Astaxanthin, a carotenoid, is a strong natural antioxidant. Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin is a fat-soluble and water-soluble pigment found in shrimp, crab, salmon, algae and other marine organisms.
Astaxanthin protects the skin and eyes, protects against radiation, cardiovascular aging, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Astaxanthin has strong antioxidant capacity, 550 times of vitamin E, 10 times of beta-carotene.
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A. Protection of the eyes and central nervous system
Studies have shown that astaxanthin can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier and cell membrane, and can effectively prevent retinal oxidation and photoreceptor cell damage, especially retinal macular degeneration is more effective than xanthin. It can protect the central nervous system, especially the brain, and effectively treat is chemia-reperfusion injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s syndrome and other central nervous system injury.
B. Protection against ultraviolet radiation
Ultraviolet radiation is an important cause of skin photoaging and skin cancer. Astaxanthin may become a potential photoprotectant, effectively scavenging free radicals that cause skin aging, protecting cell membrane and mitochondrial membrane from oxidative damage, and preventing skin photoaging.
C. Prevention of cardiovascular disease
The results showed that astaxanthin could significantly increase HDL and decrease LDL in vivo, and HDL could be increased from 49.7 ±3.6mg/dl to 66.5 ±5.1 mg ·dL.
It is speculated that astaxanthin can reduce the oxidation of apolipoproteins and can be used to prevent arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease and ischemic brain damage.
D. Enhancing immunity
Astaxanthin can significantly affect the immune function of animals. In the presence of antigens, astaxanthin can significantly promote the ability of spleen cells to produce antibodies, enhance the effect of T cells, and stimulate the production of immunoglobulin in vivo. Astaxanthin has a strong activity to induce cell division and has an important immunomodulatory effect.
E. Relieve fatigue and enhance metabolism
Astaxanthin can be used as an antioxidant to inhibit the oxidative damage of free radicals. In addition, oral astaxanthin can also strengthen aerobic metabolism, increase muscle strength and muscle tolerance, quickly relieve exercise fatigue, and reduce delayed muscle pain after strenuous exercise.
Astaxanthin and Human immunity
Free radicals and reactive oxygen species (Ros) produced during aerobic metabolism in human tissues are usually inhibited by both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants. As an exogenous antioxidant astaxanthin, its antioxidant activity is particularly prominent. Astaxanthin is a kind of ketone carotenoid, which is a terpene unsaturated compound. Its special structure creates the ability of astaxanthin to scavenging free radicals and plays an antioxidant role in the body. Shrimp, crab, fish, bird, some algae and fungi and other organisms are rich in natural astaxanthin. Astaxanthin mainly exists in the skin and shell of aquatic animals, red yeast and Chlorella vulgaris, while astaxanthin is mainly in the form of esterification, while the meat and viscera of shrimp and crab are mainly free. The important properties of astaxanthin are that it can stabilize the structure of the membrane, reduce the permeability of the membrane, limit the peroxide promoter into the cell, protect the important molecules in the cell from oxidative damage, inhibit lipid peroxide, and protect the cells and DNA from the oxidative reaction.
It was found that the antitumor activity of astaxanthin was related to the regulation of immune response related to tumor cells. Astaxanthin can significantly enhance the immune ability of the body and eliminate inflammatory factors in the human body. Including local and systemic immune regulation. Astaxanthin improves the function of immune organs and enhances the resistance to harsh environment. Astaxanthin enhances the function of T cells and increases the number of neutrophils and natural killer cells in vivo. Astaxanthin increases the activity of B cells in the immune system, promotes the production of immunoglobulin, increases the production of IgG, IgA and IgM, and enhances the humoral immune response ability. The lipids in the human body contain saturated fatty acids, especially in the cell membrane, the content of saturated fatty acids is very high. Due to the instability of saturated fatty acids, they are vulnerable to peroxide and produce toxic lipid peroxides. Singlet oxygen is excited oxygen, which has stronger oxidation ability, while astaxanthin can effectively remove singlet oxygen. Although inflammation is the defense response of the human body to external stimuli, and if it is too serious, it will cause harm to the body. Astaxanthin can inhibit the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and has a significant effect on chronic inflammation. Aerobic metabolism of human tissue produces reactive oxygen species, such as superoxides, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals, which lead to the oxidation of DNA, protein and lipid, and increase the risk of tumor. astaxanthin reduces mutagenesis and carcinogenesis by inhibiting oxidative damage of cells. The strong antioxidant properties of astaxanthin are helpful to inhibit free radicals, reduce oxidative damage in tumor inflammatory state, activate the response of T lymphocytes, and thus reduce the attachment and infection of some pathogenic bacteria to human body. Astaxanthin has the same or better effect as 92 per cent of anti-inflammatory drugs, and taking a small amount of astaxanthin a day has the same effect as 4mg “cortisone”, that is, astaxanthin is actually a cortisol with no specific side effects of hormones, according to the results of one study. As an antioxidant astaxanthin can inhibit the oxidative damage of free radicals and alleviate the excessive free radicals produced by tumor patients due to the disorder of metabolism, resulting in oxidative damage to the body tissue. Astaxanthin can strengthen aerobic metabolism and relieve cancer fatigue by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid in tumor patients. Astaxanthin can increase muscle tolerance in patients with tumor.
There are no adverse reactions and poisoning symptoms in human daily consumption, so natural astaxanthin is safe for human beings and animals, and oral food or food additives rich in natural astaxanthin have no pathogenic effect or toxic and side effects on human body. Because the synthesis process may be polluted by other harmful substances, the chemical synthesis of astaxanthin contains a large number of cis-isomers, and its biological utilization safety is reduced, so the application of chemical synthetic astaxanthin in food and medicine is greatly limited. Although excessive consumption of astaxanthin does not have side effects such as poisoning, it is important to note the following: if there is an allergic reaction to carotenoids, the doctor should be informed in advance. Pregnant women should avoid consuming astaxanthin because it may affect hormones and the internal system. Astaxanthin may also interact with other drugs. If you are taking asthma, birth control, cholesterol or menopausal drugs, it is best to consult your doctor first.