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Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Oxidative stress occurs when the production of harmful molecules called “free radicals” reach levels beyond the normal protective capacity of our antioxidant defenses.
Normally, the body can handle free radicals if enough antioxidants are available, however when we have an abundance of free radicals it may be worth considering increasing our consumption of antioxidants. An antioxidant is a substance than can give an electron to the unstable free radical atom and stop the chain reaction and, in turn, the damage. Well known antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, E, Beta Carotene, and now, the super-antioxidant Astaxanthin.
A randomized double-blind study evaluated Astaxanthin’s effects on oxidative damage to fatty acid membranes, the study concluded that Astaxanthin supplementation lead to significantly reduced oxidized fatty acids. 1In another study conducted at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokushima, Japan. Astaxanthin was found to be twice as effective as Beta-Carotene at inhibiting oxidative damage to lipids (that form cell membranes). The study concluded that Astaxanthin’s unique chemical structure makes it a particularly potent tool for trapping free radicals.
1. “Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on lipid peroxidation” - Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland.
2. “Efficient radical trapping at the surface and inside the phospholipid membrane is responsible for highly potent antiperoxidative activity of the carotenoid astaxanthin.” -Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokushima, Japan.
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