The main indicator of age at first glance is facial wrinkles. Seniors who wish to maintain a youthful appearance are tempted to purchase wrinkle creams and supplements. Before buying, consumers should look at objective research. One supplement called astaxanthin has been shown in small studies to reduce wrinkling and enhance the skin. Astaxanthin is also excellent for the eyes. What is Astaxanthin made from? What are the benefits to the eyes and skin?
Sources of Astaxanthin
A bonafide superfood, astaxanthin is difficult to get in sufficient quantities in the diet. Salmon gets its pink color from astaxanthin. So does shrimp and krill. Astaxanthin is typically consumed as a supplement. The therapeutic dosage is 2 mg to 5 mg per day. Astaxanthin pills can be made from seafood or yeast.
Astaxanthin and the Eyes
As a carotenoid, astaxanthin is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage. Ultraviolet light damages the retina and the macula in the center. According to research, astaxanthin is especially good at reaching the retina. Protecting the photoreceptor cells helps prevent macular degeneration, a serious eye disease in seniors.
Astaxanthin and the Skin
Several recent studies have demonstrated the effect of astaxanthin on the skin.
Ultraviolet exposure and air pollution age the skin. They damage the skin’s structural integrity and contribute to skin cancer. Researchers added astaxanthin to skin cells in the laboratory. They found the astaxanthin suppressed inflammation signals that usually appear after exposure to UV light. Also, an enzyme that normally appears after exposure to air pollution was reduced. This enzyme, MMP-1, breaks down skin structure, leading to wrinkles. 1
These same researchers also conducted human clinical trials. Sixty-five healthy senior women divided into groups: 6 mg astaxanthin daily, 12 mg, or a placebo. The controls who took no astaxanthin had skin deterioration such as wrinkles and reduced moisture retention. The subjects who took astaxanthin enjoyed no change in the condition of their skin. Their skin held its ground for the duration of the 16-week study.
These results suggest that astaxanthin supplements are a good addition to a senior’s supplement regimen. Astaxanthin helps both the skin and eyes, and it is easy to take each day.
- Tominaga K, Hongo N, Fujishita M, et al. Protective effects of astaxanthin on skin deterioration. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2017;61(1):33-9. ↩