine seafood and occurs naturally in several of our commonly eaten foods, perhaps most importantly in salmon. Also in trout and shrimp.
In fact, its distinctive pinkish-red pigment is responsible for the colouration of salmon lobsters and flamingos.
Astaxanthin is heart healthy too.
The good cholesterol called HDL (high density lipoprotein) is known to carry bad LDL cholesterol away from the arteries, helping heart and arteries stay healthy.
Studies at the University of Panama have found that Astax-anthin supports a healthy balance of HDL to LDL.
It is believed to be 80 times (some say 500 times!) stronger than Vitamin E.
It offers powerful oxidative protection for the nervous system such as the eyes, brain, and nerve tissues.
Because astaxanthin is both fat-and water-soluble it is thought to be extremely well tolerated by the body with no evidence of toxicity. Thankfully, there does not seem to be any side effects of astaxan-thin.
It also has some quite amazing properties, here is a small list of the benefits:-
Prevents macular degeneration offering protection for the eyes.
Boosts immune system function.
The effects of Vitamin C and E are multiplied in your body.
Athletic performance...strenghth and endurance are enhanced.
Muscle healing is quicker after a heavy workout..less soreness.
Functions as an internal sunscreen to enhance your tolerance of sun exposure.
Chronic back pain is eased and even eliminated.
Prevents heart disease due to oxidative damage.
Virtually eliminates arthritis pain for many people.
Lowers LDL cholesterol(also known as "bad" cholesterol and associated with plaque formation in blood vessels) which causes heart disease and strokes after it becomes oxidized by free radicals.
Studies have also found Astaxan-thin could help couples maintain reproductive health and also human prostate health, since it helps maintain the enzyme 5-alpha reductase at a balanced level.
So there you have it. A lesser known antioxidant, but nevertheless an extremely powerful one.
Along with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, this powerful antioxidant may be one of the reasons that people who consume wild caught salmon have far less heart disease and cancer risk compared to people who do not consume this fish.
A word of warning...farm-raised salmon has much lower levels of astaxan-thin and omega-3 fatty acids, plus a much higher level of toxic mercury and other contaminants.