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    Other Names:

    Astaxanthine, Astaxantina, Dihydroxy-3,3’ dioxo-4,4’ bêta-carotène, Microalgae, Microalgue, Micro-Algue, Ovoester, 3,3'-dihydroxy-4,4'-diketo-beta-carotene, 3S,3'S-astaxanthin, 3R,3'R-astaxanthin, 3R,3'S-astaxanthin.

    ASTAXANTHIN Overview
    ASTAXANTHIN Side Effects
    ASTAXANTHIN Interactions
    ASTAXANTHIN Overview Information

    Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. It occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red color in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood.

    Astaxanthin is taken by mouth for treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, high cholesterol, age-related macular degeneration (age-related vision loss), and preventing cancer. It is also used for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is also used for improving exercise performance, decreasing muscle damage after exercise, and decreasing muscle soreness after exercise. Also, astaxanthin is taken by mouth for carpal tunnel syndrome, dyspepsia, male infertility, symptoms of menopause, and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Astaxanthin is applied directly to the skin to protect against sunburn, to reduce wrinkles, and for other cosmetic benefits.

    In food, it may be used as a feed supplement and food coloring additive for salmon, crabs, shrimp, chicken, and egg production.

    How does it work?

    Astaxanthin is an antioxidant. This effect might protect cells from damage. Astaxanthin might also improve the way the immune system functions.

    ASTAXANTHIN Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Early research suggests that a combination of astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, and copper taken daily for 12 months improves some problems in the center of the eye, but does not improve problems in the outer areas of the eye in people with age-related macular degeneration.
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Early research suggests that a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E taken by mouth 3 times daily for 8 weeks does not reduce pain in people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • Indigestion (dyspepsia). Early research shows that taking astaxanthin daily for 4 weeks does not reduce stomach pain, indigestion or the amount of bacteria (H. pylori) in the stomach that may cause stomach pain. However, taking astaxanthin daily does seem to reduce reflux symptoms.
    • Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Early evidence suggests that taking a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, lutein and safflower oil daily for 3 weeks does not reduce muscle soreness or improve muscle performance 4 days after exercise compared to safflower oil by itself.
    • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking astaxanthin (AstaREAL Astaxanthin) daily for 12 weeks reduces triglyceride levels and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Other research shows that taking a combination of astaxanthin, berberine, policosanol, red yeast rice, and folic acid for 4 weeks lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by 20% to 26% and increases HDL cholesterol by about 5%.
    • Male infertility. Early research suggests that men taking astaxanthin (AstaCorex, AstaREAL AB) daily for 3 months have increased fertility as measured by pregnancy rates.
    • Menopausal symptoms. Early research suggests that taking a product containing astaxanthin, vitamin D3, lycopene, and citrus bioflavonoids (MF Afragil) daily for 8 weeks reduces menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, joint pain, moodiness and bladder control.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggest that taking a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, leutein, vitamin A, vitamin E, Haematococcus extract, and safflower oil 3 times daily for 8 weeks reduces pain and improves feelings of satisfaction in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Wrinkled skin. Early evidences suggests that taking astaxanthin (Astavita AstaREAL) twice daily for 6 weeks improves skin elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles in middle-aged women. It also seems to improve the moisture content in the skin.
    • Alzheimer's disease.
    • Parkinson's disease.
    • Improving recovery after stroke.
    • Protecting against cancer.
    • Reducing skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of astaxanthin for these uses.

    ASTAXANTHIN Side Effects & Safety

    Astaxanthin is LIKELY SAFE when it is consumed in amounts found in food.

    Astaxanthin is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a supplement. Astaxanthin has been used safely by itself in doses of 4 to 40 mg daily for up to 12 weeks. It has been used safely in combination with other carotenoids, vitamins and minerals at 4 mg daily for up to 12 months.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of astaxanthin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    ASTAXANTHIN Interactions What is this?

    We currently have no information for ASTAXANTHIN Interactions


    The appropriate dose of astaxanthin depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for astaxanthin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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