(NaturalHealth365) Astaxanthin can increase life span by protecting your heart and brain from oxidative stress. A powerful antioxidant, university studies find that astaxanthin is 500 times more effective than vitamin E, 10 times more effective than beta-carotene and 4 times more effective than lutein in various antioxidant capabilities.
The best form of astaxanthin is found in marine microalgae. It actually acts like a natural sunscreen for marine plants. In fact, astaxanthin is so effective at absorbing solar radiation that it was first looked at as a sunscreen. But, as researchers looked beyond that, they found that astaxanthin shields other areas of the body against free radical damage and this includes almost every cell in the human body including, the eyes, brain, heart and kidneys.
Clinically speaking, astaxanthin does more than just slow down oxidative stress and inflammation – it slows age-related decline. To explain its “anti-aging effect” – astaxanthin down-regulates genes linked to cell demise, and up-regulates genes linked to cell survival.
The health benefits of astaxanthin are truly extraordinary
Besides free radical scavenging; mitochondrial protection; and anti-inflammatory effects – it protects us from glycation. Glycation is behind the theory of aging.
Processed foods with their high amount of sugar cause glycation, which creates damaged proteins within the collagen called Advanced Glycation End Products (AEGs). These cause multiple age-related diseases, along with skin aging.
Can diabetics benefit from astaxanthin supplementation?
Lab studies show that when obese or diabetic animals are supplemented with astaxanthin – their glucose levels and insulin sensitivity improves, while inflammation and oxidative stress is reduced. It also prevents large weight gain and alleviates the long term consequences of diabetes such as, kidney disease, cataract formation, diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular problems.
Astaxanthin is good for the heart
In hypertensive rats, astaxanthin lowered pressure; improved endothelial function and delays hypertension-induced strokes. In animal studies, astaxanthin has been show to not only reduce the risk of stroke, but diminish the size of the stroke areas affected. If you have a cardiovascular problem, have your cardiologist examine the data – they will be amazed at what they see.
By the way, in both humans and animals, astaxanthin helps normalize lipids; reduces triglycerides and cholesterol levels – while boosting HDL cholesterol.
Astaxanthin energizes the mitochondria, which helps power every muscle in our body – especially the heart.
Protect your memory and support healthy brain function
A human study has shown that astaxanthin was effective for age-related decline in cognitive and motor functions. A 12mg dose improved cognitive health and learning scores in a study of healthy middle-aged and elderly subjects with age-related forgetfulness.
Experts call astaxanthin a natural brain food – since it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to nourish and protect the brain.
Astaxanthin can prevent (or slow down) most common eye diseases such as, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. In laboratory studies, astaxanthin supplements have been shown to protect retinal cells against oxidative stress and other damaging effects.
To prevent cancer – eat lots of antioxidants. Astaxanthin prevents cancer initiation by protecting the DNA from ultraviolet and oxidative damage. It blocks the rapid cell growth of tumors that are already formed and prevents tumors from spreading by reducing tumor production.
Where can I get astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, and crustaceans. It provides the reddish color of salmon and cooked shellfish.
Carrots, red peppers and some other red colored fruits and vegetables provide some astaxanthin. But, the food with the highest amount would be, wild caught salmon and especially sockeye salmon.
The problem with eating fish (everyday) for a healthy dose of astaxanthin is the risk of heavy metal toxicity. So, you may want to consider a supplement.
Naturally, like all supplements, avoid the synthetic form. The dose of astaxanthin that comes from cultures of single-cell algae show that as little as 1mg per day – for 4 weeks – is enough to ensure optimal levels.
Keep in mind, astaxanthin is best consumed with healthy fats like coconut oil to ensure optimal absorption. If you have a serious health condition – consider having a consultation with an experienced naturopathic physician.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
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