What is Astaxanthin?

What is Astaxanthin?
January 23, 2019 Baldur
In Article

Astaxanthin is a unique carotenoid known for its many health benefits. It is the pigment that colors the flesh of salmon and trout pink, as well as fish roe, star fish, sea urchins, crustacean shells, and the feathers of flamingoes (1, 2, 3). The main human food sources of astaxanthin are salmon and trout. These fish acquire astaxanthin from their diet – natural prey or commercial fish feed. In supplements, the most common source is the green algae Haematococcus pluvialis, which may contain up to 4% astaxanthin by dry weight. In fact, H. pluvialis is one of its richest natural sources (4, 5). H. pluvialis is now cultivated on an industrial scale and its astaxanthin content extracted for use in supplements or cosmetics (6). KeyNatura produces high quality astaxanthin from H.pluvialis micro algae with cutting edge tank solution based technology. Other microorganisms cultivated for their astaxanthin content include the yeasts Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous and Phaffia rhodozyma, the bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum, and the green algae Chlorella zofingiensis (7). But astaxanthin can also be synthesized. Due to its low price, synthetic astaxanthin is used as a food coloring and a feed additive for prawns and salmonids, such as salmon, trout, and Arctic char (8).



1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22428140

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28635649

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21566799

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21915307

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24402174

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12727382

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24402174

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16431409

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