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Anti-aging and Health Benefits of a Natural Astaxanthin Supplement

Date: 28th March 2012 | Created by: Troo Healthcare |
Astaxanthin is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most important health supplements on the market, with several clinical trials supporting growing evidence of both anti aging and health benefits associated with the algae based nutrient. Referred to as a 'super antioxidant', Astaxanthin has been credited with providing support for many conditions associated with aging.

Studies suggest that astaxanthin’s antioxidant ability is far greater than that of other carotenoids such as beta-catotene, lycopene and lutein, as well as vitamin E. In fact such is the potency of this super antioxidant that it is said to be:

800 times more powerful than COQ10
550 times more powerful than Green Tea Catechins
75 times more powerful than Alpha-Lipoic Acid
6000 times more powerful than Vitamin C

Due to it being a 'pure anti-oxidant' and it being able to cross the blood barrier astaxanthin is an ideal candidate to provide support for a number of health related functions.

Dementia
A study in Japan (referenced in the British Journal of Nutrition) concluded that astaxanthin can reduce the accumulation of compounds called ‘phospholipid hydroperoxides’ (PLOOH), which are known to build up abnormally in the red blood cells of those with dementia. In the study of 30 healthy volunteers aged 50-69 years old PLOOH levels reduced by 40% and 50% with 6 and 12mg daily of astaxanthin respectively. This compared to no change when using a placebo. As a result the researchers concluded that astaxanthin "may contribute to the prevention of dementia".

Poor Eyesight
In a trial published in the Japanese journal Medical Consultation & New Remedies, a daily dose of 6mg was given to 22 middle-aged and older people with signs of presbyopia - a condition where the lens of the eye loses the ability to focus (known as ‘accommodation’), This makes it difficult to see objects up close. The researchers revealed a significant improvement in eye accommodation ability after astaxanthin supplementation for a period of four weeks (Med Consult N Rem, 2009; 46: 89–93). A separate trial, a year-long Italian study, reported that taking 4mg of astaxanthin daily combined with other carotenoids and antioxidants (180 mg of vitamin C, 30 mg of vitamin E,  22.5 mg of zinc, 1 mg of copper, 10 mg of lutein and 1 mg of zeaxanthin) improved visual function in patients with age-related macular degeneration (Ophthalmology, 2008; 115: 324–33.e2).

Skin Ageing
A number of studies demonstrate that astaxanthin offers natural protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are the primary cause of premature skin ageing. Another study concluded that astaxanthin could help prevent skin sagging and wrinkling (J Dermatol Sci, 2010; 58: 136–42).

Even better, clinical trials suggest that taking astaxanthin could improve the condition of your skin. In a double-blind study, 16 women with dry skin, aged around 40 years, were trialled using either a placebo or a combination of 2mg of astaxanthin and 40 mg of tocotrienol (vitamin E). After only two weeks, the astaxanthin group saw numerous improvements in their skin’s condition, including less wrinkles, enhanced moisture and elasticity, a smoother surface, and reduced under-eye darkness and flabbiness. The results  got better still after four weeks, with various skin measurements showing a statistically significant change compared with the control group (Food Style 21, 2002; 6: 112–7).

A more recent study with a larger sample size (49 women) looked into the performance of astaxanthin alone (4 mg daily) on skin condition. After 6 weeks, notable improvements were found in the astaxanthin group compared with the placebo, including a significant improvement in elasticity and fine lines/wrinkles, as assessed by a dermatologist (Carotenoid Sci, 2006; 10: 91–5).

Getting Your Daily Dose
The normal daily dose of astaxanthin is 2–4 mg/day. It is a fat solutble supplement so seems to be absorbed best when taken following a fat-containing meal (Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2009; 73: 1928–32). Generally speaking it will work best when taken it with a dietary source of healthy fats, such as olive or flaxseed oil.

No adverse reactions have been noted in relation to taking astaxanthin giving it a high safety profile. In fact a human safety study concluded that 6 mg/day of astaxanthin extracted from Haematococcus pluvialis is safe for healthy adults (J Med Food, 2003; 6: 51–6).

As ever more studies will be needed to establish the full potential of Astaxanthin. However there is no doubt that the signs are that Astaxanthin could become one of the most important health support supplements on the planet.

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