If you’ve ever wondered why salmon and flamingos have a pink hue, here’s why: the presence of Haematococcus Pluvialis; green algae that produce astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin), which is essentially a highly potent antioxidant and carotenoid. As a form of response to the effects of environmental factors such as the sun and chemical reactions in water, these petite-sized green algae produce astaxanthin. This keto-carotenoid protects them and studies have shown that it can do the same for you.
Astaxanthin travels upwards through the food chain to crustaceans and is ultimately stored up in the flesh of salmon and the feathers of flamingos to give them a unique rosy color. It is also found in krill, shrimp, crabs and red trout, for instance.
Scientists in Sweden were the first to reveal the benefits of natural astaxanthin to salmon. Astaxanthin is what provides salmon the energy and stamina to travel through the ocean under strong currents and rapids to streams and rivers where they can spawn.
Combat Everyday Fatigue
These same scientists also discovered that people, too,can benefit from this extra endurance and energy. Astaxanthin can help to fight the everyday symptoms of fatigue and can improve athletic performance, as well as has been shown to have anti-aging and skincare benefits because it never pro-oxidizes as many other antioxidants do. This means it protects our skin cells from oxidation, a process that ages us.
It has also been shown by various clinical studies to strengthen skin elasticity, increase moisture retention, and diminish fine lines leading to wrinkles. Additionally, it is also a UV-blocker, protecting skin cells against sun damage.
Another benefit of astaxanthin is in aiding muscle recovery and stamina. In a clinical research study involving runners, it was discovered that when taking astaxanthin, runners showed a decrease in the levels of lactic acid buildup post-exercise. By easing the buildup of lactic acid and neutralizing free radicals, astaxanthin aids muscle recovery. Research shows that a daily dose of 4-6mg astaxanthin promotes muscle stamina and recovery with extra benefits to cognitive functions and cardiovascular health at 12mg daily.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “So, I can get an adequate supply of astaxanthin if I just eat more salmon?” Unfortunately, you would need as much as 1.6 servings of Sockeye salmon daily, 2.9 servings of coho salmon every day, or more than 12 servings of king salmon to make up 6mg of astaxanthin. Don’t forget that the salmon must be caught in the wild and eaten raw, as astaxanthin partially breaks down during cooking. All things considered, you’ll need more than just diet to fully exploit the benefits of this powerful pink carotenoid, which has been found to be 6,000 times as powerful as Vitamin C. Only natural astaxanthin supplementation is recommended for human consumption.
Sourcing Natural Astaxanthin
Natural astaxanthin can vary in quality when considered as a supplement. Also, because algae are similar to a cultivated plant, it’s important to consider manufacturers that grow natural astaxanthin in an indoor setting with water and filtered air. Having a knowledge of where the astaxanthin you consume is made is just as vital as using the supplement itself, therefore find an astaxanthin farmer in a country where there’s functional regulatory oversight, such as the USA.
One of the most well-known producers of all natural astaxanthin is AstaReal®, which has gone on to become the most studied astaxanthin brand in the world, harvested and cultivated right in the United States. It was also the first to commercially produce the potent ingredient. The brand is also Non-GMO Project Verified, FDA GRAS, NSF GMP Registered, Halal and Kosher.