[USA] Growing Astaxanthin is a fascinating science, being able to visit Cyanotech, the worlds largest grower of microalgae was an education in a subject I love, and can never know enough about Health.
Dr Gerry Cysewski, Chief Science Officer and Bob Capelli from Cyanotech generously share their knowledge and experience on Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina and Hawaiian Natural Astaxanthin, with me when I recently visited Kona Hawaii.
What is Astaxanthin?
Have you ever seen a bird bath in summer that has dried up? Sometimes you’ll see a reddish color where the standing water has evaporated. The red you’re seeing is Natural Astaxanthin. What has happened is that some green algae (perhaps the one that commercial growers of Natural Astaxanthin use which is called Haematococcus pluvialis) have suffered stress. The stress is due to a combination of things: Lack of food, an absence of water, intense sunlight and heat, or even bitter cold.
As a result of this stress, the algae’s cells have hyper-accumulated the red pigment Astaxanthin. They do this as a survival mechanism—the Astaxanthin serves as a “force field” to protect the algae from lack of nutrition and/or intense sunlight. It’s an absolutely amazing fact, but due to the protective properties of Astaxanthin, these algae can stay dormant for more than forty years without food or water, suffering in the summer sun or in the winter cold; yet when conditions are appropriate and there is food and water and no extreme weather, the algae will go back into their green, motile stage.
Astaxanthin can be found in plants and animals throughout the world. It is most prevalent in algae and phytoplankton, but it also can be found in a limited number of fungi and bacteria. Because organisms like many Astaxanthin containing algae and plankton are the base of the food chain, Astaxanthin can be found in many animals as well. Any sea animal that has a reddish or pinkish color contains Natural Astaxanthin. For example, you can find Astaxanthin in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp and crab. These animals eat krill and other organisms that ingest Astaxanthin-containing algae and plankton as a major part of their diets. And since lots of different animals such as birds, bears and even humans eat these sea animals, you can find Astaxanthin in all sorts of places.
As we mentioned before, the animals that have the highest concentration of Astaxanthin are salmon, where it concentrates in their muscles and makes them the endurance heroes of the animal world. Can you imagine what salmon would look like if they didn’t have any Astaxanthin? Not only wouldn’t they be able to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days on end, but they’d also look pale and worn out.
View original article at: How Where & Why Astaxanthin is Grown