Astaxanthin: New Research Finds It’s Even More Impressive Than We Thought
While everyone feels the effects of aging, you aren’t completely helpless against the health ravages it ruthlessly imposes on your body. You can slow down or delay aging through various means, one of which — according to recent research — is through consuming more astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant having a broad scope of health benefits.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers discovered that astaxanthin — the hottest miracle nutrient responsible for the pink hue found in krill and salmon — may have superior anti-aging properties.
Working with a two populations of fruit flies, the research team found that fruit flies treated with the alga Haematococcus pluvialis (HP), the best natural source of astaxanthin, had a longer lifespan and experienced less age-related decline in mobility.
Interestingly, the researchers found that the fruit flies with a specific superoxide dismutases (SOD) mutation, a characteristic associated with decreased enzymatic activity benefited much less than the ones that did not have this mutation. The researchers noted, “These results, taken together, strongly support the anti-aging properties of [astaxanthin] and its therapeutic rather than preventive potential against aging-related diseases.
When do we hear those words? Suddenly turning back the hands of time doesn’t seem like a far-out dream.
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How is Astaxanthin Superior to Other Antioxidants?
Health experts from Dr. Oz to Dr. Joseph Mercola, noted osteopathic physician and alternative medicine proponent, to report that the antioxidant effects of astaxanthin markedly surpass those of other antioxidants. Its free radical scavenger powers can be as much as 65 times greater than that of vitamin C and 54 times greater than that of beta-carotene, according to Dr. Mercola.
Astaxanthin’s other antioxidant effect, the ability to neutralize singlet oxygen, is also impressive, as it is 6,000 times greater than that of vitamin C and 550 times greater than that of green tea catechins. The compound’s ability to cross the blood brain barrier is part of what makes it so effective.
What Health Benefits Have Been Associated With Astaxanthin?
Research shows astaxanthin even has an anticancer effect in rodents, and many studies show it may have value in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. It also may benefit heart disease by reducing inflammation and arterial plaque formation as well as enhance the immune system. In addition, the compound may protect the skin from the adverse effects of sunlight, thus reducing skin cancer risk and the effects of aging.
In fact, several studies have marveled at the surprising ways in which astaxanthin can improve skin health. Astaxanthin has been shown to improve both skin tone and elasticity, reducing the visible signs of aging, such as dryness, wrinkles and age spots. It may also provide protection for the skin and eyes from UV-induced sun damage.
Sources of Astaxanthin
Although HP is the best source of this antioxidant, other sources include carrots, red peppers and other fruits and vegetables containing a red pigment. Salmon is also a food source, but opt for wild salmon rather than the farm-raised variety.
Is HP Algae Extract a Safe Source of Astaxanthin?
Since research shows astaxanthin is a stronger antioxidant than carotenoids and vitamin E, scientists conducted an investigation to ascertain the safety of taking HP algae extract as a source of astaxanthin. Published in the Spring 2003 issue of Journal of Medicinal Food, the study found that a supplement containing 6 mg per day of astaxanthin from HP algae can be safety taken by healthy adults. That is well above the most common dosages, which tend to be 3-4 mg.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.