Astaxanthin Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Warning

Astaxanthin Benefits

Astaxanthin Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Warning

Astaxanthin has been dubbed the ‘King of Carotenoids’. Fitness and health enthusiasts have found Astaxanthin uses as  a dietary supplement. It is now used in a range of cosmetics for skin and beauty improvements as well.

It is also used for a range of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, high cholesterol, liver diseases and age-related vision loss.

It may also be used for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

What is Astaxanthin?

First things first, astaxanthin is what is known as a carotenoid.

Carotenoids are pigments that are found naturally in various organisms.

This organic pigment comes in an array of colors like red, pink, orange, and yellow.

Astaxanthin is one such carotenoid, that occurs naturally in organisms like salmon, crabs, shrimp, chicken, and egg, as well as trout, yeast, and microalgae, to name a few. It occurs naturally in certain algae as well.

So, the pinkish red tinge of colour that these organisms possess, comes from the presence of this carotenoid. [1].

The muscle of salmon happens to have the highest concentration of astaxanthin in the animal kingdom.

It is an antioxidant as well. But that’s not all, a recent study showed that it has antifungal and anti inflammatory properties too [2].

Natural Astaxanthin Benefits and Side effects

Astaxanthin Uses and benefits

So we now know that astaxanthin is great, but what exactly are its uses and benefits? Read on-

1. Uses of Astaxanthin as Antioxidant

Astaxanthin has great antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are great for your body.

The effects of free radicals can be harmful for you, and antioxidants protect the cells in your body from this.

Additionally, antioxidants also protect the body from cell damage.

In fact, among all the carotenoids, It happens to have the highest antioxidant properties.

As an antioxidant, it helps lower oxidative stress that is caused due to being overweight and smoking of tobacco as well [3].

Oxidative stress takes place when there is an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which increases the risk of free radicals.

When there is an increase in free radicals, you are bound to experience inflammation.

A good intake of antioxidants like astaxanthin can help reverse this issue by neutralizing the effect of free radicals.  [4]

2. Helps in reducing pain and inflammation

It can help relieve pain, especially pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

It also helps with joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Both rheumatoid arthritis as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, are the leading causal factors of joint pain.

However, there is insufficient evidence to back the effects of astaxanthin on carpal tunnel syndrome.

Additionally, It has shown positive results in preventing inflammation caused by the H. pylori bacteria as well. [5]

3. Treatment of cancer

Antioxidants can play a significant role in the treatment of cancer, as it helps protect damaged cells. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, considering that antioxidants are the top savers when it comes to cancer cells.

Carotenoids, specifically astaxanthin, has high antioxidant properties, as mentioned previously.

In one study, it has been said that it has both long term and short term benefits in the treatment of breast cancer, where the death of breast cancer cells were observed. Learn more about astaxanthin breast cancer impact here [4].

4. Great for your eyes

Antioxidants can help protect the retina of the eye from oxidative damage. Thanks to its superior antioxidant activity, it is great for your retina, as well as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and eye strain and fatigue.

Since It is found mainly in fish, the consumption of it includes omega-3 fatty acids, which again, is great for your eyes. [5]

5. Works wonders for your skin

Yes, astaxanthin might just be the best cosmetic product you need as well. It can help delay ageing, remove dark spots, reduce wrinkles and provide several other cosmetic benefits.

Both the tropical and oral consumption of astaxanthin has shown to be beneficial for your skin. It also helps maintain the level of moisture in your skin.

Astaxanthin does not really have SPF, but still, it has great UV-blocking properties as well, which protects your skin from damage related to sun exposure. Learn more about Astaxanthin skin whitening effect here [6].

6. Astaxanthin uses in male infertility

Infertility can be frustrating.

While there are several causal factors of infertility like obesity, hormonal issues, testicular trauma, and genetic issues, there is another cause as well – oxidative stress.

A strong link has been found with sperm oxidative stress and infertility.

Astaxanthin’s antioxidant properties can help deal with this. A study in 2005 says that astaxanthin can help with male fertility as well [7].

According to the study, the research that was conducted on a group of men, saw positive results, which included better quality of sperm like motility and count, and overall improvement of fertility.

Yet another study claimed that it can help with sperm capacitation as well [7]

However, since this particular research was conducted on a small group of people, it is insufficient evidence. More research will be necessary to support this claim.

7. Great for your heart

It is believed that astaxanthin can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart diseases.

