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Astaxanthin: the multipurpose antioxidant anti-inflammatory

Astaxanthin Astaxanthin is a multipurpose ingredient with numerous health benefits, particularly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, skin health, cardiovascular system health, and cognitive health.


What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a multipurpose red-orange carotenoid. Haematococcus pluvialis is the richest source of natural astaxanthin. Astaxanthin has antioxidant (reference) and anti-inflammatory (reference) actions. In-vitro studies show that Astaxanthin has immune-enhancing effects (reference). It will be interesting to see if this translates to human clinical trials.

Astaxanthin and skin health 

Astaxanthin has been found to be useful for skin conditions (reference), for example, skin elasticity, wrinkles, and texture (reference), age-related skin (reference), and rough skin (reference). The proposed benefits of astaxanthin for skin health can be related to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and photoprotective effects (reference). 

A study using Astaxanthin 6 mg per day found improvement in wrinkles, elasticity, trans-epidermal water loss, moisture content, and sebum oil level after 6 weeks. 

A 4-week study using Astaxanthin 4 mg per day found reduced malondialdehyde and residual skin surface components, which are markers of oxidative stress and skin ageing. 

A randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled (Astaxanthin 6 mg, Astaxanthin 12 mg, placebo) for 16 weeks found a reduction in wrinkle parameters and Interleukin (inflammatory cytokine) (reference). 

In a 10-week double-blind placebo-controlled study, participants were assigned to the astaxanthin group supplemented with a capsule containing 4 mg of astaxanthin or placebo. The astaxanthin group showed increased minimal erythema dose and had reduced loss of skin moisture in the irradiated area compared with placebo. Erythema is a type of skin rash caused by injured or inflamed blood capillaries. There were also improvements in rough skin. Astaxanthin seems protective against UV-induced skin deterioration and helps maintain healthy skin in healthy people (reference). More research is suggested.

Its role as an antioxidant 

Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in human skin ageing and dermal damage. Molecular and morphological changes in aged skin compromise its protective role and additionally contribute to the appearance of skin symptoms, including excessive dryness and itchiness, as well as increased predisposition to the formation or deepening of wrinkles, dyspigmentation, fragility and difficulty in healing injuries, impaired ability to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli, and skin irritation (reference).

Astaxanthin and cardiovascular health

For cardiovascular system health, astaxanthin has beneficial effects on healthy cholesterol level (particularly HDL-cholesterol (reference)) and triglycerides (reference and reference), and has found some favourable effects on blood pressure (reference).

Benefit to cognitive function

Astaxanthin has been found to benefit cognitive function (12 mg Astaxanthin per day for 12 weeks) (reference). A combination study of Astaxanthin (9 mg) and Tocotrienols (50 mg) was conducted for 12 weeks. The astaxanthin-tocotrienols group showed a significant improvement in composite memory and verbal memory in Cognitrax at 12 weeks compared with the placebo group (reference). Cognitrax measures a wide range of cognitive areas, including memory, attention, processing speed, and executive function. The research notes that the antioxidant capacity of the combination of astaxanthin and tocotrienols is significantly stronger than that of either astaxanthin or tocotrienols alone. This would be due to the hydrogen bonding and intermolecular interactions between these two compounds (reference).

Astaxanthin is a multipurpose ingredient with numerous health benefits, particularly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, skin health, cardiovascular system health, and cognitive health.


Dr Brad McEwen PhD (Naturopath and Nutritionist) has been utilising Astaxanthin for skin health and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects for over 12 years. Dr Brad said,

"I find Astaxanthin very useful for numerous health conditions, particularly as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for the underlying mechanisms of oxidative stress and inflammation."


AstaReal is a global pioneer and expert in natural astaxanthin cultivation, a functional micronutrient derived from natural algae (Haematococcus pluvialis). With over 60 human clinical studies, AstaReal® is the market's most studied brand of natural astaxanthin.

AstaReal astaxanthin can be used in tablets, capsules, and powders.

This is presented for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This website includes links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not mean that we endorse these sites or the products and services they provide. You acknowledge and agree that we are not responsible or liable for the content or accuracy of these other sites. CMG and its staff do not claim to treat or cure any health conditions mentioned. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.
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