Astaxanthin is not just the pigment that gives lobsters their colourful hue – it’s also an incredibly powerful antioxidant with an array of health benefits.

A growing amount of excitement is being generated around Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin). Saying that Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant would be quite an understatement, as this merely scratches the surface in terms of how it contributes to overall human health.

Astaxanthin is a subcategory of the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) which are produced by plants, and some animals too, as part of their survival mechanisms. Plants use carotenoids for their natural antioxidant properties which help to protect them from the harsh rays of the sun. This has led many people to suggest that Astaxanthin can act as a sun protector for humans as well.

Indeed many cosmetic manufacturers have begun to use Astaxanthin as an ingredient in facial and body creams to provide UV protection and to give support for damaged skin. Incidentally, Astaxanthin is the pigment responsible for the red colouring of aquatic life such as shrimp, lobster, crab and salmon (for which it also helps to swim upstream). It also gives flamingos their colourful hue.

Astaxanthin is…

  • 65 times more powerful than vitamin C • 11 times stronger than beta carotene
  • 550 times more effective than vitamin E • And, it crosses the blood-brain barrier

Ultimate eye health

Recent studies have revealed that Astaxanthin is the ultimate supplement for eye health. A primary reason for this is because it’s one of the few antioxidants that can penetrate the retinal barrier of the eyes. Supplementing with Astaxanthin has been found to have protective benefits against a number of vision- related problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Astaxanthin has also been found to improve the health of the brain and central nervous system. Studies show that it can improve both learning and memory skills – something which could be particularly beneficial to anyone at risk (through hereditary genes) of vascular dementia. Astaxanthin is also good for combating oxidative damage, which can affect the central nervous system in particular.

Improved Liver Function

Healthier liver function is another benefit. Results of a 2002 study into the effects of Astaxanthin on liver function showed that it protects the liver from oxidative damage (those powerful antioxidant properties at work again). The study also showed that a 100mg dose of Astaxanthin induced detoxifying enzymes in the cells of the liver, thereby improving its ability to remove harmful contaminants, bacteria, viruses and dead red blood cells.

Scientists from Tohoku University have documented the fact that daily supplements of the natural pigment Astaxanthin can help to reduce the accumulation of compounds called phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH). These compounds are known to accumulate abnormally in the red blood cells (erythrocytes) of people with dementia. As a result, the researchers believe that the pink pigment may help to prevent dementia.

These are just a handful of studies which demonstrate the health benefits of Astaxanthin. We would need a much longer article to cover the huge number of ways in which it helps to promote good health.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

AstaXanthin

Good Health Naturally’s AstaXanthin is suitable for vegetarians and is made using BioAstin® Natural Astaxanthin, the world’s bestselling brand of Astaxanthin for humans. It was the first source of Astaxanthin for human nutrition reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In August 1999, BioAstin completed a review by the FDA without objection and was allowed to be sold as a human dietary supplement.