Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What is Astaxanthin, Benefits and Side Effects of Astaxanthin | The Ultimate Beginner's Guide - Health and Fitness City




What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. It occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red color in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood. 

Astaxanthin is taken by mouth for treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, high cholesterol, liver diseases, age-related macular degeneration (age-related vision loss), and preventing cancer. It is also used for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is also used for improving exercise performance, decreasing muscle damage after exercise, and decreasing muscle soreness after exercise. Also, astaxanthin is taken by mouth to prevent sunburn, to improve sleep, and for carpal tunnel syndrome, dyspepsia, male infertility, symptoms of menopause, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Astaxanthin is applied directly to the skin to protect against sunburn, to reduce wrinkles, and for other cosmetic benefits.

In food, it is used as a coloring for salmon, crabs, shrimp, chicken, and egg production.

In agriculture, astaxanthin is used as a food supplement for egg-producing chickens.


Benefits of Astaxanthin

  • Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant. The free radical scavenging activity of astaxanthin protects lipids from peroxidation and reduces oxidative damage of LDL-cholesterol (thereby reducing arterial plaque formation), cells, cell membranes, mitochondrial membranes. Astaxanthin increases strength and endurance.
  • Astaxanthin seems to improve the immune system by increasing the number of antibody producing cells. Astaxanthin enhances antibody production by exerting actions on T-cells and T-helper cells. Astaxanthin is used to treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson?s disease.
  • Astaxanthin protects the eyes and skin from sun radiation damage by quenching singlet and triplet oxygen. Studies with rats show that astaxanthin reduces retinal injury.
  • Studies have shown the anti-cancer effects of astaxanthin in rodents. The inhibitory effect of astaxanthin on cancer is stronger han that of beta-carotene. 


Side Effects of Astaxanthin

You should also know about the side effects of astaxanthin. No toxic side-effects are related with overdose of astaxanthin. However, mild to moderate side effects are noticed with high doses of it. Some side effects include:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Eye damage because of crystal formation
  • Decreased libido
  • Reduction in blood pressure,
  • Enhanced skin pigmentation
  • Gynecomastia (abnormal enlargement of breasts in men)
  • Inhibited 5-alpha-reductase
  • Increased hair growth
  • Lowered eosinophil counts
  • Parathyroid intervention
  • Lowered serum calcium
  • Inhibited conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone

You should consult your doctor if you’re sensitive or allergic to carotenoids. Pregnant women should also avoid taking of it because it may have an effect on internal systems and hormones. It also interacts with some medicines. You should contact your physician if you are taking medicine for asthma, cholesterol or menopause, and birth control.



Dosing

The appropriate dose of astaxanthin depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for astaxanthin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


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