What is astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a pigment belonging to the carotenoid family. It is found in crustaceans, fish (especially wild fish), and other animals and vegetables that feature a reddish color.
In crustaceans, it is surrounded by a protein and released by heat – this is why shrimp and lobsters turn red when cooked. The astaxanthin found in the flesh of salmon, particularly wild salmon, enables them to swim upstream to locations more conducive to their reproduction – without it, they would be unable to accomplish this impressive feat.
Astaxanthin is also present in large quantities in the algae Haematococcus pluvialis – which is responsible for the reddish color of the fish that consume it.
Synthetic astaxanthin is produced chemically as well, although it is generally less preferred than astaxanthin from natural sources.
The benefits of astaxanthin
The benefits of astaxanthin are numerous and are reflected in many forms. They come primarily from the presence of vitamin E in astaxanthin, which contributes to the protection of cells againt oxydation.
Oxydation or oxydative stress, comes from the creation of free radicals. It is a source of cellular aging and results in discomfort, pain, inflammation, or age-related pathologies (AMD, etc.).
Who should take astaxanthin?
The astaxanthin pigment is of interest to everyone, and more particularly to people concerned about aging well or athletes who train intensively in an outdoor environment.
In its natural form, i.e. from the algae Haematococus pluvialis, the astaxanthin pigment contains vitamin E which is recommended for people looking to protect their organs naturally against the risk of oxidation.
There are no contraindications, toxicities, or known side effects to taking astaxanthin.