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Astaxanthin Overview

Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble, oxygenated pigment called a xanthophyll and a member of the carotenoid family. It has a unique molecular structure that gives it powerful antioxidant function. It is extracted from salmon, microalgae, and Pfaffia, a yeast. Current research shows that due to astaxanthin’s potent antioxidant activity, it may be beneficial in cardiovascular, immune, anti-inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically it inhibits lipid peroxidation at the cell level; crosses the blood-brain barrier, effecting treatment of ocular, and neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma and Alzheimer's; provides significantly more antioxidant capacity than other carotenoids and antioxidants such as beta-carotene and Vitamin E; entraps free radicals by adding them to its long, double-bonded chain rather than donating an electron; stabilizes the cell membrane like a bridge because its polar end groups span the cell membrane, thus increasing its rigidity and mechanical strength; neutralizes singlet and triplet oxygen (de-charges) generated by UVA and UVB radiation and other sources; binds to a lipoprotein, an efficient transport vehicle, making it more bioavailable; increases immune system function including heightened production of antibody-secreting cells and Interleukin 2 and suppression of Interferon-gamma; inhibits reactive oxygen species that cause inflammation; enhances the antioxidant actions of Vitamin E and Vitamin C and encourages the release of Vitamin A from the liver when needed.

Astaxanthin has 100-500 times the antioxidant capacity of Vitamin E and 10 times the antioxidant capacity of beta-carotene. Many laboratory studies also indicate astaxanthin is a stronger antioxidant than lutein, lycopene and tocotrienols.

Dosage: The recommended dosage of 1 mg twice per day is similar on a weight basis to current doses for beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol.

Side Effects: There are no known side effects.

(Source: http://www.beta-glucan-info.com/astaxanthin-questions-answers.htm)

Research Overview

1. Interferes with proinflammatory substances
2. Blocks nitric oxide enzyme activity
3. Is a powerful antioxidant
4. Astaxanthin bioavailability is increased by some long chain triglycerides
5. Protects beta-cell function in diabetes
6. Reduces glucose toxicity
7. Limits exercise-induced cardiac and skeletal damage in mice
8. Protects against DNA damage from UVA rays
9. Reduces stress-induced lipid peroxidation
10. Helps prevent atherosclerosis
11. Slows growth of H pylori infection
12. Inhibits tumor growth
13. Controls cancer cell proliferation in colon cancer
14. Controls cancer cell proliferation in bladder cancer

Astaxanthin Abstracts (44)