There’s a good chance that Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), more commonly known as male pattern baldness, can be treated and even reversed with the help of a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin.
What Is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant—and more specifically, a carotenoid—which is present in the majority of red-colored aquatic organisms, such as algae, salmon, and crayfish.
And it’s what gives flamingos that amazing bright red color.
As a carotenoid, astaxanthin plays a large role in decreasing the risk of certain diseases, as well as neutralizing free radicals in the body which are responsible for the physical signs of aging, such as greying hair, hair loss, and wrinkles.
Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant which is used for a variety of medical conditions. Below is just a general overview of the various benefits which astaxanthin provides, including some of the more common conditions it has been known to treat.
Astaxanthin works to block a number of inflammation-causing chemicals in the body, which means humans can benefit from its supplementation whether they’re struggling with pneumonia or a number of eye conditions which can cause uncomfortable inflammation that can lead to blindness.
Cardiac Disease Prevention
Eye Health Promotion
Age can have a debilitating effect on eye health. As a supplement, however, astaxanthin has been show to prevent or slow the progression of macular degernation, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Hair Loss and Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)
As a natural inhibitor of enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, astaxanthin can lower levels of DHT (the chemical believed to be responsible for male-pattern baldness) found within the body.
Immune System Defense
An 8-week study found that regular supplementation with astaxanthin decreased DNA damage (caused by free radicals) and increased the activity of natural killer cells.
What is DHT and What Role Does It Play in Hair Loss?
In the above list, which boasts the numerous health benefits associated with astaxanthin, it’s mentioned that this powerful antioxidant can lower levels of DHT. But, what is DHT and how can the lowering of this one chemical be the answer to hair loss?
DHT, also referred to as dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen hormone which is synthesized from testosterone. Increased levels of DHT can lead to a number of worrisome health issues.
Aside from the worrisome health effects, however, it has also long been believed that DHT is the hormone responsible for AGA, and the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5αR) is the culprit which creates DHT when it comes into contact with testosterone.
As was previously mentioned here on Hair Loss Revolution, the problem isn’t necessarily that DHT levels are particularly high in individuals who are prone to AGA. Instead, those with AGA tend to have increased sensitivity to this particular hormone, which is why it’s important to stop the chemical in its tracks.
How Can Astaxanthin Help You with Hair Growth?
If DHT is the problem, then astaxanthin is the answer.
As mentioned above, the enzyme 5αR is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT. As DHT is believed to be the cause of AGA, then it’s easy to see that the enzyme 5αR needs to be stopped before it can produce anymore DHT. But how?
In comes astaxanthin, the powerful antioxidant which also happens to be a natural blocker of 5αR.
Simply put, ingest more axtaxanthin and produce less DHT.
How to Supplement with Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin can be either consumed in foods with naturally occurring amounts, or taken as a supplement.
As an antioxidant which is abundant in a number of marine organisms, it’s not surprising that a variety of wild and farmed fish are the main source of astaxanthin in foods.
Keep in mind, however, that astaxanthin does not naturally occur in animals, but is instead a part of an animals diet. So, other great sources of astaxanthin include krill, plankton, and green algae.
If you’d prefer to take astaxanthin supplementally, it’s important to note that a recent study in Marine Drugs found supplementation to be most effective when combined with omega-3 rich seed oils, such as chia or flax .
Are There Any Side Effects?
When consumed in amounts found in food, astaxanthin is a safe supplement.
Even consumed supplementally, astaxanthin has been show to be safe in doses of 2-4 mg/day, and a study has found that human consumption even up to 6mg/day was safe.
Of course, an adverse reaction is possible with any kind of supplementation, and those who are pregnant or nursing should consult with their obstetrician prior to taking the supplement.
For those suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia, new and exciting research clearly shows that astaxanthin may be the natural supplement that you’ve been looking for.
As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.