When a shrimp is cooked, it suddenly turns red. That pigment is astaxanthin – a naturally occurring carotenoid that imprints salmon, crabs, krill, lobsters, and even flamingos with vivid reddish coloration.
Natural astaxanthin, like a miracle of nature, emerges to protect animals in the peak of their struggle against harsh environmental conditions, including UV radiation and attack by free radicals. In salmon, astaxanthin provides in vivo protection to omega-3 fatty acids against oxidative damage during their exhaustive upstream marathon. Research suggests that without astaxanthin, salmon would lose their resilience, not survive the oxidative spike, and experience consequent physical burnout during migration.
Salmon obtains astaxanthin by eating shrimp, and shrimp obtains it by eating algae. The microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is an organism that can produce the highest amount of astaxanthin. When the alga experiences harsh conditions, astaxanthin is created and acts like a force field that protects the nuclear DNA and lipids against UV-induced oxidation.
Various clinical experiments have shown that astaxanthin is beneficial to our body’s health. It can help us enhance immune system, sharpen our eyes’ vision, combat aging and even improve our skin’s condition.
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