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Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that should be on all men’s radar. One major reason men should take astaxanthin is that when compared with other carotenoids (e.g., lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene), it demonstrated the highest antioxidant activity against cell-damaging free radicals.
Strong antioxidant activity is the main source of the health benefits associated with this carotenoid, which is found in Pacific salmon, shrimp, lobster, red trout, microalgae, yeast, crawfish, and crabs. Although these foods are a source of astaxanthin, it is not reasonable to consume the amount of fish or other foods on a daily basis to get the astaxanthin necessary to reap the health benefits. Therefore, astaxanthin supplements are the best solution.
Why men should take astaxanthin supplements
Here are the top 6 reasons men should take astaxanthin supplements as part of their daily health maintenance routine.
The can enhance exercise. Athletes of all levels of proficiency may benefit from astaxanthin when it comes to endurance and recovery from fatigue after exercise. Most studies have been done in animals, and results indicate the carotenoid can enhance the body’s use of fatty acids, which in turn assists endurance and helps to prevent muscle and bone damage.
The authors of a 2018 review noted that supplementation with astaxanthin “could potentially improve indices of exercise metabolism, performance, and recovery because of its potent antioxidant capacity.” These observations have not yet been verified in humans. However, there have been a few studies in humans suggesting astaxanthin may improve endurance, strength, and energy levels.
They can possibly fight cancer. Scores of studies in the lab, in animals, and in patients have demonstrated an ability of astaxanthin to fight cancer on various fronts. Thus far, the pigment has been shown to help inhibit the progression and spread of cancer and to have “great promise as chemotherapeutic agents in cancer.”
In a recent study of xenograph prostate tumors in mice, tumor growth was significantly inhibited in animals treated with astaxanthin when compared with placebo. The carotenoid also has exhibited an ability to help in the fight against cancer of the colon, lungs, breast, and pancreas.
They improve skin health. Women are not the only ones who are concerned about aging skin, and astaxanthin can addres this issue. Use of both oral and topical astaxanthin has been shown to maintain skin moisture, improve elasticity, reduce age spots, and smooth wrinkles.
It helps support heart health. Numerous animal studies have indicated that astaxanthin can benefit heart health in several ways. In one study, for example, systolic blood pressure was lower and endothelial function was improved in animal treated with astaxanthin when compared with controls. Treated animals also showed a beneficial effect on oxidative stress, bioavailability of nitric oxide (which opens up blood vessels to improve blood flow), and other cardiovascular parameters.
It can help relieve joint pain. Evidence points to use of astaxanthin for relief of joint pain associated with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other associated conditions. One study, for example, found that the antioxidant reduced cartilage damage in experimental osteoarthritis. The authors remarked that the results suggest that astaxanthin may be considered as pharmaceutical agent in OA [osteoarthritis] treatment.”
They can boost male fertility. One double-blind study found that men who had previously experienced infertility saw improvement in sperm count and motility and in fertility overall when they took high doses of astaxanthin. Because this was a small study, more research is needed to verify these findings.
About astaxanthin supplements
Natural astaxanthin supplements are derived from the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis. Synthetic astaxanthin, however, are created from petrochemicals and should be avoided. Supplements are available as gel caps/soft gels, and capsules.
A common dose is 4 to 6 mg daily. However, if you are taking astaxanthin to help manage exercise performance issues or for serious joint or tendon problems, then you may need up to twice this dose. Because astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid, you should take the supplement with a food containing healthy fat, such as avocado, nuts, or salmon, because the fat assists in the absorption of the antioxidant.
Brown DR et al. Astaxanthin in exercise metabolism, performance and recovery: a review. Frontiers in Nutrition 2018 Jan 18; 4:76
Comhaire FH et al. Combined conventional/antioxidant “astaxanthin” treatment for male infertility: a double-blind, randomized trial. Asian Journal of Andrology 2005 Sep; 7(3): 257-62
Huang LJ, Chen WP. Astaxanthin ameliorates cartilage damage in experimental osteoarthritis. Modern Rheumatology 2015 Sep; 25(5): 768-71
Monroy-Ruiz J et al. Astaxanthin-enriched diet reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular parameters in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Pharmacological Research 2011Jan; 63(1): 44-50
Naquib YM et al. Antioxidant activities of astaxanthin and related carotenoids. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2000 Apr; 48(4): 1150-54
Ni X et al. Astaxanthin inhibits PC-3 xenograft prostate tumor growth in nude mice. Marine Drugs 2017 Mar 8; 15(3): pii:E66
Tominaga K et al. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin in human subjects. Acta Biochimica Polonica 2012; 59(1): 43-47
Zhang L, Wang H. Multiple mechanisms of anti-cancer effects exerted by astaxanthin. Marine Drugs 2015 Jul 14; 1(7): 4310-30