There is a relatively new supplement on the market that has many beneficial properties toward human health, but has existed in nature for eons. Due to its potent antioxidant activity it has been shown to be protective against cardiovascular disease, to benefit the immune system, has anti-cancer properties especially prostate cancer, and fights inflammation of joints. It’s called “astaxanthin”.
Sun worshipers take note: astaxanthin acts as a potent protector against the damaging UV rays of the sun to protect the skin and eyes. Athletes should also be aware that this amazing compound can greatly speed up post workout recovery and seniors should know that this compound can slow or prevent nuerodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
What is Astaxanthin?
Most of us are probably familiar with beta carotene the substance that gives carrots their orange color and touted as good for our health. Well astaxanthin is beta carotene, but with some modifications of its structure that gives it unique health benefits and that has led some to dub it the “King of the Carotenoids”.
Astaxanthin is what gives flamingos, salmon and shrimp their bright pink color.
The main source in the food chain for astaxanthin is a tiny algae that gets concentrated into larger organisms feeding up the food chain like salmon and flamingos.
These algae produce astaxanthin to protect them from the stresses of their environment. We humans can then take of advantage of this stress protection by ingesting supplements purified from these tiny algae.
What Form of Astaxanthin Should I Take?
Astaxanthin should only be taken from natural sources. Like its cousin, beta carotene, synthetic astaxanthin should never be taken since it my be ineffective or even detrimental to your health.
Farmed salmon are typically given food laced with synthetic astaxanthin to give them their characteristic pink color. Wild caught salmon get their astaxanthin from natural food sources and this is one reason why it is superior to farm raised salmon for health.
Probably the same reason why salmon loaded in astaxanthin are strong swimmers while those deficient in astaxanthin are weak swimmers. Research shows that astaxanthin can improve post workout muscle and joint recovery.
How Much Astaxanthin Should I Take?
Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.com says he gets maximum benefit form 16 mg of astaxanthin per day. Supplements typically come in 4 mg per soft-gel capsule so that would be 4 soft-gel capsules per day. Since it is fat soluble, I would recommended taking astaxanthin supplements with a meal.
Sun worshipers should take it a least an hour before going out in the sun and after coming out of it and athletes should consider taking it within a half-hour after their work-out.