5 Tips for choosing the best astaxanthin for your formula
Consumers in today’s health-conscious world are embracing nutritional supplements more than ever. Among the most important and sought-after supplements, these consumers seek are those that promote health and wellness.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect our bodies from the damaging effects of oxidation and free radicals, altered oxygen molecules that disrupt DNA and trigger system-wide cell damage and inflammation.
Natural astaxanthin is a lipid-soluble compound with a unique molecule structure and one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. Studies have shown that natural astaxanthin derived from microalgae is more than 500 times stronger than tocopherol vitamin E, and is a much more powerful antioxidant than all other carotenoids. Its health benefits are supported by more than 500 studies.
In addition to its potent antioxidant activity natural astaxanthin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Once consumed, it is transported to multiple organs and tissues, including muscles, skin, lungs, and the heart (1). It can even cross the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers, delivering a multitude of health benefits.
Although there are various sources of astaxanthin available on the market, not all astaxanthin products are equal. Here are five surefire ways to choose the best astaxanthin for your formulation:
1) Choose all-natural astaxanthin
Natural astaxanthin, sourced from the freshwater microalgae Haematococcus Pluvialis, is the richest source of astaxanthin in nature and has been part of the food chain for thousands of years. The majority of the safety and efficacy studies for astaxanthin were conducted with this microalgae source. Synthetic astaxanthin is produced from petrochemicals through a complicated process. This results in significant differences in the structural, optical isomerism, and bioactivity compared to the natural source. In fact, 50% of all synthetic isomers cannot be found in nature. Synthetic astaxanthin has not undergone safety testing for direct human consumption.
2) Know the natural sources of astaxanthin
Haematococcus pluvialis produces astaxanthin to protect itself from harsh environmental conditions. Natural sources of astaxanthin include microalgae, yeast, shrimp, krill, and plankton. Shrimp, krill, and plankton derive their astaxanthin from microalgae or a secondary source. The strain of yeast called Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous can be also considered a natural source, although in most cases it is a genetically modified organism and the astaxanthin molecule structure sourced from yeast is not identical to the astaxanthin sourced from microalgae. Moreover, the safety of this source is yet to be established and so the ingredient has very limited applications. The FDA has indicated that there were not enough safety data to support a dosage that exceeds 2 mg, and it is not approved by EFSA and many other health authorities.
3) Look for the source with the best method of production
Although H. Pluvialis is found around the world, commercial production must mimic the natural growth cycle of microalgae to allow for creation of a completely pure product that is superior to all others on the market. Harvesting astaxanthin from microalgae on a commercial scale is a highly technical and skilled process. Indoor cultivation uses artificial lightning, which causes an environmental burden especially if fossil fuels are used to produce electricity. Additionally, optimized environmental parameters, such as clean air and strong sun radiation, allow for achieving high biomass growth and, consequently, astaxanthin accumulation.
4) Seek the safest and purest available astaxanthin
One characteristic of algae is that it can grow under a range of conditions and may absorb contaminants such as heavy metals and toxins from the medium in which it is grown. The condition and purity of equipment in which the microalgae are grown are thus important factors determining the quality and purity of the end product. H. pluvialis can be cultivated in numerous ways, such as open ponds, plastic bags, or photobioreactor (PBR) systems. It is crucial to make sure the production is fully controlled, using food grade equipment only and conducted in a way that protects the microalgae from external and internal contamination or competing organism.
5) Look for key indicators of excellence when choosing your astaxanthin supplier
Choose a company that uses state-of-the-art photobioreactor technology and proprietary cultivation processes, combined with strict protocols for purity and quality control. It also is important to choose a supplier that supports eco-friendly production methods and sustainability, especially when it comes to the use of water and land. Seek those who leave a minimal ecological footprint while producing the highest quality and purity.
AstaPure® Natural Astaxanthin by Solabia-Algatech Nutrition
Solabia-Algatech Nutrition is located at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel’s Arava desert and has more than 20 years of cultivating a full variety of microalgae species. One of the few companies in the world to produce commercial–scale, high and consistent quality microalgae-sourced products.
AstaPure® is consistent in quality, high in purity, free of contaminants, and produced in accordance with sustainable standards. Algatech’s manufacturing process is fully sustainable, relying on solar power and a comprehensive water recycling platform. The microalgae cultivation displaces no crops, utilizes carbon dioxide, and creates only oxygen as waste. It is a genuine ecological crop.
AstaPure® natural astaxanthin is manufactured in an eco-friendly facility in the Arava desert, which enjoys year-round sunshine free from industrial contaminants and pollutants, providing the H. pluvialis with ideal growing conditions and no need for artificial light.
It is produced in an GMP, ISO-9001:2015 and ISO 22000:2018 certified facility. AstaPure is vegan and a verified Non-GMO project, certified as USDA Organic, as well as kosher and halal certified.
- Johanna Mercke Odeberg. Oral bioavailability of the antioxidant astaxanthin in humans is enhanced by incorporation of lipid based formulations. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 19 (2003) 299–304