Recommended daily doses of astaxanthin range from 4 to 12 milligrams, with the lower dose being effective for reducing inflammation and the higher therapeutic dose maximizing the supplement’s antioxidant benefits, reports Drugs.com. Studies show astaxanthin is safe when used alone in daily doses up to 40 milligrams for 12 weeks and in combination with other carotenoids, vitamins and minerals in daily doses of 4 milligrams for up to a year, adds WebMD.
Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid that is best absorbed when taken with a fat-rich meal, explains Drugs.com. This potent antioxidant is created by micro-algae as a protective defense against environmental stressors, such as lack of food or direct sunlight, and gives krill, shrimp and salmon their red color. Astaxanthin offers protection from free radicals and oxidative stress both in the sea creatures in which it is found and possibly in humans through high dose supplements. Highest concentrations are found in the micro-algae Haematococcus pluvialis, phaffia yeast, shrimp and krill. While human research is still new as of 2015, astaxanthin appears to be a viable treatment for reducing inflammation and supporting heart and eye health.
Individuals use the supplement to treat cancer, stroke, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, reports WebMD. It is also used for age-related macular degeneration and applied directly to the skin for sunburn protection. It may play an important role in immune system health, but more evidence is required to determine astaxanthin’s effectiveness in treating these conditions.