Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment (classed as a xanthophyll) found in algae and the fish that feed on them. Astaxanthin is an effective antioxidant that is both fat and water soluble and therefore active throughout the body, with the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment (classed as a xanthophyll) found in algae and the fish that feed on them. Essential to the diet of salmon, crabs and crayfish, it is responsible for their pink colour. High levels are found in krill oil. Astaxanthin is an effective antioxidant that is both fat and water soluble and therefore active throughout the body, with the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier.
Astaxanthin is a superior antioxidant that improves free radical protection via recycling of other antioxidants (vitamin E, beta carotene, lycopene and glutathione) thereby prolonging their effect. Its antioxidant effect helps protect from sunburn and UV radiation, and directly supports eye, nervous system, skin, heart and prostate health. It helps reduce LDL cholesterol. Astaxanthin reduces recovery time after exercise by speeding up muscle healing, and improves strength and endurance in athletic performance. Its role in visual health extends to prevention of macular degeneration. Pain from arthritis, chronic backache, carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI can all be relieved. Immune function improves and nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s may be prevented.
Astaxanthin Side Effects and Contraindications
There have been no human studies on long term use of astaxanthin, so risks are unknown. Contraindicated for those with known allergies to astaxanthin, hormone-sensitive conditions or immune disorders. Use with caution if you have hypertension, asthma, parathyroid disorders, or osteoporosis. In rare cases astaxanthin may lower blood pressure, increase skin pigmentation and hair growth, affect hormone levels, lower blood calcium, alter blood count, decrease libido or enlarge breasts (in men). May interact with drug or herbal medications – consult your health practitioner for information.