Astaxanthin, Red Hot Antioxidant for Beautiful Skin And Endurance

Red for Astaxanthin

Nutrient Family:     

  • Phytonutrient/Phytochemical

                0  Sub Group:      Carotenoids

                    >  Sub Category:    Xanthophyll

                    >  Colour:               Red


Astaxanthin's Workings

Fat or Water Soluble Antioxidant: 

  • Fat Soluble

Our body cannot produce astaxanthin and it must be obtained from foods and/or supplements.


This is one carotenoid that does not convert to Vitamin A.


Other functions, besides being an antioxidant:

  • Protection against UV rays
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain reliever
  • Fight fatigue and improve endurance


Studies found its potency as antioxidant to eliminate free radicals, to be:

  • 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C
  • 1,000 more effective than Vitamin E
  • 800 times stronger than CoQ10
  • 550 times stronger than Catechins , found in green tea
  • 75 times stronger than Alpha Lipoic Acid.
  • 11 times more powerful than Beta-carotene

Where Is Astaxanthin Found Naturally?

Found in both plants and (abundant in) marine life:

Source Astaxanthin                      concentration (ppm)

  • Salmonids                                              ~ 5 
  • Plankton                                              ~ 60
  • Krill                                                     ~ 120 
  • Artic Shrimp (P borealis)             ~ 1,200
  • Phaffia yeast                                  ~ 10,000 
  • Haematococcus pluvialis           ~ 40,000

Cite (Wikipedia)


Highest concentration of astaxanthin known is found in a type of freshwater microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis; used widely to produce supplements and cosmetics.


One common example where this microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, can be found is at the bottom of a birdbath that has not been cleaned for a while.


Other foods containing Astaxanthin:

  • Trout
  • Lobster


Flamingoes are born white; turn red on diet of Astaxanthin

Examples of the health benefits of Astaxanthin:

  • Skin protection/defense

               0  Protection against sunburn

               0  Reduce freckles

               0  Reduce wrinkles (from under the skin as opposed to external application)

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Anti-inflammatory

                0  Help relieve pain and inflammation

  • Eye Care

                o  Protect against Aged Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • Brain health

                0  Such as stroke prevention and recovery

  • Improve immune functions and system
  • Neuro-degenerative diseases

                0  Alzheimer’s disease

                o  Parkinson’s disease

  • Control cholesterol
  • Eye health

                0 Protect against and  relieve eye fatigue and eye strain

  • Diabetic retinopathy

               Acute or persistent damage to the retina of the eye as a result of diabetes.

  • Helps fight fatigue and improve endurance (helping salmon to swim up stream?)

               0  Strenuous exercise creates more than usual oxidative stress (and hence, free radicals) that can cause damages to the cells exposed to this stress; Astaxanthin acts as an antioxidant to counter these free radicals and protect (and repair) the cells from damages caused, plus its anti-inflammatory capabilities reduces inflammation and pain caused by strenuous exercise.

Use As Food Coloring

Food Coloring Number:         

  • E161j

                o  In US, its use as food coloring is not allowed in human food; only for animal food.


It is widely used in animal food – such as added to feeds for farm raised salmon and, poultry food for poultry meat and eggs farming.


Synthetic form could also be made from petrochemical products and is not advisable for human consumption.

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