Astaxanthin and Anti-ageing
e it wanting to look younger or to not want to look older, all of us are quite obsessed with anti-aging. Yes, we did want to grow up sooner and wanted to be older when were children. But little did we know that it was such a terrible idea and that we would do anything to look younger or not look older.
Dread no more about ‘pushing 40’! Mother nature has blessed us abundantly with the best nutrients that are enriched with powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress that speeds up the aging process.
Astaxanthin—a natural strain of algae touted for its amazing anti-aging benefits is perhaps the best nutrient ever if you are pushing 40. Astaxanthin can be a new miracle supplement for everyone approaching middle age as it is believed to be the world’s strongest and highest quality natural antioxidant.
It is a carotenoid enriched with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The microalgae called “HaematococcusPluvialis” produces astaxanthin in response to light and environmental stressors. It is a bright red-colored antioxidant that accumulates in organisms that consumes it and this is why shrimp, salmon, and flamingos get their pink or reddish hue.
How does astaxanthin help prevent aging?
Skin aging can be physiological or photoaging – the damaging effect of prolonged sunlight exposure. In either form, skin aging manifests as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, age spots, etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin which is based on antioxidant activities have been implicated in offering various health benefits including anti-aging effects. Several studies have pointed out the effects of astaxanthin on melanin synthesis, photoaging inhibition, hyper-pigmentation, and wrinkle formation.
1. Protects against skin deterioration:
A 2017 study published in the journal Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition posits that long-term use of astaxanthin supplementation might inhibit age-related skin deterioration and help treat skin conditions linked to environmentally induced damage through its anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers demonstrated that oral astaxanthin supplements inhibited inflammation-mediated skin deterioration including wrinkles and loss of skin moisture and elasticity without any side effects.
2.Improves Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are wrinkles that are etched in the corner of your eyes. What makes them different from normal kinds of wrinkles or expression lines is that the crow’s feet can appear to look deeper or pronounced on your skin. It occurs mainly due to UV exposure and the loss of collagen and elasticity—which are the most common signs of skin aging.
3.Fights UV-induced Skin Aging:
Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant that has the ability to protect your cells against sun radiation, oxidative stress, and UV-light. Algae produce astaxanthin for this particular reason. UV-rays lead to skin deterioration and speed up the aging process. But thanks to astaxanthin supplements, the aging process can now be stalled and your skin can be protected from harmful ultraviolet radiation. A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients found that people who consumed astaxanthin supplements saw a great improvement in skin texture. Astaxanthin offered great protection against UV-induced skin deterioration and helped them maintain healthy skin. The researchers found that astaxanthin exerts anti-oxidative activity in the epidermal layer of the skin to protect against UV-induced stimuli.
4.Improves And helps retain Cognitive Function in neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia are a major concern for the aging population. And therefore, dietary supplements to improve or maintain cognitive function among older adults has always been a topic of interest. A recent study that sought to evaluate the effects of antioxidants on cognitive function in elderly subjects found that astaxanthin taken along sesamin helped improve cognitive functions. The researchers demonstrated that astaxanthin supplements improved the psychomotor speed as well as the processing speed in the study participants who suffered from mild cognitive impairment.
5.Alleviates Menopause symptoms
Menopause is a clear sign of aging among women and it is when a woman stops menstruating forever. Aging changes in the female reproductive system occur as a result of fluctuating hormone levels. Menopause could lead to certain uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain. A 2010 study proved that a drug called MF Afragil which contained Astaxanthin alongside calcium, vitamin D3, lycopene, and citrus bioflavinoid helped reduce menopause symptoms including hot flashes, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, incontinence, and joint pain.
6.Improves heart health
Adults older than 65 are more likely than their younger counterparts to develop heart conditions. The aging process can lead to certain changes in your heart and blood vessels, which in turn, might put you at a greater risk of suffering from heart diseases. And elevated LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure levels alongside oxidative stress could increase a person’s risk of heart diseases. While one study demonstrated the positive effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress and improved LDL cholesterol levels, another study provided evidence that astaxanthin consumption prevented atherosclerosis—the clogging or hardening of your arteries or blood vessels due to fatty deposits.
7.Switches on the Longevity gene
A mice study conducted by the experts at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center demonstrated the ability to significantly increase the expression of a gene named “FOXO3” which plays a crucial role in longevity. Although we all possess the gene, just about one in three people carry a version of it which is related to longevity. This indicates that it is possible to make the gene turn into the “longevity” version by just activating the gene. The researchers proved that Astaxanthin could activate the FOXO3 gene in mice models.
UV exposure is also associated with age-related eye health conditions which leads to oxidative damage to several parts of your eye including the retina, lens, and cornea. The impact of antioxidants like astaxanthin has been studied in several settings because of its accumulation in the eye and the protection it offers against ultraviolet damage. Several studies conducted on animal models have demonstrated that astaxanthin offers protection against several eye health conditions like cataract formation, retinal damage, high intraocular pressure, and snow blindness (photokeratitis). One study demonstrated that astaxanthin at a dosage of 6 mg/day significantly improved visual accommodation and another 2004 study showed that astaxanthin reduced several eye health symptoms like eye fatigue and that a higher dose (about 12 mg/ day) improved far visual acuity and choroidal blood flow in human subjects.
9.Reduces oxidative stress
Your body produces free radicals as a part of the normal metabolic processes and oxidative stress can damage your cells, proteins, and genetic material, which in turn, can lead to aging. Oxidative stress is also the main culprit of several age-related ailments including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. A 2010 study showed that dietary astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and a DNA damage biomarker, reduced inflammation, and improved immune response.