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Synergistic strength: The Astaxanthin Complex

In our last blog entry, we focused on carotenoids and how they mitigate the harmful effects of oxidative damage in our cells. The most impressive feature about carotenoids is that they better protect us from oxidative damage when they work together. But how does this exactly happen?


To explain the carotenoid synergy, we must focus on Astaxanthin again. It’s our product, of course, but it’s the king of carotenoids, and not only that, it’s the best antioxidant known. We learnt that antioxidants protect our cells from oxidation by donating electrons to Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that are desperately trying to find balance and would steal the electron they are missing from any healthy molecule they can access. Antioxidants prevent ROS from damaging healthy molecules and structures donating electrons, but they degrade as they do so. Although, when carotenoids work together, they can regenerate Astaxanthin’s antioxidant activity.

Here is where things get really interesting. Our Astaxanthin is produced by cultivating Haematococcus pluvialis, the only type of Astaxanthin clinically studied and proven safe for human consumption, even in high doses. Haematococcus pluvialis is a microalga naturally occurring in freshwater, green under ideal conditions, progressively turning into a dark red colour as water availability (and thus nutrients) gets scarce. The microalga becomes a hard cyst and fills with oils for energy and carotenoids, mainly Astaxanthin, for cell protection.

When testing Astaxanthin from different sources, we came across stunning evidence. Astaxanthin produced from Haematococcus pluvialis cultured under direct sunlight produces more extra carotenoids: beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and canthaxanthin. When we extract Astaxanthin from our sunlight-empowered Astaxanthin, we standardise its concentration. This means that Astaxanthin Oil 10% will have exactly 10% of Astaxanthin per total content. But this also means you get all the extra carotenoids produced under extreme sunlight for free. Our Astaxanthin, produced in the Atacama Desert, contains up to 5 times more extra carotenoids than Astaxanthin produced under indirect sunlight, i.e. glass tubes, and up to 15 times more extra carotenoids than Astaxanthin produced using artificial light.

We call this amalgamation the supporting carotenoids. Together with Astaxanthin, they add up to our Astaxanthin Complex. This concept is supported by scientific evidence, as shown in crucial studies by Lang et al. in 2009 and Du et al. in 2015. They investigated the synergistic properties of Astaxanthin and other carotenoids within two cell membrane models. They measured the lag phase time resistance to oxidation in membranes protected with different carotenoids and blends exposed to high oxidant free radicals. They found that the antioxidant power of the combination of Astaxanthin with other carotenoids exceeded 62% that of Astaxanthin alone. The extended lag phase protects cells against oxidative harm, granting them more time to remain undamaged. Astaxanthin, positioned strategically within the membrane, scavenged radicals and facilitated electron transfer to other carotenoids, amplifying their protective effect. Remarkably, other carotenoids could regenerate Astaxanthin molecules by donating an electron. This cooperative action, also evidenced in other carotenoids, enhanced the overall antioxidant activity in the membranes, yielding heightened protection.

In summary, carotenoids protect us from oxidative damage by donating electrons, and they do a better job when they work together, providing a synergistic effect that enhances their antioxidant activity. NatAxtin® Astaxanthin is made as nature intended, from Haematococcus pluvialis nurtured by the sun under the Atacama Desert’s sky and providing unmatched protection against oxidation.

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