Cancer

Astaxanthin: The Powerful Antioxidant From the Sea

(WellnessNova.com) - You’ve heard about the wonders antioxidants can do for your body, but what if you wanted to take them directly in a pure form? You’re probably wondering which antioxidants are the most powerful so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Here’s why astaxanthin is one of the best antioxidant supplements you can buy:

What Are Free Radicals and Why Are They a Health Nightmare?

Free radicals are dangerous molecules with an uneven charge, which makes them reactive. When they come into contact with your cells, their reactivity influences the cells’ structure, which often damages these cells and the tissues they’re in.

Free radical damage has been known to contribute to heart disease because when they interact with your arteries and other blood vessels, they can cause hardening. Hardening of the arteries can lead to high blood pressure and an increased likelihood of plaque buildup – all of which can lead to a heart attack.

Free radicals can also damage your cells’ DNA, which can cause cancer. This DNA damage can also cause shortened longevity and premature aging or the speed up of signs of aging.

In the eyes, free radical damage can cause cataracts and retinal damage, which can lead to macular degeneration.

Free radicals are pretty much bad for your whole body, but they’re unavoidable. Every second you live, your bodily processes produce free radicals as byproducts – like when your cells use oxygen to make energy. You also get some everyday free radicals from environmental toxins, like tobacco smoke, biomass fuels, eating burned food, and eating junk or unhealthy food.

How Do Antioxidants Help Your Body Fight Free Radicals and Where Can You Get Them?

Now that you know free radicals are both dangerous and unavoidable, how can you defend your body against them? Obviously you can limit your environmental exposure somewhat – but in this modern world, it’s hard to avoid pollution exposure and all the different toxins in processed foods.

Antioxidants are the miracle compounds that come to the rescue! Your body makes antioxidant enzymes naturally to combat the byproduct free radicals it makes and to help neutralize any free radicals or toxins that contaminate your body. You can also get antioxidants from eating antioxidant-rich foods, like dark leafy greens, nuts, mushrooms, and salmon.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by binding to them – but this often means that the antioxidants become impotent after reacting with just one free radical.

Besides food and your own body’s production, you can also get antioxidants in concentrated form from supplements. Astaxanthin is one of the best antioxidant supplements you can take daily.

Where Is Astaxanthin From and Why Is It so Powerful?

Astaxanthin is the antioxidant made by algae and other microbes living in the sea. Algae use the sun’s rays to produce food, which means they’re constantly bombarded by the sun’s UV rays. Astaxanthin helps protect algae from damage from free radicals that are created by so much UV exposure.

Salmon and other sea creatures that eat algae and other astaxanthin-producing microbes become pinkinsh in color because of the antioxidant’s natural color mixing with their flesh. Scientists found that astaxanthin is important to salmon’s survival as an anti-inflammatory agent and muscle growth promoter. Studies with salmon being fed varying amounts of astaxanthin showed that the more astaxanthin eaten by salmon, the more muscle growth. Researchers also found that astaxanthin boosts salmon’s immunity to diseases.

If astaxanthin has these powerful benefits for marine life, what about for people? Well, researchers found that taking astaxanthin supplements can help prevent atherosclerosis. They found that some of its antioxidant actions are 200 percent better than beta-carotene’s. They found that participants given astaxanthin supplements experienced greatly reduced biomarkers for atherosclerosis.

Women given astaxanthin supplements experienced significantly reduced DNA oxidative damage and better immunity.

You can get antioxidants from taking in holistically healthy foods, which are almost always rich in antioxidants. But choose astaxanthin supplements if you want to take a concentrated form of antioxidant.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12566961

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829643

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/pretty-pink-astaxanthin-salmon

https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7007-4-10

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5063214/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771988/

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