by Lisa Breitenwischer CHC, AADP, 500hr E-RYT
Astaxanthin (asta-zan-thin) is a red-pink pigment found in various seafoods, like salmon, lobster and other shellfish. They get their red or pinkish color from a diet of krill and other small organisms that in turn eat astaxanthin-rich algae and plankton. You can get some astaxanthin by eating these foods, but taking supplements made from microalgae is far more beneficial.
Often dubbed the “king of cartenoids” research shows that astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. In fact, it’s ability to fight free radicals has been shown to be 6000 times higher than vitamin C, 550 times higher than vitamin E, and 40 times higher than beta- carotene.
Astaxanthin Benefits and Uses:
Does astaxanthin help with inflammation? Absolutely! It’s antioxidant properties in the body, are believed to help protect against certain types of chronic disease, reverse skin aging and alleviate inflammation. It seems to be able to improve many blood parameters that could be beneficial to heart disease, too. At doses of 6-8mg daily, it can decrease the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent it from becoming artherogenic (artery clogging). It can increase general blood flow and reduce blood sugar in diabetics and blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (humans not studied yet) with no effect on these measures in normal healthy persons.
In addition, astaxanthin supports healthy vision, promotes brain health by preserving cognitive function, enhances your workout, and even increase male fertility. Best of all, it’s easy to incorporate in your diet and can be easily found in a wide range of nutritious whole food sources.
A few of the best sources of Astaxanthin include:
Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon, Lobster, Crab, Krill, Salmon Roe, Algae, Shrimp, Red Trout, Crawfish. I recommend always wild caught over farm raised and Alaskan or sockeye salmon or trout over shell fish.
Don’t eat fish? No problem! Astaxanthin is also available in a natural supplement form. Popular brands of naturally derived astaxanthin include BioAstin and Puritan’s Pride. It can also be found in some other supplements, such as krill oil, some omega-3 formulations and Arctic Ruby Oil. The recommended dosage is four to eight milligrams, one to three times per day with your meals. Initially, it’s best to start with a low dose and work your way up to assess your tolerance.
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