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Astaxanthin is anti-inflammatory and can neutralize free radicals which are linked to heart diseases.
It is a well-known fact that cholesterol levels are key indicators of possible cardiovascular diseases and controlling cholesterol levels is the mantra of cardiologists.
When the LDL (the bad cholesterol) is oxidized, it can clog up the arteries. Excessive free radicals target LDL and cause an autoimmune condition whereby the immune system begins to attack itself. This creates an inflammatory response which, in turn, creates plaque in the arteries. The end result — oxidation and inflammation causing atherosclerosis. And over time, this condition can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
There are many clinical studies demonstrating that astaxanthin can reduce oxidation and inflammation. It can neutralize free radicals before they begin to oxidize LDL cholesterol. It can decrease CRP, the marker for silent inflammation. It has also been shown to decrease overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with mild hyperlipidemia. It can improve blood flow and may be able to decrease heart rates. Thus, astaxanthin protects the cardiovascular system.
Supporting Pre-clinical Studies
Besides human clinical studies, there are many pre-clinical studies indicating various benefits of astaxanthin for heart health.
Iwamoto, T., Hosoda, K., Hirano, R., Kurata, H., Matsumoto, A., Miki, W., Kamiyama, M., Itakura, H., Yamamoto, S., Kondo, K. (2000). “Inhibition of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by astaxanthin.” Journal of Atherosclerosis Thrombosis. 7(4):216-22.
Hiroshige, I. (2004). “Multivitamin and Carotenoid Supplements.” Progress in Medicinal Chemistry F0664B 0287-3648 Vol. 24;No.6;Page1437-1442.
Trimeks Company Study (2003). Unpublished study cited in “The World’s Best-Kept Health Secret: Natural Astaxanthin.”
Aoi, W., Naito, Y., Sakuma, K., Kuchide, M., Tokuda, H., Maoka, T., Toyokuni, S., Oka, S., Yasuhara, M., Yoshikawa, T. (2003). “Astaxanthin limits exercise-induced skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in mice.” Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 5(1):139-44.
Gross, G, Lockwood, S. (2004). “Cardioprotection and myocardial salvage by a disodium disuccinate astaxanthin derivative (Cardax). Life Sci. 75:215-24.
Fassett, R., Coombes, J. (2009). “Astaxanthin, oxidative stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.” Future Cardiology 2009 Jul;5(4):333-42.