When my younger brother began seeing patches of discolored skin on his face and hands at the age of 33, his doctors told him he may have an immune disorder. I started to search for information that could help boost his immune system, until an actual diagnosis was determined. I came across the usual - Vitamin D as an extraordinary supplement, potential allergens like wheat and dairy that could contribute to immune dysfunction, sun exposure that could possibly exascerbate his condition (according to doctors), etc. And then I came across a supplement that really sparked my interest, and I read on.
According to many scientists, a pigment molecule found in certain marine algae called astaxanthin, can benefit almost every cell in the body, including the eyes, skin, brain, heart, liver, and kidney. Researchers say it is one of the most potent antioxidants available.
Here are some of the significant benefits of astaxanthin I gathered from my research:
It is 6000 times more powerful than Vitamin C, giving it tremendous ability to reduce free radicals.
It is 800 times more powerful than CoQ10
Found to be more than 500 times more powerful than catechins found in green tea
It is 550 times stronger than vitamin E
It is one of the world’s most powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients and is over ten times more potent than other carotenoids.
A great deal of research has been done into how astaxanthin reduces inflammation. As is true for many antioxidants, its anti-inflammatory properties are related to its powerful antioxidant activity.
From joint, tendon and muscle pain, to arthritis, tennis elbow and healthier skin, astaxanthin is the super antioxidant that most people haven’t even heard about
It may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
It protects your eyes.
It acts as natural sunscreen to prevent skin damage.
It can be used to treat and prevent gastric ulcers.
It reduces your risk of heart disease.
It prevent premature aging.
It may help to fight cancer.
It promotes a healthier liver function.
It improves your brain and central nervous system.
It increases male fertility.
It may prevent diabetes.
Reduces wrinkles and age spots.
Supports joint health
Reduces signs of aging
Improves endurance and exercise recovery
Improves skin texture
Improves focus and ADHD
This supplement sounded too good to be true, but when I read that there are no side effects if taking a natural source of astaxanthin (ensuring that the supplement is not a synthetic form made of petroleum and other chemicals), I decided to add it to my daily diet. Since I could not report any health concerns prior to starting the dosage, I can't say that I've seen a noticable difference in my physical well-being, however I do notice that my skin is much softer and smoother. Also my periodic lower back stiffness (especially after doing strenuous asanas) has disappeared.
If you'd like to know more on what astaxanthin can do regarding any of the above points or for any other specific condition, google "astaxanthin for [condition]" and you'll find lots to read.
I looked for a high quality product of astaxanthin for my husband and I to start taking daily. Since I don't promote any product or company on this site, you can email me and I'll tell you what I selected.
It's important to make sure your astaxanthin is a natural product. Here are techniques to find out if your tablet contains real astaxanthin according to Algaeworld.org :
What you need to do is to cut up the soft gel containing the supplement and test what’s inside using oil, water or paper to determine if it is the real deal and not some petrochemical or red dye. Here’s what should happen if it’s the real stuff:
1. When you cut a soft gel and release its content into a bottle of cooking oil, real astaxanthin will cause the cooking oil’s color to turn red after gentle mixing because astaxanthin is lipid soluble.
2. When dropped into water, real astaxanthin will spread evenly on the surface of water just like an oil drop on the surface of water. It does not diffuse well into the water.
3. Finally, real astaxanthin is very sensitive to light and will undergo photodegradation and oxidation within 48 hours, or even shorter on paper. A normal red dye or food grade red dye is resilient to light and will not experience photodegradation.
I hope this was useful information for you. There are a ton of supplements on the market and it's a challenge to figure out what to take and what's a waste. I hope astaxanthin truly is all that.
(BTW, fortunately my brother is fine...all tests negative. Though we still don't have any answers for the discoloration which comes and goes.)
Disclaimer: The above article is an opinion of the author; the author has no intent to treat any person or to encourage the use of any product. Consult a physician prior to taking this or any supplement.