The primary use of Astaxanthin for humans is as a dietary supplement. Research suggests that, due to Astaxanthin’s antioxidant activity, it may be beneficial with respect to many different diseases. Astaxanthin is frequently consumed in the form of soft-gel capsules, but also may be found in liquid form and used for the preparation of food and drinks.
Thanks to its proven anti-aging and reparative effects on human skin, Astaxanthin is also widely used as an ingredient in the cosmetics products of some of the world’s leading beauty brands.
Aqua-, Agriculture and pet food supplements
Astaxanthin can also be used as an animal feed additive providing orange to red color in farm-raised salmon and egg yolks. It represents only a small part of the salmon feed, while constituting a significant component of the total cost of the feed. With rising consumer education and awareness, the demand for using natural colorants instead of synthetic ones has increased. Astaxanthin is becoming increasingly popular also as a supplement in pet food. The studies have shown that e.g. dogs and cats can not only absorb astaxanthin but it could positively affect their vision and enhance their overall health.
Astaxanthin constitutes 20% of the cost of production of commercial salmon feed.
PROVEN BENEFITS FROM USE OF ASTAXANTHIN
Astaxanthin use is supported by hundreds of peer-reviewed papers published in leading medical research journals with more than 40 human clinical trials supporting the safety and efficiency of Astaxanthin.
The use of Astaxanthin is beneficial for:
The research has verified that natural Astaxanthin is effective in reducing the risk of heart issues and supports a healthy cardiovascular system. The results of a trial performed in Korea on overweight patients suggested that Astaxanthin has positive effects by improving LDL cholesterol, ApoB, and oxidative stress biomarkers.2
Thanks to its anti-oxidant activity, Astaxanthin has proven to be able to positively modulate immunity.
Jyonouchi et al. in 1995 studied the effects of carotenoids on in vitro immunoglobulin production. Immunoglobulin is a protein that is used by the immune system to neutralize bacteria and viruses. The study showed Astaxanthin to enhance human immunoglobulin production, which could be directly connected to positive immunity modulation.3
In a human study performed on office employees who were greatly influenced by the impact of computer screens, after four weeks of using 5 mg of Astaxanthin per day, scientists reported a 46% reduction in the number of eye-strain complications.4
According to clinical evidence, Astaxanthin could improve the brain’s ability to function and thus slow the brain’s aging process down, and even help patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Astaxanthin has been found to reduce the accumulation of phospholipid hydroperoxidases – compounds known to accumulate in the bodies of people who suffer from dementia. Thus, the results suggest that it could contribute to the prevention of dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.5Also, in a clinical trial, Astaxanthin proved to be effective in improving cognitive function in healthy older people and thus slowing the aging process down.6
Due to its strong antioxidant activity, natural Astaxanthin not only has the ability to prevent UV damage from occurring, but may actually help to reverse external signs of aging. The results of clinical studies performed on more than 40 women are consistent and show excellent results in helping with skin moisture levels, smoothness, elasticity, and fine wrinkles.7
Muscle, Joint and Tendon Health
Astaxanthin has proven to be able to increase people’s strength and energy levels, especially with respect to the people engaging in physically demanding work or sports. In 2011, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute performed a trial, during which time trials of bicycle athletes using 4 mg of Astaxanthin a day for four weeks were compared to the results of a placebo group. On average, the group taking Astaxanthin performed significantly better than the placebo group.1
1. Earnest, C.P., Lupo, M., White, K.M. (2011). Effect of Astaxanthin on Cycling Time Trial Performance. International Journal of
Sports Medicine, 32(11):882-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1280779.
2. Choi, HD, Youn, YK., Shin, WG., (2011). Positive effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight
subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Nov; 66(4):363-9
3. Jyonouchi H., Sun H., Gross M (1995). Effect of carotenoids on in vitro immunoglobulin production by human peripheral blood
mononuclear cells: astaxanthin, a carotenoid without vitamin A activity, enhances in vitro immunoglobulin production in
response to a T-dependent stimulant and antigen. Nutr Cancer. 1995;23(2):171-83.
4. Nagaki, Y., Hayasaka, S., Yamada, T., Hayasaka, Y., Sanada, M., Uonomi, T. (2002). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation,
critical flicker fusion, and pattern visual evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. Journal of Traditional Medicines,
5. Nakagawa K., Kiko T., Miyazawa T., Carpentero Burdeos G., Kimura F. (2011). Antioxidant effect of astaxanthin on
phospholipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jun;105(11):1563-71
6. Katagiri, M., Satoh, A., Tsuji, S., Shirasawa, T. (2012). Effects of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract on cognitive
function: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 51(2):102-7. doi:
7. Yamashita, E., Tominaga, K., Hongo, N., Karato, M. (2012). Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. Acta
Biochimica Polonica, 59(1): 43-7.