Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that’s sourced from some of the healthiest foods in the world–salmon and microalgae.
Its also prominent in krill oils.
The anti-aging and disease-preventing effects of this rich, orange-colored compound are hard to match. If you are looking to feel younger and healthier at the same time, astaxanthin is one of the best supplements you can find.
We’ve ranked the best astaxanthin supplements on the market according to their quality and purity.
1. Sports Research High Potency Astaxanthin
The astaxanthin supplement by Sports Research comes with its lipid-soluble astaxanthin dissolved in coconut oil, with a very clean ingredients list. There’s only the bare minim
um amount of extra ingredients (just enough to hold the capsule together). With a solid 12 mg of astaxanthin per capsule, and 60 capsules per bottle, the dosage is up to the industry standard.
2. MD Formulas Supreme Hawaiian Astaxanthin
This supplement provides a very pure astaxanthin supplement with 12 mg of the active ingredient, dissolved in extra virgin olive oil.
Add to that non-GMO ingredients, a vegetarian capsule, and vitamin E as a natural preservative and you’ve got an exceptionally high quality product.
3. Viva Naturals Astaxanthin
Known for their high quality fish oil products, Viva Naturals provides a high quality but low dosage astaxanthin supplement at only 4 mg per capsule.
With extra virgin olive oil as the delivery solvent, and no other ingredients save for those necessary for the gelatin capsule, it’s one of the purest astaxanthin supplements on the market, but high dose enthusiasts will need to look elsewhere.
4. BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin
BioAstin is an older astaxanthin supplement, but it still provides a high dosage of the antioxidant, with 12 mg per capsule.
The other ingredients leave something to be desired, though–it’d be nice to see a higher quality oil used to dissolve the astaxanthin.
5. Jarrow Formulas Astaxanthin
The astaxanthin supplement from Jarrow Formulas is not quite as good as its competitors, on large part because of its lower dosage.
At only 4 mg per capsule, you aren’t getting the same high dosage that you’d get from a top-rated product. Still, if you just want to slightly increase your antioxidant intake, it’s not a bad choice. The formulation is simple, though vegans won’t be a fan of the gelatin based capsule.
6. Algalife Icelandic Astaxanthin
Algalife is a decent source for a high dosage of astaxanthin (12 mg per capsule) and the microalgae-derived astaxanthin is pretty pure, but it would be nice if the solvent carrying it was something a little higher quality than sunflower seed oil.
If you aren’t a purity fanatic, it’s a fine choice; it just gets beat out by a few other more carefully put together astaxanthin supplements.
7. Fettle Botanical Astaxanthin 120
Fettle Botanical provides a middle-of-the-road 10 mg astaxanthin dosage, but the rest of the ingredients indicate that this supplement is a little weaker than its competitors.
The company uses soybean oil instead of a higher quality oil to deliver the supplement, which isn’t ideal, and strict vegans won’t like the gelatin capsule. It’s not bad, per se; there are just better options out there.
8. Dr. Mercola Astaxanthin
Unlike many other astaxanthin supplements, Dr. Mercola’s formulation adds in alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) at a concentration of 300 mg per capsule.
Unfortunately, the actual astaxanthin content is fairly low, at 4 mg per serving. So, if you aren’t interested in the ALA, you aren’t getting the purest supplement formulation for your money.
9. NOW Astaxanthin
With only 4 mg per capsule, and a hybrid olive oil and refined soy oil solvent as the dissolving agent, NOW Astaxanthin is not going to be the right choice for very many people. While it does come in other serving sizes, the design philosophy is still the same.
Even at the low dosage range, there are better options out there as far as ingredient purity and clean supplement design.
10. We Like Vitamins Astaxanthin
At first glance, We Like Vitamins’ astaxanthin offering seems like a nice middle of the road dosage at 8 mg per serving. But the catch is that the serving size is two capsules, so it’s down at the low end of the dosage.
It also doesn’t include any sort of fat-based solvent to dissolve the astaxanthin, so the absorption may not be as good as a competitor. This would lower the effective dosage even further, landing it at the bottom of the rankings.
Astaxanthin benefits and side effects
Astaxanthin is widely considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature, and is found in a lot of marine animals and plants.
