In the natural world, astaxanthin is found in algae, fish, krill oil, lobsters, crab, crawfish and salmon but if you are not a great seafood eater from sustainable and safe sources, you might be deficient in this nutrient. Fortunately, it is possible to include it in your diet in the form of a supplement. In case you are wondering, astaxanthin is pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin”.
Why Astaxanthin is an Important Anti-aging Tool
Astaxanthin is especially important for both males and females to use as they grow older and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, while we have written many posts on the necessity for maintaining high vitamin D levels (including as part of an anti-aging strategy), astaxanthin is an excellent adjunct to vitamin D, acting as an internal sunscreen when it helps to protect the skin from all types of radiation. Secondly, studies have also shown that astaxanthin works to rejuvenate the skin. Two such studies worked with females first and then males where they were given a daily dose of 6mg astaxanthin for several weeks. They all showed improvement in the different areas of skin health including:
- Crow’s feet wrinkle size and elasticity
- Age spot size
- Moisture content and loss
- Skin texture and
- Sebum oil level
The researchers concluded that astaxanthin could well improve the skin condition in men as well as women. Thirdly, a further anti-aging tool is for improved eye health. Astaxanthin crosses the blood-eye barrier, supporting vascular health within the eye while protecting the eyes’ sensitive cells.
The Importance of a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle
Of course taking a supplement and thinking that this will solve any aging,or other problem, is not the way to go. It has to be part of the bigger picture of a fit and healthy lifestyle in terms of regular exercise, what we eat and the chemicals and toxins we avoid. Building a strong immune system is paramount in helping our bodies to fight disease. Nevertheless, combined with such a fit and healthy lifestyle, astaxanthin has powerful abilities to protect our skin (as it ages) from wrinkles and age spots, improve our eye health and even reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and other conditions such as gout. No supplement or ingredient is ever a magic and isolated aging preventative. It has to be in tandem with living an all-around-healthy and active lifestyle – one that we frequently share with you on our health blog!
Considering Natural vs. Synthetic Forms of Astaxanthin
The studies mentioned above were conducted using the non-synthetic form of astaxanthin. When choosing your own astaxanthin supplement, look for a natural version.
How to Take Astaxanthin
Although there is not a standard recommended dose, the amount used in various studies (and to ensure you receive all the benefits) is a daily dose of 4 to 6 mg. As with vitamin D3 and some other supplements, astaxanthin is fat-soluble meaning that taking it along with a spoonful of organic coconut oil, butter from a grass fed source or extra virgin olive oil will ensure it is best absorbed into your system for optimum benefits and results. In the meantime, if you are concerned about wrinkles or age spots, help is at hand.