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How does astaxanthin benefit eye fatigue?


In today’s digital era, the widespread use of digital screens, engagement in esports, and gaming have led to a surge in ocular discomfort, specifically eye fatigue, affecting individuals of all ages, from children to adults. It has become a prevalent concern as consumers increasingly prioritize maintaining optimal eye health, prompting the search for supplements against eye fatigue suitable for all age groups. In this blog, we delve into how astaxanthin fights eye fatigue and uncover the molecular dynamics behind eye strain and oxidative stress.

How does astaxanthin benefit eye fatigue?

Understanding Eye Fatigue at a Molecular Level: 

Eye fatigue, resulting from intense concentration on various tasks, is a common condition. When concentrating on a visually intense task, such as continuously focusing on a book or computer monitor, the ciliary muscles (allowing the eye to focus on distant or nearby objects) and the extraocular muscles (responsible for eye movement) are strained. Eye fatigue is characterized by symptoms such as pains, soreness, blurred vision, dryness, and headaches.

Oxidative stress and eye fatigue: 
Oxidative stress, a physiological imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s ability to neutralize them, plays a pivotal role in the manifestation of eye fatigue. The ocular environment is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress due to its high metabolic activity, constant exposure to light, and limited antioxidant defense mechanisms. Prolonged exposure to digital screens intensifies this oxidative burden. ROS generated during screen exposure induce lipid peroxidation, protein damage, and DNA alterations in ocular tissues, exacerbating eye fatigue. Mitochondria, are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress, impacting energy production and contributing to ocular fatigue. The intricate interplay between oxidative stress and eye fatigue underscores the importance of targeted antioxidant interventions in mitigating the adverse effects of prolonged screen time on ocular health.

Astaxanthin’s Molecular Shield Against Oxidative Stress:

Astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid family, produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants known (more potent than vitamin E, vitamin C) with over 500 studies of its diverse health benefits. Astaxanthin has powerful effects on supporting optimal eye health in a variety of ways:

  1. Cellular Membrane Permeation:
    • Mechanism: Astaxanthin’s molecular structure facilitates its permeation through cell membranes.
    • Result: This unique attribute enables it to exert its protective effects directly at the cellular level, shielding against oxidative stress induced by prolonged screen time.
  2. Free Radical Scavenging Abilities:
    • Mechanism: Astaxanthin’s potent antioxidant capabilities include scavenging free radicals.
    • Result: By neutralizing reactive oxygen species, astaxanthin mitigates oxidative stress, a primary contributor to eye fatigue.
  3. Crossing the Blood-Retinal Barrier:
    • Mechanism: Astaxanthin’s ability to traverse the blood-retinal barrier allows it to access the retina.
    • Result: Direct interaction with retinal cells positions astaxanthin as a guardian, protecting against oxidative damage and supporting overall retinal health.
  4. Capillary Blood Flow Enhancement:
    • Mechanism: Astaxanthin has demonstrated efficacy in improving capillary blood flow.
    • Result: Enhanced blood circulation not only nourishes ocular tissues but also aids in the recovery of fatigued ciliary muscles, essential for sustained visual acuity.
  5. Relaxing the Ciliary Muscle:
    • Mechanism: Promoting dynamic focus — the ability to refocus when looking far away to something close
    •  Results: Helping eye muscles perform better and recover faster from eye strain and fatigue.

Not only does astaxanthin help reduce digital fatigue, but it also helps to reduce inflammation and supports optimal ocular vascular health.

Learn about AstaPure® Astaxanthin

Clinical studies on astaxanthin and eye health:

Numerous clinical studies have substantiated astaxanthin’s positive impact on visual well-being, particularly in the context of alleviating eye fatigue caused by extended screen exposure.  Noteworthy findings include the clinically proven antioxidant activity and eye health benefits of astaxanthin.

Oral administration of astaxanthin was associated with increased in superoxide scavenging activity and decreased level of hydroperoxide within the aqueous humor[1].

In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 26 subjects extensively exposed to screens were administered 5mg of astaxanthin daily or a placebo for 4 weeks. Parameters such as eye strain (asthenopia) and accommodation amplitude (the eye’s ability to keep an object in focus on the retina as its distance from the eye varies) were measured at baseline and at the end of the 4-week period. Impressively, 50% of the subjects in the astaxanthin group reported no eye strain after 4 weeks of consumption, compared to only 7% in the placebo group. Furthermore, the accommodation amplitude increased in the treatment group from 2.3 to 2.8 diopters, contrasting with the placebo group’s marginal change from 2.2 to 2.3 diopters [2].

Another randomized double blind placebo control study, assessing daily consumption of 9 mg astaxanthin (n=43) or placebo (n=41) for 4 exhibited a statistically significant enhancement in accommodation ability and a reduction in various eye fatigue symptoms [3].

These compelling clinical results underscore astaxanthin’s efficacy in promoting visual wellness and combating the adverse effects of prolonged screen time on ocular health.


In the realm of ocular health, astaxanthin stands as a beacon of scientific promise. Its molecular characteristics, coupled with clinical validation, position it as a multifaceted solution to combatting the molecular triggers of eye fatigue. As science continues to unravel the complexities of ocular health, astaxanthin remains at the forefront, offering a molecularly informed pathway to visual wellness in the digital age.

AstaPure® natural astaxanthin by Solabia-Algatech

AstaPure®  Natural astaxanthin, derived from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest source of natural astaxanthin. AstaPure® is consistent in quality, high in purity, free of contaminants, and produced in accordance with sustainable standards.


  1. Hashimoto H, Arai K, Hayashi S, Okamoto H, Takahashi J, Chikuda M, Obara Y. Effects of astaxanthin on antioxidation in human aqueous humor. J Clin. Biochem. Nutr. 2013 July;53(1):1–7.
  2. Nagaki Y et al., Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation, critical flicker fusions, and pattern visual evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. J Trad Med. 2002;19:170-73.
  3. Yasunori Nagaki et al. Effect of Astaxanthin on Accommodation and Asthenopia. Japanese Review of Clinical Ophthalmology 3(5): 461-468, 2010.