Written by Kate Coleman, M.N.T.
While the exact pathway is unknown, by consuming this antioxidant pigment you naturally create your own “internal sunscreen” and will thereby prevent your skin from burning. Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-ZAN-thin) is a natural compound that may help with the prevention of wrinkles, dry skin, age spots, and freckles. This supernutrient is a fairly unknown carotenoid, known for providing foods with their vibrant colors. However, unlike other carotenoids, astaxanthin is produced only by microalgae and is known for acting as the algae’s survival mechanism; it serves as a protection against malnutrition and/or intense sunlight. This carotenoid is the reason salmon have pink skin, and the endurance to swim upstream. It is imperative to make sure you select a natural variety from marine algae over one that is not synthetic as the synthetic variety generally comes from the farmed salmon industry.
Start by taking at least 2 mg per day before working your way up to 4 and 8 mg. It may take anywhere from two to four weeks to reap its benefits, so be sure to use a natural sunscreen in the meantime. The Healing Center recommends the BioAstin brand, which can be found in your natural grocers.