Astaxanthin was first discovered from lobster in 1938. Due to its antioxidant and natural pigment properties, it has been widely used in aquaculture, food, cosmetics, and health products. Do you know what is astaxanthin benefits and side effects?
The possible physiological effects of astaxanthin include: protecting the retina, improving eye fatigue, enhancing mitochondrial function, promoting the use of fat as an energy source, improving exercise function, beautifying the skin, controlling arteriosclerosis, and suppressing hypertension.
But is it really effective through extra oral administration? What are the side effects and contraindications, please refer to the article below.
Table of Contents
- What is astaxanthin?
- What are the proven efficacy (benefits) of astaxanthin?
- 1. Astaxanthin improves skin aging
- 2. Astaxanthin benefits type 2 diabetes
- 3. Astaxanthin improves mental fatigue
- 4. Astaxanthin benefits kidney transplant recipients
- 5. Astaxanthin improves oxidative stress
- 6. Astaxanthin beneficial cognitive function
- 7. Astaxanthin protects the vocal cords
- 8. Astaxanthin improves indigestion
- 9. Astaxanthin benefits male infertility
- 10. Astaxanthin benefits carpal tunnel syndrome
- 11. Astaxanthin is good for eye health
- 12. Astaxanthin to lower blood fat
- 13. Astaxanthin regulates immune function
- 14. Astaxanthin beneficial exercise performance and muscle damage
- 15. Astaxanthin benefits multiple sclerosis (animal research)
- 16. Astaxanthin benefits osteoarthritis (animal research)
- How to eat astaxanthin? What is the dosage?
- Are there any side effects of astaxanthin/astaxanthin?
- Safety precautions
- Where to buy astaxanthin brands recommended by most people?
What is astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a red-orange carotenoid (structure similar to beta-carotene and lycopene), are microalgae under pressure (such as strong light, high salinity, high carbon (N ratio and low nutrient utilization) The secondary metabolites produced have a protective effect on themselves (especially the highest production of Haematococcus Pluvialis).
Astaxanthin contains two oxygenated groups in each ring structure, so it has a strong antioxidant capacity, and other energy-producing astaxanthin has bacteria and yeast.
Some marine or terrestrial organisms feed on microalgae, such as shrimp, crab, trout, krill, flamingo, quail, and salmon, so they accumulate in tissues and appear bright reddish-orange.
The antioxidant capacity of astaxanthin is 54 times that of beta-carotene, 14 times that of vitamin E, and 65 times that of vitamin C. It’s one of the few components that can enter the blood-brain barrier and cross both sides of the cell membrane. It can provide the most complete antioxidant effect from the inside out (the point is that no pro-oxidant will be produced yet).
Since the human body cannot naturally synthesize astaxanthin, its intake depends on foods ingested in the diet, such as salmon, shrimp, and crab.
What are the proven efficacy (benefits) of astaxanthin?
1. Astaxanthin improves skin aging
The skin is a barrier between the human body and the external environment. It protects the body from exogenous chemical and physical factors and participates in metabolic processes. It has the function of absorbing and regulating body temperature. It is the first line of defense against pathogenic microorganisms and participates in the immune process.
Inner aging is an inevitable physiological process, it will cause skin thinning, dryness, fine lines, and skin atrophy.
External aging is caused by external environmental factors, such as air pollution, smoking, malnutrition, sun exposure, etc., leading to thick wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sagging, and rough appearance, especially sun exposure is the main factor leading to external skin aging, known as photoaging.
A systematic review (including 6 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials) pointed out that astaxanthin supplementation (daily dose 3 mg to 6 mg) can improve skin texture, appearance (wrinkles), and moisture content, It can also prevent photoaging skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin supplementation may have a positive effect on improving skin health (especially skin damage caused by photoaging), and it is limited to a small number of samples. More research is needed to prove it.
