Recently Dr. Mehmet Oz interviewed Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading natural health expert, about the many health benefits of the antioxidant Astaxanthin which they referred to as “The No.1 supplement you’ve never heard of that you should be taking.“
Natural Astaxanthin Sources
Astaxanthin, similar to beta-carotene, is found naturally in salmon, krill, and some shrimp. In nature it is a pigment. It gives salmon their pink color as well as flamingos, which are actually born white. As Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola talk about, Astaxanthin has a vast number of health benefits. Throughout the segment the antioxidant was compared to Vitamin D and Vitamin E in terms of health value.
Astaxanthin is a natural anti-inflammatory. In Dr. Oz and Astaxanthin, it is mentioned that through taking a dose every day, you may feel relief from arthritis, join pain, back pain, and muscle soreness. While the recommended dosage is 2-4 mg, Dr. Joseph Mercola reports that he takes 8 mg per day and suggests everyone finds a way to incorporate the suggested dosage into their vitamin regiment.
Astaxanthin vs. Cataract Removal
As cataract removal is becoming a normal and expected surgery for older individuals, Astaxanthin may provide another option. It has the ability to get through the blood-brain barrier and help the eyes. It has been shown to help prevent cataracts as well as helps treat Asthenopia, also known as eye fatigue. Asthenopia, or eye fatigue, is when visual performance degrades as the day goes on.
Many studies showed that through daily doses of Astaxanthin, complaints of eye fatigue decreased. In addition, it has been shown to help prevent and alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma. No other antioxidant has been shown to be as beneficial to the eyes as Astaxanthin.
Dr. Oz and Astaxanthin also stresses that this is a naturally occurring antioxidant. It is found in many types of sea life. The main source of Astaxanthin in bulk is through an algae called Haematococcus pluvialis. One gram of dried biomass can yield over 40 grams of Astaxanthin through commercial processing, with the added bonus of the algae being able to double its population in only one week.
There are also many wonderful benefits not mentioned in Dr. Oz and Astaxanthin, such as the findings that indicate it may help prevent certain types of cancer. Astaxanthin seems to improve the immune response by increasing the number of antibody producing cells.
By reducing inflammation and preventing oxidation of cholesterol, it may also help promote heart health. Experts believe it could reduce the damage to skin caused by UV rays such as sunburns, signs of aging, and skin cancer. Many studies even indicate it could be part of a treatment for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease!
Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola definitely do a wonderful job of instilling the virtues of astaxanthin in Dr. Oz and Astaxanthin, though there are many more benefits they did not mention. Research on Astaxanthin only started a mere ten years ago, meaning there is still much to learn about this natural antioxidant. There are sure to be many more discoveries about Astaxanthin in the future!