Features and Benefits
Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce cellular damage caused by free radicals. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help the body function better and can also contribute towards living a longer, healthier life.
Astaxanthin is, like beta carotene, a carotenoid. Beta carotene is probably the best known of all the carotenoids as it the best way to fulfil your body's Vitamin A needs. Astaxanthin has many powerful health benefits beyond many other carotenoids including: eye health, prevention of brain related degenerations (such as dementia) and organ and skin health. It has up to 550 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin E, 10 times that of beta-carotene and surpasses Vitamin C as well.
More about Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin can be found in plants and animals throughout the world. It is most prevalent in algae and phytoplankton, but it also can be found in a limited number of fungi and bacteria. Because organisms like many Astaxanthin containing algae and plankton are the base of the food chain, Astaxanthin can be found in many animals as well. Any sea animal that has a reddish or pinkish color contains Natural Astaxanthin. For example, you can find Astaxanthin in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp and crab. These animals eat krill and other organisms that ingest Astaxanthin-containing algae and plankton as a major part of their diets. And since lots of different animals such as birds, bears and even humans eat these sea animals, you can find Astaxanthin in all sorts of places.
As we mentioned before, the animals that have the highest concentration of Astaxanthin are salmon, where it concentrates in their muscles and makes them the endurance heroes of the animal world. Can you imagine what salmon would look like if they didn’t have any Astaxanthin? Not only wouldn’t they be able to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days on end, but they’d also look pale and worn out.
Have you ever seen a bird bath in summer that has dried up? Sometimes you'll see a reddish color where the standing water has evaporated. The red you’re seeing is Natural Astaxanthin.
What has happened is that some green algae (perhaps the one that commercial growers of Natural Astaxanthin use which is called Haematococcus pluvialis) have suffered stress. The stress is due to a combination of things: Lack of food, an absence of water, intense sunlight and heat, or even bitter cold. As a result of this stress, the algae's cells have hyper-accumulated the red pigment Astaxanthin. They do this as a survival mechanism—the Astaxanthin serves as a “force field” to protect the algae from lack of nutrition and/or intense sunlight. It’s an absolutely amazing fact, but due to the protective properties of Astaxanthin, these algae can stay dormant for more than forty years without food or water, suffering in the summer sun or in the winter cold; yet when conditions are appropriate and there is food and water and no extreme weather, the algae will go back into their green, motile stage.