Astaxantine is the active substance which is the basis for the supplement Antiradical Mix+. It belongs to a subfamily of the carotenoids: xantofilles. In its pure form it has a red-orange colouring, but when it forms a chain with proteins it can assume a red-green colouring. Not everyone knows that it is precisely astaxantine that gives salmon, prawns, lobsters and birds such as flamingo their typical colouring. These animals aren’t able to produce astaxantine by themselves, but they absorb it from some microalgae or zooplanktons through diet. The richest source is indeed a single-cell microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, but it can also be found in some bacteria and yeasts, where it has a protective action against the toxic effects that oxygen can give and against ultraviolet B radiation (UVB). Exposure to UVBs can lead to the formation of oxygen-responsive cells and lead to the formation of free radicals, one of the major causes of oxidative damage to cell membrane and even DNA. Several studies have found astaxanthin to have a strong antioxidant power, 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene and 550 times powerful potent than vitamin E (Fasset & Combes, Molecules, 2012)! It is therefore able to act as an efficient 'cellular sweeper’ to get rid of free radicals at the cell membrane level, in synergy with other antioxidants such as vitamin C (Kidd, Altern Med Rev 2011). Its properties make it a molecule with a variety of beneficial effects to the body, whose anti-inflammatory roles, protecting against cardiovascular diseases (eg. atherosclerosis), protecting skin health as well as the immune and neuroprotective system have been extensively documented by several scientific studies (Ambati et al, Mar Drugs, 2014).
The strong antioxidant properties of asxtraxin are very useful both for sedentary people and sportspeople.
For example, a study at the University of Memphis (USA) in 2001 showed that the administration of astaxanthin (4 mg) helped eliminate post-workout muscle soreness in young men who regularly trained with weights (Fry, Univ Memphis Report, 2001).
Another study on sufferers of "tennis elbow" (or lateral epicondylitis: an elbow tendon inflammation). Those who suffer from this condition display less physical strength and pain when grasping objects. The research team observed the effect of an astaxanthin (4 mg) supplement on the strength of the patients suffering from the tennis elbow. After eight weeks, the astaxanthin group showed a remarkable improvement in their strength, regaining as much as 93%, and pain diminished. The study therefore suggests that astaxanthin can help alleviate joint inflammation conditions. The absorption of asxamine at the intestine level can increase in the presence of beta-carotene, which is why it is contained in Antiradical Mix+.