Science Update

Astaxanthin inhibits oxidative stress and protects against mitochondrial dysfunction

Astaxanthin is a red-orange carotenoid mainly produced by microalgae (haematococcus pluvialis) and accumulated in many marine organisms such as salmon, trout, shrimp, and lobster. Astaxanthin’s molecular structure provides its unique features such as touting a higher antioxidant activity than of other carotenoids.

Previous research suggests that astaxanthin offers health-promoting benefits in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, such as chronic inflammatory diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and exercise-induced fatigue.

According to a new review published three weeks ago, researchers demonstrated that astaxanthin supplementation protects against oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction (the function of mitochondria is impaired in such situations as inflammatory conditions, fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative conditions).

Astaxanthin supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes has been shown to improve lipid profile, increase the adiponectin level, and decrease blood pressure. In addition, mortality and histological damage due to acute lung injury is improved by astaxanthin supplementation, as it helps with oxidative stress and the inflammatory response.

In a study published at the beginning of the year, astaxanthin supplementation was demonstrated to improves glucose metabolism and decreases blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this study each patient consumed 8 mg of astaxanthin or placebo daily for 8 weeks.

Astaxanthin can effectively cross the blood brain barrier and is a potent neuroprotective antioxidant. Thus, it should also be considered for neurodegenerative conditions, which are associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. It can be a great adjunct to their treatment to help reduce complications and mitigate adverse effects. Since astaxanthin is incorporated into LDL and HDL and transported through the circulation, its bioavailability is enhanced when taken with dietary fat or fish oil.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS


Source: Kim S and Kim H. Inhibitory Effect of Astaxanthin on Oxidative Stress-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction-A Mini-Review. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 21;10(9). pii: E1137. doi: 10.3390/nu10091137