Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment. It is a natural part of trout, microalgae, yeast, shrimp, and other sea creatures. The pigment is most common in Pacific salmon, and it is what gives this fish the famous pinkish color. According to Healthcare Weekly, as well as many other sources, astaxanthin has many potential health benefits. Read on to learn about them.
As everyone knows probably, antioxidants are very good for our bodies. The antioxidant properties of Astaxanthin are the main source of claims that this substance is healthy and beneficial as a supplement. Many link it to improved blood flow, lower oxidative stress, as well as obese people. One study that compared it to other similar supplements showed that it has the highest antioxidant activity against many free radicals.
Because of its many antioxidant properties, a lot of research is being done on how astaxanthin might help battle various cancers. One such research found that short term and long term benefits are possible for the treatment of breast cancer, including a reduction in the growth of cancer cells in breasts. However, the high cost of purified astaxanthin greatly limits its use in additional studies and treatments.
3. The skin
Astaxanthin also has properties that will give you healthy skin. A study from 2012 showed that combining oral and topical doses help with smoothing wrinkles in the skin. It also makes age spots smaller and moisturizes the skin. Positive results appeared in both men and women participants. However, as with everything else, more research is needed to confirm the results on a larger scale.
4. Exercise supplement
There has also been important research on how astaxanthin affects endurance and fatigue levels after exercise and sports. Studies on mice show that it is possible to boost the use of fatty acids in the body, which helps the overall endurance and prevents muscle wear and tear, as well as skeletal damage. Again, more research is needed, as effects on human exercise are still lacking. One study found no exercise benefits from astaxanthin supplements in subjects when it comes to muscle injuries.
5. Heart health
There are also claims that the overall heart health benefits from the supplement. A study from the year 2006 examined its effects on rats that have hypertension, or high blood pressure. The results of this research showed that it might help with the levels of elastin, as well as the arterial wall thickness. On the other hand, others claim that include astaxanthin can prevent some heart diseases and lower cholesterol. Insufficient evidence to support these strong claims stands in the way, but there is high hope all of this is true with humans.
6. Joint pain
Astaxanthin could have benefits in the treatment and prevention of joint pains, including more difficult problems like rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, nearly one in five Americans suffer from some form of arthritis and/or carpal tunnel syndrome. Results of the studies have been mixed so far, some successful and some not. On the one side, some show that astaxanthin may reduce inflammations and pain symptoms with arthritis, while another study on the connections between astaxanthin and carpal tunnel syndrome found no evidence to support these suggestions. As with most of the benefits, more research has to take place, especially because all of it is quite promising.
7. Male fertility
In a study that took place in 2005, astaxanthin showed positive results for the fertility in human males. Over a period of three months, this double-blind study examined 30 different men who suffered from infertility. The researchers showed some improvements in sperm parameters, mostly their count and motility, as well as improved fertility in a group of men who received a stronger dosage of the astaxanthin supplement. The results of this small scale study are very promising, meaning wider research must happen soon.