Astaxanthin, a member of the carotenoid family, is a powerful antioxidant. research demonstrates that astaxanthin is ten times stronger in scavenging free radicals than other carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, and one-hundred times stronger than alpha-tocopherol. Astaxanthin has also been shown to prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation in human blood and enhance the immune system in animal studies. *
Antioxidant Protection for Your Cells
astaXANTHIN is the trademarked name for astaxanthin, the carotenoid responsible for the pink pigmentation in the flesh of salmon, lobster, krill and other aquatic animals and plants. Carotenoids are the red, orange and yellow plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. Many carotenoids act as antioxidants to protect our cells from free radicals.
Astaxanthin works in conjunction with other antioxidants to protect the membranes of cells as well as the mitochondria, the tiny energy factories inside cells. Source Naturals astaXANTHIN is derived from a vegetarian source—marine algae cultivated in the warm waters of Hawaii’s Kona Coast.
A Powerful Carotenoid
astaXANTHIN is a powerful antioxidant carotenoid that is closely related to the better-known beta carotene. It is unique in the range of its antioxidant activity. It provides protection from more types of free radicals (aldoxyl, hydroxyl, peroxyl, singlet and triplet oxygen) than many other antioxidants. Recent studies have indicated that astaxanthin is more powerful than its carotenoid cousin, beta carotene, at neutralizing singlet oxygen.
Free radicals are atoms or compounds containing one or more unpaired electrons; they will capture electrons from the first place they can to complete the pair. When taken from proteins, electron loss can cause protein cross-linking (a key action of stiffening tissues), disable hormones and enzymes, and damage cell structures. Free radicals can even take electrons from DNA, which may cause genetic alterations.
Unique Molecular Structure
In vitro (laboratory) and animal studies suggest that astaXANTHIN may have a wide range of antioxidative benefits for humans. Its powerful antioxidant properties are related to its unique molecular structure. Astaxanthin has polar end groups that allow it to span across the cell membrane’s bilayer. This means astaxanthin is available to work near the fat/water interface where free radical attack first occurs. astaXANTHIN stabilizes free radicals by adding them to its structure, effectively quenching their potential to do damage.
Marine Algae: A Natural and Renewable Source
Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae are extremely rich in astaxanthin, accumulating much higher levels than salmon. In fact, these microalgae are now used as a source of feed for farm-cultivated salmon and other fish, providing the astaxanthin they require but cannot synthesize within their bodies. Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae are widespread in nature and have replaced Arctic krill as a source for astaxanthin due to environmental concerns.
astaXANTHIN is the only proprietary extract of microalgae available at this time in the United States. This all-natural, renewable material is extracted from microalgae using a nontraditional, proprietary method. The extract contains no organic solvents and is characterized and standardized to ensure the highest quality.
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• Jorgensen, K. May 1993. Carotenoid scavenging of radicals. Effect of carotenoid structure and oxygen partial pressure on antioxidative activity. Zeitschrift Lebensm Unters Forsch, 196(5):423-429.
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