2. Astaxanthin benefits type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the main type of diabetes, accounting for about 90% of all cases and 10.7% of all-cause mortality among people aged 20 to 70 years worldwide.
The chronic complications related to diabetes are mainly microvascular complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and macrovascular complications such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, diabetic encephalopathy, and diabetic foot.
Related acute complications are diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, thrombosis, and electrolyte disturbance. In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of cancer, physical and cognitive disabilities, tuberculosis, and depression.
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial (for 8 weeks, targeting 44 patients with type 2 diabetes) pointed out that astaxanthin supplementation can increase serum adiponectin concentration and reduce visceral body fat mass, Serum triglyceride, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, and systolic blood pressure.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin supplementation may be helpful for the control of type 2 diabetes, but limited by the small sample size, more large studies are still needed to confirm its clinical benefit.
3. Astaxanthin improves mental fatigue
Fatigue is divided into two types: physical and psychological. Physical fatigue, also known as peripheral fatigue, is caused by repeated muscle movements.
Conversely, mental fatigue can be defined as a psychobiological state caused by long-term high-demand cognitive activities, which is manifested as a decrease in the efficiency of cognitive performance.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (4 weeks, 24 healthy adult volunteers) pointed out that supplementation of astaxanthin and sesamin compound capsules can significantly improve the recovery of mental fatigue (especially triggered by the video display terminal).
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin may be helpful for improving mental fatigue, but it is limited by the small sample size, and more large-scale trials are still needed to prove it.
4. Astaxanthin benefits kidney transplant recipients
In chronic kidney disease patients, especially dialysis patients, compared with the general population, the risk of cardiovascular disease death is about 10 to 20 times increased.
Although successful renal transplantation can significantly reduce this risk, renal replacement therapy still has 3.5% to 5% of cardiovascular events each year, and cardiogenic mortality is 10 times that of the general population, which is fatal or The annual incidence of non-fatal cardiovascular events is 50 times that of the general population.
A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (one-year, 61 kidney transplant recipients) pointed out that astaxanthin supplementation (daily dose of 12 mg) can improve arterial stiffness, oxidative stress, inflammation, vascular function, Carotid intima-media thickness, dilation index, central blood pressure, subendocardial survival ratio, and other indicators have no obvious help.
*Conclusion: For kidney transplant recipients, astaxanthin supplementation does not significantly help to improve related vascular indicators.
5. Astaxanthin improves oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is a phenomenon caused by the imbalance of the production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species in cells and tissues, which can easily lead to damage of lipids, proteins, and DNA.
Reactive oxygen species are produced by mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and the reaction of cells to the invasion of foreign organisms, cytokines, and bacteria.
Excessive oxidative stress is generally considered to be the starting point for the onset of various diseases and plays an important role in the development of aging and chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation and cancer, etc.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (including 9 randomized controlled trials) indicated that astaxanthin supplementation significantly reduced oxidative stress markers compared to the intervention group’s baseline: plasma malondialdehyde, Isoprostane, and enhance superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capacity.
In the subgroup dose analysis, the high-dose astaxanthin (≥20 mg/d) had a significant antioxidant effect, but the low-dose group (<20 mg/d) had no significant effect.
Further subgroup duration analysis showed that astaxanthin had an antioxidant effect after 3 weeks of intervention, but this effect was not observed after 12 weeks or 3 months of intervention.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin may have an anti-oxidant effect on the human body, but it is limited by inconsistent research results, and more studies are needed to corroborate it.
6. Astaxanthin beneficial cognitive function
As we age, cognitive abilities are critical to independence, including whether a person can live independently, manage finances, take medication correctly, and drive safely.
Therefore, cognitive decline and prevention and treatment of dementia have become the main concerns of successful aging.
