Astaxanthin: nature's supercharged antioxidant

The strongest natural antioxidant known to science

Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-ZAN-thin) is the naturally occurring red pigment, or carotenoid, found in salmon, lobster and crab.

Scientists have touted it responsible for the stamina seen in salmon when swimming upstream to lay their eggs.

In humans, astaxanthin acts as a powerful antioxidant, providing the body with a range of health benefits. In fact, astaxanthin has been shown in a number of different experiments to be the strongest natural antioxidant known to science.

Health benefits of Astaxanthin
In the first trial of its kind, a recent study by Washington State University found that diets supplemented with eight milligrams of astaxanthin daily showed an increase in the activity of natural killer cells, indicating a significant boost in immunity. In line with this finding, many regular users have reported a reduction in the incidence of colds and flu.

Other reported benefits include improved athletic performance, reduction in the risk of sunburn and skin damage, improved eye and joint health, increased skin elasticity and a reduction in fatigue.

According to Suzy Cohen, who dubs herself America’s most trusted pharmacist (, astaxanthin is also a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, which works to block the different chemicals in your body that make you scream “ouch”. More than that, she says, “astaxanthin reduces the inflammatory compounds that drive many chronic diseases. So even though it’s 100 per cent natural, astaxan-thin works like some prescription analgesics, but without the risk of addiction, GI bleeds or heartburn.”

Sources and dosage
Wild, Pacific salmon is known to have the highest astaxanthin content. Farmed salmon contains synthetic astaxanthin, and should be avoided. As a guide, you would need to eat two wild salmon fillets a day in order to see benefits. A much easier way to consume the daily 10mg requirement is to take an astaxanthin supplement. Results are usually seen in two to four weeks, but it may take as long as six. You can find astaxanthin supplements in health food stores nationwide.

Top tips
Astaxanthin supplements should be taken with a meal containing fat (such as eggs or heart-healthy coconut and olive oils) for maximum absorption.
When purchasing astaxanthin, select a supplement brand you know and trust, because proper harvesting methods will protect its potency and provide better value for money. 


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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.