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BioAstin® Astaxanthin is a red-colored carotenoid that is derived naturally from Haematococcus algae grown in a protected environment in Hawaii. This amazing xanthophyll compound is naturally occurring in phytoplanton, algae, plants and a few fungi and bacteria. Astaxanthin, though not as well recognized as other carotenoids, is not a newcomer on the antioxidant scene. It was first discovered and isolated from lobsters in1938.
It is one of the most powerful fat-soluble anti-oxidant compounds belonging to a family of 700 plus carotenoids. It protect plants as well as the animals and humans that consume it from cellular damage caused by singlet oxygen and free radical damage. In rat studies discussed in a patent Astaxanthin was shown to reduce photoreceptor (eye) cell damage caused by light exposure.
Astaxanthin belongs to the same family of fat soluble carotenoid molecules as the yellow/orange colored Beta-carotene but differs from Beta-carotene in that its molecular structure contains two additional oxygen groups in each ring structure that gives it a deep red color also classifying it as a xanthophyll with up to 10 times stronger free radical scavenging activity. Another difference is that unlike Beta-carotene Astaxanthin will not be converted to vitamin A in the human body.
Though some animals and humans are able to convert carotenoids into other forms, their bodies are not able to produce them endogenously. Astaxanthin and Beta-carotene must both be obtained from the diet. Unless youre a big algae eater, the common dietary source of this carotenoid is seafood such as lobster, shrimp, crab and salmon.
The characteristic pink or red color of salmon and trout reflects the presence of Astaxanthin in their diet. Wild Sockeye salmon may contain up to 40mgs of this rich antioxidant per kilo of flesh. This fat soluble carotenoid is stored in the muscle tissue of fish and is used to protect the fatty acids and other cellular membranes from oxidative stress caused by their highly aerobic migratory patterns. Salmon eggs are naturally loaded with Astaxanthin by design in order to protect the precious developing life inside from UV light and other oxidation caused by the environment of the waters they must hatch in.
The information that has been made public recently about the unhealthy practice of salmon farming today has caused alarm over the contaminant levels such as PCBs, dioxins and heavy metals that are found in the flesh of these fish destined for our dinner plates. Though we may desire the nutritional benefits of eating salmon like the Astaxanthin, protein and omega-3 fatty acids they provide, the consequences and unknown long term risk of eating the flesh from these unfortunate prisoners of these new age farming techniques may be worse than not eating fish at all. The only bright spot in the current salmon fiasco is the bright pink color that is added to their otherwise inferior feed, namely . Astaxanthin and canthaxanthin.
Cyanotech in Hawaii has applied modern technological cultivation techniques to grow the Haematococcus algae in their ponds located on the pristine Kona coast using only fresh water from a mountain aquifer. Each batch is carefully monitored and tested for the purity of the high concentration of Astaxanthin isomers as well as the absence of microbiological and heavy metal contamination to ensure delivery of the best all natural product in the industry today.
A study published in 1990 comparing the effectiveness of vitamin E and astaxanthin for the prevention of lipid peroxidation showed that astaxanthin is 100-500 times more effective in preventing lipid peroxidation in vivo than vitamin E! We use BioAstin® Astaxanthin from Cyanotech, one of the highest quality sources of this outstanding antioxidant available, and include 25% overages to assure full potency.
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