Astaxanthin is thought to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature. According to recent research it may even provide protection against gamma radiation-induced DNA damage
Previous research has demonstrated that it can act as a potent “internal sunblock” to protect your skin against sun damage and photo aging effects
Contrary to other carotenoids, astaxanthin cannot function as a pro-oxidant, even when present in high amounts, making it highly beneficial. It’s also unique in that it can protect the entire cell—both the water- and fat-soluble parts—from damage
While you can easily obtain most of the carotenoids you need from your diet, it may be difficult to get therapeutic amounts of astaxanthin through food alone. You’d have to consume three-quarters of a pound of wild-caught sockeye salmon, which contains the highest amounts of astaxanthin of all the marine foods, to receive the same amount of astaxanthin you’d get in a 4mg capsule if you were to take a supplement

By Dr. Mercola

Astaxanthin—one of about 700 different carotenoids—is now believed to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature.

In terms of supplements, it’s definitely one of the most beneficial I’ve ever learned about.
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Astaxanthin is thought to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature. According to recent research it may even provide protection against gamma radiation-induced DNA damage
Previous research has demonstrated that it can act as a potent “internal sunblock” to protect your skin against sun damage and photo aging effects
Contrary to other carotenoids, astaxanthin cannot function as a pro-oxidant, even when present in high amounts, making it highly beneficial. It’s also unique in that it can protect the entire cell—both the water- and fat-soluble parts—from damage
While you can easily obtain most of the carotenoids you need from your diet, it may be difficult to get therapeutic amounts of astaxanthin through food alone. You’d have to consume three-quarters of a pound of wild-caught sockeye salmon, which contains the highest amounts of astaxanthin of all the marine foods, to receive the same amount of astaxanthin you’d get in a 4mg capsule if you were to take a supplement

By Dr. Mercola

Astaxanthin—one of about 700 different carotenoids—is now believed to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature.

In terms of supplements, it’s definitely one of the most beneficial I’ve ever learned about.

Astaxanthin is derived from the microalgae Haematoccous pluvialis.

It’s the part that gives salmon and flamingos that eat the algae their orange or pink coloring.

It is produced when the algae’s water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation.

Essentially, astaxanthin is the algae’s survival mechanism, and serves as a “force field” to protect the algae from intense sunlight.

One can’t help to wonder if this might help explain why it also appears to have a protective effect against gamma radiation—the highly hazardous ionizing radiation produced by radioactive atoms.

Astaxanthin May Protect DNA against Gamma Radiation

A recent study sought to investigate the protective effects of astaxanthin against DNA damage induced by gamma radiation. Fifty mice were randomly divided into five groups. Three of the groups received astaxanthin in varying dosages. The remaining—one control group and one model group—received vegetable oil. All mice except the control group were irradiated with gamma-rays 30 days after receiving the astaxanthin or placebo. Four days after being irradiated, their liver cells were collected for analysis, to evaluate the integrity of the DNA, and other liver activities. Bone marrow was also evaluated.

The mice that received astaxanthin a month before being irradiated were found to suffer less damage than the controls.

According to the authors:

“Astaxanthin might have some protective effect against oxidative impairment and DNA damage induced by … gamma-rays”.

Interestingly, vitamin D has also been shown to have similar protective ability against harsh forms of radiation. In fact, the protective mechanisms of vitamin D are so strong that the researchers suggested it should be considered among the prime (if not the primary) non-pharmacological agents to protect against sub-lethal low radiation damage and, particularly, radiation-induced cancer.

But back to astaxanthin… The authors of the featured study do not offer any theories as to the mechanism that might render astaxanthin a potential ally against radiation-induced damage, but based on other research, it’s certainly clear that it is a remarkable antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory and DNA-protective capabilities, which could help explain this effect.

I personally use astaxanthin to help protect me from radiation damage when I am flying. This is more important in the day time as the radiation is typically far lower when flying at night. However, it does have to be taken for three weeks to build up levels to provide this level of protection.

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