The Skinny on the Antioxidant Astaxanthin — Part 3

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In Parts 1 & 2 of this series, I discussed antioxidants’ role in keeping your body healthy and how free radicals wreak havoc in all of your cells. I also introduced you to the worldwide phenomenon of Astaxanthin.

Now, learn how Astaxanthin benefits your heart and brain; reduces joint pain and inflammation; improves eye health; beautifies and protects skin; reverses aging; and more.

I could talk for hours about these studies — and there have been more than 500 studies conducted worldwide on this amazing antioxidant, the “King of Antioxidants” — Astaxanthin — and its remarkable efficacy. I’ll be as brief and cogent as possible. You can also refer back to Part 1 and Part 2 in this 4-Part series. Let’s start with heart health.

Heart Health: In one of the many studies I read on heart health from Yoshida, Park and Fassett, it was shown that 12 mg of Astaxanthin a day can increase your HDL cholesterol (which is the good cholesterol) by 15%. It can reduce triglycerides by up to 25%. More importantly, it can reduce your C-reactive protein, which is the biomarker for silent systemic inflammation.

Joint Pain Caused by Arthritis/Rheumatoid: Studies confirm that Astaxanthin reduces nuclear factor kappa beta — the master switch for the inflammatory response. It also reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation and pain. In one eye-opening study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, giving them just 4 mg daily, there was an 85% improvement in their pain score, 60% improvement in their mobility, and almost 30% improvement in their gastrointestinal comfort. Of this group of people with rheumatoid arthritis, 60% said it was just as effective as their prescription medicines. That’s quite some power right there, and they were taking only 4 mg daily.

More Benefits of Astaxanthin

Eye Health: It’s very effective for eye health indeed as Astaxanthin protects your macula and retina from free radicals, decreasing your risk of macular degeneration — the most common form of blindness. It also helps to retard the formation of cataracts. It passes through the blood retinal, rare for most antioxidants. I take it daily simply to keep my eyes healthy and to prevent eye and vision problems.

Other eye problems that may benefit from Astaxanthin include: Glaucoma, Retinal arterial occlusion, Cystoid macular edema, Inflammatory eye diseases (i.e. retinitis, iritis, heratitis, and scleritis)

Brain & Nervous System Health: Last year in the British Journal of Nutrition, there was a study on Alzheimer’s. Another property of this antioxidant is that it passes through the blood-brain barrier, too, offering protection to the brain, the spinal cord, and the central nervous system. As you probably know, free radicals are responsible for causing strokes, cognitive decline, and dementia. So, we must have some type of antioxidant that can definitely pass in there to give us stellar protection — and Astaxanthin is this top-quality protection!
In people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, you’ll find an abnormal accumulation of hydroperoxides within red blood cells. Studies show that if you give Alzheimer’s patients Astaxanthin at a dose of 12 mg daily, the amount of peroxides (these are harmful free radicals) is reduced by 50%! That’s a very significant reduction.

This is one reason I take 12 mg daily. I want to have this essential system nervous protection. I also want cardiovascular protection, and because of my active lifestyle, I want increased energy from the Astaxanthin as it protects my mitochondria.

Skin: Hawaiian Astaxanthin works as an internal sunscreen, says Bob Capelli, Vice President of Cyanotech, a research laboratory for Hawaiian Astaxanthin and Hawaiian Spirulina. When giving 4 mg of Astaxanthin to human volunteers for 2 weeks, they found that the subjects could stay in the sun longer without getting burned. It will not eliminate the risk of sunburn in everyone, because there are many individual factors involved, but it can radically reduce your risk of developing severe sunburn and related skin damage. Getting sunburned not only causes photoaging, it can also cause skin cancers, so you should always take care not to get burned. Capelli recommends taking 4 mg of Astaxanthin per day. It takes several weeks for the dose to build up to achieve UV protection, and to help improve your skin’s overall moisture balance and elasticity. While watching this video, look at the youthful appearance and glow in Johanna’s skin, age 55, and who takes Hawaiian Astaxanthin daily.

