Astaxanthin: Red and Ready

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Astaxanthin is hard to find but worth the search. With 500 times the antioxidant property of vitamin E and pristine origins on the big is-land of Hawaii, this super antioxidant has exploded on the scene.

A growing body of scientific literature reveals significant evidence that astaxanthin surpasses the antioxidant benefits of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, cantaxanthin, vitamins C and E.(*) Animal studies have also shown that astaxanthin can protect skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, ameliorate age-related macular begeneration, protect against chemically induced cancers and enhance the immune system.

Much of the research has been performed in Japan. Recent Japanese patents have been issued for external preparations for the skin, an anti-inflammatory agent and a drink mixture.

Astaxanthin is quite common in nature, especially in the marine environment. It is best known for eliciting the pinkish-red hue to the flesh of salmon and trout as well as shrimp, lobsters and crayfish. It comes from Haematococcus algae, which is found in very low concentrations in places as diverse as a snowfield in springtime and cooler pools of fresh water.

Advanced technology has now been developed to grow natural strains of Haematococcus in closed culture systems to produce very high concentrations of natural astaxanthin. At the first such site in Kona-Kailua, Hawaii, all ingredients for cultivation are food grade or higher and the algae is pasteurized to percent contaminants. No solvents, pesticides, herbicides or toxic substances are used during cultivation or manufacturing. The process also cracks approximately 95 percent of the cells to enable maximum bioavailability, resulting in a fine, dark, red powder.

(*) Research provided by Todd Lorenz, Ph.D., Cyanotech Corp.

Measurements & Data Corporation.

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