Astaxanthin brings oxygen to your brain

Astaxanthin

This is how astaxanthin works

The active ingredient astaxanthin has so far been tested for its effectiveness mainly in animals. Its effect on humans can, but does not have to be, identical.

antioxidant

Astaxanthin has a very similar structure to other carotenoids, for example the well-known beta-carotene (provitamin A, a precursor of vitamin A). Although it cannot be converted into vitamin A by the human body like this, it also functions as a so-called antioxidant. This means that it can prevent cell damage, such as that caused by reactive oxygen particles or UV light. This also reduces premature cell aging caused by this "oxidative stress". Some studies also suggest that astaxanthin can reduce the number of severe cell damage that can sometimes lead to cancer.

Immune system and inflammatory diseases

Several studies on animals have shown that the active ingredient prevents the release of some inflammatory messengers. The astaxanthin effect was similar to that of cortisone and antiallergic agents, but was weaker. Asthmatics, for example, could benefit from this effect.

diabetes

The increased blood sugar level in type 2 diabetics also puts the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas under oxidative stress. This damages the cells and, as scientists suspect, is also the reason for the kidney dysfunction in the further course of the diabetes. In an astaxanthin study on mice, the active ingredient was able to reduce the progression of these damaging processes.

High blood pressure and cardiovascular system

Astaxanthin has several effects on the cardiovascular system: For example, it lowers blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels in different ways. The gradual, disadvantageous remodeling of the heart, which in various cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure leads to a further impairment of the function of the heart, could also be slowed down by astaxanthin. In addition, fewer vascular deposits form and existing deposits are stabilized. This prevents the formation of blood clots, which could peel off and block subsequent smaller vessels (as in heart attacks and strokes).

Other effects

Numerous other positive effects for astaxanthin have been described in studies, including the prevention of UV damage to the eye, faster regeneration of skeletal muscles after training, an increased resistance of the skin to damage from UV light, improved sperm quality and a more extensive one Regeneration of the brain after a stroke.

Astaxanthin uptake and breakdown

Since astaxanthin and related carotenoids are very poorly soluble in water, absorption in the intestine is rather poor. After ingestion, the active ingredient (such as cholesterol and fats) is transported in the blood in microscopic fat droplets. It is metabolized in the liver with the help of various liver enzymes. The degradation products are then excreted in the stool via the bile.

When is astaxanthin used?

The natural product astaxanthin is not approved for any specific medical application. It is only used as a dietary supplement against many of the diseases described above in addition to conventional medical treatment. The use of serious illnesses and long-term use should definitely be discussed with a doctor.

This is how astaxanthin is used

The carotenoid is mainly offered in the form of astaxanthin capsules. The dosage is usually in the single-digit milligram range. Since the active ingredient is very soluble in fat, as with beta-carotene, absorption in the intestine is improved if a fatty food is also consumed.

What are the side effects of astaxanthin?

In a clinical study on humans it was shown that the intake of an algae extract containing six milligrams of astaxanthin for eight weeks was tolerated without any problems.

For people with allergies to crustaceans, it should be clarified in advance where the astaxanthin in the preparation to be taken comes from. If it is obtained from crustaceans, traces of it can be found in the preparation and lead to allergic reactions.

According to current studies, no other side effects are known, but this does not necessarily mean that there are none.

What should be considered when taking astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin has shown an effect on liver enzymes in studies: when taken, there is an increase in the so-called cytochrome P450 enzymes, which break down many drugs, among other things. As a result, such drugs are broken down more quickly, which can impair their effectiveness.

Since there are no studies on the use of the carotenoid in children and adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, it should only be taken after consultation with a doctor.

This is how you get preparations with the active ingredient astaxanthin

Preparations with the active ingredient astaxanthin are not subject to any pharmaceutical regulations and can be freely sold as dietary supplements.

How long has astaxanthin been known?

As one of the more than 600 known carotenoids, the structure of astaxanthin was first deciphered by the British scientist Prof. Basil Weedon in 1975. In the EU is Astaxanthin Approved as a food coloring with the E number E161j, but only as a food coloring for pet food in the USA.

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