Astaxanthin

What other names is Astaxanthin known by?

Astaxanthine, Astaxantina, Dihydroxy-3,3' dioxo-4,4' bêta-carotène, Microalgae, Microalgue, Micro-Algue, Ovoester, 3,3'-dihydroxy-4,4'-diketo-beta-carotene, 3S,3'S-astaxanthin, 3R,3'R-astaxanthin, 3R,3'S-astaxanthin.

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. It occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red color in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood.

Astaxanthin is used for treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, "brain attack" (stroke), high cholesterol, and an eye condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is also used for preventing cancer.

Astaxanthin is applied directly to the skin for protection against sunburn.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Early research suggests that a combination of astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, and copper taken daily for 12 months improves some problems in the center of the eye, but does not improve problems in the outer areas of the eye in people with age-related macular degeneration.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Early research suggests that a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E taken by mouth 3 times daily for 8 weeks does not reduce pain in people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia). Early research shows that taking astaxanthin daily for 4 weeks does not reduce stomach pain, indigestion or the amount of bacteria (H. pylori) in the stomach that may cause stomach pain. However, taking astaxanthin daily does seem to reduce reflux symptoms.
  • Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Early evidence suggests that taking a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, lutein and safflower oil daily for 3 weeks does not reduce muscle soreness or improve muscle performance 4 days after exercise compared to safflower oil by itself.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking astaxanthin (AstaREAL Astaxanthin) daily for 12 weeks reduces triglyceride levels and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Other research shows that taking a combination of astaxanthin, berberine, policosanol, red yeast rice, and folic acid for 4 weeks lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by 20% to 26% and increases HDL cholesterol by about 5%.
  • Male infertility. Early research suggests that men taking astaxanthin (AstaCorex, AstaREAL AB) daily for 3 months have increased fertility as measured by pregnancy rates.
  • Menopausal symptoms. Early research suggests that taking a product containing astaxanthin, vitamin D3, lycopene, and citrus bioflavonoids (MF Afragil) daily for 8 weeks reduces menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, joint pain, moodiness and bladder control.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggest that taking a combination product (BioAstin) containing astaxanthin, leutein, vitamin A, vitamin E, Haematococcus extract, and safflower oil 3 times daily for 8 weeks reduces pain and improves feelings of satisfaction in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Wrinkled skin. Early evidences suggests that taking astaxanthin (Astavita AstaREAL) twice daily for 6 weeks improves skin elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles in middle-aged women. It also seems to improve the moisture content in the skin.
  • Alzheimer's disease.
  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Improving recovery after stroke.
  • Protecting against cancer.
  • Reducing skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of astaxanthin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors