Astaxanthin is a carotenoide which provides several health benefits. Find out everything about this pump antioxidant in our article.
The astaxanthin is a natural pigment color reddish rose, which belongs to the great family of the carotenoids.
The carotenoids are pigments that we find in food and which are known for its properties antioxidantsable to protect cells against the attack of free radicals.
Free radicals are compounds reactive that that form constantly in the body, as a result of the natural processes inherent to metabolism, exposure to pollutants and other toxic compounds, as well as high levels of stress.
Can exert adverse effects on the organism, including oxidation and cell degeneration, which can lead to numerous diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and degenerative diseases.
However, the action of free radicals only becomes significant if the intake and the levels of antioxidants in the body are low, since these compounds neutralize the free radicals before they have the possibility of damaging proteins, lipids and DNA of cells by oxidation.
STAXANTHIN IN THE BODY
The importance of astaxanthin in the body is, precisely with its antioxidant potential.
To give you an idea, it is estimated that their antioxidant properties are 6000 times better than vitamin C, 550 times higher than vitamin E and catequeinas of green tea and 40 times greater than those of beta-carotene.
This is due to the structure in the long chain and the polar groups terminals that it has, which protect the double-layer lipid of the cell membrane (inner and outer) with greater efficiency than other antioxidants, which act only in the interior (such as vitamin E and beta carotene) or outer (like vitamin C) to the membrane of the cell.
In this sense, astaxanthin helps to protect cells from oxidation, exerting several beneficial actions to the body:
BENEFITS OF ASTAXANTHIN IN THE BODY
- Prevents premature aging and improves the memory;
- Produces effects, neuro-protective, since that can overcome the blood brain barrier, preventing dementias and neurodegenerative diseases;
- Increases physical and mental performance;
- Promotes the increase of muscle mass (by increasing the levels of testosterone);
- Increases the levels of cholesterol HDL (good) and lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides;
- It reduces the blood Pressure;
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases, including arteriosclerosis;
- Increases the production of adiponectin by the adipose tissue, a hormone that exerts several positive effects on the body, including the regulation of glucose and production of insulin;
- Relieves joint pain;
- Reduces inflammation, which is the main cause of most of the degenerative diseases;
- Strengthens the immune system by increasing lymphocytes (B and T;
- Improves visual acuity and prevent cataract;
- Improves problems of infertility, especially male, because that increases testosterone production and mobility of sperm;
- Protects from solar radiation and ultraviolet burns.
THE ASTAXANTHIN AND THE SPORT
As previously referred to, astaxanthin promotes the increase of muscle mass and the physical and mental performance and endurance, decreasing fatigue.
In a pioneering study on the astaxanthin held in 2008, it was found that astaxanthin increased the power athletes, which significantly improved its performance in the competition.
In fact, the yield has improved by 55% over that received, during the six months, a daily dose of only 4 mg of astaxanthin, mainly due to a higher tolerance of lactic acid (a substance that, when it accumulates in muscle, it induces fatigue).
It is speculated that this higher yield is due also to the fact that the astaxanthin to protect cell membranes against the oxidative stress caused by intense exercise, increasing the response of muscle cells.
SOURCES OF ASTAXANTHIN
The origin of this compound is essentially marine, being responsible for the pinkish color characteristic of trout, salmon, lobster, shrimp, crayfish, crabs, among others.
Their largest source is natural unicellular Haematococcus pluvialis, although it can also be extracted from the krill, yeast, or other algae.
In addition to the foods already mentioned, this carotenoid is also found in carrot, red pepper and vegetables and fruit of red skin.
However, it should be noted that in some shellfish and fish aquaculture, and even in the production of eggs, astaxanthin is added as a supplement, which can be of natural origin or not.
NATURAL ASTAXANTHIN AND SYNTHETIC
In fact, there are differences siganificativas between astaxanthin, natural and synthetic:
The natural astaxanthin comes from the wild salmon, and microalgae green (Haematococcus pluvialis), being that almost all of the studies that demonstrate the benefits of effective astaxanthin on human health have been carried out with the natural compound.
Already the astaxanthin synthetic is used as a feed additive for various animals: crab, salmon, shrimp and chickens and is not intended for human consumption.
It produces chemically and sold on the market only for animal feed.
Salmon farming, for example, is provided to you ” as astaxanthin synthetic to give a reddish/pinkish attractive to consumers, so not all the fish that we eat today contribute significantly to the ingestion of natural astaxanthin.
SUPPLEMENTATION WITH ASTAXANTHIN
As the ingested amounts of astaxanthin through diet are often short of what is needed for the body to benefit from the same, taking them as a supplement to food has been attracting an increasing number of people.
The astaxanthin in supplement form can be consumed by all people, as their proper consumption does not produce harmful side effects.
In fact, astaxanthin, unlike some carotenoids, such as not converts into vitamin A, does not induce toxicity of this vitamin.
In addition, there seems to be no negative interactions with drugs, or with food or dietary supplements, and also does not seem to produce allergic reactions.
On the other hand, it is important to note that the damage induced by free radicals increase with age, so supplementation may be particularly important in the elderly, in order to provide the body with the necessary antioxidants.
Finally, it never hurts to remember that, by the fact that it is a compound lipid-soluble, and to optimize its effect, the astaxanthin should be taken in meals that include a small amount of fat.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL DAILY DOSE OF ASTAXANTHIN?
In general, it is recommended the consumption of a dose of 4-8 mg of astaxanthin per day, either in a single dose or spread throughout the day.
A higher dose of 8mg is recommended for athletes, as they are subject to a greater oxidative stress, as well as for people that are exposed to sunlight, excessive or large amounts of ionizing radiation, such as pilots.