Get to know the benefits of astaxanthin for your joints, skin and eyes — and its ability to enhance athletic performance.
Few people have heard of it, but the antioxidant astaxanthin offers so many benefits that it won't stay unknown very long.This algae-based antioxidant has been shown to be a very effective treatment for all types of tendon, joint and muscle pain, arthritis and tennis elbow.
It's also a great nutritional supplement for beautiful skin, and it offers unique and powerful benefits for your eyesight as well. Astaxanthin has become the favorite supplement of endurance athletes for its ability to help your body generate energy and reduce lactic acid buildup that depletes you of your stamina.
Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-ZAN-thin) is one of a group of natural pigments known as xanthophylls (pronounced ZAN-tho-fils), a subcategory of the carotenoid family.
Carotenoids are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) produced by plants (and some animals, too) as part of their survival mechanisms. Plants use carotenoids and their natural antioxidant properties to protect themselves from the harsh rays of the sun.
Salmon and shellfish get their red or pinkish color from a diet of krill and other small organisms that in turn eat astaxanthin-rich algae and plankton. You can get some astaxanthin by eating these foods, but taking supplements made from microalgae is far more beneficial. Microalgae contain as much as 1,000 times the concentration of natural astaxanthin that you'll find in salmon.
Astaxanthin has been shown by some standards to be the strongest natural antioxidant known. Although it's hard to say that about any one specific nutrient, astaxanthin does have a combination of properties that make it completely unique in the world of antioxidants:
Many antioxidants can only handle one type of free radical at a time, and they tend to have a preference for one type – a singlet oxygen free radical, a nitric oxide free radical, or a peroxyl free radical.
Inflammation is your body's response against infection, and the mechanism it uses for repairing injured tissue. When a virus attacks your cells, your inflammatory system kicks in to fight it off. If you sprain an ankle, your inflammatory system works to repair the damage. Other examples of inflammation include the swelling you experience from arthritis and sunburn.
"Silent" inflammation underlies many diseases. While occasional inflammation is a normal, healthy process, chronic inflammation can lead to serious problems. This is often called systemic or "silent" inflammation.
This chronic inflammation has commonly been associated with with asthma and arthritis, but now is thought to be an underlying cause of atherosclerosis, strokes, ulcers, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes and more.
Common treatments for inflammation come with significant side effects. These include aspirin, acetaminophen and the prescription drug Celebrex. None of these are harmless; they all have significant side effects, serious enough to result in over 100,000 hospitalizations and 15,000 deaths per year in the United States. Complications from the use of these medications represent about 40% of all drug-related emergency visits.
People are discovering the benefits of astaxanthin for any problem resulting from chronic inflammation. It's a completely safe alternative, and is effective for a large percentage of users.
Astaxanthin can help reduce pain and inflammation in tendons, joints and muscles. Astaxanthin has been shown to be a very effective remedy for all types of joint pain, including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and joint soreness after strenuous exercise.
A health survey taken by the Nutrex-Hawaii company showed that over 80% of those experiencing back pain and symptoms from osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis reported an improvement from supplementing with astaxanthin.
A convincing demonstration of the benefits of astaxanthin for athletic performance is the feat of salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
Salmon often go without food for days, drawing on their own reserves while making their way upstream for hundreds of miles. Where do they acquire such endurance? Much of it comes from their considerable dietary intake of astaxanthin.
The benefits of astaxanthin for serious athletes are significant. Regular users report that supplementing with astaxanthin:
If you excercise regularly, you don't want to be slowed down from fatigue or sore joints and muscles. Anything that can reduce inflammation will benefit your performance — and astaxanthin has been shown to be one of the most effective natural inflammatories there are.
How does astaxanthin help with stamina and endurance? Astaxanthin's ability to increase your endurance is due to its beneficial effect on your mitochondria, the part of your cells that generates up to 95 percent of your energy. Many of your mitochondrial cells are found in your muscle tissue; that's where you have the greatest need for them. When your mitochondria can't produce enough energy to meet your body's demands, your strength and endurance suffer.
This energy-producing activity of your mitochondria also has a downside — it generates highly reactive free radicals that damage your cell membranes. The more strenuous your activity, the more free radicals you produce. This cellular damage results in excessive inflammation which results in tired and sore muscles.
When you're engaged in any strenuous aerobic exercise, your body is using oxygen at an accelerated rate, and generating 12 times as many free radicals as when you are resting. Numerous studies, with humans as well as animals, have shown that astaxanthin's powerful ability to quench these free radicals gives you more strength and endurance.
Astaxanthin is also effective in reducing lactic acid buildup during intense exercise. Lactic acid is what produces the "burn" you feel when you're exerting your muscles to their max; lactic acid buildup will reduce your overall stamina.
Many competitive and endurance athletes have become believers in astaxanthin supplements for all of the above reasons.
One of the most frequently-reported benefits of astaxanthin is an improvement in skin quality. There is evidence that astaxanthin not only prevents UV sun damage from occurring, but may actually help to reverse external signs of aging, from the inside out. This has been clearly demonstrated in human clinical trials.
Many users of astaxanthin supplements report that they are able to spend significantly more time out in the sun without burning than they were able to before. This is due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties that astaxanthin has. (A sunburn is essentially an inflammation of your skin).
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, one of the world's leading antiaging experts, highly recommends astaxanthin for reducing wrinkles and age spots, improving moisture levels, elasticity and smoothness, and for giving your skin a beautiful, healthy glow.
Several cosmetic manufacturers have begun to use astaxanthin in facial and body creams for its UV protection and ability to heal damaged skin.
Recent studies reveal that astaxanthin is the ultimate supplement for eye health and the prevention of blindness, because it's one of the few antioxidants that can penetrate the retinal barrier in your eyes. Supplementing with astaxanthin has been found to have protective benefits against a wide range of vision-related problems, including:
Astaxanthin benefits cover virtually the entire spectrum available from antioxidants. Aside from those previously mentioned, studies have demonstrated an amazing number of benefits of astaxanthin:
Watch Dr. Joe Mercola on the Dr. Oz Show
talking about the benefits of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is certainly one of the most important antioxidants you can supplement with. It's not available in significant quantities from your diet, as wild salmon is the only abundant source. So it makes sense to take astaxanthin in a supplemental form.
Insist on getting natural astaxanthin — it's 20 times more powerful than the artificial varieties, which are produced from petrochemicals. There's really only once source to consider — BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin by Nutrex Hawaii.
Nutrex Hawaii has been growing spirulina at its 90-acre facility located
on Hawaii's pristine Kona Coast for over 20 years. They now also produce astaxanthin from microalgae, the first
company in the world to do so, using patented and
proprietary technology. Their harvesting and processing techniques
produce the purest microalgae-based dietary supplements
in the world. Many other companies actually sell the Nutrex product
under their own label.
You can find testimonials from astaxanthin users
on the Nutrex-Hawaii website.
Recommended dosage is 4mg/day for most people. For treatment of chronic pain, inflammation or sunburn protection, you may want to take a higher dosage. There is no toxicity issue, but higher dosages probably aren't necessary for most users.
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