As we head into the summer swelter that is the Tucson summer all of us are concerned about getting too much sun and all that is associated with it (cancer, sunburns, heat exhaustion, etc…). Some of us slather ourselves with sunscreen, while others just get out of town altogether. What if there was magical little pill that prevented the need for sunblock, and also helped prevent heat exhaustion? Oh wait, there is! A super potent antioxidant called “astaxanthin.”
Mark, Food Conspiracy Co-op’s Wellness Buyer
I can tell you from personal experience from taking this antioxidant daily it definitely seemed to mitigate some of the ill effects of sun exposure. In fact, when I’m taking it daily, I don’t get sunburnt at all. I just get a nice tan and a daily dose of vitamin d. Which is a vitamin (or more correctly a hormone) that is getting a lot more attention and a vitamin we won’t be getting any of while covering ourselves with sunblock and long clothing.
So what exactly is “astaxanthin”? “Astaxanthin is a powerful, naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that’s found in certain marine plants and animals. Often called “the king of the carotenoids,” astaxanthin is recognized as being one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. It is of particular significance, because unlike some other types of antioxidants, astaxanthin never becomes a pro-oxidant in the body so it can never cause harmful oxidation.” This is according to Nutrex-Hawaii, a manufacturer of natural astaxanthin. And how does it work? (Again, an excerpt from Nutrex-Hawaii) “The body is reliant on antioxidants to deliver healthful balance, and healing power to damaged cellular structures. Simply defined, antioxidants fight the process of oxidation, which leads to cellular breakdown over time. Antioxidants sacrifice their structure to repair free radical development, slowing and potentially healing the process of oxidation, thus allowing for stabilized health at the cellular level. Healthy cellular function equates to better overall health, and is a prerequisite for reaching optimal health and peak physical performance.
Astaxanthin is a unique antioxidant, as it is bioavailable throughout the body. The skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, eyes, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and internal organs are all receptive of Astaxanthin. These soft tissues appreciate, and are able to perform better, due to the presence of the active antioxidant power of Astaxanthin.”
So, from this buildup of astaxanthin in the body it seems to work as an “internal sunscreen” in addition to a myriad of other health benefits.