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History of Astaxanthin

March 14, 2022

History of Astaxanthin

Many popular natural health supplements contain ingredients you’ve heard of before. Garlic, ginseng, and cordyceps mushrooms are all pretty common ingredients that you might have even experimented with using in your kitchen. When you hear about astaxanthin for the first time, your first thought may be that it sounds like an exotic ingredient or like it is manufactured. However, you’ll find it reassuring to know that you’ve likely already encountered this natural health supplement ingredient in your regular diet before.


This common ingredient in immune system supplements is found in lobsters, shrimp, and other forms of red-colored marine life. Most people haven’t heard of it because it usually occurs in such small quantities in a regular diet that it doesn’t make much of a difference. Supplements are made using larger quantities of this micronutrient so that you are more likely to feel the effects on your health.


This natural supplement ingredient is also a relatively recent discovery that came to light with new advances in aquatic microbiology. Now that you’ve heard about it exploring the history of how it was discovered through how it is used in supplements today helps you make informed decisions about your health.


What Are Carotenoids?

Astaxanthin falls with the category of micronutrients called carotenoids. In its simplest terms, carotenoids are phytochemicals that contain pigments. You’ve likely already had some experience with carotenoids since carrots and other red, orange, and yellow vegetables and fruit contain them.

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Interestingly, carotenoids have been on researcher’s radars since the early 1800s. In 1820, Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Wackenroder discovered carotene, which is the carotenoid that you’ll hear about being found in carrots. At the time, this accidental discovery yielded great promise in the field of nutrition, and we still use the information learned from Wackenroder’s research today.


Later, in 1863, a famous Austrian chemist named Adolf Lieben discovered carotenoids in human tissue during his research at the University of Palermo. This kicked off even more interest in learning how and why certain plant-based nutrients impact the body. Now, there are over 1,100 known carotenoids, and our favorite ingredient to put in an immune support supplement is one of the most potent known to humankind.


When Was Astaxantin Discovered?

Carotenoids are broken down into sub-classes, and astaxanthin is called xanthophyll. This subclass also contains foods such as avocado and pumpkin, which have antioxidants that help maintain your health. While people have been using food since the dawn of time to care for their health, it wasn’t until the mid-nineties that this antioxidant became known for its existence and potency.

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Back in the ‘90s, a group of university researchers set out to create a start-up to explore more about the various uses for microalgae. At the time, their goal was primarily to find out more about the use of the plants for salmon feed and clean, renewable energy. They found out way more about how it can be cultivated and used for human health during their studies.


Located near the deep waters of Kona, the researchers developed the technology that we use today to grow, harvest, and extract the antioxidant from Haematococcus Pluvialis, which is the same species of microalgae that we use for our supplements. As the researchers dug further into their studies, they became aware of the many benefits that the antioxidant provides, such as helping to ease inflammation and fight against the effects of free radicals in the body.


Soon after the news about astaxanthin began making its rounds, athletes from Hawaii began to use it as a joint health supplement to ease inflammation and improve their post-workout recoveries. One of the most well-known early adopters for using the antioxidant as a supplement is Papa Pea, who finished multiple Iron-Man races and continued to compete athletically well into his 70s.


What Are Its Other Sources?

People who love seafood are in luck because you can find this antioxidant in a variety of aquatic foods such as salmon, trout, and shrimp. However, the micronutrient only occurs in trace amounts in most foods, which means that you would have to eat far more than you could to achieve any noticeable effects.

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You can find this nutrient in seafood because many aquatic animals eat krill, which is the main source of astaxanthin. Since many farm-raised foods such as shrimp don’t get the chance to eat krill, you may also run into the issue of not getting any of this antioxidant into your diet at all unless you use an immune support supplement.


Current research is still ongoing today often focuses on ways to include more of the antioxidant in the foods that we eat. For example, using microalgae to feed farm-raised fish could help more people get some micronutrients into their bodies. Farlong Nutraceutical has also focused our research on finding ways to ensure that the astaxanthin we use in our supplements meets the highest standards for lab testing so that you feel safe using them.


Why Do People Take This Supplement?

This antioxidant is highly potent, which makes it possible to maintain your health in ways that other nutrients just can’t do. For instance, it is more than 550 times more effective than vitamin E and almost 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C. The primary way it impacts your body is by working as an antioxidant that slows down oxygenation in your cells and leads to damage.


Every day, you expose your body to free radicals in your environment. While you can give up habits such as smoking and drinking that increase your exposure to free radicals, some situations are unavoidable. Even the air you breathe is filled with pollutants such as exhaust fumes that can leave your body scrambling to undo the damage.


Astaxanthin isn’t necessarily a cure-all, but it can help provide your body with the energy it needs to ward off cellular damage. Among the many reasons people take the supplement include the following benefits that can help anyone maintain better health.

  • combat the damaging effects of free radicals in the body
  • slow down the effects of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s
  • reduce inflammation and pain in the joints
  • supplement healthy diet and exercise plans

People also use this supplement because it is easy. Other healthy lifestyle changes are important, but they also take work. On top of exercising and avoiding environmental toxins, you can use one daily supplement to continue caring for your health. With top-of-the-line cultivation and harvesting techniques, you can trust that you don’t have to eat your weight in seafood to enjoy the benefits of the world’s most potent antioxidant.

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Making sure that you understand everything you put in your body is an important way to self-advocate your health. Our team at Farlong Nutraceutical aims for transparency in every product we produce, and we encourage you to ask questions. Whether you’ve just heard about astaxanthin or are interested to understand the benefits that you’ve been noticing since you started using the supplement, we encourage you to keep diving into finding out what works the best for maintaining your health.

astaxanthin