Astaxanthin: Miracle Drug Or Another Overhyped Disappointment?

With regard to our physical health, how many of us would change decisions we’ve made if we could go back in time? We’d avoid some of the mistakes that got us where we ended up, right? But what if you could erase the effects of those bad decisions and return your body to a better time? That’s the promise delivered by the makers of so many drugs and supplements who claim their products will change your body from the inside out. These days, one such supplement that is getting a lot of attention is astaxanthin. What is astaxanthin and why should we care?

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that is taken in pill form. An antioxidant is a substance that neutralizes age-inducing free radicals and oxidation in our bodies. Free radicals occur naturally but their numbers can be increased by factors such as toxins, pollution and a poor diet. These highly unstable oxygen molecules wreak havoc if left unchecked, leading to critically high levels of inflammation, accelerated aging and multiple health problems.

Endorsed by such well-known health experts, astaxanthin is believed to hunt down and destroy free radicals. By doing so, they reduce signs of skin aging and wrinkles better than topical solutions such as creams, lotions or spa treatments. Astaxanthin is also being touted for its ability to improve joint health, boost brain function, increase stamina, reduce exercise recovery time and provide an overall surge of youthful energy. Which allows you to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Just kidding. About the last one.

So is it hype or does astaxanthin do all they say it does? According to the experts (and I’m no expert even though I was a chem major in college for one year), astaxanthin is more effective and powerful than vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, green tea, lutein and even CoQ10. So far, so good. But does this translate into looking better, feeling younger and even living longer?

Your skin’s appearance says a lot about your age. Sun block lotion and other topical solutions provide short-term benefits. Your skin is where the earliest signs of free radical damage show up, since it is especially vulnerable to oxidative stress and inflammation. Soil depletion and genetic food modification have reduced the nutritional and antioxidant value of foods and pollution and toxins have also created free radicals. Astaxanthin enhances cell repair and collagen production, which increases skin moisture, thus providing firmer, more elastic skin. Astaxanthin can also suppress inflammation, which can help to reduce puffiness and irritation. Research is showing that astaxanthin does, in fact, repair and heal your skin from the inside out.

As for energy boosting, astaxanthin has been shown to have a positive impact on mitochondria, the cellular energy centers that produce energy. Astaxanthin has also been found to improve strength and stamina, and to speed muscle recovery time after exercise. It has become popular among athletes for this reason and they believe it enhances performance, as well.

There are other benefits of astaxanthin. Lab research indicates that it protects the brain, nervous system and eyes. Astaxanthin is especially active within joints and connective tissues, as well.

Astaxanthin is available both naturally and synthetically. The main food sources include microalgae, arctic shrimp and krill, which is a crustacean.

I don’t know about you but… isn’t there a pill I can take instead? Yes, there is! Fortunately, both a natural and synthetic version are available. There are 3 items to consider:

  1. Experts prefer natural astaxanthin as it is believed to have double the antioxidant potency as the synthetic kind.
  2. They also insist that the daily dosage should be no less than 4mg.
  3. Finally, they caution the consumer with regard to cost. If you are paying more than $25 for a one-month supply of astaxanthin, it’s likely you are being taken advantage of by some companies using all the hype to raise their prices.

It seems that astaxanthin is worthy of consideration. While some in the medical community are calling it “miraculous”, “a medical marvel” and “the alpha antioxidant”, the ultimate proof lies within your own experience. There is no evidence or research to suggest this product is unsafe. And then there’s the experts’ endorsements. I trust these folks. As someone who is passionate about physical (as well as financial) health, my recommendation is to try astaxanthin.