Astaxanthin, unlike several carotenes and one other known carotenoid, is not converted to vitamin A in the human body. Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin has self-limited absorption orally and such low toxicity by mouth that no toxic syndrome is known. It is an antioxidant with a slightly lower antioxidant activity in some model systems than other carotenoids. However, in living organisms the free-radical terminating effectiveness of each carotenoid is heavily modified by its lipid solubility, and thus varies with the type of system being protected.
A new study conducted in seniors found that astaxanthin may help improve muscle function and strength in elderly adults. Subjects were given either placebo or astaxanthin in the form of AstaMed MYO.In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 42 subjects between the ages of 65 and 82 were either given placebo or the astaxanthin formulation (two capsules per day), which includes 12 mg astaxanthin, 10 mg tocotrienol, and 6 mg zinc, for four months. Both groups also participated in a 12-week exercise training program which consisted of meeting three times per week for 40-60 minutes walking at an incline for increasing intervals.
Results showed that interval exercise time and walking distance significantly improved in both groups following training. However, a significant change in muscle strength was shown in the astaxanthin group alone. “We saw improvements in strength, endurance, and mobility among the study participants who took astaxanthin medicinal formula with a moderate exercise plan,” said Kevin Conley, PhD, in a press release. “This gives clinicians an option for their patients who cannot make the substantial lifestyle changes required to halt the crippling impact of muscle loss.”
The results of this study are incredibly exciting as they show that astaxanthin can play a vital role in supporting muscle endurance, strength and mobility, thus combatting the effects of debilitating conditions such as sarcopenia.
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