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Carotenoids: Astaxanthin As An Internal Sunscreen

May 17, 2017

A super antioxidant
Astaxanthin is a derivative of the microalgae Haematoccous pluvialis – the part that gives salmon and flamingos that eat the algae their orange or pink coloring. It is produced when the algae’s water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from lack of nutrition and/or intense sunlight. Now, what’s interesting to know is that a growing body of scientific literature and epidermal analysis determined that the quantity of Astaxanthin was 133 times that of lycopene and 28 times that of beta-carotene! So there are plenty of benefits to be derived from taking Astaxanthin but I’ll just touch on the benefits to our skin here.

Works as an internal sunscreen
Initial animal studies in Japan had discovered that by ingesting Astaxanthin, mice could stay under UV radiation longer without getting burned or experiencing deleterious damage to their skin. The Journal of Dermatological Science published a study in 2002 finding Astaxanthin is able to protect against alterations in human DNA induced by UVA light exposure. And Cyanotech, the company that produces BioAstin from microalgae, tested it on human volunteers and found that taking 4 mg per day for just two weeks statistically increased the amount of time the subjects could stay in the sun without getting burned.

Powerful quencher of inflammation
Many users of Astaxanthin supplements reported that they are able to spend significantly more time out in the sun without burning than they were able to before. This is due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties that Astaxanthin has. Hence, this also means that as an antioxidant, Astaxanthin scavenges the free radicals in the skin surface which ultimately helps reduce moisture loss and keeps skin smooth. So this supplement can effectively help to reverse external signs of aging from the inside out. But do note that taking this as a suppplement will not eliminate the risk of sunburn in everyone, but it can radically reduce your risk of developing severe sunburn and related skin damage. Plus, it will take some weeks for the dose to build up to achieve UV protection, and to help improve your skin’s overall moisture balance and elasticity.


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