What is it: Astaxanthin

Although it could be dismissed as a coloring agent and an ingredient in fish food, astaxathin may also be a powerful anti-ager reputed to be 100-500 times more powerful as an anti-oxidant than vitamin E.

What I have found out is that astaxanthin is a red carotenoid that resembles beta-carotein in molecular structure. It is produced by an alga and is eaten by salmon and lobster, hence their pink color. Because it can cross the blood brain barrier, astaxanthin is being researched for its potential to fight Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and eye damage. Most research conducted is on its effectiveness as an oral supplement.

According to one scientist, astaxanthin can eliminate free radicals 6,000 times more effectively than vitamin C, 800 times more than CoQ10, 550 times more than vitamin E and green tea, 75 times more than alpha lipoic acid, and 20 times more than beta-carotene. According to the results of a 2002 study on hairless mice, researchers concluded that astaxanthin “can significantly prevent UV-induced collagen degradation, wrinkles, lipid peroxidation, sunburn, phototoxicity and photoallergy.” The same study also found topical astaxanthin reduces melanin by 40 percent, greatly reducing freckles and age spots (whitening ingredients are prized in Japan). Moreover, there is also research that suggests astaxanthin may potentially prevent UV-induced skin cancer.

See my Five Best products with anti-aging astaxanthin