By Debbie Davis
We all care about our health and rate of aging. Astaxanthin (pronounced Asta-zan-thin) is a warrior against oxidative stress brought on by too many free radical attacks on a cellular level.
Antioxidants protect your cells while the body and skin do the repair work. Possibly the strongest antioxidant in the world, astaxanthin is part of the carotenoid family of nutrients which includes betacarotene. Astaxanthin may be the best antioxidant for DNA protection, it is more than 6,000 times more effective than vitamin C, 800 times more effective than COQ10, and 550 times more effective than vitamin E and green tea.
According to Dr. Gerald Cysewski, an authority on microalgae research, more than 200 studies demonstrate the many supercharged antioxidant health benefits of astaxanthin. First and most importantly, from our anti-aging vantage point, is skin health. By now, thanks to much media exposure, we know that free radicals are highly reactive molecules that cause premature cellular death when left unchecked. This can damage our internal organs and lead to aging of the skin. Natural astaxanthin is unique due to the shape of its molecule. It protects the entire cell from damage because it is both water and fat-soluble. Astaxanthin benefits our skin by improving the moisture content, promoting better elasticity, reducing wrinkles and the appearance of age spots. It may even help prevent skin cancer with its UV protective qualities.
Taking a natural astaxanthin supplement of four to six milligrams has been noted to be anti-inflammatory and to act as an edible sunscreen, working from the inside out to soothe skin during harsh sun exposure and heal sunburn. Supplementation may also benefit the skin by protecting and supporting the nerves that carry blood and nutrients to the cells. People usually notice a respectable improvement within two to six weeks of astaxanthin supplementation. It is best to take it with food, preferably with an oil to get the best benefits. As with any supplement recommendation, especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women, always check with your doctor.
More health benefits of astaxanthin include eye and brain health. Again, due to the unique shape of the astaxanthin molecule, it can cross the blood-brain barrier and abates neurodegenerative conditions like macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. It can also cross the blood-retinal barrier and it a terrific supplement for eye health. Want to improve joint and tendon health? Yes, astaxanthin will help in a quicker post-exercise recovery, making it perfect for all of us, especially athletes.
In nature, you can find astaxanthin in its highest concentration in wild salmon, which contains 450 percent more astaxanthin than farm-raised salmon. You can also find it in some wild berries, lobster, shrimp, crab and salmon roe. Astaxanthin is what gives these marine creatures their reddish-pink color. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Flamingos are born white or gray and develop their pink color from eating fish that contain astaxanthin? Flamingos and some other red-colored birds are unable to digest the astaxanthin, so it accumulates in their feathers and feet. Thankfully, humans don’t have this side effect.
Debbie Davis is the owner of Sleekskin Aesthetics in Scottsdale. She is a Licensed Aesthetician and has a certification in Holistic Nutrition. Contact Debbie at 480-315-1364 or sleekskinaz.com. “Remember, how old you are is your business, how old you LOOK is mine!”
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