Normal cognitive aging is completely different from dementia, and it does not cause neuronal loss. Some cognitive abilities, such as vocabulary, are not affected by brain aging, and may even increase with age, but other abilities, such as conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed, will gradually decline over time.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (a 12-week, 96-year-old middle-aged and elderly subjects with age-related amnesia complaints) pointed out that oral astaxanthin can improve related cognitive test scores, including CogHealth battery scores (simple response, selective response, working memory, delayed recall, distraction) and Groton Maze Learning Test scores.
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (an 8-week, 60-to-middle-aged adult) pointed out that oral astaxanthin (daily dose of 8 mg) can improve word recall tests for subjects aged 45 to 55 years Results (words recalled after 5 minutes).
*Conclusion: Oral astaxanthin may help to improve age-related cognitive degradation, but it is limited by the small sample size and more large trials are still needed to corroborate it.
7. Astaxanthin protects the vocal cords
Singers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, salespersons, and public speakers all have one thing in common. They need to use vocal folds to vocalize to the outside world, but excessive use can easily lead to hoarseness, weakness, and sore throat. And difficulty speaking.
It is estimated that 17.9 million adults in the United States report problems with their voices, and these barriers can be avoided by protecting your voice.
A study (28 days, 10 men) pointed out that oral astaxanthin can significantly reduce vocal cord damage caused by sound loading (measured by aerodynamic evaluation, acoustic analysis, grab scale).
*Conclusion: Oral astaxanthin may protect the vocal cords from damage and inflammation caused by sound load, but limited by the small number of samples and the lack of a control group, more design, and accurate studies are still needed to further verify
8. Astaxanthin improves indigestion
Functional dyspepsia is a disease characterized by postprandial fullness, early satiety, or stomach pain, often affecting the quality of life and work efficiency.
Although there is a 10% to 30% prevalence worldwide (women are the most common), there is currently no clear pathophysiological explanation for this situation.
Some patients also experience nausea, heartburn (although this is not the main symptom), and even weight loss (patients with functional dyspepsia are rarely obese).
Motility disorders, visceral hypersensitivity, acid disorders, Helicobacter pylori infection, or psychosocial factors are all considered possible causative factors.
A controlled, prospective, randomized, and double-blind trial (4 weeks, 44 patients with functional dyspepsia), divided into 3 groups, do not use a placebo, 16 mg, or 40 mg astaxanthin.
The results showed that there were no significant differences in the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (including abdominal pain, dyspepsia, and reflux symptoms) in the three groups, but the improvement in reflux symptoms was most pronounced in the high-dose group and those with Helicobacter pylori infection.
*Conclusion: As of now, oral astaxanthin has no clinically significant benefits for improving functional dyspepsia.
9. Astaxanthin benefits male infertility
Regardless of race or ethnicity, infertility affects about 13% to 20% of partners, while male factors account for about 25% to 50%.
Male infertility in addition to structural abnormalities (eg: varicocele, semen outflow obstruction or nerve disorders), sperm morphology and function abnormalities (eg: reduced sperm count, decreased activity, abnormal morphology) often occupy The biggest factor, and the reasons behind it are mostly related to excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS).
A randomized double-blind trial (3 months, 30 men) pointed out that compared with placebo, oral astaxanthin has the effect of improving sperm movement speed, reducing reactive oxygen index, and Inhibin B, Can also increase the partner’s pregnancy rate.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin may have a positive effect on improving conventional semen parameters and increasing pregnancy rate, but the results still need to be supported by more large-scale experiments.
10. Astaxanthin benefits carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a series of symptoms caused by nerve compression on the wrist, and it causes tingling, weakness, or numbness when applying force.
The disease is mainly related to women who have had wrist fractures, dislocations, or arthritis, women, diabetes, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, renal failure, or occupational factors.
The treatment is mainly given priority to non-surgical treatments, such as wrist splints, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics, and physical therapy.
A three-blind randomized controlled trial (a 9-week, 63 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome) pointed out that compared with the control group using regular treatment alone (medicine plus splint), the addition of astaxanthin did not appear to be better than the control group. There is no difference in relevant measures (such as symptom severity scale or physical disability questionnaire).
