Astaxanthin Benefits – Side Effects – Dosage
Discover why this carotenoid antioxidant could be a natural remedy for inflammation, eye problems, and aging and disease?
Are you seeing signs of your mortality more and more often these days? Suffering from inflamed joints? Is just getting up from the couch causing you to hurt in places you never knew existed? Aches and pains are a fact of life, but they shouldn’t be dictating your present and your foreseeable future.
Now more than ever, people have increasingly been turning to natural supplements to fight the effects of aging. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, CQ10, and Green Tea extract are just a few of the natural remedies that have acquired strong followings. As far as natural products go, however, there’s one that’s more potent than all the others: astaxanthin.
What is this supplement? Where does it come from? Perhaps most importantly, what does it do? How much should I take? If you’re hoping to reverse the signs of aging and upgrade your standard of living as a result, this could very well be the “miracle” serum you’ve been seeking.
What is Astaxanthin? Where does it come from?
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid. What is a carotenoid? Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that are present in foods and animals. They give the bright colors. In the body they can be utilized as a powerful antioxidant to combat the effects of aging and disease. Many are saying that this is one of the best antioxidants on the market.
To many skeptics, natural supplements and the claims associated with them might as well be the quest for the Holy Grail or a misguided search for the Fountain of Youth. So when Astaxanthin exploded onto the natural market a couple years ago, it was met with enthusiasm as well as questions. It’s not easy deciding which side you should believe. To understand the craze for what’s now being dubbed a “super-antioxidant”, you have to start at the beginning.
This supplement was already noted in the wild as a source of red to pinkish coloring for birds (flamingo), crustaceans (red krill, lobster) and fish (salmon), but we’re just scratching the surface of what it can do for humans. This all begs the question of how it works and what specifically makes it so effective.
So this antioxidant in its natural form has a direct impact on the color and the growth of animals. In a moment we will discuss more about the possible benefits for humans. First, we need to understand if the supplement we are taking is in a natural or synthetic form.
The Source: Natural versus Synthetic
Natural astaxanthin that is taken in supplement form is found mostly in microalgae, such as in the Haematococcus family. Since it was cheaper and easier to feed farmed animals a synthetic version of it, however, different labs and individuals poured resources into figuring out how they could manufacture it. Animals that had it in their feed were healthier than the others and that attractive, natural look was useful from a marketing standpoint.
So today, you have a choice between the synthetic and the natural version of this supplement. Generally speaking, it’s a better idea to go for the original source where you can. Since the synthetic version is composed differently on a molecular level, you’re more likely to experience the full power of this supplement by going after the natural version.
Why You Need Antioxidants?
Imagine your body as a fortified military base. In a way, it is. It’s an intricate and well-oiled machine that needs different parts to work together in order to function optimally and defend against “Free Radicals.”
Since the body depends on oxygen to function, there’s no getting entirely away from free radicals. The thing about free radicals, however, is that they damage the cells. This in turn increases your chances of contracting serious diseases such as cancer.
That being said, such factors as diet and harsh environments can make free radical cell damage worse. So what is a health-conscious individual supposed to do? Since antioxidants disrupt and destroy free radicals, it seems like there’s only one logical thing you can do…
As for the antioxidants themselves, they can be further broken down into a couple of categories.
Lipid-Soluble and Water-Soluble
Antioxidants like to be in places where their characteristics are best accommodated. Lipid-soluble simply means that the antioxidant in question dissolves in fat. Due to these properties, lipid-soluble antioxidants are found primarily in the membranes of your cells.
Similarly, water-soluble antioxidants dissolve in water. Consequently, you’ll find them in your bodily fluids. The most common location is blood in this case.
Enzymatic and Non-Enzymatic
This is the distinction that will tell you how your supplement is going to defend you against free radical damage. Words like “enzymatic” and “non-enzymatic” might sound fancy, but they’re words that describe pretty straightforward concepts.
• An enzymatic antioxidant will work to destroy free radicals by breaking them down until they’re out for the count.
• A non-enzymatic antioxidant will stop them from continuing to do damage. So instead of your body suffering while it struggles to address the injuries to the cells, the free radicals and their attacks can be nipped in the bud right away.
That wasn’t so bad was it? While it may be tempting to pit them against each other, the reality is that you need both elements at work to have your body at its best. That being said, not all antioxidants are created equally.
For the record, Astaxanthin is a non-enzymatic lipid-soluble. With its ability to handle pretty much any free radical that comes its way and its position within the cells, you can improve your health tremendously with this supplement. Remember the “super-antioxidant” reference from earlier? This is partly where the title comes from.
