Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 23 May 2008



(2008), "Astaxanthin", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Food Facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 38, Issue 3.

The human body cannot survive with out oxygen this we all know. But when oxygen mixes with complex metabolic molecules in the body, free radicals are produced. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules ready to react with anything they can. When they react, the result is called oxidization. This oxidization destroys our internal organs; lungs and heart. We even produce free radicals when we exercise!

What does oxidization do?

Try this as an experiment. Take an apple and cut it in half, leave one half aside; take the other half and squeeze lemon juice over it. Leave the apple halves for a couple of hours then check the result. The first half is brown and "going bad" (this is caused by oxidization), whilst the one treated with the lemon juice is in much the same state as when you left it!

Lemon contains anti-oxidant properties such as Vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoid protecting the apple from the effects of free radicals and neutralizing their ability to react with the apple and avoiding oxidization.

Our bodies are designed to handle the free radicals produced without taking antioxidant supplements in two ways: first of all, our bodies produce their own antioxidants to neutralize this normal level of free radicals generation. For instance, enzymes produced by the body such as superoxide dismutase, are effective in eliminating free radical molecules. Some can quench singlet oxygen, which is a very unstable form of oxygen that causes oxidative damage.

The second way our bodies neutralize free radicals is through dietary antioxidants such as Vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoid. Similarly, when you eat some green leafy vegetables you are probably getting a few different, more powerful antioxidant carotenoids like beta carotene and lutein, so the body could cope with what once were normal levels of free radicals.

But that was 100 years ago. Things are a lot different now. The trouble is that with our current intake of dietary and self-produced antioxidants, we do not produce/supplement enough of them to handle the free radicals in our body. This is due to diets that do not have enough fruit and vegetables. But there is another, more important reason: our bodies now produce and absorb more free radicals than our ancestors due to the lifestyles we lead and the world we live in. For example, large amounts of free radicals are produced when we are under stress, and we are much more likely to suffer the effects of stress than people were 100 years ago!

Natural Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E hitherto considered to be a strong antioxidant both internally and topically, is dwarfed by Natural Astaxanthin. Scientific testing has shown that Astaxanthin is 550 times stronger that Vitamin E. Similar chemically, to another carotenoid beta carotene [the most widely research carotenoid, a wonderful compound with many health benefits] Natural Astaxanthin was found to be 11 time stronger than beta carotene in singlet oxygen quenching!

Factually, antioxidants work together and can actually be synergistic. Two or three antioxidants can have a combined greater effect than that of an individual antioxidant. Here is where eating and varied diet with a minimum of five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables comes in to play. You cannot get the variety of antioxidants in their natural states, that exist in nine servings of produce from a bottle. But what you can and should do to ensure proper antioxidant protection is:

  • eat a good diet each day with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably nine servings!);

  • take a high quality multivitamin;

  • take a green food supplement like Spirulina; and

  • take a powerful antioxidant such as natural Astaxanthin.

By following this diet and supplement regime, you will get a great diversity of antioxidants from the produce with all its live enzymes and phytonutrients. You will get good amounts of vitamin antioxidants such as natural Vitamin E and C as well as commonly missed antioxidants like selenium from a good multivitamin.

For more information on natural Astaxanthin go to:

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