Astaxanthin & Diabetes: Unveiling the Potent Antioxidant's Role in Blood Sugar Management

Diabetes is a serious disease that can have a devastating effect on your health and wellbeing. Fortunately, there are many different drugs and supplements available to help you manage your symptoms so you can live a long and healthy life.

Evidence shows astaxanthin happens to be one supplement you can take that can help you manage type 2 diabetes. This little antioxidant may not be well known, but it is a powerful compound that can have a profound effect on your body. Let’s take a closer look at what diabetes is and how astaxanthin can help you fight it.


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is marked by chronic high blood sugar levels and the bodies inability to properly manage blood glucose. When you eat, your blood sugar rises. In order to keep blood sugar levels at a normal amount, your pancreas responds by producing insulin. Insulin’s job is to take the sugar out of your blood and give it to cells to be used for fuel or storage. When you have diabetes, your body either no longer produces insulin or no longer responds to it.

When cells no longer respond properly to insulin and blood sugar levels remain high, then there are dire consequences. People who have diabetes may then go on to develop a host of health problems such as heart disease, foot problems, eye degeneration, or go into a coma. Therefore, it is incredibly important to manage diabetes properly.

There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, your body no longer produces insulin. This type of diabetes is not caused by a prolonged poor diet, rather it occurs at birth with the immune system attacking the cells produced by the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, your body may not produce insulin or it may not respond properly to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is generally caused by eating a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, burning out the pancreas, sometimes resulting in obesity, high blood pressure, and other risk factors.


What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that is found in algae, shrimp, salmon and other sea creatures. Carotenoids are powerful compounds that fight oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals and reducing inflammation. Astaxanthin is the most powerful of the carotenoids.


How Can Astaxanthin Help Fight Diabetes?

Astaxanthin can help you fight diabetes by lowering a variety of risk factors associated with the disease. It improves your body’s ability to metabolise the sugar in your blood, helping to increase sensitively to insulin and keeping blood sugar levels in a normal range.

Studies have also shown that taking astaxanthin can even help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol as well. Astaxanthin may even be able to keep you from developing severe complications from diabetes, like kidney disease! Astaxanthin will also help those with diabetes feel better because of its ability to reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.

In a randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial researchers examined the effects Astaxanthin supplementation with people dealing with type 2 diabetes. They measured metabolic aspects and symptoms of diabetes including lipid peroxidation, glycemic control, insulin sensitivity and body mass index, waist to hip ratio and body weight. After 8 weeks of taking 8mg of astaxanthin, the participants of this study experienced lower blood pressure, reduced body fat, improved glucose metabolism and lower blood triglyceride levels.

Although it is not a substitute for proper medical care and following your doctor's advice, incorporating astaxanthin into your daily routine may provide additional benefits:

  1. Improving insulin sensitivity: Astaxanthin has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in animal studies, which can help the body use insulin more effectively, thereby regulating blood sugar levels. However, more research is needed to confirm these results in humans.

  2. Reducing oxidative stress: Oxidative stress is a common factor in the development and progression of diabetes. Astaxanthin's antioxidant properties can help neutralize free radicals, reducing cellular damage and inflammation associated with diabetes.

  3. Protecting pancreatic beta cells: Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for producing insulin. Astaxanthin may help protect these cells from oxidative stress-induced damage, thereby preserving their function and potentially reducing the risk of developing diabetes or worsening existing conditions.

  4. Reducing inflammation: Chronic inflammation is associated with diabetes and its complications. Astaxanthin has been shown to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which could help prevent or alleviate diabetes-related complications.

  5. Enhancing cardiovascular health: Diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Astaxanthin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart-related complications in people with diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s important to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and carefully monitor your blood sugar levels when you are diabetic. In addition to this, you can take medications and supplements to help control the disease in order to live a healthy life free of complications.

Astaxanthin is one of those supplements that can help you feel better and improve your overall quality of life.



1. Powerful antioxidant properties: Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant, neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, which are both linked to diabetes development and progression.

2. Enhances insulin sensitivity: Astaxanthin can help improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes, enabling better glucose control and reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications.

3. Reduces inflammation: Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to diabetes. Astaxanthin can help reduce inflammation, potentially decreasing the risk of developing diabetes or improving existing conditions.

4. Protects pancreatic beta-cells: Astaxanthin may protect pancreatic beta-cells, which produce insulin, from oxidative stress and apoptosis, contributing to better insulin production and diabetes management.

5. Reduces blood sugar levels: Studies have shown that astaxanthin supplementation can help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes, contributing to better glycemic control.

6. Improves lipid profile: Astaxanthin has been found to improve the lipid profile in individuals with diabetes, reducing levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, leading to a reduced risk of cardiovascular complications.

7. Supports kidney health: Astaxanthin can help protect the kidneys from damage caused by high blood sugar levels, a common complication of diabetes known as diabetic nephropathy.

8. Promotes eye health: Diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes-related eye complication, can be managed with astaxanthin due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting overall eye health.

9. Enhances endothelial function: Astaxanthin can improve endothelial function in individuals with type 2 diabetes, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood vessels and preventing cardiovascular complications.

10. Promotes weight management: Astaxanthin has been shown to support weight loss and fat metabolism, which can help individuals with diabetes achieve a healthier weight and better manage their condition.

Astaxanthin Information

For more everything you need to know about Astaxanthin, check out our comprehensive information page here.

Astaxanthin Information


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Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM

Dr. Ron Goedeke, an expert in the domain of functional medicine, dedicates his practice to uncovering the root causes of health issues by focusing on nutrition and supplement-based healing and health optimisation strategies. An esteemed founding member of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Dr. Goedeke's professional journey has always been aligned with cutting-edge health concepts.

Having been actively involved with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 1999, he brings over two decades of knowledge and experience in the field of anti-aging medicine, making him an eminent figure in this evolving realm of healthcare. Throughout his career, Dr. Goedeke has been steadfast in his commitment to leverage appropriate nutritional guidance and supplementation to encourage optimal health.

This has allowed him to ascend as one of the most trusted authorities in the arena of nutritional medicine in New Zealand. His expertise in the intricate relationship between diet, nutritional supplements, and overall health forms the backbone of his treatment approach, allowing patients to benefit from a balanced and sustainable pathway to improved wellbeing.

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 24th of April 2023

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