Astaxanthin is a lipid-soluble carotenoid which is a red pigment found mainly in salmon and krill. Astaxanthin has antioxidant effects which can support overall health. Studies have reported its beneficial effects on eye health and sufficient amounts of astaxanthin may lower the risk for chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases.
It is structurally similar to beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) but has some chemical differences. Astaxanthin, can not be converted to vitamin A (retinol) in the human body. It is an antioxidant with a slightly lower antioxidant activity compared with other carotenoids.
It’s been linked to improved blood flow and lowering oxidative stress in smokers and overweight people. There is scientific evidence that astaxanthin might reduce the risk for some types of cancers. In addition, hypertension could be lowered since there are observations that astaxanthin may improve elastin levels and arterial wall thickness. Similar to lycopene, astaxanthin has properties to modulate the inflammatory response and could help to reduce joint pain or arthritis.