We lose 40,000 skin cells every minute and it takes 2 months (8 weeks) to renew all of the skin that you see on your body. These new skin cells are made in the dermis layer of the skin, which is really the engine room of the skin. It is critical that we protect this level because it’s where the collagen fibers are. And this is where the fiber elastin bundles are, too. This is the connective tissue. In other words, this is the whole support system for the skin. This is where Astaxanthin tends to concentrate, as well. When you take a natural supplement of Astaxanthin, it will absorb the free radicals in the layers of your skin. Keep in mind that ultraviolet-B rays create a tremendous amount of free radicals in the skin. But with this antioxidant, you can neutralize and mop up the free radicals before they can knock out these supporting structures of your skin.

Watch this video to learn why we like Astaxanthin as an antiaging supplement. Asian ladies eat Astaxanthin up, because they’ve known about it for years. The Astaxanthin will capture these free radicals before it hits the collagen. When you keep your elastin and collagen healthy, you prevent and reduce wrinkles, according to the studies. This is a great side benefit of Astaxanthin, that women in Asia and Japan already know about. They take Astaxanthin every day!

Inflammation: Did you know that stress and depression cause inflammation, among other things such as diet, polluted air, injury, medications and many diseases. (Read more about inflamation.) The antioxidant Astaxanthin has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, which makes it useful for a number if diseases associated with inflammation, such as arthritis. With all the studies done by Capelli, he admits that while Astaxanthin is not a cure-all, it will absolutely help with having people feel better and definitely increase mobility and also help to reduce pain from inflammation. This video tells how Astaxanthin supports exercise recovery and more arduous events like a triathlon.

Capelli did studies on people with carpal tunnel syndrome with excellent results. And their subjects with tennis elbow actually made their grip strength 93% stronger in 8 weeks.

If you have arthritis or any other inflammatory conditions, it’s essential to address the foundational causes, which in many cases can be traced back to your diet, especially eating too much sugars and refined grains, which increase your insulin levels and inflammatory prostaglandins. Also, assess your fat intake, to make sure you’re getting healthful fats like the omega 3s.

Visit my website for detailed info on Inflammation and how to reduce it, and listen to my audio broadcast: Is Inflammation Getting the Best of You?

Do Healthy People Need to Take Astaxanthin?

I am often asked if I recommend Astaxanthin for those people who have no health issues at all and are already very healthy? I am committed to being healthy and know that prevention is the key. So, I always answer with a definite YES to taking Astaxanthin, even if you don’t have any health concerns right now. I recommend that everyone take it as a preventive, to boost your immune system and keep you in the pink. We are bombarded by such an amount of free radicals — the free radicals that come from the environment — those in our food, pesticides, herbicides, environmental smoke, and excessive sunlight. If I know that I’m going to be out hiking for more than a couple hours, I definitely want some protection. And Astaxanthin provides that internal protection. I think 12 mg really covers everything!

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If you want to take it as a general antioxidant coverage, then 4 – 8 mg will be adequate. Once again, depending on the condition that you are really trying to target, you can tailor your dose. I always take 12 mg daily. And as mentioned before, because it’s a fat soluble supplement, make sure you take it with a meal that has some fat in it, to get the most from it. It has a perfect safety record as mentioned in the previous Blog, but you want to make sure that you take the best form of Astaxanthin — from microalgae. The BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin is the one I take on account of its purity, and it’s also the one used in most of the scientific studies because of its efficacy and potency. In get both the 4 mg and the 12 mg dosages so that I’m covered. And I make sure that I take it daily. Remember that it will take about three months to fully saturate your body, so I recommend that you start with a 3-month supply.

In the next blog in this series, Part 4, I will discuss some remaining points about antioxidants and Astaxanthin, such as giving it to children and pregnant women or not, can you get enough Astaxanthin if you eat salmon, what I discovered in a clinical study I conducted on Astaxanthin, and more.  See below on how you can get a 25% discount.

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