Astaxanthin is a red pigment found in a variety of natural organisms. It’s a carotenoid, similar to beta-carotene and lutein which have antioxidant properties and are produced by plants and microalgae as protection from environmental harm such as UV. Due to its unique composition astaxanthin is considerably more antioxidant and protective to cells than other natural carotenoids.
Whilst astaxanthin is found in a range of organisms, it’s most abundant in microalgae. Essentially, astaxanthin acts like a shield to prevent damage to algae in cases where there is environmental stress (water or food scarcity or extreme weather). In Haematococcus pluvialis, astaxanthin production is a survival mechanism that allows the microalgae to survive for over 20 years under conditions that would otherwise be inhospitable.
Astaxanthin is a unique antioxidant as it’s easily absorbed throughout the body where it helps to neutralise free radicals and protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in our organs and skin. Its ability to cross blood-brain and retinal barriers also specifically enables eye and brain protection. The structure of astaxanthin is both water and fat soluble which means it can fit into the span of the cell membrane, providing superior cell protection compared to some other antioxidants.
- Reduces free radicals formed in the body
- Decreases free radical damage to body cells
- Relieves inflammation
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol
- Supports healthy cardiovascular system function
- Helps enhance physical performance
- Maintains cognitive function
- Maintains skin firmness
- Maintains skin health
- Maintains skin hydration
As it’s fat soluble, astaxanthin can take some time to build up in your body. Most individuals notice the effects in 2-6 weeks, and it’s recommended that you take astaxanthin with food to help increase absorption.
Astaxanthin is commonly consumed in many fish and seafood species. There is considerable scientific evidence, including human and animal research, supporting the safety of astaxanthin*. No side effects have been reported for astaxanthin and Haematococcus pluvialis extracts.
* FDA (2000) Technical Report (Aquaresearch Inc.) Haematococcus Pluvialis and Astaxanthin Safety For Human Consumption. Spiller GA, Dewell A (2003) Safety of an astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis algal extract: a randomized clinical trial. J. Med. Food 6:51-56. Stewart JS, Lignell A, Pettersson A, Elfving E, et al. (2008) Safety assessment of astaxanthin-rich microalgae biomass: Acute and subchronic toxicity studies in rats. Food Chem Toxicol 46:3030-6. Okada Y, Ishikura M, Maoka T (2009) Bioavailability of astaxanthin in Haematococcus algal extract: the effects of timing of diet and smoking habits. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 73:1928-32
We recommend 1 capsule of 6mg per day, taken with food to help increase absorption.