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin combined with regular therapy cannot accelerate the recovery of carpal tunnel syndrome, which needs further confirmation.
11. Astaxanthin is good for eye health
3 The prevalence of C electronic products makes the eyes the most overworked organs all over the body. Because of excessive addiction, the time for immersing in reading and enjoying the beauty in the past has been greatly reduced.
Due to the excessive use of the eye, ophthalmology has become a hot industry. The patients are constantly flowing. If they are simply tired or dry eyes, they can also order some medicine. However, it is worrying that serious eye diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma make people have to quit. Be cautious.
Astaxanthin is similar in structure to lutein and zeaxanthin (the same carotenoid family), has the excellent antioxidant capacity, and has bioaccumulated for eye tissues, so it is helpful for eye health.
In a small study, it was found that astaxanthin (12 mg daily for four weeks in a row) helps to increase the blood flow of the choroidal eyeball and has an effect of improving eye circulation.
Another study pointed out that for the most common eye disease cataract in the elderly, astaxanthin can reduce the oxidative stress of the eye, especially the aqueous humor, which may help reduce the formation of cataracts (excessive oxidative stress It is considered to be the main cause of cataract formation).
12. Astaxanthin to lower blood fat
Hyperlipidemia is mostly caused by inappropriate diet and lifestyle. It is a known major causative agent of cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, more than 50% of ischemic heart disease (ischemic heart disease).
In vitro studies have found that astaxanthin can regulate PPAR-α receptors and reduce cell lipid accumulation, so it may have the effect of regulating blood lipids.
However, a systematic literature review and meta-analysis indicated that (including 7 randomized controlled trials with a total of 280 participants), astaxanthin supplementation did not significantly improve the related blood lipid index (cholesterol or triglyceride) ( Except for a slight improvement in blood sugar).
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin has no significant blood lipid-lowering effect, but considering the deficiencies and heterogeneity of the research included (population composition, quality), it needs further confirmation.
13. Astaxanthin regulates immune function
Why do people live in the same environment, some people are very prone to catch a cold, but some people do not? The difference lies in the immunity.
The immune system is an important weapon for humans to resist bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, but unfortunately, it will gradually weaken with age, but relatively, the advantage is that it can be strengthened and regulated by external methods.
A double-blind controlled study pointed out (for 8 weeks, the target was 14 women), oral astaxanthin can help improve the immune response, reduce DNA oxidative damage, and some inflammation indicators (but because of the small sample size, more evidence is needed).
14. Astaxanthin beneficial exercise performance and muscle damage
Everyone knows the benefits of exercise to improve health, but inappropriate exercise is worse than no exercise at all. As for inappropriate exercise, it means that there is no exercise habit at ordinary times, and it is desperate to go to the gym or high mountain on holidays. Some studies have shown that The form of exercise increases the risk of injury or sudden death.
A study found that astaxanthin (4 mg daily for 28 days) helps to improve the athletic performance of bicycle races. In addition to improving timing performance (increased by 121s, equivalent to 5%), it also increases overall strength Output (up to 20 W, equivalent to 15%).
Another double-blind controlled study on football players also pointed out that astaxanthin (4 mg daily for 90 days) can reduce the indexes related to muscle fiber damage after intense training, including creatine kinase and aspartic acid. Aspartate aminotransferase.
15. Astaxanthin benefits multiple sclerosis (animal research)
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and complex neurodegenerative disease, with the central nervous system as the main target and autoimmune disease (local inflammation caused by the central nervous system, resulting in demyelination, colloidal scars, and axon loss).
Around 2.5 million people are affected worldwide, with young people between 20 and 40 years old being the main affected population, with a ratio of 1 to 2.
Multiple sclerosis manifests as a sudden onset of focal sensory dysfunction with unilateral painless visual impairment, double vision, limb weakness, unstable gait, bowel movements, or bladder symptoms.
