The Antioxidant You Need to Know About: Astaxanthin
It might sound like a scary chemical, but astaxanthin is actually a naturally occurring carotenoid (what gives color to plants). It’s usually found in marine organisms like microalgae, salmon, and shrimp.
Astaxanthin has recently become known as a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant and may be beneficial for joints, male fertility, skin health, and brain health.
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Astaxanthin is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. We love antioxidants because they can help protect cells against oxidative stress, reducing the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Promote Joint Health and Reduce Inflammation
Since astaxanthin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it can be used as an effective remedy for joint pain caused by osteoporosis and arthritis.
Improve Male Fertility
A small double blind study, conducted in 2005, suggests a positive effect of astaxanthin on sperm parameters and fertility. The study was done over the course of three months and used high doses of astaxanthin (16 mg/day). The study found an improvement in sperm count, sperm motility, and fertility.
This study was done on a group of 30 men who were previously suffering from infertility. Results need to be confirmed by a larger trial to draw conclusive evidence of the astaxanthin on male fertility, but so far results look promising!
Promote Skin Health
As a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin works to combat free-radical damage to the skin. It can even block UVB rays, working like an internal sunscreen (although it should not replace your physical sun care!). Not only does it protect against sun damage, but it also helps with skin elasticity, inflammation, and hydration.
Support a Healthy Brain
Although there is more research to be done, astaxanthin is gaining attention for studies showing its effect on brain health. Studies are showing promising results for astaxanthin having neuroprotective properties, which can help with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Where Can I Find Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin can be found in whole foods like wild pacific and sockeye salmon, crab, and lobster. However, to get the most out of astaxanthin, it’s best to use a supplement!
How Do I Supplement Astaxanthin?
Look for a supplement that uses a bioavailable form (like H.pluvialis algae extract!) so your body can absorb and utilize all the benefits. Aim for at least 3mg of astaxanthin per day.
Pure Encapsulations is one brand that makes a high quality, bioavailable astaxanthin supplement.
Many people look to krill oil because it contains some astaxanthin. Unfortunately, many krill oil supplements only contain trace amounts. However, the Genestra Brands krill oil makes a great option!
When taking an astaxanthin supplement, it’s important to take it with a meal containing healthy fats. Astaxanthin is “fat-soluble” meaning it needs fats to be properly utilized by the body.
Are you going to start taking astaxanthin?
Aly is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner (CNP) who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and holds a BA from Western University. Aly’s warm and approachable demeanor empowers her clients to take control of their health. She uses a realistic approach, with an emphasis on balance and whole foods to personally address your nutrition needs. Aly believes that eating healthy isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having a plan you can stick to that gives you energy while allowing you to eat the foods you love. Aly believes that with the right tools and guidance you can make positive lifestyle changes to enjoy a happier and healthier life!