292 – Astaxanthin: Nature’s Most Potent Antioxidant for Skin

Reveal Your Skin’s Natural  Beauty with Astaxanthin

My Interview with Karen Hecht

Skin Support

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Karen HechtIf you are a curious type like me, you might look at the title of this podcast and think that is a strong claim. I see that headline as a challenge. When a company makes a bold claim, I think it is only fair to ask why do they believe that claim is correct. Is astaxathin nature’s most powerful antioxidant? That’s what I set out to explore in this interview.

Karen Hecht is the Scientific Affairs Manager at AstaReal. AstaReal has been researching and marketing astaxanthin for over 30 years. AstaReal® Astaxanthin is perhaps the most widely studied astaxanthin in the market. When we consider the benefits of AstaReal® Astaxanthin, it is important to realize that it is only this one brand of astaxathin that we are considering. We know these are the benefits because their astaxanthin has been studied scientifically and clinically. This is how we know what dosages to recommend. This is one of the clinically studied, trademarked and branded raw materials that I recommend to you. The raw materials that go into your supplement are perhaps the most important criteria when choosing a product. We encourage all astaxanthin users to know where their astaxanthin is produced from the beginning to end. There are only a handful of companies that produce, cultivate, and manufacture astaxanthin 100% in the USA.

In this interview we will introduce astaxanthin. What is it, where does it come from and what is it good for? Astaxanthin has been shown to benefits skin health, eye health, brain health, cardiovascular health, muscle performance and anti-fatigue. We will explore some of the science of astaxanthin as it pertains specifically to skin health.

What is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, like beta-carotene from carrots and lycopene from tomatoes. The carotenoids in these fruits and vegetables are healthy antioxidants too, but astaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant of them all! Astaxanthin can neutralize oxygen free radicals 4.9 times better than beta-carotene and 1.6x better than lycopene.

Natural astaxanthin is extracted from algae, Haematococcus pluvialis. To make natural astaxanthin available for humans, it should be grown in a clean and controlled environment – preferably in indoor cultivation tanks with filtered air and water. The algae start out green and once the algae culture has grown dense enough, they algae are exposed to high light conditions to trigger breakdown of green chlorophyll and synthesis of red astaxanthin. The algae turn red, and once they have completely matured to this astaxanthin-rich “red phase” they are harvested. The water is removed, the algae are washed, and the cell walls of the algae are cracked to gain access to the rich astaxanthin oil inside the algae cells. The astaxanthin oil is purified and can then be used.

The health benefits of astaxanthin apply wherever our bodies experience damage from free radicals. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of our physiology and our bodies have natural defenses that help clean up free radicals so they don’t cause harm. The problem is that our natural defenses become less efficient as we age and get overwhelmed by an abundance of free radicals that accumulate during exercise, exposure to sunlight, stress or in the presence of environmental pollutants. This is why taking astaxanthin as a dietary antioxidant is so important for muscle endurance, cardiovascular health, skin healthy, eye health, cognitive function, and to fight fatigue. Astaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant to help restore our body’s healthy antioxidant balance.

Astaxanthin for Skin Health
Skin is our largest organ and our first line of defense against environmental exposures like damaging UV rays, pollutants and microbes that can leave skin feeling dry and showing fine lines. Topical applications, like serums and creams, reach the surface of the skin but can’t get down into the deeper layers that contribute to skin’s elasticity and nourishment. Taking astaxanthin orally promotes healthy skin from the inside out. Astaxanthin improves circulation and supply of nutrients to the deepest layer of skin (the hypodermis), protects collagen integrity in the next layer (the dermis), neutralizes UV-induced free radicals causing skin damage at the surface layer (the epidermis), and prevents roughness by improving moisture retention at the outermost layer (the stratum corneum). To learn more visit the skin health page at Astaxanthin.net.

Clinical studies have shown improvements in skin moisture and elasticity at 4mg/day astaxanthin after 6 weeks. A comparative study showed astaxanthin protects again UV damage significantly better than other antioxidants like beta-carotene and canthaxanthin. Other studies reveal the following:

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AstaReal® Astaxanthin for Skin at 6mg per day*:

  • supports skin hydration*
  • reduces the size of wrinkles*
  • improves skin texture*
  • protects the skin’s collagen layer*
  • promotes smooth skin*
  • enhances skin elasticity*
  • reduces skin spots*
  • protects skin condition from seasonal stress [low humidity]*

AstaReal® Astaxanthin has been studied in doses up to 12mg and has been shown to be safe. So you can experiment with the amount you take because the higher doses are associated with other health benefits and are shown to be safe. How do we know that astaxanthin has these benefits at this dose? It is the scientific inquiry that give us confidence. So when you find a product that uses AstaReal® Astaxanthin you will know why that is important.

About Karen Hecht
Karen Hecht is the Scientific Affairs Manager at AstaReal Inc. Her background is in biochemistry, her doctorate is in biological science from the University of Pittsburgh, and her postdoctoral work at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was focused on algal molecular biology. These days, Karen answers all natural astaxanthin-related questions using the evidence available from over 150 studies examining the wellness benefits of AstaReal® Astaxanthin.
Research and some content provided by AstaReal.

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