By Dr. John Kupper, Encinitas Chiropractor
Astaxanthin – although it is difficult to pronounce, this powerful antioxidant has been touted by many of the top researchers in the world as quite possibly the most potent antioxidant nature has to offer! Continuous research is suggesting that this form of algae has broad-spectrum, system-wide health benefits. So let’s learn how this supplement supports: joint and tendon health, skin health, eye and brain health, and cardiovascular health.
It is derived from Haematococcus microalgae. Astaxanthin is produced within the algae to protect itself from UV radiation and the harsh effects of the surrounding environment. It is related to beta-carotene, lutein and canthaxanthin. However, what makes it unique is its molecular structure. Astaxanthin has deservedly been named “The King of Carotenoids”. While you may not be completely familiar with carotenoids, most likely you have consumed them in the food you recently ate. Carotenoids are what gives many of the healthy foods you eat their color: the lycopene in the red tomato, the beta-carotene in orange carrots, or the zeaxanthin and lutein in yellow corn.
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant. It is known to be over 500 times stronger power than vitamin E and 6,000 times more potent than vitamin C
Some key differences that set astaxanthin apart from other carotenoids and antioxidants include the following:
- Like other antioxidants, astaxanthin has the ability to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals by donating electrons. Now typically, donating an electron will deplete most other antioxidants, but not astaxanthin! It contains a large surplus of electrons, meaning it is able to stay active and viable for longer periods of time. This allows it to stay intact and not be broken down – one of the characteristics of most other notable antioxidants.
- Astaxanthin can handle multiple free radicals at one time by creating an electron cloud.
- The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to bring antioxidant protection to the eyes and brain.
- Protection of BOTH fat-soluble and water-soluble parts of the cell.
ASTAXANTHIN PROMOTES SKIN HEALTH
Every day in the Encinitas Chiropractor office I teach that it is not only what you put onto the skin to protect it, but more importantly what you put INTO it, and that is the strong point about astaxanthin. Recent buzz with the rich and famous around natural astaxanthin has increased its profile. More and more people are learning what most dermatologists have long known; natural astaxanthin helps support the skin during long periods of UV light exposure. Sunburns occur from excess skin oxidation. Ultraviolet like causes oxidation of skin cells and results in reddening. Excessive and repeated exposure to sunlight without the proper nutrients to support it causes skin aging: wrinkled, blotchy, thinned, darkened skin. A recent study of the effects of astaxanthin, scientists took a group of people to see how much UV light was needed to cause a “sunburn”. The test group was given 4 mg of natural astaxanthin for 14 days. The results were that the group treated with astaxanthin increased the amount of time it took to redden the skin and cause excessive oxidation (Lorenz, 2002).
Remember, the key to building and maintaining health is to stack the odds in your favor. I commonly teach patients that they are not victims of bad luck, bad germs, or bad genes. I teach them that they have more control over their health outcomes than they are being lead to believe by mainstream healthcare. The secret is to consistently provide your body with the nourishment it needs to continue to adapt, rebuild, and thrive. The human body seems to be designed to heal itself! In fact, your body happens to be the smartest doctor in the world. I say, give it what it needs, avoid things that it doesn’t, and then GET OUT OF THE WAY! Astaxanthin is just another powerful tool your body will benefit from. The great Dr. James Chestnut put it perfectly when he said “Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well!”
Take control of your health and be proactive. True health comes from within and it will always be that way. You can either accept it and use it to your advantage or you can struggle like most Americans with chronic degenerative diseases that in most cases can be prevented with proper lifestyle and dietary choices!
Yours in health,
Dr. John Kupper, DC
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At K2 Health Center we provide our patients with an array of choices for all sorts of pain management. From upper cervical chiropractic, concussion options, alternatives to back surgery, neck pain headache and even cold laser therapy – we have several options. We strive to provide the most advanced chiropractic, massage, low-level laser therapy, nutrition, exercise therapy, and diagnostic services in and around the Encinitas area. For a complimentary 15 min. Consultation, call/text the office today to set up an appointment. 760-456-9470