Top 7 Amazing Astaxanthin Benefits

7 min read
Apr 22, 2024
Top 7 Amazing Astaxanthin Benefits

Strong antioxidant qualities can be found in astaxanthin, a carotenoid that is mostly present in marine life.

This natural pigment, which gives some seafood their rich red color, has been connected to several health benefits, including better cardiovascular and physical performance.

Find out the seven incredible astaxanthin benefits and how to include this potent antioxidant in your diet.

What is astaxanthin?

Like beta-carotene and chlorophyll, astaxanthin is a naturally occurring pigment that gives plants their green, orange, or yellow hue.

Unlike other carotenoids, Haematococcus pluvialis, a species of microalgae, is the primary producer of astaxanthin. This algae gives fish and crustaceans, including lobster and salmon, their vivid red color. Marine life feeds on it.

Strong antioxidants like astaxanthin shield cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are brought on by exposure to pollutants, unhealthful eating habits, and ongoing stress.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), another name for free radicals, are erratic chemicals that harm DNA and other parts of cells.

Oxidative stress is a crucial factor in many chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular problems, and neurological ailments. An imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals is the culprit.

7 health benefits of astaxanthin

The antioxidant activity of astaxanthin is noticeably higher than that of many other dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.

This makes astaxanthin a fantastic option for enhancing general health and preventing harm to the body caused by oxidative stress.

These are seven advantages of astaxanthin for health.

1. Helps support healthy skin

Because astaxanthin lessens the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, it may help maintain a healthy skin barrier and lessen skin damage. Overexposure to UV rays can degrade collagen, causing wrinkles, dark patches, and early aging.

Astaxanthin supplementation improved skin texture, appearance, and moisture content while reducing UV-induced skin degradation, according to a Nutrients study.

2. Lowers the risk of heart disease

Extended durations of elevated blood sugar might harm the heart's blood arteries, raising the possibility of developing heart disease.

According to research that was published in the Journal of Functional Foods, astaxanthin, an antioxidant, has been associated with improved blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular health through its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism.

Furthermore, astaxanthin has been discovered to support a balanced metabolism of lipids, which has been connected to a decreased risk of atherosclerosis, the primary cause of stroke and heart attacks.

3. Enhances cognitive function

For older adults at risk for neurodegenerative illnesses that cause mood swings, forgetfulness, and memory loss, maintaining cognitive function is critical.

According to a study that was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, astaxanthin possesses neuroprotective qualities that may make it a useful treatment for those who have epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and age-related cognitive decline.

The blood-brain barrier is a crucial tissue layer that provides the brain with nourishment, and astaxanthin can pass across it. Astaxanthin enhances brain health and lowers the risk of neuronal problems by reducing oxidative damage and inflammation once it has entered the central nervous system.

4. Promotes eye health

Aging and excessive exposure to blue light are two prominent causes of blurred vision.

Due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, astaxanthin may lower the chance of central vision loss and macular degeneration, a kind of retinal damage linked to blind spots.

According to Dr. Berg, "astaxanthin can help prevent chronic cellular degeneration, especially within the eyes, which can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration."

According to a study that was published in Free Radical Research, astaxanthin protected retinal degeneration from blue light and decreased oxidative stress in the ocular photoreceptors.

5. Strengthens the immune system

Astaxanthin stimulates natural killer cells and white blood cells, supporting immunological function. These vital immune cells create antibodies that help kill damaged and malfunctioning cells associated with a lower risk of cancer as well as identify and eradicate invasive germs and viruses.

According to research in Foods, astaxanthin improves the body's capacity to identify and defend against invading microbes by stimulating the synthesis of antibodies.

6. Promotes liver function

By reducing inflammation in liver cells, astaxanthin may also help to minimize oxidative stress in the liver and support healthy liver function.

Taxanthin has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for a number of liver-related disorders, such as liver tumors, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and liver fibrosis, according to a study published in Drug Design, Development, and Therapy.

7. May boost athletic performance

Taxoxanthin has been shown in animal studies to increase endurance, decrease fatigue, and lessen the likelihood of exercise-induced muscle injury in athletes, although human research on this topic is still lacking.

"The use of astaxanthin as a dietary supplement for athletes and those who engage in recreational activity is supported by research done in animal models," according to a review published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Sources of astaxanthin

Both freshwater and saltwater microalgae species, such as Chlorella zofingiensis, Chlorococcum, and Haematococcus pluvialis, are rich sources of astaxanthin.

