Info: Available in Several Sizes & Strengths
Astaxanthin is a naturally-occurring carotenoid closely related to beta-carotene and lutein that provides a wide range of antioxidant benefits. Astaxanthin may play a key role in the protection of cell membranes against free radical damage as well as supporting the immune system and cardiovascular health, particularly since it can help reduce inflammation. Conditions where that can be beneficial include asthma, aching or swollen joints (whether from arthritis or from repetitive stress injury, e.g.), fibromyalgia, and even inflammatory eye (such as uveitis) or brain conditions. Safflower or olive oil have been added because astaxanthin is fat-soluble, and this improves its absorption.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid -- basically, a natural pigment or dye. It is found primarily in marine organisms such as salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, and crustaceans -- it's actually the pigment that gives salmon and crustaceans their pink/red colour -- and is also found in extremely high concentrations in a type of green microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis, which this type is made from, which may be both its richest and most sustainable source.
But astaxanthin doesn't just provide those marine organisms with their colour: it protects them from the harmful UV effects of sunlight. It's also turned out to be a very powerful antioxidant when consumed -- possibly the most powerful one identified, to date -- and because it is fat soluble, it's able to enter the fat layer of any given cell's outer membranes, and go on to diffuse and disarm multiple types of free radicals which may be causing oxidative damage within them.
In addition to supporting eye health, increased energy levels, and recovery from exercise, astaxanthin shows promise in being able to help the skin, and reduce inflammation, and may be able to help stave off quite a number of diseases, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver, neurodegenerative, and possibly some forms of cancer.
Each 4 mg veg. softgel (NPN 80036699) contains:
Algae extract (Haematococcus pluvialis) (Zanthin*), standardized to contain: 4 mg Astaxanthin.
Non-medicinal ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Veg. Softgel (glycerin, modified corn starch, carrageenan, sorbitol, water), Antioxidant Blend (mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract). Contains soy derivative.
* Zanthin is a registered trademark of Valensa International.
Each softgel in the 90 softgels (NPN 80042155) bottle contains:
Astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis Extract): 4 mg
Non-medicinal ingredients: Safflower Oil, Capsule (gelatin, purified water, glycerin, carob extract) and Natural Vitamin E. Contains soy derivative.
For the 10 mg strength (NPN 80033538): each softgel contains:
110 mg Haematococcus pluvialis Extract (Equivalent to 220-660 mg of H. pluvialis [Whole Organism]), providing:
- Astaxanthin: 10 mg
6.7 mg ATE Vitamin E, providing:
- Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol, from Glycine max. (Soybean)): 10 IU
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Safflower Oil, Softgel Capsule (gelatin, water, glycerin).
Suggested Usage:Adults: 4 mg strength: Take 2-4 softgels daily with meals. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 3 months.
10 mg strength: Adults: Take 1 softgel daily, with meals. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 8 weeks.
Warnings:Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are taking prescription medication or other dietary supplements. Stomach/Abdominal pain has been known to occur, in which case discontinue use and consult a health care practitioner.
Although there are few human trials as of yet, there have been multiple in vitro and in vivo models and animal studies; these reviews summarize some of them:
Ambati RR, Moi PS, Ravi S, Aswathanarayana RG. "Astaxanthin: Sources, Extraction, Stability, Biological Activities and Its Commercial Applications — A Review." Marine Drugs. 2014 Jan; 12(1): 128–52. 10.3390/md12010128
Ciccone MM, Cortese F, Gesualdo M, Carbonara S, Zito A, Ricci G, De Pascalis F, Scicchitano P, and Riccioni G. "Dietary Intake of Carotenoids and Their Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Cardiovascular Care." Mediators Inflamm. 2013; 2013: 782137. doi: 10.1155/2013/782137
Gammone MA, Riccioni G, D’Orazio N. "Marine Carotenoids against Oxidative Stress: Effects on Human Health." Marine Drugs. 2015 Oct; 13(10): 6226–46. doi: 10.3390/md13106226
Ishida S. ["Lifestyle-related diseases and anti-aging ophthalmology: suppression of retinal and choroidal pathologies by inhibiting renin-angiotensin system and inflammation"]. [Article in Japanese] Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 2009 Mar;113(3):403-22; discussion 423.
Izumi-Nagai K, Nagai N, Ohgami K, Satofuka S, Ozawa Y, Tsubota K, Ohno S, Oike Y, Ishida S. "Inhibition of choroidal neovascularization with an anti-inflammatory carotenoid astaxanthin." Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Apr;49(4):1679-85.
Raposo, MFdJ, de Morais AMMB, and de Morais RMSC. "Carotenoids from Marine Microalgae: A Valuable Natural Source for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases." Marine Drugs. 2015 Aug; 13(8): 5128–55. doi: 10.3390/md13085128