It is commonly referred to as “The King of Carotenoids” and the best part is that it doesn’t cause harmful oxidation in the body.
It gives the red-pink pigment in different seafoods, and is also seen in the feathers of quails and flamingos. While it is similar in structure to beta-carotene, it is very much safer than the latter.
Astaxanthin has risen to prominence, particularly due to the fact that it has different blood parameters, which are great for people with heart disease. It can reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent artery clogging as well.
It has also been known to reduce blood pressure in hypersensitive rats, increase general blood, and also reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. It also provides more anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than vitamin A.
What are the medicinal uses for astaxanthin?
There have been over 500 different studies conducted on astaxanthin and its medical uses and benefits.
A research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, stated that astaxanthin could reduce stress and inflammation while strengthening the immune system. Different studies have also stated that astaxanthin can be as much as: 6000 more potent than vitamin c, 800 times more powerful than CoQ10, and 550 times stronger than Vitamin E.
Astaxanthin was also found to be at least 500 times stronger than the catechins that are found in green tea.
It is truly the king of all carotenoids, and has a long list of amazing health benefits. There are very few supplements that offer the range of health benefits offered by astaxanthin. So let’s take a more detailed look at its many amazing health benefits.
Benefits of astaxanthin
Astaxanthin has got a lot of antioxidant properties that help slow down the aging process.
It also stops your cells from aging faster, and researchers at Washington State University, tested the impact of an astaxanthin supplement on slowing down the aging process. It also helped them gain glowing clear skin.
Another study backed up the findings of the research, and animals that were given 20mg of astaxanthin on a daily basis for 4 months, showed enhanced cellular function in white blood cells, and higher glutathione levels (1).
Scientists also found that it helped repair damage to the DNA and protein of animals, which is closely linked to the aging process in the body.
Astaxanthin was considered as a food supplement in the 1990s, and there wasn’t much research available on its beta carotene or carotenoids properties. After numerous hundred studies, were conducted on it, did the anti-inflammatory properties gain more exposure.
In a study conducted in Japan, scientists gave 3mg of astaxanthin to 30 women, who were between the ages of 20 and 55 at the end of dinner and breakfast (2).
These women had to apply 1ml of the supplement on their face two times a day, after they washed their face in the morning. They had to do this for 8 weeks. The researchers found that astaxanthin actually improved the women’s skin by removing wrinkles, age spots, and making the texture better.
This is why astaxanthin is found in many face washes.
Astaxanthin has shown that it delays aging and is highly effective in removing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity and texture.
Other studies have found that astaxanthin may actually be the most powerful anti-aging antioxidant found in the world (3) and has a whole host of other benefits such as improved endurance and energy.
One of the best ways to find out if a supplement will work on athletes is by testing it on free radicals and then checking the antioxidant levels in the body after a workout.
Exercise is considered to be the best producer of free radicals, and the faster the body can eliminate free radicals, the faster the athlete will be able to recover from the workout session.
Researchers tested astaxanthin on soccer players, who were given the supplement for 90 days, and it produced excellent results. Exercising improved all the players’ oxidative stress and free radical production, but the group that was given astaxanthin didn’t have a higher count of free radicals.
This clearly indicated that astaxanthin could help athletes recover faster from workouts, as they had more athletes and energy to burn.
Side effects of astaxanthin
The best part about astaxanthin is that there isn’t a study today that has anything bad to say about it.
Remarkably, it is completely safe to be consumed as a supplement, and has been taken safely in doses ranging from 4 to 40mg on a daily basis for around 12 weeks. It has also been used safely with other carotenoids, minerals, and vitamins as well.
Special precautions & warnings:
Women that are pregnant or breast-feeding need to be careful about taking the astaxanthin supplement, since there is not enough research conducted on the effects of astaxanthin during breast-feeding or pregnancy.
This is why it is recommended that women experiencing those conditions should avoid it, for safety purposes.
People that are taking special medication are also advised to discuss with their medical practitioner before taking any supplements for their own safety.
Astaxanthin is rightfully considered to be the king of carotenoids, since it has some absolutely remarkable health benefits.
There are very few supplements that don’t have any negative side effects attached to them, which makes it perfect for everyone.