If you’re unsure what astaxanthin is, you’re not alone. While you might not be familiar with its technical name, you likely have heard of it. You see, astaxanthin is an antioxidant (specifically a carotenoid), which is present in most red-colored aquatic organisms, like salmon, crayfish and algae. It is also what gives flamingos their vibrant color.
Now that we’re familiar with what astaxanthin is, let’s get into the nitty-gritty – if it truly works for hair growth.
Benefits of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions because it is an antioxidant. Some of the common conditions it has been shown to treat include:
- Cardiac disease prevention
- Eye health
- Hair loss and androgenetic alopecia
- Immune system defense
In the above list, two of those bullet points were benefits that can help with hair growth! Starting with the first point, astaxanthin is an anti-inflammatory, which blocks inflammation chemicals throughout the body (including the scalp). Astaxanthin is also a natural inhibitor of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Because it is such a powerful antioxidant and a natural inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, it can actually lower the levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is the main culprit for those facing hair loss.
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So if DHT is the reason that you are having hair loss, trying astaxanthin will help you see results. However, if your hair loss is from stress, poor diet, or other underlying factors, astaxanthin will not help.
How to Supplement with Astaxanthin
There are a few different ways that you can supplement with astaxanthin. You can either consume more food that has a naturally occurring astaxanthin, or you can take a supplement.
If you’re looking to add astaxanthin to your diet, look towards wild fish, krill, green algae, and plankton.
Most will choose to take an astaxanthin supplement instead. The recommended dosage for astaxanthin is:
- 40 mg daily for up to 12 weeks
- 12 mg daily for up to 6 months
- 4 mg daily for up to 12 months
If you plan to extend use beyond that, consult your doctor to ensure it is safe. It is also important to remember that these are general guidelines for dosing. The appropriate dose will vary from person to person based on health, age, and other conditions. Speaking to your doctor or pharmacist beforehand will be helpful if you’re wanting to get the most out of this supplement.
Side Effects of Astaxanthin
Like all supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA. This means that they are considered safe when taken in the proper doses, but you should take note of any changes to your body. The most common side effects include red stool color and an increase in bowel movements. You might also experience stomach pain. If you experience any of these symptoms or anything else out of the ordinary, consult your doctor.
Numerous people have seen the benefits from adding astaxanthin supplements to their daily routine. When used properly, people who are experiencing baldness from an overproduction of DHT should see improved hair growth within a few months. Read real reviews and decide for yourself!