Astaxanthin

safety

Allergies

Patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to astaxanthin or related carotenoids, including canthaxanthin, or hypersensitivity to an astaxanthin algal source, such as Haematococcus pluvialis, should not take astaxanthin preparations

Side Effects and Warnings

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, astaxanthin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used as a color additive in salmon foods. Astaxanthin is likely safe when used as an antioxidant and as adjunctive support in cancer treatment, cardiovascular disease treatment and ocular health promotion.
Side effects of astaxanthin use may include decreases in blood pressure, increases in skin pigmentation and hair growth, hormonal changes, lowered calcium levels in the blood, altered blood counts, decreased libido, and enlargement of the breasts (in men).
Astaxanthin should be used cautiously in patients with hypertension, asthma, parathyroid disorders, or osteoporosis. Avoid use in patients with known allergies to astaxanthin, hormone-sensitive conditions or immune disorders.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Astaxanthin is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Astaxanthin may be unsafe in pregnant women, as it may affect reproductive hormones.
Astaxanthin has been studied as an agent to treat male infertility, although results were not conclusive or of any benefit.

dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

In general, manufacturers have reported that 3 gelcaps BioAstin® astaxanthin (6 milligrams) by mouth at each meal for eight weeks was safe in adults. Similarly, no toxicity or side effects were noted when taking up to 19.25 milligrams of AstaFactor® by mouth for 29 days.
Doses typically used range from 2-12 milligrams per day for two weeks to six months. BioAstin® has been used for carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal injury, and sunburn. For male infertility, 16 milligrams (AstaCarox®) by mouth daily for three months has been used. No dose has been proven safe or effective.
Various seafoods contain the astaxanthin pigment. A standard serving portion of 4 ounces of Atlantic salmon contains from 0.5-1.1 milligrams of astaxanthin, whereas the same amount of sockeye salmon may contain 4.5 milligrams of astaxanthin.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is currently a lack of available scientific evidence to recommend the use of astaxanthin in children.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Astaxanthin may decrease blood pressure. Patients currently taking blood pressure lowering medications should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Astaxanthin may have similar effects as the antihistamines etirizine dihydrochloride and azelastine. Caution is advised when using asthmas medications.
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 drugs may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other drugs possibly have on the P450 system.
Astaxanthin may inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth and have an additive effect when taken with other medications that have a similar effect.
Astaxanthin may have hormonal effects and may interact with other hormone-altering medications, such as medications taken for menopause or birth control pills. It may also interact with immunomodulating medications.
Astaxanthin may lower calcium levels in the blood. In theory, it may interact with parathyroid medications and caution is advised.
Astaxanthin may decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and may interact with other cholesterol-lowering medications, such asrofecoxib (Vioxx®). Patients taking any medications should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Astaxanthin may have hormonal effects and may interact with other hormone-altering herbs and supplements, such as saw palmetto or black cohosh.
Astaxanthin may decrease blood pressure. Patients currently taking blood pressure lowering herbs and supplements should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Astaxanthin may lower calcium levels in the blood. In theory, it may interact with herbs and supplements that alter parathyroid function and caution is advised.
Concomitant use of astaxanthin with other carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, canthaxanthin, and lycopene) may decrease the absorption of astaxanthin, due to competitive absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Caution is advised.
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 high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
Astaxanthin may inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth and have an additive effect when taken with other herbs and supplements that have a similar effect. It may also interact with immunomodulating herbs and supplements.
Astaxanthin may decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and may interact with other cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, such as red yeast rice. Caution is advised.