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Top 10 Astaxanthin Supplements
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|#1||Dr. Mercola Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#2||NutriGold Astaxanthin Gold||Get it on Amazon|
|#3||Doctor’s Best Best Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#4||Pure Encapsulations Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#5||Bluebonnet Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#6||Solaray Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#7||Royal Green Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#8||Designs For Health Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#9||J-Bio Astaxanthin||Get it on Amazon|
|#10||Natural Factors Astaxanthin Plus||Get it on Amazon|
Astaxanthin is a supplement that is gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers. Someone considering taking this supplement may have many questions about it, including:
- What is it?
- Where does it come from?
- What is it used for?
- How is it used?
- Is it effective?
We want you to have the information you need to form your own opinion about astaxanthin, so here we will answer these questions and more.
Astaxanthin has gained widespread popularity in the United States as a dietary supplement recently because it functions as a potent antioxidant.
What is Astaxanthin?
Biologists discovered the chemical compound astaxanthin occurring naturally in many marine animals. It contributes the distinctive pinkish color to lobster, krill, trout, shrimp, and some algae, for instance. This chemical occurs within the powerful muscles of salmon, a fish known for its endurance in swimming long distances upriver.
A British organic chemist named Dr. Basil Weedon (1923-2003) researched a number of chemical compounds during the 1960s and 1970s which contributed to naturally occurring brilliant coloration in the bodies of certain animals. He succeeded in synthesizing astaxanthin under controlled laboratory conditions in 1975.
Astaxanthin is a pink-colored naturally occurring carotiniod structurally related to vitamin A. It is produced by certain types of algae, especially Haematococcus pluvialis. Salmon and flamingos owe their pink coloring to a diet high in crustaceans that subsist on astaxanthin-producing algae.
How Is Astaxanthin Used?
It is usually taken by mouth. The dosage varies, but daily dosages generally hover in the 6-8 milligram range. Dosages as high as 50 milligrams per day have been reported, but there is no information on toxicity at higher doses.
When used to combat wrinkles and other skin conditions, it is applied as a component of a topical lotion.
Astaxanthin is used as a food coloring in many countries. But we are mainly concerned with why people use it as a health supplement here. Let’s take a look at some of the conditions that people use it for.
Astaxanthin has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, the harmful type, by up to 10 percent while increasing HDL cholesterol, the good type by up to 14 percent. Furthermore, it was shown to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This antioxidant activity, combined with the overall positive impact on cholesterol levels, may make astaxanthin a useful supplement for heart health.
There are many claims but no evidence that astaxanthin lowers blood glucose levels. There is, however, at least one animal study that shows it may protect cells from damage caused by exposure to blood with high sugar levels. This protection is likely due to its antioxidant activity.
There may be a relationship between poor ocular blood flow and glaucoma. This is currently being extensively studied.
One study shows that a dosage of 14 milligrams of astaxanthin daily increased blood flow to the eyes without raising intraocular pressure. More study is needed in this area, but the one study that has been done shows promise.
Astaxanthin also shows promise in this area.
A study showed that astaxanthin lowers blood pressure in rats with hypertension while not affecting the blood pressure of rats with normal systolic and diastolic levels. The antihypertensive effect was shown to be related to the dosage, with higher dosages lowering the rats’ blood pressure more than lower dosages. It was also found that very high doses did not show any unsafe drop in blood pressure in the rats.
There are no studies about astaxanthin and human hypertension, but animal studies show promise.
Astaxanthin may help increase strength and endurance during physical exercise.
Trained and inexperienced cyclists who were given 14 milligrams of astaxanthin daily over the course of two weeks showed a marked increase in endurance and speed. The control group showed only a negligible improvement in endurance and speed.
It is not clear how astaxanthin is able to increase physical endurance and power output, but this double-blind study is credible because it used a relatively large sample of both genders and used both trained athletes and people who are used to only moderate exercise.
Protection From Muscle Damage
There is some evidence that astaxanthine may help protect against muscle damage.
In one surprising study, astaxanthine reduced the levels of two biomarkers that indicate muscle damage. Professional soccer players were given 4 milligrams daily over the course of the three month study. The subjects showed a significant decrease in possible muscle damage as compared to no decrease in muscle damage in the control group.
Things To Know About Astaxanthin
- Astaxanthin should be taken with food because it is fat soluble.
- Natural sources contain varying amounts of astaxanthin.
- Natural and synthetic sources may have varying degrees of bioavailability of astaxanthin.
Supplements containing enriched salmon oil or krill oil, which are the types most often used, may be adequate to supply the usual dosage of 6-8 milligrams per day when taken as directed.
Are There Any Adverse Side Effects?
Medical experts agree pregnant and nursing women should not consume astaxanthin supplements because of the absence of verified information concerning its possible effects on developing fetuses and babies. The WebMD website notes it does appear safe when consumed in the quantity occurring naturally in food, and when taken at low doses.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Astaxanthin occurs widely as a dietary supplement intended for consumption by mouth. It frequently appears as a coated tablet or in soft gel or capsule form. Consumers can also obtain this product as a component of vitamin products or carotenoid complexes.
People also frequently consume astaxanthin in lower amounts in natural foods by eating many pink or reddish-colored marine products, such as lobster, salmon and shellfish. In foods, the levels of astaxanthin often vary.
What to Look For in a Good Astaxanthin Formulation
Today scientists can produce astaxanthin synthetically under controlled, hygienic laboratory conditions. Some dietary supplements extract this product from commercially cultivated and harvested algae. Synthetic astaxanthin also occurs in the commercial supplement market.
The standards and care exercised in obtaining this product of course hold great importance for consumers. A good formulation of an astaxanthin supplement should offer uniformity in terms of the quantity of astaxanthin supplied in each dose.
To ensure you obtain uniform, high quality astaxanthin supplements, carefully evaluate the marketing company, the firm’s reputation and product literature.
Additionally, marketing companies offering astaxanthin should be willing to submit their products for testing by commercial laboratories in order to ensure uniform levels of the supplement in capsules and tablets (a very important consideration).
There are many claims made about astaxanthin’s positive effects on human health. However, although much research is currently underway, there have been relatively few human studies. The human studies that have been done show some promise for several conditions.
Human studies have produced some surprising results. The research that shows astaxanthin may increase energy and protect against muscle damage from strenuous exercise is nothing short of amazing. There is a possibility that astaxanthin could be useful as part of a physical therapy program after injury. More research is needed in this area.
Animal studies are very encouraging. They show that astaxanthin may have a significant positive impact on cardiovascular health, among other conditions.
Citations K. Rajesh, M.V. Rohit and S. Venkata Mohan, Microalgae-Based Carotenoids Production, Algal Green Chemistry, 10.1016/B978-0-444-63784-0.00007-2, (139-147), (2017)