Why Should I Buy Astaxanthin Supplements?
“This sounds fantastic, but is a pill really what I need?”
“What’s to stop me from just eating foods that contain it? Lobster’s not my favorite, but it’s still found in salmon isn’t it?”
If any of this has been on the tip of your tongue, there are a couple of things you need to understand about taking supplements. First, supplements aren’t supposed to be a substitute for healthy eating habits. There are some people who may not even need supplements in the way we’ve come to associate the term with prescribed medications.
That being said, a supplement can help you get more of the nutrients and minerals you need. When you’re trying to take advantage of what an antioxidant has to offer, why leave anything to chance? You’ll have a precise number that’ll tell you how much you’re getting.
Antioxidant supplements and the use of an astaxanthin supplement in particular, offer many tangible benefits.
What are the Astaxanthin Health Benefits?
Reasons to consider adding it to your arsenal.
So we’ve talked about antioxidants and more specifically, we’ve narrowed down the categories that showed you how the specific types work. Even so, none of that fully explains why you can’t replace astaxanthin with the next lipid-soluble non-enzymatic antioxidant you find. There are plenty of real astaxanthin benefits that you simply won’t want to pass up. Here are a few of them:
Painful as it can be, inflammation’s actually a good thing. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of damaged cells and toxic elements and it is how the body heals itself. Wonderful as that may be, inflammation can become a problem when that first natural response leads to more inflammation. With astaxanthin, you can kiss those sore knees and random bouts goodbye. This supplement is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Regain Your Memory:
Are you finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of your stuff? Do you find yourself misplacing your keys more often? Or maybe in your case, remembering where you left the remote control isn’t your problem. Perhaps your issue is that it’s getting harder for you to concentrate for longer periods of time. Whatever your memory issues appear to be, you’ll notice improvements once you start taking this antioxidant.
Save Your Joints:
Does the thought of walking with a cane sound appealing to you these days? Are you tired of the pain in your fingers and elbows making it difficult to perform simple tasks? One of the reasons why this has become such a popular natural product is the way it’s been known to improve the health of joints. That’s something to think about the next time you’re reaching for the nightstand and wondering if the discomfort is worth it.
Make Your Skin Look Younger:
There’s no question that aging is a part of life. However, nobody said that it can’t be done on your own terms. If the appearance of age spots has been getting to you and the wrinkles are starting to show in the mirror, there are ways to slow down or possibly reverse these effects on your skin to some degree. This supplement not only helps manage signs of aging, it also further protects your skin when you’re out in the sun. It can act as a natural sunscreen. This doesn’t mean you should not take precaution from sunburn. With this supplement, many are hopeful that their exact age can remain a well-kept little secret for a while longer.
Protect and Preserve Your Eyes:
Everyone has experienced eye strain after poring over ledgers for several hours or otherwise spending too much time in front of computer screen. One of the more noted benefits of this supplement is the way it’s been shown to preserve the health of people’s eyes. For those who have to get work done but don’t want to compromise their eyesight in the process, this is an antioxidant that deserves a second look.
Stimulate the Immune System and combat disease:
Stopping Illness Before It Happens? Everyone knows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We stay out of the rain to avoid catching a cold. We do not send the kids out to play while wearing their best clothes. The body fights off viral and bacterial infections through its immune system and generally the harsher the infection, the longer it takes to recover. One of the effects of astaxanthin is that it stimulates the immune system. That extra boost can help you fight off sickness…before you even notice it.
Strengthen muscles, improve endurance, and shorten recovery:
A Marathoner’s Best Kept Secret? It’s true. Triathlon athletes, marathon runners, and athletes of all types have come to appreciate the benefits of astaxanthin for the way it helps the muscles. This supplement has been known to improve endurance, shorten recovery periods, and make muscles stronger. Whether you’re losing weight, staying in shape, or getting ready for next season, you will appreciate what this antioxidant can do.
Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Circulation:
Have You Been Dealing With High Blood Pressure? Another advantage of taking this as a supplement is that it improves your circulation up while lowering hypertension. Besides being unhealthy for you long-term, poor circulation can be a source of serious discomfort. If you can put an end to that painful tingling and improve the condition of your heart in a single supplement, what’s not to love?
