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Antioxidants

Astaxanthin Supplements

Astaxanthin Supplements

Choosing a good one from the range of astaxanthin supplements on the market should be fairly straightforward as there are few synthetic versions of the antioxidant on the market for human use. However, animal feeds, particularly salmon farm feeds, often contain the synthetic version of the nutrient so it is not necessarily beneficial to eat such animal products as a strategy for boosting astaxanthin consumption. A good quality astaxanthin supplement would be derived from marine microalgae, rather than grown synthetically on fungus, and would have been manufactured using a hexanefree process providing a minimum of 4mg per tablet. Astaxanthin supplements should betaken with a little fat for better absorption, as is with betacarotene supplements, and should not be taken alongside medications or supplements that block fat absorption. Astaxanthin is a strong anti-inflammatory which blocks COX2 enzymes but which does not have the side-effects associated with prescriptions pain medications, such as indigestion and heartburn.  It can help with painful arthritis, menstrual cramps, and even as a supplement to help when headaches strike.   Astaxanthin is also able to help retinal cells fight off free radical damage and, therefore, combat macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and simple eye strain and vision decline.   Supplements for the skin should almost certainly contain astaxanthin as this antioxidant acts like a sunscreen from the inside out, protecting cells from ultravioletA radiation. Anyone prone to sunburn or who has freckles, skin spots from ageing or who spends a lot of time in the sun may wish to include this supplement in their daily regime.   In the future it may be that functional foods can provide all the astaxanthin we need as research has found that tomatoes produce vast amounts of astaxanthin, doing away with the need for supplements to get the health benefits of this powerful antioxidant.  ...

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What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that is thought to be more than 6000 times more powerful than vitamin C, but what is it and where can you get it from? As a carotenoid, astaxanthin is a fat-soluble pigment found in marine algae and in animals such as salmon and flamingos where it is responsible for the pink colour of their feathers and scales. Just like fish and fowl we can also benefit from astaxanthin from natural sources and the market for microalgae and synthetic astaxanthin supplements has really bloomed in recent years. This nutrient plays a role in defending your cells against free radical damage. This kind of cellular attack is a key contributor to the ageing process and can instigate changes leading to wrinkles, dementia an heart disease. Astaxanthin is a great candidate for slowing down these processes as it’s fat-soluble nature means it can get to places that other, water-soluble antioxidants cannot reach. Antioxidants like astaxanthin are also able to counteract the free-radicals produced when we exercise, making it possibly helpful for athletes wanting to recover faster, increase endurance, and improve strength and stamina. These benefits have however been both supported and disputed in studies but there are plenty of other reasons to take the supplement while further studies are carried out. Astaxanthin is amongst excellent company with betacarotene and lutein as other examples of some of the more than 700 naturally occurring carotenoids that give fruits and vegetables their amazing array of colours. Purple aubergines, orange peppers, green kale and even the blue colour of blueberries are all caused by the combinations of these protective pigments with chlorophyll and other phytochemicals. However, unlike betacarotene, astaxanthin is only found in a limited range of foodstuffs, namely the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis and in the animals that eat this algae, such as krill and salmon. In order to ingest enough astaxanthin to be of benefit a person would have to eat huge amounts of high quality salmon or flamingo meat, which would prove both costly and potentially harmful in regards to heavy metal toxicity and the negative effects of such consumption of animal products. Instead, obtaining a dose of astaxanthin from a high-quality supplement can help quench free radical damage...

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What are Antioxidants?

Have you been wondering what are antioxidants? Antioxidants are naturally produced by the body, but due to the level of free radical damage that we are exposed to, it is advisable to supplement the diet with antioxidants. Antioxidants can be obtained from the diet in foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, although the levels are not high enough to combat the amount of free radicals that we are exposed to. There are various different types of antioxidants that are available to take as a supplement. Research has found that taking combination of these supplements has a synergistic effect in reducing free radical damage. Co-enzyme Q10. This is a vital nutrient in the body that has many functions, and there are many studies that support the use of Co-enzyme Q10 in heart disease. Co-enzyme Q10 also has antioxidant activity. If you are taking a statin for cholesterol, you should supplement with this nutrient, as statins lower levels of coenzyme-Q10 in the body. Acai. This is one of the most well known antioxidants on the market today. Acai berries are mostly found in Brazil and Peru. Because of the hype that is surround this product many companies are manufacturing acai capsules and juice. Please check the quality of the company before making a purchase. Selenium is a mineral that is found in almonds and brazil nuts. Apart from being a good antioxidant, this mineral has many health benefits such as supporting the immune system and reproductive system. Studies have shown that supplementing with a dose of 200mcg of Selenium once a day can have a beneficial action on the heath of the prostate gland in men. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is sometimes referred to as the “universal” antioxidant because it is both water and fat soluble. This means that it can neutralise free radicals that are in fatty and watery parts of the cells. Alpha-Lipoic Acid can increase the effect of other antioxidants if taken together. Other valuable antioxidants are Vitamin E, which  is a fat soluble and has beneficial action on the cardiac system, and Vitamin C which is water soluble and also is an immune...

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What are Free Radicals?

Have you been wondering what are free radicals? The chemical definition of a free radical is an atom or a group of atoms that contain at least one unpaired electron. Electrons are essential to provide a chemically stable atom. An unpaired electron is very reactive and will join to other atoms and this will cause a chemical reaction. Free radicals in the body are also very reactive and will react with other compounds leading to chemical changes in the body. It is these changes that can lead to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. The presence of large numbers of free radicals can alter the cells of our genetic material which could lead to various auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and cancer.Natural processes in the body can result in free radicals being produced, but these are usually in very small amounts that are not harmful. We are continually exposed to free radicals in our environment. Free radicals can be found in pollution, radiation, food preservatives, cigarette smoke and car fumes. A diet high in saturated fat can lead to an increase in free radicals as the process of heating oil can produce a large number of free...

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