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Astaxanthin Health Benefits

Astaxanthin Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring high-value ketocarotenoid pigment with excellent antioxidant effects. Studies report that astaxanthin is 550 times stronger than vitamin E and more powerful antioxidant than other carotenoids such as β-carotene, lutein and lycopene. Astaxanthin is found to have beneficial effects on heart health, brain health, joint health, cancer, etc.

Astaxanthin Antioxidant properties:

Astaxanthin is a red pigment with excellent antioxidant properties. Several studies have shown the excellent uses of astaxanthin as an antioxidant to treat various problems in humans. Some of the research studies are:

  • In vitro studies conducted at Creighton University and Brunswick Laboratories, by Bob Capelli et al., USA, has shown that natural astaxanthin is 50 times stronger than synthetic astaxanthin and in singlet oxygen quenching and approximately 20 times stronger in free radical elimination and hence synthetic astaxanthin may not be suitable as a human nutraceutical supplement. (More)
  • Research studies carried out by Yousry M. A. Naguib, Phytochem Technologies, Massachusetts have shown that astaxanthin has highest antioxidant effects compared to other carotenoids. The research was done by studying the antioxidant activities of astaxanthin and other related carotenoids by fluorometric assay. The results showed that astaxanthin has highest antioxidant activities. (More)
  • Studies conducted by Yoon HS, et al., Department of Dermatology, Korea, has shown that dietary supplement of astaxanthin given to 44 healthy subjects, improved skin elasticity and transepidermal water loss in photoaged facial skin in 12 weeks. (More)
  • In vitro studies carried out by Bolin AP, Cellular Physiology Laboratory, Brazil, has shown that astaxanthin is able to limit oxyradical production and auto-oxidative injury in humans. (More)
  • Clinical studies carried out by Tominaga, K. et al., Fuji Chemical Industry Co. Ltd,Japan, showed that astaxanthin has the ability to improve skin wrinkles, age spot size, skin texture, moisture content of the corneocyte layer, and corneocyte condition. The studies were carried out in both male and female subjects, by combining 6 mg per day oral supplementation and 2 ml per day topical application of astaxanthin. (More)
  • In accordance with a non-limiting example, an algae based oil is used in place of a krill oil to treat low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in humans by administering a therapeutic amount of a dietary supplement composition comprising an algae based oil comprising glycolipids and phospholipids and Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) fatty acids in combination with astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis (Hp) in an oral dosage form, wherein the astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis (Hp) is 0.1 to 2.7 percent by weight of the algae based oil. (More)
  • Studies by Xiang-Sheng Zhang, M.D et al.,  Department of Neurosurgery, China, has shown that Astaxanthin administration could alleviate early brain injury after Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, potentially through its powerful antioxidant property. It was observed that an Astaxanthin intracerebroventricular injection 30 minutes post-Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage could significantly attenuate early brain injury (including brain edema, blood-brain barrier disruption, neural cell apoptosis, and neurological dysfunction) after Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. (More)
  • Studies by Wei-Ping Chen et al., Department of Orthopedic Surgery, China, has shown that astaxanthin pretreated human chondrocytes showed reduction in the expression of matrix metalloproteinases 1, 3, and 13 and also phosphorylation of two mitogen-activated protein kinases in interleukin – 1β stimulated chondrocytes and thus it may be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis. (More)
  • A double-blind, placebo-controlled human trial conducted by Kiyotaka Nakagawa et al.,  Food and Biodynamic Chemistry Laboratory, Japan, has shown that 12-week astaxanthin supplementation (6 or 12 mg/d) improved erythrocyte antioxidant status and decreased phospholipid hydroperoxides levels, which may contribute to the prevention of dementia. (More)
  • Studies by Boey Peng Lim et al., National Food Research Institute, Japan, have shown that astaxanthin possess the ability to act as chain-breaking antioxidants in the peroxidation of membranous phospholipids and hence dietary supplementation of astaxanthin may be helpful in resisting membranous phospholipids against oxidative damage in vivo. (More)
  • Studies by Masaaki Iwabayashi et al., Anti-Aging Medical Research Center, Japan, have shown that an eight-week treatment with astaxanthin may enhance antioxidant capacity (increase BAP), reduce lower limb vascular resistance (increase ABI), decrease blood pressure, and improve physical symptoms in women with high oxidative stress. (More)
  • Studies by Jean Soon Park et al., School of Food Science, USA, have shown that daily supplementation of 2 or 8 mg of astaxanthin for 8 weeks stimulated mitogen-induced lymphoproliferation, increased natural killer cell cytotoxic activity, and increased  total T and B cell sub populations. (More)

Astaxanthin for Cancer:

