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Health Benefits Of Astaxanthin Supplement

Imagine a nutritional supplement that is 65 times more powerful than Vitamin C, 14 times more effective than Vitamin E and 54 times more efficient than beta carotene when it comes to scavenging free radicals and protecting the body’s cells from damage due to oxidation. That is astaxanthin, the most stable of antioxidants, a carotenoid pigment that is often used as a natural color additive. It is often described as a natural super nutrient that helps to protect us from neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and age related eye disorders. Information and facts about the health benefits of astaxanthin often focus on the protection it offers to the brain, eye and the cardio-vascular system.

Apart from this, astaxanthin supplement is used to boost the stamina and endurance in athletes, enabling them to compete better.

The natural astaxanthin in salmon is what gives it the strength to swim upstream for days to reach its spawning grounds.  During any strenuous physical exercise or activity, the body releases a large number of free radicals. The free radical scavenging activity of astaxanthin helps to build strength and endurance. Lactic acid gets deposited on muscles during physical exertion resulting in a burning sensation. Natural astaxanthin reduces the levels of lactic acid deposits in muscles, boosting endurance. Those who aspire for a flawless, spotless skin and lustrous healthy hair should include asataxanthin supplements with their diet as this nutrient can prevent the ultra violet rays of the sun from damaging skin and scalp.

Skin Problems:

Cosmetic creams with astaxanthin as an active ingredient have been recommended to heal damaged skin and restore suppleness to aging skin. This carotenoid is a potent absorber of ultra violet rays, and being lipid soluble, it is absorbed into the membranes of skin cells, protecting them from the damage caused by the harsh sun. Its anti-inflammatory property makes it suitable for use in sun screens and creams to heal sun burn. Similarly, those with psoriasis are advised to take supplements with astaxanthin as it helps to reduce the inflammation and heals the distressed skin. Astaxanthin is often counted among the world’s top skin healthy foods because its anti oxidant activity reduces damage to cells, reduces wrinkles by arresting the degradation of the collagen in skin and increases energy at the cellular level. Since it helps to keep inflammation away, astaxanthin for acne works by ensuring that the skin remains moist, elastic and protected from pollutants like dust and dirt, which can clog pores.


Researchers have found that astaxanthin is a nutrient that can cross the blood-retinal barrier to nourish the eye and reduce the oxidative stress which is one of the causes of ocular disorders like glaucoma or age related macular degeneration. Supplements of astaxanthin for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataract have helped save the eyesight of many senior citizens.  


The powerful anti-inflammatory action of the nutrient makes astaxanthin for joints a natural choice of supplement for those with arthritis, back pain and even those with rheumatoid arthritis. Pain due to tennis elbow diminishes and gripping strength improves when a natural astaxanthin supplement is added to the regular intake of vitamins and minerals. Similarly, astaxanthin for fibromyalgia is effective because astaxanthin prevents muscle sores and works at boosting the body’s energy levels. Back pain from strained ligaments or muscles caused by faulty posture or improper lifting of heavy weights can be eased gradually with the inclusion of astaxanthin supplements regularly in the diet. The build up of uric acid in the body and the pain due to the presence of uric acid crystals causing inflammation in the ankle area are the main problems faced by those with gout.

Astaxanthin aids in reducing oxidative stress in the kidneys and facilitates the elimination of excess uric acid from the body, besides controlling the swelling in the ankles. One of the biggest advantages of astaxanthin supplements to the body’s central nervous system is the enhanced immune response and less damage to nerve cells thanks to the reduction of oxidative stress.
Patients with multiple sclerosis who experience muscle weakness, fatigue and memory loss find relief with astaxanthin supplements because of the powerful anti-oxidant activity and the arrest of neurodegeneration.