Improve Male fertility:
Male infertility is a fairly common, but still embarrassing problem for many men. Since it also affects women, both men and women are equally concerned and should explore this as a component of their overall strategy. For a less invasive solution that maintains a certain level of discreetness, you may want to consider giving astaxanthin a try, with supervision of your doctor.
According to at least one study, men who took this antioxidant while being treated for infertility were significantly more likely to conceive with their partners.
What Happens if You Take It?
So you’ve looked at the health benefits associated with taking astaxanthin and you’ve started coming around to the idea. There may be some substance behind the hype after all. Even with that settled in your mind, however, you may also be wondering what the potential pitfalls of this product could be. It wouldn’t be the first time that a popular natural product wreaked havoc on unsuspecting customers.
The Side Effects of Astaxanthin
Also worth noting is the fact that while the antioxidant’s ability to reduce blood pressure is good news for those with high blood pressure, people who suffer from low blood pressure may have problems with this one. Similarly, a reduced level of calcium is another issue of which supplement-takers should be aware, especially women.One detail that needs to be dealt with is the whole astaxanthin testosterone relationship. In men, this supplement may prevent the body from using testosterone the way it would like. As a result of that decreased presence, male breast growth, a reduced sex drive, and even erectile dysfunction are possible astaxanthin side effects.
Should I Be Taking It?
(Hint: Consult with your doctor!)
As with any supplement or medication, there are some people who are more at risk than others. You may want to consult with your doctor before taking astaxanthin if you:
- Have shown signs of sensitivity or allergy towards the microalgae responsible for it, supplements that similarly impact DHT production, and other lipid-soluble natural pigments?
- Have any hormonal issues or are taking any hormonal treatments?
- Have issues with your autoimmune system or are currently taking medications that are designed to lower your immune system response?
- Are pregnant or may be pregnant in the near future?
- Have osteoporosis or low amounts of calcium?
- Struggle with low blood pressure?
- Have osteoporosis or low amounts of calcium?
Astaxanthing dosage – How much should I take?
According to WebMD, 6-8 mg taken every day is the recommended dosage for this supplement. Although people have been able to take up to 50 mg, we’re still learning about astaxanthin. Usually you are restricted by the amount that is included in each capsule.
So as far as maximum doses go, the research is still ongoing. Though on the plus side, it seems like most individuals can take large amounts of this supplement without problems. However, always consult with your doctor regarding dosage and monitoring. As always, consult with your medical doctor regarding proper astaxanthin dosage.
What are People Saying About It?
While there’s something to be said for getting your astaxanthin the old-fashioned way through wild salmon and shellfish, it’s also worth considering the merits of taking a pill orally. When you go to the trouble of committing to a supplement, there are certain things you want to know. Is it reliable? Does it actually work?
You can research the effects in a lab, but scientists can only run so many tests at the end of the day. This is where a little social proof can come in handy. Some of the best information can be found simply by seeing what current and past customers have had to say about it.
The Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
To review, the key health benefits associated this antioxidant include:
- Gives endurance and strength in muscles
- Protects from eye strain
- Boosts immune system activity
- Assists feritiliy
- Combats inflammation
The people who liked astaxanthin cited better eyesight, more effective workouts, and more controlled blood pressure as the benefits. What immediately catches your attention with a lot of these reviews is that individuals were seeing results within months. There was even one person who talked about seeing improvement in rosacea.
In short, most buyers ended up having a positive experience with this supplement. Better skin, better eyes, and better recovery after working out were just a few of the highlights associated with taking a regular dosage. While there were some side effects mentioned, reviewers were still largely content with this purchase.
On the other hand, there were other reviewers who talked about the side effects. Some were allergic to the supplement while others found themselves reacting to the micro-algae. There was another writer who mentioned not seeing results after several weeks which could suggest a dosage issue.
Choose What is Best for Your Health Needs
Only you can discern what is best for you.
How would your life be different if your joints and limbs felt the way they did 10 years ago? Imagine being able to get up and down the stairs like it’s nothing. Imagine being able to push yourself when working out. Imagine being able to get on the floor and play with your children or grandchildren.
Astaxanthin makes all of this possible and more. We can go on about the eyesight improvements, the improved skin, and the overall health improvements, but all of that would gloss over what the supplement has to offer. What this antioxidant really gives you is an opportunity to feel younger. It gives you an opportunity to live without being constrained by inflamed joints or back pain.
There are a lot of natural supplements out there. A number of them have built up steam and even been popular for a while, but all those fads have ultimately come and gone. It says something that even after all this time, astaxanthin is still going strong. Find out more about what others are saying.