Next time you take a trip to pick up your supplements you might notice an unassuming hidden gem, called Astaxanthin, sitting next to the other well known antioxidants like CoQ10, Green Tea and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Even with it’s hard to pronounce name, Astaxanthin (pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin”) is worth your time getting to know, and is a favorite among nutritionists, recently heralded as one of nature’s strongest antioxidants. While astaxanthin’s benefits are widely recognized for your body, a spate of clinicals conducted by univerisites show its power for transforming your skin – your body’s largest organ.
So what exactly is Astaxanthin? What can it do for me?
For starters, Asthaxanthin is carotenoid. You come in contact with carotenoids all the time via the beta carotene in carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. It is a pigment that gives these vegetables their orange color, and in beta carotene’s case, converts to Vitamin A in the body. Astaxanthin is a powder with a dark red pigment, which can be found in micro algae (where Maya Chia products source it) and is also what gives salmon, flamingos, and lobsters their vibrant pink hue.
For humans, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with broad health implications and unlike other antioxidants, such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, C, D and selenium, astaxanthin never becomes pro-oxidant in the body. [1, 2, 3, 4] Scientists have determined Carotenoids are necessary for human health -and we are just beginning to uncover the wonders it can do for your skin’s health.
Astaxanthin is one of the most potent antioxidants found in nature, and only recently made it’s debut in the skincare industry. It has been proven clinically to do wonders for skin.
Health experts and researchers have revealed that the ingredient is over 65 times stronger of an antioxidant than Vitamin C, over 50 times stronger than beta-carotene, and 14 times stronger than Vitamin E in combating free radicals. And if that wasn’t enough to impress you, a 2007 study analyzed several popular antioxidants and their antioxidant power.  This study found astaxanthin was 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid. While oral intake of astaxanthin has shown to have positive results on skin health, topical applications can offer a targeted and more efficient supply to the skin, providing multiple benefits, and a new dimension for anti-aging technology. Wow! That’s pretty heady stuff, if we do say so ourselves.
Asthaxanthin is truly an impressive anti-aging powerhouse that works to combat dull, tired and aging skin, and you can find it recently debuted Maya Chia Beauty’s The Super Couple ™
1 Beutner, S., Bloedorn, B., Frixel, S., Hernández Blanco, I., Hoffmann, T., Martin, H.-D., Mayer, B., Noack, P., Ruck, C., Schmidt, M., Schülke, I., Sell, S., Ernst, H., Haremza, S., Seybold, G., Sies, H., Stahl, W. and Walsh, R. (2001), Quantitative assessment of antioxidant properties of natural colorants and phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols and indigoids. The role of β-carotene in antioxidant functions. J. Sci. Food Agric., 81: 559-568. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.849.
2. Spallholz JE. Free radical generation by selenium compounds and their prooxidant toxicity. Biomed Environ Sci. 1997 Sep;10(2-3):260-70. Review. PubMed PMID: 9315319.
3. Koren R, Hadari-Naor I, Zuck E, Rotem C, Liberman UA, Ravid A. Vitamin D is a prooxidant in breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2001 Feb 15;61(4):1439-44. PubMed PMID: 11245448.
4. Pearson P, Lewis SA, Britton J, Young IS, Fogarty A. The pro-oxidant activity of high-dose vitamin E supplements in vivo. BioDrugs. 2006;20(5):271-3. PubMed PMID: 17025373.
5. Nishida Y. et. al, Quenching Activities of Common Hydrophilic and Lipophilic Antioxidants against Singlet Oxygen Using Chemiluminescence Detection System. Carotenoid Science 11:16-20 (2007)