The ocean provides us with many things that can be beneficial to our health. This includes Astaxanthin, a type of pigment that occurs in trout, microalgae, yeast, and shrimp and other sea creatures. Most people are familiar with it because of the pinkish color found in Pacific salmon.
Astaxanthin may have a number of health benefits to humans. Included among the benefits are the possibility for healthier skin, heart health, reduction in joint pain, more endurance and it may even be used at some point as a cancer treatment. The following are some of the possible benefits.
1. Antioxidant: The antioxidant properties of Astaxanthin may be beneficial in numerous ways. In fact, they are one of the top listed benefits of the supplement and may even be helpful in the treatment of cancer.
Studies show that Astaxanthin can help with blood flow, reducing oxidative stress in smokers and overweight people 1. When astaxanthin and other carotenoids were compared in a study2, astaxanthin was shown to have a higher antioxidant activity than the rest.
2. Cancer: Since astaxanthin is said to have high antioxidant properties, there has been research done to show how it may work to assist individuals with various types of cancer. According to one study3, there were both short and long-term benefits when using it to treat breast cancer, including the fact that it reduced the growth of press cancer cells.
One of the reasons why studies are limited is because there is a high cost for purified astaxanthin.
3. Your Skin: It is possible to use Astaxanthin topically to keep your skin healthy. According to a study from 20124, using Astaxanthin topically and orally can help reduce age spots, smooth wrinkles and keep the skin moisturized. Both men and women benefited from the use of Astaxanthin but additional study is necessary.
4. Help With Exercise: Some studies look into how astaxanthin can help boost endurance and reduce fatigue after exercise. Those studies5 were done on mice that show how the body may more effectively use fatty acids, which can prevent muscle and skeletal damage and improve endurance.
5. Heart Health: According to a 20066 study, the effect of astaxanthin on rats help to reduce high blood pressure. It may also help to improve the thickness of arterial walls and elastin levels.
Another claim was that astaxanthin may even be able to prevent heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels. More studies need to be done to verify that fact.
6. Joint Pain: For individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions, Astaxanthin may be a benefit. The results of studies, however, have been somewhat mixed.
Some studies show that pain symptoms and inflammation associated with arthritis are reduced when Astaxanthin is used. Another study 7, however, looked into how Astaxanthin affected carpal tunnel syndrome and did not see any evidence.
7. Male Fertility: Astaxanthin use has yielded positive results for male fertility according to a 2005 study8. A double-blind study involving 30 men who formerly suffered from infertility and lasting three months was conducted.
According to the research, both count and mobility of sperm was improved. The individuals in the group who had a strong dosage of astaxanthin saw the most benefit. Although the study was somewhat small, it is promising.
1. Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential., 2011 Dec;16(4):355-64
2. Antioxidant activities of astaxanthin and related carotenoids., 2000 Apr;48(4):1150-4
3. Antiproliferation and induction of cell death of Phaffia rhodozyma (Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous) extract fermented by brewer malt waste on breast cancer cells., 2005 Nov;16(5):931-6
4. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on humans subjects
5. Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on exercise-induced fatigue in mice., 2006 Oct;29(10):2106-10
6. Antihypertensive potential and mechanism of action of astaxanthin: III. Antioxidant and histopathological effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats., 2006 Apr;29(4):684-8
7. A blinded placebo-controlled randomized trial on the use of astaxanthin as an adjunct to splinting in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, 2011 Dec 30
8. Combined conventional/antioxidant "Astaxanthin" treatment for male infertility: a double blind, randomized trial., 2005 Sep;7(3):257-62