Astaxanthin is a reddish-pink pigment created by microalgae that give many sea creatures such as krill, salmon and crayfish their red colour. When certain algae are stressed by a change in their environments such as a change in temperature or a change in UV light, they release Astaxanthin to defend themselves. When released, the Astaxanthin surrounds the algae and protects it, giving it the ability to survive through tough conditions. It is these protective properties that have sparked so many new studies with new human health applications constantly being discovered.
Biosphere provides a cost effective and easy way to get ideal amounts of Astaxanthin each day.
Of the 700 carotenoids discovered in nature so far, Astaxanthin has proven to be one of the most powerful. The potential in human health is growing as we learn more about how antioxidants play a role in our well-being.
All potential benefits of Astaxanthin have been studied and referenced at the bottom of the page.
AS A FREE RADICAL SCAVENGER, ASTAXANTHIN IS:
65 times more powerful than Vitamin C
54 times stronger than Beta-Carotene
14 times greater than Vitamin E
Where is Astaxanthin found in nature?
Astaxanthin however is not limited to only marine life, as there is a type of yeast called Phaffia that also produces Astaxanthin but at lower levels to the algae.
As haematoccus pluvialis is at the bottom of this marine life food chain and the source of the Astaxanthin, it has by far the highest concentrations, making it great for sourcing high doses of Astaxanthin.
|Source||ASTAXANTHIN CONCENTRATION (PPM)|
|Haematococcus pluvialis Algae||40,000|
Astaxathin is found in a wide range of natural organisms. It is predominantly found in marine life and traced back to a specific green algae called Haematococcus pluvialis. When eaten or stressed, this algae turns red, producing astaxanthin to try and protect itself. This algae is consumed by different types of marine life such as salmon, krill, lobsters and flamingos making them pink but also another source of Astaxanthin.
Natural Astaxanthin vs. Synthetic Astaxanthin
Not all Astaxanthin has equal health benefits. The natural Astaxanthin we sell is extracted from algae in a clean, controlled environment, resulting in a high potency product. Synthetic Astaxanthin is primarly used as a food additive for farmed salmon to artificially turn them their natural pink colour. This synthetic version of astaxanthin is derived from petrochemicals, is highly toxic and should be avoided.
How Astaxanthin is produced around the world
With the growing popularity of Astaxanthin, new growing facilities are popping up all around the world to match consumer demand. In countries with plenty of sunlight outdoor growing is generally preferred as the sun is used to stress the algae into producing Astaxanthin. Alternatively indoor facilities uses long tubes and utilise lights to stress the algae.
What the medical studies are saying
Over 300 human studies show astaxanthin’s potential in supporting optimal health. Here are just a few snippets from some recent studies.
Astaxanthin may reduce soccer player muscle damage
This double blind trial gave 4mg of astaxanthin daily or placebo to 40 young soccer players and through blood tests, found better results in the Astaxanthin group for inflammation, immune system function and muscle recuperation. They concluded Astaxanthin reduces muscle damage, preventing inflammation induced by rigorous training. Published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Astaxanthin shows potential for brain health – Human study
This study showed twelve weeks of supplementation with Astaxanthin were associated with significant reductions in phospholipid hydroperoxides, known to accumulate abnormally in the red blood cells of people with dementia, compared to the placebo. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Astaxanthin may protect skin from within
This study found that dietary supplementation of Astaxanthin effectively prevented features of photoaging such as transepidermal water loss, and wrinkle formation in the skin of mice exposed to UVA radiation, published in PLoS One.
Astaxanthin shows anti-diabetic potential
Astaxanthin may protect cells exposed to high-glucose levels which happens with diabetes from the oxidative stress associated with abnormally high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar and the oxidative stress that occurs with it are linked to many diabetic issues including kidney disease, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Astaxanthin may extend endurance by boosting mitochondrial action
Scientists from the University of Sao Paulo report that long term supplementation with astaxanthin significantly delayed the time to exhaustion by 29% of lab rats in a swimming test. As exercise is associated with an overproduction of free radicals in muscles, with Astaxanthin they saw an increase in glutathione, limited oxidative stress and delayed exhaustion, published in Nutrients.
Study supports Astaxanthin’s immune boosting power
The study found a reduction in C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the Astaxanthin groups, as well as an increase in the activity of their immune systems natural killer cells. Dietary astaxanthin was conlucded to decrease a DNA damage biomarker and enhance immune response in young healthy females. Published in Nutrition & Metabolism
Astaxanthin the perfect summer supplement – Skin protection effects
A randomized, double blind human study with 23 healthy Japanese adults over the course of 9 weeks found the Astaxanthin group had a reduction in skin moisture loss in the irradiated area compared with the placebo, published in Nutrients.
Study shows astaxanthin is effective against daily mental and physical fatigue
Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) anaylsis showed that Astaxanthin significantly reduced perceived symptoms of mental and physical fatigue compared to the placebo. These included improvements in clarity of thinking, concentration, motivation and mood. Published in the Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines.
