MalgaeAstaxanthin is being considered the most beneficial antioxidant nature has to offer by many. Studies have shown improved immune response and reduced DNA damage in humans following astaxanthin administration. Astaxanthin is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier in mammals, a unique and significant property for an antioxidant. This characteristic allows astaxanthin to extend its antioxidant action to the central nervous system, which is very susceptible to damage by free radicals.

Presently, the primary source for Astaxanthin is the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis.
It accumulates the highest levels of astaxanthin in nature; Commercially more than 40 g of astaxanthin can be gained from one kg of biomass.

Microalgae (microphytes) are the most ancient organisms on earth and create more than 60% of the world’s oxygen. It can be found in yeast, salmon, trout,  krill, shrimp and crayfish. It delivers the red color of salmon and the red color shellfish.

Reasons why there are so many benefits:

Research from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan showed that astaxanthan protected against induced cataracts in rats treated with selenite, a highly toxic form of selenium. The scientists backed up their finding by in vitro assay which supported their conclusion that astaxanthan was protective against cataracts which are usually caused by environmental insult. (Chemical Research in Toxicology, February)

Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, blocking different chemicals in your body. Astaxanthin reduces the inflammatory compounds that initiate many chronic diseases. Even astaxanthin is a natural substance it works much like prescription analgesics. More precisely, astaxanthin blocks COX 2 enzymes just like the drug Celebrex.

Again, by way of crossing the blood brian barrier to reach your retina, clinical trials have shown that astaxanthin helps diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, eye strain and fatigue and seeing in fine detail.

Astaxanthin not only upsets the COX 2 pathway, it suppresses serum levels of nitric oxide, interleukin 1B, prostaglandin E2, C Reactive Protein (CRP) and TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor alpha), and all of this has been proven.

In a study at Catholic University School of Medicine in Rome, Italy, astaxanthin was shown to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. In a dose and time dependent manner astaxanthin arresting cell cycle progression by promoting the death of cancerous cells. Astaxanthin resulted in a 220% increase in the expression of the well-known anti-cancer gene p 53, and a 160% and 250% increase respectively in the anti-cancer genes p21 and p27.


Side Effects
Astaxanthin can be taken with all medications and also has a perfect safety record. No harmful side effects have been noted in any of the safety studies. Most people take between 4 to 16 mg a day. I would imagine if you were to take something like 50 mg a day, you might start seeing an orange hue to your skin. It is after all a carotenoid.




Personal Summary
There is much info about this carotenoid all over the web. It seems to be showing high marks everywhere. And like other carotenoids, astaxanthin has self-limited absorption orally and such low toxicity by mouth that no toxic syndrome is known. Currently I take it every day; Have been for about a year. I think this to be an honest to goodness fine recommendation. Yep!






SciFinder Web (accessed Sep 28, 2010). Astaxanthin (472-61-7) Name

SciFinder Web (accessed Sep 28, 2010). Astaxanthin (472-61-7) Experimental Properties.

Hussein G, Goto H, Oda S, Sankawa U, Matsumoto K, Watanabe H (April 2006). “Antihypertensive potential and mechanism of action of astaxanthin: III. Antioxidant and histopathological effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats”. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 29 (4): 684–8. doi:10.1248/bpb.29.684. PMID 16595899.

Cooper, R. D. G.; Davis, J. B.; Leftwick, A. P.; Price, C.; Weedon, B. (1975). “Carotenoids and related compounds. XXXII. Synthesis of astaxanthin, hoenicoxanthin, hydroxyechinenone, and the corresponding diosphenols”. J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Trans 1 (21): 2195–2204.




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