Astaxanthin is a some forms of Algae
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties similar to beta-carotene. It provides the red coloring of salmon, trout, shrimp and crab as well as some forms of algae, including Haematococcus pluvialis.
Oxidative Stress is related to Aging process
As aerobic organisms we depend completely on oxygen for our existence. Although oxygen is absolutely critical for life, oxygen is found in a number of harmful by-products called reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS contain reduced oxygen molecules including free radicals such as superoxides, which constantly attack our body causing protein oxidation, lipid peroxidation and DNA, RNA damage. This constant attack is known as 'oxidative stress'. Oxidative stress plays a central role in the aging process and a significant factor in the occurrence of heart disease, chronic inflammation and certain types of cancer but to name a few.
- Pro-Vitamin A eases eyestrain, eye fatigue, myopia, hyperopia, cataracts and arteriosclerotic retinopathy.
- Anti-inflammatory activity positively affects various forms of cancer, including breast, stomach, liver and intestinal.
- Biological Response Modifier acts to alleviate allergia, atopia and SLE, while
- Blood Brain Barrier Pass acts to relieve cerebral-infarction and dementia.
- Blood Retina Barrier Pass acts to relieve cataracts and arterio-sclerotic retinopathy.
Astaxanthin is an Antioxidant
As an antioxidant, Astaxanthin aids in treating conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, arteriosclerosis, some forms of cancer and some skin disorders. According to Yazawa, Astaxanthin acts as an antioxidant by scavenging free radicals, quenching singlet oxygen, quenching triplet oxygen and halting chain reactions, and has the highest antioxidant activities when compared to other carotenoids. One in vivo study conducted in 1997 by the Nutrition/Foods Society determined that Astaxanthin inhibits LDL oxidation most effectively with a 3.6 mg/day dose, with subjects experiencing positive effects within 60 minutes of consumption. Astaxanthin also has chemopreventive effects on several types of cancer.
Sebastien Branchu, Ph.D., Fuji Chemical Industry Co
Astaxanthin can be found as esters (derivatives of Astaxanthin) and isomers (3-dimensional arrangements of Astaxanthin). Humans can biosynthesize Astaxanthin from sources including microalgae, yeast (Phaffia rhodozyma), bacteria (Agrobacterium aurantiacum) and higher plants (Adonis aestivalis). Astaxanthin is also obtainable from food sources including crustaceans such as Antarctic krill and fish such as Coho salmon. , H. Pluvialis Astaxanthin is more stable because it is esterified, and it is a source of linolenic fatty acids and other nutrients. In addition, this type of Astaxanthin is more readily absorbed, can be mass produced in a cost efficient way and is a safe, natural source.
As a dietary supplement, Astaxanthin can be used to enhance the immune system, prevent eye diseases by protecting the retina from oxidative damage and prevent age-related macular degeneration. It can also be used to alleviate oxidative stress in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and spinal injuries, and as an anti-cancer agent. In addition, Astaxanthin as a dietary supplement can prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increase the production of HDL cholesterol. Astaxanthin can also enhance energy, metabolism and endurance, and it is non-mutagenic and non-toxic.
In cosmetics, Astaxanthin can be used as a photo-protectant to prevent aging of skin from exposure to UV irradiation, as a stabilizer and to suppress hyper-pigmentation in the skin.