Astaxanthin shows benefits for obese health
Researchers found daily doses of 5 or 20mg of Astaxanthin for three weeks were associated with increases in levels of the body’s own antioxidant defenses, as well as decreases in levels of oxidative species, published in Phytotherapy Research
Astaxanthin linked to improved heart health
Result from a randomized double bling studied indicated that daily supplementation of Astaxanthin reduced plasma hydroxyl fatty acids levels, indicating that astaxanthin protects sensitive fatty acids from oxidation according to the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research.
Astaxanthin supplement may improve heart rates during exercise
Data indicated that a daily 12mg dose of Astaxanthin reduced heart rate by 10% during long distance running published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Astaxanthin may protect skin health from within
Research from a 16 week clinic trial with 65 healthy women found that Astaxanthin may protect against wrinkles and moisture loss in skin, as well as improving skin elasticity compared to placebo according to the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.
Astaxanthin consumption linked to skin rejuvenation
Four weeks of daily supplementation of 4mg per day resulted in significant reductions in markers of oxidative stress over 20% in facial skin according to results published in Nutrition Research.
Astaxanthin shows benefits against colitis
Astaxanthin was associated with a reduction in the occurrence of ulcers in the lining of the colon, as well as lower levels of pro-inflammatory compounds, according to findings published in Chemico-Biological Interactions.
Protective effects of Astaxanthin against light-induced retinal damage.
With light-induced retinal damage to both test groups, the ones that received Astaxanthin saw protection against light damage via the mechanism of its antioxidant effect, according to findings published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Astaxanthin supplementation shows improvement in dry eye suffers.
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of astaxanthin in patients with dry eyes, researchers found a significant improvement with the Astaxanthin group compared to the control with an increase in tear production and improvement in tear film stability according to a paper published in Clinical Opthalmology.
Q: What are the dangers and side effects of Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a natural extract from algae. It has no known dangers from human consumption but may interact with some medication. In some rare cares huge doses over 50mg per day, may cause a temporary yellowish discoloration of the skin.
Q: What is Astaxanthin used for?
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant so it uses extend through reducing inflammation in the body. Most commonly people use astaxanthin for ailments directly related to excess inflammation such as joints, eyes, skin, gut and brain.
Q: How much Astaxanthin should I take?
A standard health maintenance dose of astaxanthin is 6mg per day.
Doses increase up to 18mg per day depending on the ailment and level of inflammation.
Q: Can Astaxanthin help my skin?
Yes, astaxanthin has been shown to protect one’s skin from the sun’s aging effects and improve skin elasticity for a more youthful appearance. A study out of Japan concluded that long-term astaxanthin supplementation may inhibit age-related skin deterioration and maintain skin conditions associated with environmentally induced damage via its anti-inflammatory effect. 22
Q: When is the best time to take Astaxanthin?
It is best to take astaxanthin with a meal, especially with one containing some fats. It binds to fat to be absorbed into the gut so for optimal absorption, take your astaxanthin with a fatty meal.
Q: What is the best astaxanthin supplement?
Most Astaxanthin supplements on the market are naturally derived from haematococcus pluvialis algae, this is a must. Avoid synthetic astaxanthin.
Make sure the astaxanthin has some kind of oil base to enhance absorption like olive oil or coconut oil.
Q: Is Astaxanthin safe during pregnancy
Astaxanthin is generally regarded as safe however maximum safe doses in pregnant or nursing women and young children, have not been determined so should be avoided out of caution.
Q: Is Astaxanthin vegan?
Yes Astaxanthin is vegan, but the softgels most astaxanthin comes in are made from gelatin and are not vegan.
Q: Is Astaxanthin good for my eyes?
We’ve created an astaxanthin supplement containing 6mg of astaxanthin per softgel. To learn more about our astaxanthin, check out the product page here.
To check out the reviews for our Biosphere Astaxanthin and to find out what people are saying about Astaxanthin, visit the product page here.
As a natural product from algae, Astaxanthin has no known harmful side effects. In extremely high doses one may experience a slight orange tinge in the skin, similar to the effect of eating a large amount of carrots in a short period of time. Astaxanthin may cause ones feces to turn a reddish hue with high dosages around 50mg per day.
The amount of Astaxanthin you should be taking will vary depending on your current health and what results you are looking to get out of it. Take at least 6mg a day for general health and an antioxidant boost and look to increase your dosage towards 12mg each day to notice significant benefits and treat ailments. Make sure you take your Astaxanthin with food, ideally alongside some healthy fats to assist with absorption.
Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM
Dr Ron Goedeke, specialises in alternative and functional medicine. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand college of Appearance medicine and has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging medicine since 1999. With over 20 years of experience in the anti-aging field, Dr Ron Goedeke is recognized as one of New Zealand’s leaders in this new and growing field of medicine.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read on this website.
Last updated on the 25th of October 2018