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.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationAstaxanthin 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, liver diseases, 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 to prevent sunburn, to improve sleep, and 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 is used as a coloring for salmon, crabs, shrimp, chicken, and egg production.
In agriculture, astaxanthin is used as a food supplement for egg-producing chickens.
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.
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Age-related vision loss (age-related macular degeneration; AMD). AMD occurs when a portion of retina becomes damaged. Early research shows that taking a product containing astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, and copper by mouth improves damage in the center of the retina in people with AMD. It does not improve damage in the outer areas of the retina.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Early research shows that taking a combination product containing astaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E by mouth does not reduce pain in people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Early research shows that taking 40 mg of astaxanthin daily reduces reflux symptoms in people with indigestion. It seems to work best in people with indigestion due to H. pylori infection. A lower dose of 16 mg daily does not improve reflux symptoms. Neither dose reduces stomach pain, indigestion, or the amount of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach of people with indigestion.
- Muscle damage caused by exercise. Early research shows that taking astaxanthin for 90 days does not reduce muscle damage caused by exercise in male soccer players.
- Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Early research shows that taking a product containing astaxanthin, lutein, and safflower oil by mouth does not reduce muscle soreness or improve muscle performance 4 days after exercise compared to taking only safflower oil.
- Exercise performance. Research regarding the effects of astaxanthin on exercise performance is conflicting. Some early research shows that taking astaxanthin decreases the time needed to complete a cycling exercise in trained male athletes. But other research shows that using astaxanthin does not improve the time needed to complete a timed exercise.
- Fatigue. Early research shows that taking a product containing astaxanthin and sesamin does not seem to improve overall fatigue in healthy adults.
- High cholesterol. Early research shows that taking astaxanthin by mouth reduces blood fats called triglycerides and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Other early research shows that taking a combination of astaxanthin, berberine, policosanol, red yeast rice, coenzyme Q10, and folic acid increases HDL cholesterol levels and lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
- Male infertility. Early research shows that taking astaxanthin increases the pregnancy rates of partners of men considered to be infertile.
- Menopausal symptoms. Early research shows that taking a product containing astaxanthin, vitamin D3, lycopene, and citrus bioflavonoids daily reduces menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, joint pain, moodiness, and bladder problems.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking a product containing astaxanthin, lutein, vitamin A, vitamin E, and safflower oil reduces pain and improves feelings of satisfaction in people with RA.
- Sunburn. Astaxanthin might reduce skin damage caused by the sun. Taking astaxanthin by mouth for 9 weeks appears to reduce redness and loss of skin moisture caused by rays of the sun called "UV" rays.
- Wrinkled skin. Early research shows that taking astaxanthin by mouth improves how quickly skin bounces back (elasticity) and reduces fine lines and wrinkles in middle-aged women and men. It also seems to improve the moisture content in the skin. Other research shows that taking astaxanthin by mouth, along with applying astaxanthin cream to the face twice daily, improves the appearance of skin wrinkles.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyAstaxanthin 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, or 12 mg daily for 6 months. It has been used safely in combination with other carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals at 4 mg daily for up to 12 months. Side effects of astaxanthin may include increased bowel movements and red stool color. High doses of astaxanthin may cause stomach pain.
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.
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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- Chalyk NE, Klochkov VA, Bandaletova TY, Kyle NH, Petyaev IM. Continuous astaxanthin intake reduces oxidative stress and reverses age-related morphological changes of residual skin surface components in middle-aged volunteers. Nutr Res. 2017;48:40-48. View abstract.
- Chen JT, Kotani K. Astaxanthin as a potential protector of liver function: a review. J Clin Med Res 2016;8(10):701-4. View abstract.
- Chew BP, Park JS, Wong MW, et al. A comparison of the Anticancer activities of dietary beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and astaxanthin in mice in vivo. Anticancer Res 1999;19:1849-54. View abstract.
- Chew BP, Wong MW, Park JS, et al. Dietary beta-carotene and astaxanthin but not canthaxanthin stimulate splenocyte function in mice. Anticancer Res 1999;19;5223-8. View abstract.
- Choi HD, Youn YK, Shin WG. Positive effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011;66:363-369.
- Cicero, AF, Rovati LC, and Setnikar I. Eulipidemic effects of berberine administered alone or in combination with other natural cholesterol-lowering agents. A single-blind clinical investigation. Arzneimittelforschung. 2007;57:26-30. View abstract.
- Comhaire FH, El Garem Y, Mahmoud A, et al. Combined conventional/antioxidant "Astaxanthin" treatment for male infertility: a double blind, randomized trial. Asian J Androl 2005;7:257-62.. View abstract.
- Djordjevic B, et al. Effect of astaxanthin supplementation on muscle damage and oxidative stress markers in elite young soccer players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012;52(4):382-392. View abstract.
- Earnest CP, Lupo M, White KM, Church TS. Effect of astaxanthin on cycling time trial performance. Int J Sports Med. 2011;32(11):882-888. View abstract.
- Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
- Espaillat A, Aiello LP, Arrig PG, et al. Canthaxanthin retinopathy. Arch Ophthalmol 1999;117:412-3. View abstract.
- Goodwin TW. Metabolism, nutrition, and function of carotenoids. Annu Rev Nutr 1986;6:273-97.
- Gradelet S, Le Bon AM, Berges R, et al. Dietary carotenoids inhibit aflatoxin B1-induced liver preneoplastic foci and DNA damage in the rat: role of the modulation of aflatoxin B1 metabolism. Carcinogenesis 1998;19:403-11. View abstract.
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