Astaxanthin benefits for health are attributed to the significant antioxidant effects of this natural carotenoid. Astaxanthin has been described as one of the most powerful antioxidants discovered in nature. It is more effective than Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

It has a unique chemical structure that makes it able to penetrate both the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) and the Blood-Retinal Barrier (BRB). This means that astaxanthin provides antioxidant benefits for both brain cells and the eyes, which makes it rare among natural antioxidants.

Astaxanthin supplements are used in the prevention and/or treatment for AMD (age-related macular degeneration), hyperlipidemia, stroke, certain neurological conditions and certain types of cancer. It is also used topically to inhibit and treat sunburn.

This article will review the results from research studies into the effects of astaxanthin for general health, cardiovascular function, fertility, eye health and more.


Multiple clinical trials have shown astaxanthin to possess strong antioxidant properties. It may be effective at slowing down cellular aging and preventing certain diseases and conditions.

  • In-vitro studies show that astaxanthin has more antioxidant strength than other carotenoids; including beta-carotene, vitamin E and lycopene.
  • Various studies have shown that astaxanthin is able to protect cells against oxidative stress and free radical destruction. In human trials, astaxanthin has decreased plasma 8-OHdG, a biomarker for DNA damage.
  • In vitro research on human lymphocytes has shown astaxanthin to prevent autoxidation. Laboratory research on astaxanthin has noted inhibition of macrophage activation. MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) activity and scavenger expression were inhibited.

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