Prevent Free Radical Damage And More With The Xanthophyll Astaxanthin

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Astaxanthin is a xanthophyll and phytonutrient (plant based chemical compounds with health boosting properties) that is mainly found in orange and red coloured fish, fruits and vegetables.
Early research indicates that this natural nutrient has a long list of benefits in humans.
In this article I will be taking a deeper look at these benefits and providing you with a full overview of astaxanthin.
1) DISCOVERY: Astaxanthin was discovered by the British chemist Basil Weedon in 1970.
2) HEALTH BENEFITS: Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that can protect your body's cells from free radicals (dangerous by-products that get released into your body's cells during oxygen related reactions).
Early studies indicate that this xanthophyll may also have a wide range of further health benefits in humans.
More studies are needed before these benefits can be confirmed but those that are available suggest astaxanthin might be able to boost the reproductive system, prevent Alzheimer's disease (a mental disorder that causes memory problems, thought problems and speech problems), fight cancer (a health disorder where your body's cells start to grow in a rapid, uncontrollable way), protect against heart disease, prevent the common cold and the flu and reduce unnecessary inflammation.
Additionally, it may be able to protect against cataracts (clouding on the lenses of the eyes), protect against glaucoma (a disease where your optic nerve gets damaged), protect against macular edema (a condition where fluid protein collects behind the macula of the eye), protect against kidney damage, lower high blood pressure and treat diabetes (a disease which causes your blood glucose to reach extremely high levels).
3) RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE (RDA): Astaxanthin is not classed as an essential nutrient so no official RDA has been established.
However, numerous experts believe that consuming 4 milligrams (mg) of this xanthophyll daily will promote optimal health.
4) FOOD SOURCES: Some of the top food sources of astaxanthin include red and orange coloured fish such as crab, lobster, salmon and shrimp with farmed salmon containing 1.
8mg of this nutrient per 100g and wild salmon containing 4mg of this nutrient per 100g.
Red and orange coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots and red peppers also contain good levels of this natural nutrient but the exact amounts they contain are not known.
5) SUMMARY: Astaxanthin has shown a lot of promise when it comes to human health benefits.
Whilst more evidence is needed before they are fully confirmed, you should definitely make this xanthophyll part of your diet.
Red fish are a particularly good choice as they contain high levels of healthy omega 3 essential fatty acids so by consuming them you get the antioxidant protection of astaxanthin, the additional health benefits of omega 3s and the possibility of the provisional astaxanthin benefits discussed in this article.
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