Astaxanthin is in a League of Its Own
In the words of Dr. Joseph Mercola, the Internet’s leading health educator.
Astaxanthin is produced only by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis when its water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation. It's the algae's survival mechanism - Astaxanthin serves as a “force field” to protect the algae from lack of nutrition and/or intense sunlight. There are only two main sources of Astaxanthin: the microalgae that produce it, and the sea creatures that consume the algae (such as salmon, shellfish, and krill). Astaxanthin is now thought to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature.
Astaxanthin not only provides the color to salmon but is also the reason salmon have the strength and endurance to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days on end. Their diets are high in this pigment, which concentrates in their muscles and makes them one of the “kings of endurance” of the animal kingdom.
Astaxanthin is leaps and bounds more effective than beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, other members of its chemical family. It exhibits exceptionally effective free radical scavenging activity and protects your cells, organs and body tissues from oxidative damage.
Astaxanthin's unique “anti-oxidative artillery” provides for an impressive array of health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, stabilising blood sugar, boosting your immune system, improving endurance and athletic performance, improving fertility and even protecting you from sunburn.
What Makes Astaxanthin Special?
There are many properties that make this carotenoid unique. Here are the main differences:
Astaxanthin is by far the most powerful carotenoid antioxidant when it comes to free radical scavenging: Astaxanthin is 65 times more powerful than Vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene and 14 times more powerful than Vitamin E.
Astaxanthin is far more effective than other carotenoids at “singlet oxygen quenching,” which is a particular type of oxidation.
The damaging effects of sunlight and various organic materials are caused by this less-stable form of oxygen. Astaxanthin is 550 times more powerful than Vitamin E and 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene at neutralising singlet oxygen.
Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier AND the blood-retinal barrier (beta carotene and lycopene do not), which brings antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to your eyes, brain and central nervous system and reduces your risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, blindness, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Astaxanthin is soluble in lipids, so it easily incorporates into cell membranes and protects them from oxidative damage.
It's a potent UVB absorber and reduces DNA damage.
It's a very potent natural anti-inflammatory.