In our last post, I mentioned that I have been taking a supplement to help boost my antioxidant intake, thereby protecting me from dangerous levels of radiation and other oxidative stress. This is something I take daily, year-round, whether or not I’m going to be exposed to radiation while traveling.
This stuff is amazing. Not only can taking it regularly help to defend against damage to your body from ionizing radiation, it provides an unmatched level of antioxidants to repair tissue damage throughout your body, boosting your immune system and helping to prevent disease and slow the aging process. Sign me up, right? This naturally-derived supplement is called astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin: The algae that heals, protects, and prevents DNA damage
Astaxanthin is a natural carotenoid extracted from a marine algae found in… you guessed it — Hawaii! Well, at least the kind that I buy is made from algae harvested here in our islands. The blue-green pigment in certain types of marine microalgae is the richest natural source of the astaxanthin carotenoid. And astaxanthin, is the most potent lipid-soluable source for antioxidants known to man! This superfood supplement has lots of powerful benefits, including:
- Protection against cosmic ionizing radiation while flying: The next-best thing to flying at night, and thereby avoiding radiation at 1,000 times the level that the airport body scanners will give you, is supplementing regularly with astaxanthin, according to health expert and Weston A Price Foundation supporter, Dr. Mercola. When taken for at least two weeks before a flight, it can significantly prevent DNA damage from cosmic ionizing radiation.
- Prevention of sunburn and skin cancer: Astaxanthin is nature’s internal sunscreen. Really! It matters not just what you put onto your body, but what you put into it, to protect against sun damage from overexposure. You should be getting healthy, moderate levels of sun exposure for natural production of vitamin D and a whole host of other health benefits, but in case you overdo it, astaxanthin will help to protect your skin. It has a strong photoprotective effect, which helps your skin to block an overabundance of ultraviolet rays.
- Energy boost: Astaxanthin helps increase cellular energy by protecting mitochondria, in which food is turned into energy. I experience a significant increase in energy levels when I take my astaxanthin. I have found that I can’t take it late in the day, because it makes me too alert to wind down for sleeping at night. Not in a jittery, caffeine-like way, just a sense of energized wellness.
- Anti-aging: Astaxanthin can help prevent and reverse the signs of aging, including wrinkles, sun spots, sagging skin, dryness and even freckles. It improves skin’s elasticity and moisture content while preventing the cellular damage that leads to premature aging.
- Prevention of cataracts and other eye diseases: Appropriate doses of astaxanthin virtually eliminate the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Vision improvement: Astaxanthin has been shown to boost both visual acuity and depth perception, and can be a significant aid in the natural treatment of myopia and hyperopia (nearsightedness and farsightedness).
- Anti-inflammatory: Oxidative stress is responsible for inflammation in the body which can lead to many health problems. Rich sources of antioxidants, such as astaxanthin, offer powerful protection against inflammatory oxidation.
- Prevents heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes: Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, astaxanthin offers powerful prevention against inflammatory conditions such as heart disease. (Oh, and so does the dietary cholesterol your doctor tells you to avoid!)
- Treatment and prevention of ulcers: Scientists in India have researched astaxanthin’s ability to protect against gastric ulcers, and found it to be effective at reducing the occurance of ulcers up to 67% in tested rats.
- Supports brain function: Unlike most other antioxidant sources, astaxanthin has the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing its antioxidant activity to enter into the central nervous system which is very susceptable to free radical damage. Because of its ability to protect neurons from damage, astaxanthin is also effective at preventing alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Boosts physical performance: Athletes have been shown to recover from exercise quickly and effectively with an astaxanthin supplement. It helps to increase strength, stamina and endurance by removing free radicals from muscle tissue, lessening soreness and helping the body rebound from the stress of exercise.
- Supports immune function: Researchers have shown that astaxanthin increases antibody production in spleen cells which enhances immunoglobulin production in response to increased T-cell activity. In other words, astaxanthin has been shown to be effective in both chronic viral and autoimmune disease, as well as preventing common colds and flus.
- Joint and skeletal health: Astaxanthin works to diminish pain and inflammation of joints due to exercise or chronic conditions such as rheumetoid arthritis.
- Tendon health: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin offers powerful protection and relief from inflammation of the tendons, including tennis elbow (tendonitis), and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Detoxification: The liver needs to oxidize fats to produce energy, as well as work to destroy pathogens and clean up dead red blood cells. These processes create free radicals in the blood, which are greatly reduced by the powerful antioxidant effects of astaxanthin.
- Fertility: Astaxanthin is thought by researchers to improve sperm cell potency, as they have seen it drastically increase fertility and rates of conception in those who struggle with low sperm count or poor-quality sperm cells.
- Cancer prevention: Researchers around the globe have documented astaxanthin’s amazing cancer-fighting properties, including its ability to turn on and repair anti-cancer genes, block pro-cancer genes, prevent metastasis of cancer cells, and stop tumors in their tracks.
Whew! That’s a lot of power from just a little green plant! There are even more benefits to astaxanthin that continue to be discovered. It’s truly amazing what this supplement can do.
…but only if you eat your fats.
Astaxanthin is the most powerful lipid-soluble source of antioxidants we know of. That means that it can only be assimilated into the body with a sufficient amount of dietary fat. So be sure not to skimp on sources of healthy fats such as lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, and of course, butter.
Astaxanthin supplements can be found at most health food stores, but the best prices I have found are on Amazon. Plus, you can help to support this site and pay for future giveaway prizes (which would be much appreciated!) by ordering online here:
Sources and additional information:
[photo source: jdnx on Flickr]