Astaxanthin: An Anti-Aging, Antioxidant Powerhouse
At Flora we’ve been proud distributors of Gandalf products for over 7 years now. Gandalf is a Canadian brand from the company VieSun, which has been around in the province of Quebec since 1994. They specialize in nutritional and therapeutic vegan products like spirulina, chlorella and astaxanthin.
Gandalf Astaxanthin™ is a pure, natural, carotenoid antioxidant derived from the Haematococcus pluvialis algae. It’s produced indoors in Canada in bioreactors using a solvent free, low temperature, oil extraction method called infusion. Gandalf Astaxanthin™ stands tall in a marketplace that is full of antioxidant products. Clinical research has led to Health Canada approved claims for reducing inflammation, protecting and supporting eye health and supporting exercise performance and endurance.
More powerful than vitamins C, A, E, and other antioxidants like pycnogenol, astaxanthin owes a lot to its unique structure and ability to protect both water and fat-based tissue and cell membranes. It’s able to cross the blood-brain and blood-retina barriers, allowing it to protect and support both eye and brain health. Clinical studies to date have focused on its antioxidant properties across a wide spectrum of human health issues related to skin, eye, brain, cardiovascular, and joint health.
VieSun emphasizes quality and potency with their packaging as well: their products use a light and oxygen resistant, resealable aluminum foil bag with a very thin, transparent plastic food grade layer inside. Their BPA, BPS, and phthalate free packaging is designed to keep air and light out to retain freshness and potency and prevent oxidation – especially important for sensitive nutrients like spirulina and astaxanthin.
For eye health specifically, astaxanthin has been shown to help reduce eye strain and fatigue and improve visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. It also helps to increase retinal blood flow. The eye naturally incorporates carotenoids like lutein and astaxanthin into its structure in order to protect the eye from free radical damage, whether from sunlight, blue light, or the effects of aging. With increased screen time being an issue for so many people, blue light protection is more important than ever. Generally, between 4-12 mg per day of astaxanthin is what’s considered an effective, protective amount.
For people looking to add to their sports and exercise regimen, astaxanthin has been shown to help improve physical endurance and prevent exercise induced free radical production. Astaxanthin seems to delay this production of lactic acid and so people will experience less fatigue and less of the burning sensation in the muscles associated with lactic acid. It also results in decreased malondialdehyde, a marker for oxidative stress/lipid peroxidation.
Personally, I’ve felt like the past couple years have definitely taken their toll in terms of stress levels and biological aging so I’m definitely on board to incorporate specific antioxidants with proven benefits for brain, eye and skin health to my overall personal healthcare regimen.