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Astaxanthin (AS-tax-an-thin) is a powerful antioxidant carotenoid. Carotenoids, such as the better known beta carotene, are antioxidants that give foods such as carrots and bell peppers their vibrant colors. Because of its safety and nontoxic nature, astaxanthin is used in the feed of farm-raised salmon to give their flesh the same pink color as wild salmon, and in poultry feed to augment the yellow color of egg yolks.
Astaxanthin exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity and protects against lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage of LDL-cholesterol, cell membranes, cells, and tissues.1 Astaxanthin has also been shown to help protect the retina from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Astaxanthin provides additional antioxidant defense for the eyes and skin, and is often combined with other eye-protective nutrients like lutein, bilberry, vitamin A and vitamin C. Astaxanthin is often used during periods of long or intense sun exposure.
Use as directed. Astaxanthin should not be used as treatment for serious conditions. Consult your physician.
1. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jan;77(1):3-11.