What is Astaxanthin Exactly?

Astaxanthin is a nutrient, which possesses antioxidant properties. It is fat soluble. It is a corotenoid, belonging to a class of phyto-chemicals which are known as ‘Terpenes’. However, one property distinguishes it from other carotenoids. Astaxanthin does not get converted into Retinol, that is Vitmin A. This property makes it safer to consume than the other carotenoids. This is because, excessive intake of Vitamin A can have a number of detrimental effects on the body.

A research was carried on in Japan, to find out the effects of Astaxanthin on the body. The experiment was performed on two groups of mice. Both groups were fed the same food, but one group was served an extra amount of the carotenoid. On testing, the group of mice which had been served astaxanthin in their food showed lower body weight. This was because, the stored fat in the bodies of these mice was burnt up as an energy source. The mice who weren’t fed the carotenoid showed higher levels of body fat. This shows that astaxanthin helps in losing weight. It helps in weight loss also because it increases muscle endurance. This ensures that the strain on the muscles is reduced, and you can work out longer and with more intensity.

People who consume this nutrient have also reported faster and more significant fat loss. This carotenoid is available in naturally occuring sources, as well as supplements. If you wish to consume astaxanthin in the supplement form, ensure that you buy one which is well extracted and contains absolutely no organic solvents.

Naturally occuring food sources of astaxanthin are seafood like prawns, shrimp, krill, lobsters as also poultry products like chicken and egg yolk. But a deterrant here is that a lot of these foods come pre-injected with synthetic astaxanthin. The nutrient is best consumed in its natural form, and is available in wild trout and salmon fish, and chicken eggs which are organically bred. Supplements of krill oil can also be consumed.

This carotenoid possesses a number of nutritional benefits. These are as follows:

1. It regenerates and protects cellular membrane. The mitochondria- which are the power houses of the cell- are nourished by astaxanthin.

2. The antioxidant property it provides is more than that provided by other vitamins and antioxidat sources. And this includes Vitamin E which has a rally high antioxidant property.

3. It boosts the production of white blood corpuscles. This increases immunity. Also, astaxanthin suppresses allergies and inflammations.

4. The carotenoid enhances the functioning of the liver, which is a vital body organ. It also helps release Vitamin A into the blood, so as to nourish other body parts.

5. It helps in the prevention of eye diseases like glaucoma, and neuro-degenerative ones like Alzheimers’ disease.

6. Astaxanthin possesses the property to reduce hypertension- caused by high blood pressure. This in turn reduces the risk of having a stroke.

7. It enhances the health of the stomach, helps regenerate the gastric lining, and destroys bacteria which can cause inflammations.

8. Colon cancer can be prevented by regualr consumption of this nutrient. The stress on the kidneys for the oxidation process can be reduced. Kidney cell damage is minimised.

Astaxanthin is known as the ‘Super Antioxidant’. And with good reason too. It has antioxidant properties that are ten times greater than that of the carotenoid beta carotene. And an immense hundred times as that of vitamin E. The ideal dosage is one miligram two times per day. When consumed in combination with other essentail vitamins and minerals, it is a great nourishment for the human body.

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