Astaxanthin Dosing and Safety

safety

Allergies

Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to astaxanthin or related carotenoids, including canthaxanthin, or hypersensitivity to an astaxanthin source, such as Haematococcus pluvialis.

Side Effects and Warnings

Astaxanthin may affect bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may affect bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Astaxanthin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Astaxanthin may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Use cautiously in patients with taking certain drugs, herbs and supplements metabolized by the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. Taking astaxanthin with these drugs may cause the levels of these drugs to be decreased in the blood and may reduce the intended effects. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Use cautiously in patients with hormone disorders or those using agents that affect hormones, particularly 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, as astaxanthin may inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, thereby inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Theoretically, adverse effects related to 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, such as decreased libido, gynecomastia, decreased semen quantity during ejaculation, impotence, increased skin pigmentation, hair growth, weight gain, and depressed mood, may occur.
Use cautiously in patients with autoimmune disorders or those using immunosuppressants, as astaxanthin has been shown to enhance immune function and theoretically may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy. Although astaxanthin has been found to stimulate the immune system, in clinical research, astaxanthin was found to lower eosinophil levels.
Use cautiously in patients with hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, or parathyroid disorders, as astaxanthin may lower serum calcium levels.
Use cautiously in patients using beta-carotene, as astaxanthin may alter beta-carotene conversion.
Use cautiously in women who are pregnant or might become pregnant, as astaxanthin may inhibit 5-alpha reductase.
Astaxanthin may also cause severe abdominal pain and aplastic anemia.
Avoid in patients with known allergy or hypersensitivity to astaxanthin or related carotenoids, including canthaxanthin, or in those with hypersensitivity to an astaxanthin source, such as Haematococcus pluvialis.
Avoid in patients with known hypersensitivity to 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Use cautiously in women who are pregnant or might become pregnant, as astaxanthin may inhibit 5-alpha reductase. Astaxanthin is not suggested in breastfeeding women, due to a lack of safety data.

dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

As an antioxidant, in general, manufacturers recommend taking 4-8 milligrams of astaxanthin by mouth 2-3 times daily with meals. Clinical evidence is lacking.
For dyspepsia, 40 milligrams of astaxanthin (AstaCarox®) has been taken by mouth daily in divided doses for four weeks.
For exercise capacity, the manufacturers of Xanthin® recommend taking one capsule by mouth (each containing eight milligrams of astaxanthin) before and after physical activity. Four milligrams of astaxanthin has also been taken by mouth in the morning with food.
For high cholesterol, 6, 12, and 18 milligrams of astaxanthin (AstaREAL® Astaxanthin) has been taken by mouth daily for 12 weeks. In healthy human subjects, 3.6, 7.2, and 14.4 milligrams has been administered in a beverage daily for two weeks.
For male infertility, 16 milligrams of astaxanthin (AstaCarox®) has been taken by mouth daily for three months.
For skin conditions, two milligrams of astaxanthin (Astavita AstaREAL® Astaxanthin; each capsule containing two milligrams of astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus plubialis microalgae) has been taken by mouth twice daily with breakfast and dinner for six weeks. According to secondary sources, four milligrams of astaxanthin (BioAstin®) daily for two weeks may prevent sunburn.
For transplant (renal), 12 milligrams of astaxanthin (BioAstin®; four milligram tablets taken by mouth three times daily) has been used for one year.
Note: Various seafoods contain the astaxanthin pigment. A standard serving portion of four ounces of Atlantic salmon contains from 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams of astaxanthin, whereas the same amount of sockeye salmon may contain 4.5 milligrams of astaxanthin.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for astaxanthin in children.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Astaxanthin may increase the risk of bleeding or blood clotting when taken with drugs that increase such risks. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Astaxanthin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Astaxanthin may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Astaxanthin may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be decreased in the blood and may reduce the intended effects. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Astaxanthin may interact with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, calcium salts, diabetes drugs, drugs that affect bleeding, heart medications, hormonal agents, immunosuppressants, and rofecoxib.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Astaxanthin may increase the risk of bleeding or blood clotting when taken with herbs or supplements that are believed to increase such risks. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding or blood clotting, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Astaxanthin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Astaxanthin may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Astaxanthin may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too low in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements potentially may have on the cytochrome P450 system.
Astaxanthin may interact with calcium (and foods containing calcium), carotenoids (and foods containing carotenoids), herbs and supplements for the heart, hormonal herbs and supplements, immunosuppressants, and saw palmetto.