Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on lipid peroxidation

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jan;77(1):3-11. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.77.1.3.


Astaxanthin, the main carotenoid pigment in aquatic animals, has greater antioxidant activity in vitro (protecting against lipid peroxidation) and a more polar configuration than other carotenoids. We investigated the effect of three-month astaxanthin supplementation on lipid peroxidation in healthy non-smoking Finnish men, aged 19-33 years by using a randomized double-blind study design. Also absorption of astaxanthin from capsules into bloodstream and its safety were evaluated. The intervention group received two 4-mg astaxanthin (Astaxin) capsules daily, and the control group two identical-looking placebo capsules. Astaxanthin supplementation elevated plasma astaxanthin levels to 0.032 pmol/L (p < 0.001 for the change compared with the placebo group). We observed that levels of plasma 12- and 15-hydroxy fatty acids were reduced statistically significantly in the astaxanthin group (p = 0.048 and p = 0.047 respectively) during supplementation, but not in the placebo group and the change of 15-hydroxy fatty acid was almost significantly greater (p = 0.056) in the astaxanthin group, as compared with the placebo group. The present study suggests that intestinal absorption of astaxanthin delivered as capsules is adequate, and well tolerated. Supplementation with astaxanthin may decrease in vivo oxidation of fatty acids in healthy men.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Placebos
  • Xanthophylls / administration & dosage
  • Xanthophylls / blood
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacokinetics


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids
  • Placebos
  • Xanthophylls
  • Carotenoids
  • astaxanthine