Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans

Some info on Astaxanthin from Wikipedia - it's a supplement I have known very little about;
Currently, the primary use for humans is as a food supplement. Research shows that due to astaxanthin's potent antioxidant activity, it may be beneficial in cardiovascular, immune, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.[9] Some sources have demonstrated its potential as an anti-cancer agent.[20] Research supports the assumption that it protects body tissues from oxidative damage.[21][22] It also crosses the blood-brain barrier, which makes it available to the eye, brain and central nervous system to alleviate oxidative stress that contributes to ocular, and neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma and Alzheimer's.[23]

Astaxanthin has 100-500 times the antioxidant capacity of Vitamin E and 10 times the antioxidant capacity of beta-carotene. Many laboratory studies also indicate astaxanthin is a stronger antioxidant than lutein, lycopene and tocotrienols.[23] However, other studies have demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of astaxanthin to be comparable to or slightly less than that of other carotenoids.[36]
The folks at Natural News think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

The FDA has advised some online retailers that their promotion of the supplement constitutes the sale and promotion of a drug, which violates DSHEA. Commensurate with this claim, there have been a lot of studies on this substance.

Anyway, here is a recent article from Nutrition & Metabolism.

Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans

Jean Soon Park email, Jong Hee Chyun email, Yoo Kyung Kim email, Larry L Line email and Boon P Chew email

Nutrition & Metabolism 2010, 7:18 - doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-18

Published: 5 March 2010

Abstract (provisional)


Astaxanthin modulates immune response, inhibits cancer cell growth, reduces bacterial load and gastric inflammation, and protects against UVA-induced oxidative stress in in vitro and rodent models. Similar clinical studies in humans are unavailable. Our objective is to study the action of dietary astaxanthin in modulating immune response, oxidative status and inflammation in young healthy adult female human subjects.


Participants (averaged 21.5 yr) received 0, 2, or 8 mg astaxanthin (n = 14/diet) daily for 8 wk in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Immune response was assessed on wk 0, 4 and 8, and tuberculin test performed on wk 8.


Plasma astaxanthin increased (P <>


Therefore, dietary astaxanthin decreases a DNA damage biomarker and acute phase protein, and enhances immune response in young healthy females.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

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