Carotenoids are the pigments that give our healthy foods their different colours. ie. the red of a tomato is lycopene, the orange of a carrot is beta carotene etc. There are so many different carotenoids in our healthy foods.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid from the sea. It comes from sea plants and sea animals, most prominent in sea plants. But fish that eat the sea plants end up with astaxanthin in their flesh and that is what gives fish such as salmon and trout, shrimp and lobster their pink colour. Astaxanthin is as much as 65 times stronger than Vitamin C but don’t stop taking your Vitamin C. These two antioxidants have different functions in the body. You need both.
Being a vegan, I don’t eat fish or meat but still need the health benefits that they would provide so I top up my nutritional intake with good quality supplements to insure that I’m not deficient in any way. I take a fantastic quality Astaxanthin capsule every morning and have for several years now.
There are many benefits from taking this supplement for everybody. I like it for what it can do to help my nervous system dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.
Science says the pink carotenoid provides so many benefits to the human body. I list them here:
– Protects the brain against dementia
– Eye health
– Balances the immune system
– Protects the skin against UV damage
– Protects cells against DNA damage which is the precursor to cancer
– Blood vessel health
– Reduces insulin resistance
– Promotes good arterial health
– Is anti-inflammatory
– Increases your happy cholesterol and lowers triglycerides
– Helps with tissue repair after intense exercise
It is suggested to supplement with astaxanthin if you have cognitive problems such as loss of memory or a condition such as dementia, suffer from arthritis, have vision problems, are an athlete, suffer any condition that ends in “itis”.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD has written about Astaxanthin in his book “The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps”. He praises the effect that astaxanthin has on the skin. He believes that this antioxidant is a powerful anti-inflammatory and gives your skin a beautiful glow. It also reduces spots and wrinkles. It acts like an internal sunscreen protecting the skin from the UV rays from the sun from the inside out.
It is fact that people who eat the most antioxidants enjoy the best health. Astaxanthin is a powerhouse antioxidant. The older you get the more antioxidants your body requires.
Now don’t just go to the health food store and buy the first Astaxanthin you find. Do your research. The best and most studied Astaxanthin comes from Hawaii. I get my supplement from one of my favorite health gurus…Dr. Joseph Mercola….who does his research and carries nothing but the best in quality supplements. It is an American firm but I know you can get this great supplement here in Canada. Something to remember when taking Astaxanthin is to take it along with a good source of fat so that it is better absorbed. The Dr. Mercola brand that I take contains ALA which is an Omega-3 fatty acid and helps the body absorb the astaxanthin better.
I’ve been taking astaxanthin for well over 10 years now. I know it is helping me in many ways. I’ve spent many hours in the sun and my skin is pretty good considering. My eye health is good. I do use glasses for reading but with Multiple Sclerosis I need to keep my eyes in top shape because of the risk of optic neuritis. Each year I get my eyes checked and my optometrist tells me my eye health is good. I don’t get colds and flu too often so I do believe that my immune system is being helped by the Astaxanthin too. My cholesterol is good. So all in all, I think Astaxanthin supplementation is a good fit with me.