Other Nutrition Benefits:

Chief among the benefits of astaxanthin supplements is the neuro-protective role it plays in the case of patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It acts by inhibiting the generation of free radicals and reducing the neuro degeneration associated with oxidative stress.  Supplements of Flavangenol, an extract from the bark of pine trees, when combined with astaxanthin for diabetes patients have been effective in reducing oxidation and cataract formation, thereby preventing the early onset of complications associated with diabetes. Another important benefit associated with this nutrient for Alzheimer’s patients is the prevention of neural damage that can lead to dementia.

Improvement of blood circulation and better endothelial function leading to relaxed blood vessels and lowered blood pressure - thanks to astaxanthin supplements, have been instrumental in inhibiting the build up arterial plaque on the walls of blood vessels. Astaxanthin for blood pressure not only leads to better cardio vascular health, it also plays a vital role in preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks and brain stroke, by maintaining the blood circulation at optimum levels. Astaxanthin supplements hold promise for couples unable to conceive a baby as these supplements are known to improve sperm count and sperm quality. Sperm mobility and the fertility potential of the sperm is enhanced greatly by the anti-oxidant properties of astaxanthin.

While people who wish to lose weight are often advised to give up red meat and include more seafood in their diets, astaxanthin offers one more incentive to include crustaceans and fish like salmon in the diet. Astaxanthin for weight loss is suggested because it encourages the body to use its fat reserves instead of glucose or carbohydrates to provide the fuel for its various activities. Athletes use the supplement to improve endurance and stamina and build muscle strength. Seen from the weight loss perspective, the supplement can help weight watchers exercise longer and shed more fat in the process. Combined with a healthy diet and a suitable exercise routine, astaxanthin can lend a helping hand to those who wish to shed unwanted pounds.

Side Effects Of Astaxanthin

Given the far-reaching benefits of astaxanthin for those with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, it is a serious contender for the title of ‘super nutrient’. Not only does it nourish the inner organs of the body, it is also important in maintaining an attractive appearance with a glowing skin and a svelte form. Not much is known about the side effects of using them, though no ill effects have been reported.

  • Pregnancy: The use of astaxanthin during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended because there is no scientific evidence about the effect of the supplement on infants and children. Since it is known to lower blood pressure, those who suffer from low blood pressure should avoid these supplements. Astaxanthin’s positive effects on health are so many that the supplements are being considered for treatment of a variety of disorders, ranging from gastric ulcers to cancer.  
  • Cancer: Astaxanthin has been tested and found to be an inhibitor of the proliferation of cancer cells in lab cultures of tumors from small mammals, particularly in the early stages of the growth of tumor. The supplements are said to have a preventive effect as they boost they the body’s immune system. Astaxanthin supplements are a viable alternative to surgery for those suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome. The supplement also helps prevent fatigue in the eyes by reducing eye soreness, dryness, blurred vision and tiredness with a 6 mg dose taken for four weeks. Dosage levels vary from 2 mg per day to 16 mg per day, depending on the purpose of the supplement and the ability of the individual to absorb the supplement. For most people, a 4 mg dose is quite sufficient and can be taken as a single gel cap.

The benefits of natural astaxanthin are still being investigated by researchers. Studies are being conducted to assess the efficacy of astaxanthin in the prevention or treatment of prostrate cancer. Its anti-carcinogenic and immunity promoting properties hold promise for reducing the damage to cell DNA and prevent the enlargement of lymph nodes which happens in certain cases of cancer. Multivitamin supplements with astaxanthin can go a long way towards protecting the body from life threatening diseases that are often associated with inflammation and oxidation.

Other Information:

Haematococcus pluvialis algae is the main source of natural astaxanthin which is used in nutrition supplements, cosmetic  creams and added to the feed in seafood farms. A reddish-orange pigment that gives salmon and crustaceans like shrimp their pink color, astaxanthin is a phytochemical found in algae and plankton and in the krill and other micro organisms that feed on such marine flora. This carotenoid is one of the ingredients passed on higher up in the food chain to the fish that feed on these marine creatures and the predators that feed on these fish.

Submitted on January 16, 2014