Astaxanthin - One of the Ocean's Greatest Gifts
The ocean is full of marvelous treasures that are all amazing and special in their own way. One of the most fascinating riches I’ve come across recently is Astaxanthin. To mention first, Astaxanthin a nutrient produced by the microalgae Haematococcus that grows off the shores of Hawaii. It is the most powerful antioxidant we have discovered to date, a part of the carotenoid family of antioxidants. It is 5,000 times stronger than vitamin C and significantly stronger that both co-enzyme Q10 and green tea, and 550 times stronger than vitamin E.
What is the significance of antioxidants and why do we need them for optimal health? Every move our 7 trillion cells make throughout our day causes oxidative stress, or free radical production. These free radicals are to blame for much of the aging that goes on in our bodies, and are partially responsible for wrinkles, gray hair, cataracts, vision loss, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, dermatitis, colitis, and cognivitis (ie:Alzheimer’s). We also get exposure to these free radicals from UV rays, air pollutants, and inflammation caused by overuse of our bodies, and from some of the food we eat.
The outstanding news about Astaxanthin is the benefits that come from eating such a powerful extinguisher of these free radicals.
These benefits include:
Protection of the brain against dementia
Prevention and possible reversal of age related macular degeneration, eyesight can improve
Protection of skin from UV damage, less sunburn
Protection of cells against DNA damage, a precursor to cancers
Reduction of inflammation throughout the body
Improvement of blood lipids
Higher energy levels due to your internal environment working better
Astaxanthin also reduces signs of aging in the skin, both by protecting it from harmful rays, and by decreasing the overall inflammation in your body. Inflammation running rampant in our body causes all kinds of maladies. It is a strong contributor to heart disease. It adds to the overall achiness of joints. It can also cause IBS and similar digestive issues. Some inflammation is a necessary part of health in our body. Inflammation is helpful in directing blood flow to injured areas, healing injury. Nonetheless, if it is present in your body for too long and in excess, it can start to break down your muscular tissue, nerve tissue, and blood vessels, which in turn, speeds up the aging process. That is why it is so important to get enough antioxidants in your diet to help keep things in balance.
There is a remarkable phenomenon in nature involving Astaxanthin that I like to tell people about. It involves salmon and their astonishing 7-day engagement upstream to their spawning ground. See, Astaxanthin-packed krill and algae are a normal part of salmon diet. But right before their spawn race they load up heavily on this amazing nutrient to the point that their flesh becomes almost blood red from the concentration of Astaxanthin. Then they venture uphill non-stop for a week without tiring. It’s the antioxidant/inflammatory effects that allow these fish to reach their goal. Due to the intense exercise they are enduring their bodies produce oxidative stress that is immediately extinguished by the antioxidant effect of Astaxanthin so they can keep going. It literally allows them to go non-stop upstream for an entire week.
There’s so much more depth to this nutrient that will be covered in future articles. I wanted to introduce you to one in a long line of my favorites. Though this is definitely close to the top of the list.
Thank you for taking time to educate yourself on how to increase your overall health and wellness.