An animal study pointed out that for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an acceptable model for multiple sclerosis research), astaxanthin can reduce splenocytes proliferation index and proinflammatory cytokines Proinflammatory cytokine levels.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis, but human studies still need to be further verified.
16. Astaxanthin benefits osteoarthritis (animal research)
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic musculoskeletal disease. Epidemiological studies estimate that the affected patients account for about 15% of the world’s population. It is the main reason for limited work-age activity and absence from work and is associated with a significant decline in the elderly’s life function.
It is important to understand the early changes of osteoarthritis because these changes are still reversible, and preventive treatment can be used to slow down or reverse the further progress of the disease.
An animal study pointed out that for osteoarthritis induced by anterior cruciate ligament transection, astaxanthin can reduce the rate of cartilage degradation.
*Conclusion: Astaxanthin may be helpful for the improvement of osteoarthritis, but human studies still need to be further verified.
How to eat astaxanthin? What is the dosage?
Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid that should be paired with a diet containing fat to achieve the best absorption.
Regarding the recommended dosage, the current recommended dosage range for most astaxanthin is 4 mg to 12 mg per day, but the optimal dosage should be determined according to the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. Please also follow the relevant label on the product Instructions, or it is best to consult a local pharmacist or doctor about your condition before use.
Are there any side effects of astaxanthin/astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a common antioxidant present in aquatic plants and is a relatively safe health care ingredient. According to a study (6 grams per day for 8 weeks), no significant side effects have been found and no blood biochemical index (blood parameter) has been seen The obvious change.
The side effects that have been reported include increased bowel movements and stomach pain.
May cause staining of excreta (due to the water-soluble natural pigment in astaxanthin), this phenomenon is harmless to the human body, as long as you drink more water or stop taking it, it will return to normal.
1. Do not use for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those with poor liver and kidney function (because the relevant safety is unknown)
2. Patients with poor blood coagulation function, do not use anticoagulant if used together may increase the risk of bruising or bleeding (because astaxanthin may have an anticoagulant effect), related drugs are Warfarin, 4 -hydroxycoumarin, Abciximab, Aceclofenac, Acemetacin, Acenocoumarol, Acetylsalicylic acid, Alclofenac, Aldesleukin.
3. Do not use diabetes or hypoglycemia, and those taking medicines, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar (because astaxanthin may lower blood sugar levels.).
4. Patients taking medicines and herbs that lower blood pressure should be used with caution (because astaxanthin may lower blood pressure).
5. Do not use with drugs and herbs that need to be metabolized by the liver cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which may affect the efficacy of drugs. Common related drugs are:
Diazepam, Caffeine, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Propranolol, Fluoxetine, Haloperidol, Morphine ), beta-blockers, amitriptyline, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, warfarin, Acetaminophen, lovastatin, ketoconazole, etoposide, erythromycin, corticosteroids, vincristine, Fexofenadine, cimetidine, cisapride
6. Do not use drugs that take related hormone regulation drugs, especially 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (such as Rupee, Poscarin, Saw Palmetto, etc.), because some studies believe that astaxanthin may also have the effect of inhibiting 5-alpha reductase. Theoretically, possible side effects include: decreased libido, decreased semen volume, skin pigmentation, weight gain, low mood, etc.
7. Autoimmune disorders or immunosuppressants should be used with caution. Astaxanthin may have an immune-boosting effect, which may theoretically interfere with the effectiveness of treatment.
8. Allergic reactions may occur. If you have been allergic to carotenoids or Haematococcus Pluvialis, please avoid using them.
9. Patients with hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, or parathyroid disorders should be used with caution because astaxanthin may reduce serum calcium levels.
Where to buy astaxanthin brands recommended by most people?
In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.
And iHerb.com is a large-scale medical cosmetics e-commerce company in the United States. It has a high satisfaction rate of 97% in the evaluation of Google customers. It provides global home delivery so that you can buy it without risking buying fakes through purchasing high-quality health products.