Astaxanthin – The king of carotenoids
Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. In nature, astaxathin is found in algae and it is what gives salmons, lobsters and shrimps as well as flamingos their red color. Researchers argue, that astaxanthin is the main reason that salmons have the strength and endurance to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days.
In many different comparative antioxidant studies, it has consistently proven to be very strong natural antioxidant.
Comparison of antioxidant capacity
ORAC* - Oxygen radical absorbance capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples.
Proven benefits of astaxanthin use
Astaxanthin use is supported by hundreds of peer-reviewed papers published in leading medical research journals. More than 40 human clinical trials state the safety and efficacy of astaxanthin.
Natural versus synthetic astaxanthin
A major difference is that natural astaxanthin accumulates in living microalgae as compared to synthetic astaxanthin which is manufactured in a laboratory from petrochemicals or petrochemical derivatives.
The primary concern with the synthetic astaxanthin is that it has never been tested for safety in human use, nor any of above stated health benefits have been proved by synthetic astaxanthin. However, study performed by Capelli, et al in 2013 (Capelli, B., Bagchi, D., Cysewski, G.R. (2013) Synthetic astaxanthin is significantly inferior to algal-based astaxanthin as an antioxidant and may not be suitable as a human nutraceutical supplement. Nutrafoods, 12: 145. doi:10.1007/s13749-013-0051-5), has told natural astaxanthin to be 20 to over 50 times stronger than synthetic astaxanthin.
Studies have stated a very low rate of minor side effects such as reduction of calcium levels, decreased blood pressure, increased hair growth and skin pigmentation. Studies don´t state any dangerous side effects associated with the use of astaxanthin. Possible side effects should recede quickly, so there should be no reason for concern.
Especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and people suffering from serious or chronic deseases, or people using medicines should consult the use of astaxanthin with their doctor before start of their cure.
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