If you haven’t heard of astaxanthin, the potent antioxidant heavyweight and skin health miracle that’s taking the health scene by storm, then prepare to be impressed. Famous for offering up to 6,000 times more antioxidant power than vitamin C, this antioxidant has become the go-to for everything from better joints to healthier looking skin to improved vision and brain health.
Credited for being the most powerful of all antioxidants, astaxanthin ( pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin” ) plays a significant role in promoting human health and protecting against various diseases, according to increasing scientific evidence.
Abundant in certain aquatic life, such as krill, sockeye salmon, red trout, algae and shrimp, astaxanthin is the pigment that creates their pinkish-red tone. In fact, this is also why flamingos are pink!
Top 5 Astaxanthin Benefits
Here are five reasons why you should consider including this “miracle” antioxidant workhorse in your diet:
1. Improve Look and Health of Skin
Many who take astaxanthin for its powerful antioxidant benefits have reported that the carotenoid has also dramatically improved their skin. In a study in which subjects got astaxanthin both orally and topically, the antioxidant helped promote smoothness, even out wrinkles, shrink age spots and retain moisture.Discover more about the skin health-boosting properties of astaxanthin, as well as other top skin protecting nutrients in our article The 10 Best Nutrients For Skin Health, Inside and Out .
2. Promote Healthy Vision
Shown to be nearly five times more powerful than the vision friendly antioxidant Lutein, astaxanthin has a unique capability to cross barriers and flood your eyes with impressive antioxidant support. Studies have found that astaxanthin can help improve visual acuity by strengthening the intraocular muscles and potentially curb vision-damaging conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
3. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is known to be a contributor to many diseases and chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), carpal tunnel syndrome and even just plain old sore knees and achy backs. In fact many people are saying goodbye to the side affects common in some over-the-counter and prescription medications.
4. Protect Against Sun Damage
In nature, astaxanthin protects salmon eggs from dangerous UV rays, and the same perks are available to us. Taken orally, it can help the skin build up antioxidant pigments that help reduce damage caused by the UV radiation. For more foods that can function as natural sunscreen, check out our article 6 Foods That Boost Skin’s Natural “Sun Block” .
5. Rev-Up Energy and Stamina
Believe it or not, one of the biggest causes of low energy and fatigue is oxidative stress and free radical damage to the “energy power plants” in your cells known as mitochondria. But astaxanthin has been shown to help combat this stress and protect the mitochondria you rely on power every cell in your body.
One study at the Karolinska Institute in Gustavsberg, Sweden found a clear link between astaxanthin, and improved muscle strength when they administered either astaxanthin or a placebo to a group of 40 study participants. At the conclusion of the study period, participants who took astaxanthin has three times the muscular strength as the placebo group.In fact, the energy boosting effects of astaxanthin are so powerful that many endurance athletes credit the antioxidant for helping them to power through plateaus and reach energy levels that they have never experienced in their life before.
Debbie Swanson is a freelance writer, published in numerous national and local outlets. An avid vegetarian, animal lover and reader, she loves learning about healthy eating and finding natural cures for everyday ailments.