by Kevin DiDonato, MS, CSCS, CES
There are a number of different aliments that come with the aging territory.
Loss of hair, graying of your hair, and changes to your skin and complexion are some of the most common age-related conditions.
Most people invest time and money into many different over-the-counter anti-aging creams, lotions, and pills.
However, recent research has shown that one nutrient is gaining more popularity with defying age-associated skin conditions.
In fact, a new study published in the Journal Biochimica Polonica, could show that astaxanthin may improve skin health and longevity.
Let me explain…
Astaxanthin and Skin Health
Embarrassing blemishes, wrinkles, and unsightly sun spots have all been attributed with how the tissue in your body changes as you age.
A naturally occurring nutrient found in algae, astaxanthin, has been shown to slow the aging process, diminish wrinkles, and age spots all while maintaining the hydration status of your skin.
Researchers aimed to confirm previous findings that support the role of Astaxanthin and skin health.
They conducted two different studies: one with men and the other with women.
In the first study, they recruited 30 women and followed them over the course of 8 weeks in an open labeled, non-controlled study.
They administered a combination of 6 milligrams of astaxanthin supplementation per day and 2 ml per day topical application of astaxanthin.
After eight weeks, the researchers noticed significant improvement in differing skin conditions.
They noticed improvements in skin wrinkles, age spots, skin texture, moisture content of the corneocyte layer, and improvements in the corneocyte conditions.
The corneocyte layer is a layer of protein cells that are made up of tiny keratin threads and are combined in an organized matrix.
From this portion of the study, they concluded that astaxanthin may improve skin conditions in ALL the layers of the epidermis (skin), such as the corneocyte layer, epidermis basal layer, and the dermis itself.
In the second part of the study, the researchers recruited 36 healthy males and followed them for 6 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
They were instructed to consume a six milligram dose of astaxanthin (same for the women) for a period of six weeks, with final evaluation happening at the end of the six-week period.
They noticed that men treated with astaxanthin showed improvements in crow’s feet wrinkles and elasticity, as well as transepidermal water loss. They also showed a “strong tendency” for improvement in moisture content and sebum oil levels at the cheek zone.
The researchers concluded, from both studies, that astaxanthin may improve skin conditions in both women AND men.
Although this researcher does verify previous findings, the use of astaxanthin as a treatment option for skin health is still a long way away. However, even though more research is needed, the use of astaxanthin has gained widespread popularity to prevent and improve many different health conditions.
The Many Uses of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin, is a red-colored carotenoid found in high quantities in marine life, has been shown to possess powerful antioxidant properties, and has even been shown to be stronger than vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Unlike other antioxidants, astaxanthin has been shown to stretch across the plasma membrane, which could help it trap and bring reactive oxygen species to the surface to be destroyed by other antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Now, astaxanthin (which has been linked to heart health, exercise improvements, and improved insulin signaling in the pancreas), has been shown to improve the health of ALL the layers in your skin.
Although it still needs further verification, including foods rich in astaxanthin now could provide many different benefits to your overall health and wellness.