Sources of astaxanthin
Sources of astaxanthin

However, the marine life that eats these aquatic bacteria provides humans with the most readily available natural supplies of astaxanthin.

Foods high in astaxanthin include:

  • Wild Pacific sockeye salmon
  • Red trout
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Crayfish
  • Crabs
  • Krill

The greatest possibilities for boosting the body's antioxidant defenses are fish and crustaceans that are captured in the wild since they have higher astaxanthin levels than those that are reared on farms.

A study that was published in Environmental Health Perspectives claims that fish that is raised on farms has higher levels of pollutants, such as pesticides, dioxins, toxaphene, and dieldrin, all of which have been connected to cancer and other health hazards.

Furthermore, fish grown on farms are more prone to illness and frequently given antibiotics, which has been connected to a higher risk of antibiotic resistance in people.

Furthermore, astaxanthin is a practical way to support overall health and well-being and can be purchased as a supplement.

Possible downsides

For most people, consuming astaxanthin found in seafood is safe. However, those with seafood allergies should avoid consuming astaxanthin from natural sources as they may experience symptoms like swelling, itching, or tightness in the throat.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a statement designating astaxanthin supplementation as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) at low dosages.

Nevertheless, astaxanthin supplementation at high levels has been linked to a higher chance of diarrhea, discolored stools, and abdominal pain.

For whom are astaxanthin pills not recommended?

When taking prescription medicine or having certain health conditions, astaxanthin supplements may have negative effects.

Because astaxanthin lowers blood pressure, people using hypertensive medications are more likely to have dangerously low blood pressure.

For whom are astaxanthin pills not recommended?
For whom are astaxanthin pills not recommended?

Taxaxanthin should also be avoided by women who are pregnant or nursing because there is insufficient information on how it affects these reproductive and unborn children.

Even though astaxanthin supplements are thought to be safe, if you have any underlying medical conditions or are on prescription medication, you should speak with your doctor before using astaxanthin.

How much astaxanthin can you take?

If you don't have access to good seafood, you can take krill oil or natural astaxanthin extract as a supplement.

Supplements containing astaxanthin are typically taken once or twice daily in dosages ranging from 4 to 12 milligrams.

To maximize absorption, it's important to take astaxanthin extract with meals and to choose algae-derived astaxanthin extract over synthetic ones.

Additionally found naturally in krill oil, astaxanthin has a normal dosage of one gram per day, taken with food.

It's crucial to carefully adhere to the directions on the astaxanthin or krill oil supplement you intend to use in order to reduce the possibility of adverse effects.

Key takeaways

Marine life consumes astaxanthin, a carotenoid generated by microalgae that has potent antioxidant qualities. This means that crabs, lobster, and salmon are all great suppliers of this nutrient that promotes health.

Research indicates that astaxanthin reduces the risk of heart disease and cognitive decline while improving a number of vital physiological processes, such as immunological responses, skin barrier integrity, and vision.

Frequently asked questions

What are the top astaxanthin benefits?

A number of advantages of astaxanthin are attributed to its antioxidant qualities, which also support heart, brain, and eye health. In addition to improving immune system performance and minimizing ultraviolet (UV) skin damage, astaxanthin may also improve sports performance and recuperation.

What happens if you take astaxanthin every day?

Supplementing with astaxanthin on a daily basis is usually regarded as safe at dosages ranging from 4 to 12 milligrams and has been linked to improved skin, eye, and brain health. However, crimson stools, diarrhea, and stomach pain might result from taking large amounts of astaxanthin.

Who shouldn't take astaxanthin? 

Taken in conjunction with blood pressure medicine, astaxanthin supplements should be avoided by those who are pregnant or nursing.

In patients on hypertensive medications, astaxanthin might cause dangerously low blood pressure levels; safety information for developing fetuses or nursing infants is lacking.

How much astaxanthin should I take?

Taking astaxanthin at a dose of 4–12 milligrams once or twice a day is advised. Because astaxanthin is fat-soluble, it is best to take supplements with food to maximize absorption.

What are the best natural sources of astaxanthin?

The naturally occurring microalgae that wild sockeye salmon, shrimp, lobster, and crab eat create astaxanthin. Moreover, red trout, crayfish, and krill are abundant sources of astaxanthin.

Which is better, CoQ10 or astaxanthin?

Among the most powerful antioxidants is astaxanthin, which has the ability to absorb more free radicals than coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin C, and alpha lipoic acid combined. It is said that astaxanthin's antioxidant capabilities surpass those of CoQ10 by an order of magnitude.