Astaxanthin: the top 5 reasons to add it to your product formula
Today more and more consumers adopt holistic well- being approach and look for products with variety of active health claims targeting mood, beauty, immunity and more. Furthermore, they are interested in branded ingredients that are science-backed, natural, produced in an environmentally conscious manner, GMO-free and vegan.
Antioxidants play an important role in overall health because they can help to either prevent or slow the damage to cells caused by oxidative stress.
Astaxanthin is a red pigment belonging to the carotenoids family. As one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature it is increasingly gaining recognition both by industry stakeholders and health-conscious consumers for its valuable contribution to well-being. The antioxidant properties of astaxanthin make it a perfect dietary supplement ingredient as it works in many organs and tissues in our body including the skin, brain, eyes and muscles.
In this article, we will look at the top 5 reasons why astaxanthin should be added to your product formula.
What Is Oxidative Stress?
When considering the benefits of adding Astaxanthin to your product line, it’s important to first and foremost understand what Oxidative Stress is and how it affects our body. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between ROS (free radicals) production and the body’s ability to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects via antioxidants. Our body produces ROS during normal metabolic functions of the human body. It’s true, our body has mechanisms to protect itself from oxidative stress, but these mechanisms can become overwhelmed when there are too many free radicals present.
Long term exposure to a high amount of ROS can damage cells in our body affecting the cardiovascular, brain, eye, immune, muscle, and skin health and can contribute to the development of various chronic disorders and diseases.
It is very important to our health to maintain a balanced state between free radicals and anti oxidants and reduce oxidative stress conditions.
Astaxanthin Health Benefits
Astaxanthin, a dark red carotenoid naturally produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, is one of the most powerful antioxidants known in nature. it is much more potent than other carotenoid and over 6000 times stronger than vitamin C. It’s unique structure enables the protection of cells from both internal and external oxidative stressors. In addition to its potent antioxidant activity natural astaxanthin has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis is readily bioavailable in many organs including the lungs, skin, brain, eyes and muscles. Astaxanthin has a variety of health benefits proven clinically with over 500 published clinical articles.
1. Immune System Function
Astaxanthin helps support a balanced immune system by reducing oxidative stress in immune cells. Immune cells produce ROS as part of the anti-pathogen response and thus are particularly in danger of oxidative stress damage. Inflammation is a critical part in the immune response to infection. However, uncontrolled or dysfunctional inflammation is linked to disease development and progression.
Studies suggest astaxanthin may help support immune functions in various ways including enhancing the production of antibodies (1), assisting with the proliferation of immune cells, maintaining the anti-oxidant/oxidation balance (2) and also by promoting anti-inflammatory activity (3).
Overall, astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to improve immune function in several ways. This makes it a valuable ingredient for supporting the body’s natural defenses against disease.
2. Skin health
Astaxanthin is good for our skin health in many ways. It protects our skin cells from damage and helps keep our skin looking healthy.
The skin is constantly exposed to internal and external factors that impact its structure, function, and appearance, and thus visible aging. Environmental factors, such as prolonged exposure to the sun, pollution, cigarettes and toxins damage the skin. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a major cause of skin damage which can degrade collagen and cause DNA-damage. This can result in sunburn inflammation, appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
Astaxanthin can promote healthy skin aging. Its beneficial effects on skin shown in clinical studies showed Improvement of skin appearance Including hyperpigmentation (4), reduction in skin water loss and an increase in elasticity (5) and also protection from UV radiation (6).
3. Eye health
Like our skin, our eye health can also benefit from the natural antioxidant astaxanthin. One of the most damaging assaults to our eyes derives from oxidative stress. This includes damage to cellular DNA and cellular bodies. The eye is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to its exposure to light, its rich content of mitochondria and the high metabolic rate of photoreceptors .Oxidative stress is linked to a wide range of ophthalmic diseases such as;
- Corneal degenerative diseases
- Optic neuropathies
- Retinal disorders, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
Astaxanthin crosses the blood-retinal barrier and assists with the protection of the eyes from oxidative stress and inflammation. The effect of astaxanthin on the eyes was reported in several clinical studies that showed improvement in the blood flow in small vessels inside the eye and reduction in eye fatigue and strain after exposure to screens for long hours (7,8,9).