In a recent study, research was conducted on rats, and the results were promising.

Astaxanthin showed to have a positive impact on hypertension, as well as an improvement on the thickness of the arterial wall and elastin levels [9].

So that makes astaxanthin a potential anti-hypertention drug as well!

An imbalance between peroxynitrite and nitric oxide is one of the leading causes of problems in the blood vessels, the lining of the arteries, and the endothelium.

It has shown to restore any impalace between peroxynitrite and nitric oxide, which is beneficial for the heart.  [10]

8. Relieves symptoms of menopause

Menopause is the natural decline of the menstrual cycle in a woman.

This period can be particularly stressful for most women.

Women who are menopausal, will experience various symptoms like anxiety, hot flushes, stress, and sometimes even depression. [14]

Hot flushes are triggered by stress hormones like cortisol and oxidative stress.

As mentioned above, it can help reverse the effects of oxidative stress. The intake of astaxanthin has shown signs of reduction of menopausal symptoms as well. [9]

9. Regulation of cholesterol

Most people have a misconception that cholesterol is bad. However, the fact is that the liver produces cholesterol naturally. Cholesterol is used for making hormones.

But, the problems starts when there is an abnormal increase in the cholesterol levels, which settles along the blood vessels, causing a blockage. This is the perfect recipe for heart attacks and other heart related ailments, as well as strokes.[13]

Now, this is where astaxanthin comes into the picture. A regular intake of 6 to 18 mg, for around 84 days, has shown to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. [10]

10. Can help manage diabetes

There has been a steady rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes, thanks to the choice of lifestyle we have been living.

In case you didn’t know, diabetes is caused due to a malfunction of the pancreas and the irregular production of insulin.

And this in turn stems down to damage of the beta cells in the pancreas. This takes place due to inflammation or oxidative stress. [11]

It can help with oxidative stress, thanks to its antioxidant properties.

It can also help with sugar toxicity in the blood.

It has shown the ability to manage diabetes as well. It can help with the improvement of metabolism of sugar and lower high blood pressure as well. [11]

11. Great for your immune system

The immune system is your body’s defence force. When the immune system is weak, so are you.

A good immune system protects the body from invaders like germs, bacteria, virus, and disease.

However, prolonged inflammation and oxidative stress can negatively impact the immune system. [12]

It has shown to reduce inflammation and, of course, oxidative stress in the body, thereby helping you keep your immune system at optimal health. [12]

Astaxanthin Side effects

We’ve discussed the benefits of astaxanthin, but are there any side effects?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers Astaxanthin to be safe in moderation .

However, too much of anything is bad, so make sure you do not over indulge in it.

A few possible side effects include a sudden increase in bowel movements as well as discoloration of stool, as astaxanthin turns the stool into a reddish color.

High doses of astaxanthin can cause sudden stomach pain as well.

As far as consumption during pregnancy is concerned, there is not enough knowledge.

It is best to steer clear of any complications during this crucial period, so avoid the use of astaxanthin during this time.

The same can be said about mothers who are breast-feeding as well. [15]

Astaxanthin Dosage 

Various factors like your age and state of health come into consideration while administering the right dosage.

In general, doctors say that 4 to 40 mg on a daily basis for 12 weeks or around 12 mg on  a daily basis for 6 months, has been considered safe, with no side effects.

Astaxanthin has also been used along with other vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids on a daily basis at 4 mg for a year as well, without any side effects per se.

Whether you are consuming natural astaxanthin or astaxanthin supplements, make sure you consult your local physician, pharmacist, or a healthcare professional, to be on the safer side.

Also, follow the product label instructions and directions of consumption, if any. [16]

astaxanthin dosage for eyes

astaxanthin dosage for skin

astaxanthin dosage for sun protection

Where to buy Astaxanthin in India 

Thanks to modern day technology, you will easily buy astaxanthin online from various e-commerce vendors like Amazon, Flipkart, HealthKart, and IndiaMart.

You will find a range of astaxanthin products like astaxanthin capsules, natural astaxanthin powder, organic astaxanthin, and astaxanthin tablets.

These products might be available at medical stores as well.

In conclusion 

Astaxanthin, we now know, is great for your body. However, the human body does not naturally produce this carotenoid. Due to this, it is imperative that we consume foods that have natural astaxanthin. In case this is not possible, the other alternative is to take dietary supplements of astaxanthin.

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