Astaxanthin is the most potent member of the carotenoids – antioxidant pigments that give vegetables (and some animals) their bright colors. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin is 11 times stronger than its more famous cousin beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A).
Here are some interesting facts about astaxanthin:
• It is only produced by a specific marine algae to protect itself from UV radiation
• It gives salmon and flamingoes their pink color from feeding on the algae
• It is a very strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and free radical scavenger
• it crosses the blood brain barrier and blood-retinal barrier, providing protection to the brain, spinal cord and eyes
• It offers even more protection to the eye than zeaxanthin and lutein, two other carotenoids known for their eye protecting properties
• It protects your eyes from glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, inflammatory eye diseases, and eye fatigue
• research is showing similar benefits for the brain and central nervous system, reducing symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinsons and MS
• it protects from radiation damage from UV sunlight (sunburn) and X-rays
• animal studies show promise of astaxanthin as an immune support and prevention for cancer
• it increases muscle endurance (assisting salmon with their upstream migration)
• It is non-toxic – there have been no adverse reactions observed
• Natural astaxanthin from marine algae is more effective and safer than synthetic astaxanthin (used by some fish farms); wild Pacific salmon have superior astaxanthin content than farmed fish
• Krill oil contains significant amounts of astaxanthin, making it a better choice than fish oil for your omega 3 EFAs
• It is available in a concentrated supplement; Dr. Mercola recommends 2 mg per day
For more information, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/14/astaxanthin-the-worlds-strongest-antioxidant.aspx or search astaxanthin on mercola.com.
This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.