  • Studies by Xiaodong Song et al., Department of Cellular and Genetic Medicine,China, have found that astaxanthin blocks H2O2- or bleomycin induced reactive oxygen species generation and dose-dependent apoptosis in alveolar epithelial cells type II (AECs-II) in vivo and in vitro. (More)
  • Studies conducted by Yoko Yoshihisa, et al., Department of Dermatology, Japan, showed that astaxanthin (5 μm) caused a significant decrease in the protein content and the mRNA levels of inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and decreased the release of prostaglandin E2 from HaCaT keratinocytes after UVB (20 mJ/cm2) or UVC (5 mJ/cm2) irradiation. (More)
  • Studies by Rao AR, Plant Cell Biotechnology Department, Karnataka, India, has shown that 200µg/kg body weight of astaxanthin is capable of reducing UV-7, 12-dimethylbenz (a) anthracene (DMBA)-induced skin cancer by up to 96% in rats. (More)
  • Research conducted by Palozza P, Institute of General Pathology, Italy, has found that astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis is effective against human colon cancer cells. H. pluvialis extract (5-25 micro g/ml) inhibited cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner, by arresting cell cycle progression and by promoting apoptosis. (More)
  • Studies by Prabhu PN, Department of Biochemistry, Madras University, India, has shown that astaxanthin is very effective against colonic carcinogenesis induced by 1, 2-dimethyl hydrazine in rats.  At the end of 16 weeks, pre-treatment with astaxanthin markedly reduced the degree of histological lesions. (More)
  • In the studies conducted by Paola Palozza et al., Institute of General Pathology, Italy, the growth-inhibitory effects of the astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis were studied in HCT-116 colon cancer cells. H. pluvialis extract (5–25 μg/ml) inhibited cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner, by arresting cell cycle progression and by promoting apoptosis. The results show that  H. pluvialis may protect from colon cancer. (More)
  • Studies by Jean Soon Park, School of Food Science, USA, has shown that participants (averaged 21.5 yr) who received 0, 2, or 8 mg astaxanthin (n = 14/diet) daily for 8 week showed a decrease in DNA damage biomarker and acute phase protein, and
    enhanced immune response. (More)
  • Studies by Mark Anderson shows that administration of the astaxanthin to inhibit the enzyme 5α-reductase is useful to prevent and treat benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer in human males. (More)
  • In vitro studies by Rita C. Macedo et al., Brazil, has shown that astaxanthin significantly improves neutrophil phagocytic and microbicidal capacity and increases the intracellular calcium concentration and NO- production. (More)
  • Studies by Marcello Santocono et al., Medical Department, Italy, has shown that astaxanthin was capable of protecting against DNA damage in neuroblastoma cells when the cells were exposed to GSNO-MEE. (More)
  • Studies by RURIKO NAKAO et al., School of Food Science, USA, have found that supplementation of 0.005% astaxanthin for 8 weeks in mice with mammary tumour, extended tumor latency and lower tumor volume. It also increased the natural killer cell sub population and plasma interferon-γ concentration. (More)

Astaxanthin for Heart Health:

  • Research studies by Fassett RG, School of Medicine, Australia, conducted in various species, shows that astaxanthin is helpful in cardiac muscle preservation when it is administered orally or intravenously prior to induction of ischemia. (See text)
  • Studies by J. Karppi et al., Research Institute of Public Health, Finland, have shown that dietary supplementation with astaxanthin (8 mg) may decrease in vivo oxidation of fatty acids in healthy men. (More)
  • Studies by Wataru Aoi et al., Department of Medicine, Kyoto, have found that 3 week dietary supplementation of astaxanthin on oxidative damage induced by strenuous exercise in mouse gastrocnemius and heart,  decreased the plasma creatine kinase activity and myeloperoxidase activity in gastrocnemius and heart. (More)
  • Studies by Gene A. Spiller, Health Research and Studies Centre, Los Altos, CA, have shown that supplementatonof astaxanthin to 17 subjects for 8 weeks, decreased the C-reactive protein (CRP)  levels in the body which  is one of the acute phase proteins that increases during systemic inflammation and also can cause cardiovascular disease risk. (More)

Astaxanthin for Eye Health:

  • In a pioneer study supporting astaxanthin benefits to eye function, Nagaki et al (13), conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial, with 5.0 mg/day astaxanthin supplementation over a four week-period. They reported improved significantly accommodative amplitude in VDT workers with CVS (More)


Astaxanthin and Hypertension

  • Studies by Ghazi Hussein et al.,  International Research Center for Traditional Medicine, Japan, have found that oral administration of astaxanthin for 14 days induced a significant reduction in hypertensive rats. Long-term administration of astaxanthin (50 mg/kg) for 5 weeks in stroke prone hypertensive rats induced a significant reduction in BP. it also delayed the incidence of stroke in those rats. (More)

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