Does astaxanthin contain omega 3?
Astaxanthin is the oceanic carotenoid that makes flamingos pink and salmon red. Astaxanthin is found in krill, the small crustaceans eaten by Antarctic whales.
Krill oil (KO), a popular nutritional supplement, contains astaxanthin, lecithin, and marine omega-3 fatty acids. Similar to more widely studied fish oil, KO also contains the long-chain fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These “good” fats are essential for basic eye and brain function.
However, KO also contains the phospholipid phosphatidyl ethanolamine (lecithin). The phospholipid bound nature of fatty acids found in KO improves omega-3 fatty acid absorption and bioavailability. This type of natural oil that contains astaxanthin is useful in our modern environment of high fat diets and an aging population.1
Does fish oil contain astaxanthin?
Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress, a type of cell damage caused by molecules called free radicals.Krill oil contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is not found in most fish oils.
Many people claim that the astaxanthin in krill oil protects it from oxidation and keeps it from going rancid on the shelf. However, no definitive research has confirmed this claim.However, research has demonstrated that astaxanthin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may provide some heart health benefits.
For example, one study showed that isolated astaxanthin lowered triglycerides and increased “good” HDL cholesterol in people with mildly elevated blood lipids.
Nevertheless, this study provided astaxanthin in much larger doses than those you would typically get from krill oil supplements. It is unclear if smaller amounts would provide the same benefits.
Is astaxanthin the same as fish oil?
Most people are familiar with fish oil, but fewer people know about krill oil supplements. Krill oil is derived from tiny crustaceans called Antarctic krill. These sea creatures are a dietary staple for many animals, including whales, seals, penguins and other birds.
Like fish oil, krill oil is rich in EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids that provide most of its health benefits. However, the fatty acids in krill oil are structurally different than those in fish oil, and this may impact the way the body uses them.
Krill oil also looks different than fish oil. While fish oil is typically a shade of yellow, a naturally occurring antioxidant called astaxanthin gives krill oil a reddish color.
Krill oil is a supplement that contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The chemical structure of its fatty acids and red color set it apart from fish oil.
1. It can promote healthy skin aging.
Did you know 90% of visible skin damage can be attributed to sun exposure? You can thank those free radicals for that. Sun exposure increases free radical production, and, board-certified dermatologist Kiera Barr, M.D., explains, "Free radicals set off a chain of events in your body that begin to cause visible damage, including the breakdown of your collagen and elastin, which makes your skin wrinkle, sag, and appear thinner." Antioxidants though, especially astaxanthin, can combat all that free-radical skin stress.
In fact, astaxanthin powder acts as almost an internal sunscreen, blocking UVB ray damage and managing the resulting inflammatory response. Studies show astaxanthin delays UV-exposure-induced damage, which means less painful bright red skin now and fewer wrinkles later, win-win. Additionally, in a 16-week clinical trial of AstaReal®, a specific brand of natural astaxanthin, participants who supplemented with astaxanthin saw improvements in skin elasticity, while those who did not supplement saw worsening wrinkles.* Research points to a potentially protective role of astaxanthin against sun-exposure-induced skin damage.
However, as powerful as astaxanthin is, it should not replace sunscreen. Derms agree, nothing beats SPF when it comes to sun protection. But adding this supplement to your routine, along with *daily* sunscreen application, can keep your skin glowing from within.
Already suffered a sunburn or two in your day? It's not too late. Research has shown that super-antioxidant astaxanthin not only helps block skin damage, but it can actually support the healing process. In one study, astaxanthin supplementation significantly improved skin elasticity, smoothness, and hydration in just 12 weeks.* Another study found astaxanthin improved skin wrinkles, age spot size, and skin texture. And in a recent double-blind clinical, subjects reported significant improvement in moisture levels (especially around the eyes), overall improved elasticity, and appearance of tone. Another recent double-blind clinical found that it can even help skin's water-retention capacity and suppress barrier damage.* Talk about healthy aging!
2. It can support cardiovascular health.
Everything from some cancers to poor digestion has been linked to oxidative stress. So, it's no wonder, as a potent antioxidant, that astaxanthin has far-reaching benefits. Its free-radical-fighting properties have been indicated in promoting cardiovascular, cognitive, and vision health.When it comes to heart health, astaxanthin can help support good HDL (the good cholesterol) levels, maintain healthy triglyceride and LDL levels (the bad cholesterol), and support healthy blood pressure.
3. It's good for brain health.
In addition, astaxanthin bulk powder may help maintain cognitive health. This is because it can cross the blood-brain barrier, providing powerful antioxidant support to the brain. Studies have shown that astaxanthin can enhance attention, memory, and information processing in older adults.
4. It can help tired eyes.
You probably remember your mom telling you to eat your carrots for better vision. And it turns out, she was right. Carotenoids, and astaxanthin, in particular, are known for their role in eye health. Astaxanthin supplementation can help eyes recover from extended screen time and maintain healthy visual function.
Astaxanthin side effects
Astaxanthin is LIKELY SAFE when it is consumed in amounts found in food. Astaxanthin is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a supplement. Astaxanthin has been used safely by itself in doses of 4 to 40 mg daily for up to 12 weeks, or 12 mg daily for 6 months. It has been used safely in combination with other carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals at 4 mg daily for up to 12 months. Side effects of astaxanthin may include increased bowel movements and red stool color. High doses of astaxanthin may cause stomach pain.
Where do you even get astaxanthin?
The easiest way to get astaxanthin? You can find it in supplements on its own or paired with other skin superstars like collagen, NR, DHA or in krill oil. Look for supplements from H. pluvialis algae extract, as it is the most bioavailable form. Research suggests you should aim for at least 3 mg of astaxanthin per day to reap the benefits for skin.
If you want to up your dietary astaxanthin consumption, look to sockeye salmon. Because astaxanthin is found naturally in algae and red-hued seafoods, salmon has the highest concentration of this super-antioxidant with up to 38 mg/kg in wild-caught varieties.
What is the recommended dosage?
Recommended dosages range from 4mg-12mg a day depending on the desired effect. 4mg daily has been shown to have positive effects reducing inflammation but up to 12mg a day provides more of a therapeutic dose for those in need of higher levels of antioxidants.
Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid that should be with a meal containing fat for optimal absorption.
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