Skip to content
Font Size
A
A
A

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, a chemical found naturally in certain plants and animals. A type of algae makes astaxanthin. This algae is used as a source for the astaxanthin in supplements.

Some types of seafood also contain astaxanthin.

Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Most of the cells in your body contain carnitine, which your liver and kidneys make. Carnitine helps your cells produce energy. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a form of carnitine that's available as a supplement.

Read the Acetyl-L-Carnitine article > >

Astaxanthin gives salmon and lobster their reddish color, and flamingo feathers their pink hue.

Why do people take astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant. That means it helps reduce a natural process in your body called oxidation. This process may play a role in many diseases and changes such as:

Astaxanthin can also reduce inflammation. It might be useful as a treatment for problems that involve inflammation, such as:

Laboratory research has found that an extract from algae that makes astaxanthin slowed the growth of breast and skin cancer cells.

Astaxanthin might help the heart in a number of ways, as well. It may be helpful in preventing plaque buildup in arteries in the heart.

It may also help protect heart muscle from damage from lack of oxygen. This can happen during a heart attack.

Also, by reducing oxidation in the brain, it may protect against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Astaxanthin may reduce the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which cause peptic ulcers. It may also help protect against kidney damage from diabetes. And it may stimulate the immune system.

However, more research is needed before astaxanthin can be recommended for any of these uses.

Supplement makers may suggest varying amounts of astaxanthin for different purposes. Most of the small research studies to date have used between 2 mg and 24 mg daily. However, optimal doses of astaxanthin have not been set for any condition. Quality and active ingredients in supplements may vary widely. This makes it difficult to set a standard dose.

Can you get astaxanthin naturally from foods?

One of the largest sources of astaxanthin is in certain types of marine algae.

Astaxanthin is also found in several types of seafood, including:

  • Salmon
  • Rainbow trout
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster

Four ounces of sockeye salmon contains about 4.5 milligrams of astaxanthin.

Vitamins and
Supplements
Lifestyle Guide

Which Nutrients
Are You Missing?

Learn More

Today on WebMD

vitamin rich groceries
Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
St Johns wart
Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
 
clams
Are you getting enough?
Take your medication
Wonder pill or overkill?
 
fruits and vegetables
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Article
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.