By: Sharon Lehman, RD
If you’re looking for additional antioxidant support to boost your health, you may be wondering which antioxidant reigns supreme.
Astaxanthin is one of the most potent and powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that you can consume.1,2
Astaxanthin belongs to the carotenoid family. It’s a reddish-colored pigment produced by a species of microalgae. This compound is responsible for the signature pink-red hue of salmon, lobster, shrimp, and other colorful marine life who eat microalgae.
Often called "the king of the carotenoids," astaxanthin is 10 to 100 times more powerful than other carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene.
What sets astaxanthin apart from other antioxidants is how it interacts with your body’s cells. Typically, antioxidants offer protection to only one side of a cell's membrane, or exterior wall. This limits how far their protective properties can reach. Astaxanthin stretches across the entire cell membrane, which means it offers protection to the entire cell.
Some antioxidants become pro-oxidants in the body, which means they trigger oxidative stress under certain conditions. Astaxanthin remains an antioxidant in the body when consumed.
Here are the top 5 benefits of this super-antioxidant.
5 Benefits of Astaxanthin
1. Supports joint health*
Astaxanthin may improve joint mobility, lessen joint pain and stiffness, and maintain the integrity of joint cartilage by blocking the production of inflammatory markers.3
Researchers have also linked astaxanthin with improvements in inflammatory pain.4 This antioxidant may help take the edge off of joint pain after strenuous exercise. Unlike over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, astaxanthin comes with no risk of addiction, heartburn, gastrointestinal ulcers, or other unwanted side effects.
2. Promotes healthy skin*
Astaxanthin is responsible for the red color of salmon roe. It’s not just there for pigment, though. Astaxanthin protects the fish eggs from sun-related damage by blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.
Taking astaxanthin may provide humans with similar skin-protective benefits and help counteract physical signs of aging linked to sun exposure.5 Researchers believe astaxanthin can help with wrinkle reduction and improve levels of moisture in the skin.6
3. Improves exercise performance and recovery*
Sockeye salmon has some of the highest levels of astaxanthin found in nature, which explains the vibrant red flesh of this fish species. Astaxanthin is believed to have an energizing effect that helps salmon make their arduous upstream voyages each year.
It turns out astaxanthin may provide humans with similar exercise-related benefits.7 Scientists have linked taking astaxanthin with prolonged energy levels during endurance exercise, such as swimming and cycling. It also seems to improve exercise recovery by inhibiting the release of inflammatory compounds that contribute to muscle soreness.
4. Supports cardiovascular health*
Inflammation, oxidative stress, and too much fat or cholesterol in the blood are all contributors to the development of heart disease.
Astaxanthin has been shown to increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is the good kind of cholesterol.
Astaxanthin also exhibits a protective effect on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.8 Oxidation and damage to LDL cholesterol is linked to arterial inflammation and hardening of the arteries.
5. Supports healthy vision*
Astaxanthin can support healthy eye tissue and help you maintain sharp vision. The antioxidant has been shown to benefit the eyes by improving blood flow to the retina, reducing eye inflammation, and inhibiting cellular damage in different parts of the eye.9
Additional Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of astaxanthin in the body can also:
- Support immune function*
- Protect cells and the nervous system from oxidative damage*
- Support brain health*
Hawaiian Astaxanthin Benefits
One of the easiest ways to take advantage of the remarkable health benefits of astaxanthin is to add an astaxanthin supplement to your daily routine. Choosing a quality astaxanthin supplement is important for maximum benefit.
BioAstin from Nutrex Hawaii contains all-natural astaxanthin sourced from algae grown in freshwater ponds located in Kona, Hawaii. Our astaxanthin gel caps are easy to swallow and available in either 4 or 12 milligrams of astaxanthin per serving.
BioAstin is third-party tested for safety and purity of ingredients. It’s also non-GMO and free of major allergens, including soy, yeast, wheat, gluten, and lactose. Our Hawaiian astaxanthin is grown without pesticides or herbicides and, because it’s farmed in freshwater, it doesn’t contain any fish or shellfish bi-products.
The bottom line is astaxanthin good for you? Astaxanthin is a unique antioxidant in its ability to protect against oxidative stress and cellular damage. From your joints and tendons to your skin, energy levels, heart, eyes, immune system, and brain, astaxanthin can benefit cells in your entire body. *
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Results may vary. Contact your healthcare provider prior to beginning any new exercise or diet plan.
- Sztretye, M., Dienes, B., Gönczi, M., Czirják, T., Csernoch, L., Dux, L., Szentesi, P., & Keller-Pintér, A. (2019). Astaxanthin: A Potential Mitochondrial-Targeted Antioxidant Treatment in Diseases and with Aging. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2019, 3849692. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6878783/
- Chang, M. X., & Xiong, F. (2020). Astaxanthin and its Effects in Inflammatory Responses and Inflammation-Associated Diseases: Recent Advances and Future Directions. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(22), 5342. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696511/
- Sun, K., Luo, J., Jing, X., Guo, J., Yao, X., Hao, X., Ye, Y., Liang, S., Lin, J., Wang, G., & Guo, F. (2019). Astaxanthin protects against osteoarthritis via Nrf2: a guardian of cartilage homeostasis. Aging, 11(22), 10513–10531. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914430/
- Zhao L, Tao X, Wan C, Dong D, Wang C, Xi Q, Liu Y, Song T. Astaxanthin alleviates inflammatory pain by regulating the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-erythroid factor 2-related factor/heme oxygenase-1 pathways in mice. Food Funct. 2021 Dec 13;12(24):12381-12394. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34825683/
- Ng, Q. X., De Deyn, M. L. Z. Q., Loke, W., Foo, N. X., Chan, H. W., & Yeo, W. S. (2020). Effects of Astaxanthin Supplementation on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of Clinical Studies. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 1–14. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19390211.2020.1739187
- Davinelli, S., Nielsen, M. E., & Scapagnini, G. (2018). Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients, 10(4), 522. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946307/
- Brown, D. R., Gough, L. A., Deb, S. K., Sparks, S. A., & McNaughton, L. R. (2018). Astaxanthin in Exercise Metabolism, Performance and Recovery: A Review. Frontiers in nutrition, 4, 76. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5778137/
- Kishimoto, Y., Yoshida, H., & Kondo, K. (2016). Potential Anti-Atherosclerotic Properties of Astaxanthin. Marine drugs, 14(2), 35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771988/
- Donoso, A., González-Durán, J., Muñoz, A. A., González, P. A., & Agurto-Muñoz, C. (2021). “Therapeutic uses of natural astaxanthin: An evidence-based review focused on human clinical trials.” Pharmacological Research, 166, 105479. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33549728/