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Astaxanthin the most powerful natural antioxidant

Updated on December 8, 2012

Astaxanthin as a powerful antioxidant

Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that mops up free radicals. Because it is fat soluble, it has the ability to go into your nervous system and is one of the few antioxdiants that can cross the blood-brain barrier. So it is helpful in preventing oxidative stress in the brain. It is sometimes used for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in addition to the traditional medications treatments.

Oxidation contributes to aging. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin is more powerful than the more familiar antioxidant of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. In fact, its antioxidant capabilities is many times more superior than vitamin E as well as even Coenzyme Q10. That is not to say that it should be used in place of vitamin E or Coenzyme Q10; because vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 has other benefits in addition to its antioxidant capabilities.

The reason astaxanthin eclipses many other antioxidants in their free-radical protection is that it can neutralize multiple types of free radicals and can neutralize multiple free radicals at the same time. Other antioxidants can neutralize only one free radical at a time before it is used up and needs to be recharged by another antioxidant. Furthermore, they have a preference for only one type of free radical. In some cases, an used-up antioxidant can switch sides and become a pro-oxidant. Astaxanthin when it is used up becomes a harmless metabolite and never becomes a pro-oxidant.

Dr. Robert Corish on Astaxanthin

In the below video, Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. Robert Corish about astaxanthin. Both are a big believer in astaxanthin as they both take them. Dr. Corish has read 400 studies on the topic and have been taking astaxanthin himself for 10 year and his current dosage is 12 mg a day.

Dr. Corish mention that astaxanthin has cardiovascular benefits. Astaxanthin can be found in foods such as salmon, shrimp, and krill. And they get them from eating micro-algae. Dr. Corish believes that micro-algae is the most potent source of astaxanthin.

Because astaxanthin can pass through the blood-brain barrier, it can also have neuroprotective properties. Astaxanthin may also help prevent dementia. Phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) levels are abnormally high in dementia patients. The British Journal of Medicine cites a 12-week study where astaxanthin supplementation resulted in lower PLOOH levels in its subjects which may contribute to the prevention of dementia.[reference]

Astaxanthin as anti-inflammatory and carotenoid

Astaxanthin is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So it can be helpful with arthritis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, aching joints, and certain types of back pain. Dr. Corish mentions studies showing how astaxanthin can decrease joint pain such as in rheumatoid arthritis.

It can even help with pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreases). It has the ability to get into your pancreases and repair its beta cells which makes insulin.

Astaxanthin is an carotenoid and is in the same family as beta-carotene. Like beta-carotene, astaxanthin is good for eye health and can help prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Astaxanthin can help with the appearance of your skin. When applied topically, it can help protect against sunburn. And when your body has sufficient astaxanthin aboard even when taken orally, it takes longer for your skin to burn.

Astaxanthin Supplements

When getting astaxanthin as a supplement, get the natural form that comes from marine algae rather than from fungus or synthetics. The natural form of astaxanthin is from marine algae. Salmon, shrimp, krill, lobster, and other crustaceans eat this algae which is how these marine animals get their pinkish color. The pink in flamingos is also from astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is sometimes used as a natural dye.

In terms of the dosage, 10 milligram is a reasonable dose since you get about 6 to 8 milligrams in a healthy salmon serving. Because astaxanthin is fat soluble, it should be taken with food (preferably with some healthy fats like olive oil or avocado) for best absorption.

In an interview on Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mercola says he takes 8 milligrams of astaxanthin a day. The show is mentioning that it is the "#1 supplement you've never heard of that you should be taking" Editor Mike Adams wrote about Astaxanthin in 2008 and gave it "Editor's Choice Best Product" for the BioAstin brand of astaxanthin made by Cyanotech. He even toured their factor in Hawaii. All of Cyanotech's product are pesticide and herbicide free and does not contain any GMOs. Mike Adams takes this brand of astaxanthin and puts astaxanthin as among his top three supplements (the first being vitamin D and the second being Omega-3).


This article was written June 2011. At the time of writing, I started taking astaxanthin after hearing raves about it by pharmacist Suzy Cohen, Dr. Mecola, and Dr. Perricone (videos in the provided links).

I am not a medical professional and may receive revenue from the display ads and links within the article.


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