Astaxanthin may not be a common household name, however it doesn’t make it any less important. Astaxanthin is a vital antioxidant known as the ‘king of the carotenoids’ as its potency is 6 thousand times higher than vitamin C and five hundred times more effective than the antioxidant, vitamin E. Carotenoids are phytochemicals found in an array of plants, bacteria, algae, and many other living organisms. They vary in their natural pigmented colours and are responsible for the vibrant orange, red and yellows, mainly found in vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Astaxanthin is a potent fat soluble carotenoid which provides positive outcomes in many areas of human health. It has been founded to protect cells against a wide range of illnesses, along with great tolerability and safety. Below we explore 5 powerful benefits of this ultimate nutrient:
Reduce fine lines & wrinkles
Astaxanthin being a powerful carotenoid is one of the most, if not the most important nutrient dense antioxidants for skin health and healing (1,2). Numerous clinical research suggests oral and topical use has found improvements in facial wrinkles, skin texture, elasticity and age spots. A specific study on men concluded that after 6 weeks of oral supplementation, patients had improved moisture content and more regulated sebum oil level at the cheek zone (3).
Protect against UV damage
Astaxanthin has been shown to protect the body's largest organ. The studies are clear and consistent and show excellent results for helping with skin moisture levels, smoothness, elasticity, fine wrinkles, and spots or freckles. (4, 5).
Astaxanthin may help support sun damaged skin, caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun. In fact, if you get a sunburn, which causes inflammation, astaxanthin penetrates the skin cells and reduces UVA damage. Think of it as an internal sunscreen (5, 7).
Relieve pain & inflammation
Astaxanthin has been shown to reduce inflammatory pathways including nitric oxide, prostaglandins and C Reactive Protein (CRP), of which CRP is tested as a key indicator for heart disease. A few studies have noted that patients taking Astaxanthin for 12 weeks or more, showed a significant decrease in their CRP levels, some up to 20% in just 8 weeks (4,6).
Protection of Cardiovascular health
Research has shown that patients who are at high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk who consistently took astaxanthin orally found a significant decrease in key factors which lead to CVD. These include minimising free radical damage to membranes, increasing circulation and reducing cholesterol accumulation (2). Therefore the use of antioxidant therapies, including that of astaxanthin, may have profound effects on assisting the normal regulation of circulatory systems to reduce the risk of poor cardiovascular outcomes.
May improve eye health
Including the strong properties of astaxanthin listed above, the antioxidant powerhouse also has mighty effects that may help to improve our circulation, particularly with blood and oxygen moving to the capillaries. Meaning, the vascular layers of the eyes are protected by free radical damage as nutrients can easily flow to certain areas, and thus are less at risk of developing diseases that may result in loss of vision (8).
At Melrose we enjoy bringing everyday people healthy options to easily include in their diet. Check out our Melrose Essential Reds power, which contains the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. It’s vegan friendly, and can be added to bliss balls, yoghurt and baked goods. Try it out today and see how it makes a difference to your skin and overall health.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2.
Fassett, R., & Coombes, J. (2009). Astaxanthin, oxidative stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Future Cardiology, 5(4), 333-342. doi: 10.2217/fca.09.19.
Tominaga K, Hongo N, Karato M, Yamashita E. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(1):43-47.
Davinelli S, Nielsen ME, Scapagnini G. Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2018; 10(4):522. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040522
Camera E, Mastrofrancesco A, Fabbri C, Daubrawa F, Picardo M, Sies H, Stahl W. Astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene differently affect UVA-induced oxidative damage and expression of oxidative stress- responsive enzymes. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Mar;18(3):222-31.
Xia W, Tang N, Kord-Varkaneh H, Low TY, Tan SC, Wu X, Zhu Y. The effects of astaxanthin supplementation on obesity, blood pressure, CRP, glycemic biomarkers, and lipid profile: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacol Res. 2020 Nov;161:105113. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105113. Epub 2020 Aug 2. PMID: 32755613.
N N A Zakaria, N A Zamzurie and Z T Harith. Evaluation of sunscreen cream incorporated with astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis in different storage conditions IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 756 (2021) 012078 IOP Publishing doi:10.1088/1755-1315/756/1/012078
Santocono M, Zurria M, Berrettini M, Fedeli D, Falcioni G. Influence of astaxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein on DNA damage and repair in UVA-irradiated cells. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2006 Dec 1;85(3):205-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2006.07.009. Epub 2006 Sep 8. PMID: 16962787.