Astaxanthin UpdateDecember 21, 2011 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably consumed astaxanthin at one point or another in your life. Arctic shrimp and wild salmon are among the most common dietary sources of this crimson colored carotenoid. But, these days you’re also likely to find astaxanthin in everything from multivitamins to sports drinks. In many instances, it’s included as a way of increasing the antioxidant content of functional foods and nutritional supplements. Other times, its primary purpose is to act as natural preservative for delicate fatty acids such as those contained in fish or krill oil.
In previous columns, I’ve discussed the importance of astaxanthin in the management of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and the immune system. Several new publications add to the current level of knowledge about this vibrant pigment that, in supplements, is typically extracted from an algae known as Haematococcus pluvialis. The current batch of research indicates that astaxanthin improves: a) blood flow velocity (a measure of circulatory health) in a safe manner; b) exercise performance as indicated by “increased power output” in cyclists given either 4 mg/day of astaxanthin or a placebo; c) lipid profiles (lowers LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1) and elevates total antioxidant capacity in overweight individuals; d) oxidative status in smokers by “suppressing lipid peroxidation and stimulating the activity of the antioxidant system” in this high risk population. In terms of dosage requirements, a daily intake of at least 4 mg/day appears to be a good starting point. However, some of the trials listed below have utilized up to 20 mg/day without evidence of adverse reactions. All told, I think astaxanthin is one supplement to keep your eye on, particularly if you’re concerned about cardiovascular health.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 2 – Astaxanthin Increases Choroidal Blood Flow Velocity … (link)
Study 3 – Effect of Astaxanthin on Cycling Time Trial Performance … (link)
Study 4 – Positive Effects of Astaxanthin on Lipid Profiles and Oxidative … (link)
Study 5 – Protective Effects of Haematococcus Astaxanthin on Oxidative … (link)
Study 6 – Erythrocytes Carotenoids After Astaxanthin Supplementation … (link)
Study 7 – Plasma Carotenoid Concentrations Before and After … (link)
12 mg/day of Astaxanthin Increases Blood Flow to the Eyes
Source: Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2011 Nov 10. (link)
Tags: Astaxanthin, Immune, Inflammation
Posted in General Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements