Astaxanthin, a substance in the
Astaxanthin is not an essential nutrient. However, it is possible that increased intake of astaxanthin could provide health benefits.
Salmon is an excellent source of astaxanthin. A typical serving of Atlantic salmon provides approximately 1 mg of astaxanthin, while a similar serving of Pacific salmon might provide 4-5 mg. Krill oil
When consistently exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light, the algae Haematococcus pluvialis produces very large quantities of astaxanthin, presumably to protect itself from injury. Haematococcus raised in this way is used as a commercial source of astaxanthin.
In studies, astaxanthin has been given in doses ranging from 4-16 mg daily.
Some evidence suggests that astaxanthin is better absorbed when consumed in an oily base. 1
Many health claims for astaxanthin are based on the fact that it is a strong antioxidant. However, in recent years, scientific confidence in the medical benefits of antioxidants has waned; study after gigantic study of antioxidants such as vitamin E
Other proposed uses of astaxanthin have at least marginal supporting evidence from
Another study tested astaxanthin combined with the carotenoid
Weak evidence additionally hints that astaxanthin might
As a widely consumed nutritional substance, astaxanthin is expected to have a low order of toxicity. In human studies, no serious adverse effects have been seen. 2,3,7
3. Bloomer RJ, Fry A, Schilling B, et al. Astaxanthin supplementation does not attenuate muscle injury following eccentric exercise in resistance-trained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab . 2005;15:401-412.
5. Hussein G, Goto H, Oda S, et al. Antihypertensive potential and mechanism of action of astaxanthin: III. Antioxidant and histopathological effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biol Pharm Bull . 2006;29:684-688.
9. Andersen LP, Holck S, Kupcinskas L, et al. Gastric inflammatory markers and interleukins in patients with functional dyspepsia treated with astaxanthin. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]
10. Kupcinskas L, Lafolie P, Lignell A, et al. Efficacy of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin in the treatment of functional dyspepsia in patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection: A prospective, randomized, double blind, and placebo-controlled study. Phytomedicine. 2008 May 6
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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