4. Brain and Cognition
The brain, with its high oxygen consumption (approx. 20% of the total oxygen in the body) and limited antioxidant defenses, is highly susceptible to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may be increased in a number of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier creating potential beneficial effects on the brain such as reduction in ROS accumulation (9), supporting cognitive health and helping fight mental fatigue and confusion (11,12).
5. Endurance & Exercise performance
Astaxanthin is increasingly gaining recognition both by industry stakeholders and health-conscious consumers for its valuable contribution to the sports nutrition sector. Strenuous exercise is associated with excessive production of free radicals leading to oxidative stress, creating muscle damage and extending recovery time between workouts. Astaxanthin can be easily transported throughout the body, including the muscle tissues, to eliminate free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
The benefits of astaxanthin for optimal muscle function include improved recovery and prevented muscle fatigue, damage and inflammation after exercise, increase in muscle mass and endurance support (13,14).
AstaPure® Natural Astaxanthin by Solabia – Algatech Nutrition
Solabia-Algatech Nutrition has one of the world’s largest photobioreactor facilities with an array of cutting-edge cultivation and process technologies.Based in the Arava desert, one of the most arid and remote places on earth, Algatech harnesses renewable energy from the first solar facility in Israel, and water from an ancient sea located 1km below the surface.
During the cultivation process, Algatech cultivation equipment and nutrients are all approved as food quality, which ensures that microalgae will not absorb impurities. From petri dish to commercial product, we have implemented a fully controlled system verified by ISO 22000 certification. In an effort to identify promising new strains of micro algae, define optimal growth parameters, and optimize the cultivation process, Algatech invests a large amount of resources in the identification and development of those strains.
Our team of researchers and scientists is devoted to studying microalgae and developing pioneering cultivation technologies involving microalgae to produce astaxanthin and fucoxanthin.
- Baralic et al. Effect of Astaxanthin Supplementation on Paraoxonase 1 Activities and Oxidative Stress Status in Young Soccer Players. Phytother. Res, (2012), 1542(October), 1536–1542.
- Park et al. Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Mar 5;7:18.
- Hiroaki Kubo et al, Astaxanthin Suppresses Cigarette Smoke-Induced Emphysema through Nrf2 Activation in Mice. Mar Drugs. 2019 Dec; 17(12): 673.
- Tominaga K, Hongo N, Karato M, Yamashita E. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on humans subjects. Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(1):43-7.
- Yamashita E. Cosmetic benefit of dietary supplements including astaxanthin and tocotrienol on human skin. Food Style 2002;21(6):112-117.
- Naoki Ito et al, The Protective Role of Astaxanthin for UV-Induced Skin Deterioration in Healthy People-A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2018 Jun 25;10(7):817.
- Hashimoto et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2013 July;53(1):1–7.
- Nagaki Y et al., Efects of astaxanthin on accommodation, critical ficker fusions, and pattern visual evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. J Trad Med.2002;19:170-73.
- Saito et al.,Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2012 Feb;250(2):239-45.
- Yasunori Nagaki et al. Effect of Astaxanthin on Accommodation and Asthenopia. Japanese Review of Clinical Ophthalmology 3(5): 461-468, 2010.
- Nakagawa K, et al. Antioxidant effect of astaxanthin on phospholipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jun;105(11):1563-71.
- Satoh A, et al. Preliminary clinical evaluation of toxicity and efficacy of a new astaxanthinrich Haematococcus pluvialis extract. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2009;44(3):280-284.
- Earnest CP et al. Effect of Astaxanthin on Cycling Time Trial Performance. Int J Sports Med. 2011 Nov;32(11):882-888.
- Liu et al, Building strength, endurance, and mobility using an astaxanthin formulation with functional training in elderly. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle . 2018 Oct;9(5):826-833